OPINION

‘Communication’ policy

The government and ruling PASOK party are discussing the tactics for their electoral campaign; that is, as of this August. The focus of their discussions, naturally, is «communications,» that is advertising, propaganda tricks and so on, with which they will be trying to convince voters by words and images that there are very good reasons why supposedly reformist PASOK should be given another four-year term. Among the agenda items is the need to decide which means of communication will allow the political leadership to evade the real problems in the economy and society and to construct a strategy made to order. That does not mean that the government and ruling party is lacking in cadres with knowledge and experience who realize that propaganda can’t make up for all the policy shortfalls, which are the ruling party’s real problem. However, that is how the PASOK leadership wants to fight its battle, so the prime minister’s staff are forced to adopt the appropriate tactics and determine «communication targets.» Some efforts toward this end have already begun, even if Simitis has not yet decided on the amount of impetus to give the campaign during the fall. The priority now is to impress upon the public that the important economic and social issues being debated publicly are not as bad as the government’s opponents would have it. The ruling party also needs to secure alliances with certain Athenian pressure groups which will provide it with strong electoral backing. Already some of these elements have become evident. No one doubts that as time passes things will become particularly interesting, as some prominent government officials, who are having a hard time hiding their anxiety over a possible electoral defeat, have been indicating on the sidelines. Worst of all is that the only policies being produced are promises to produce them – during the next term.