OPINION

Distancing acts

So, Elissavet Papazoe has joined the swelling ranks of ruling PASOK deputies who are choosing to announce that they will not be running in next year’s parliamentary elections during a highly charged pre-election climate. Such a mass wave of voluntary departures (at least six of whom have been ministers in the past) has never been witnessed on such a scale: Papadopoulos, Laliotis, Malesios, Benos, Sfyriou, Gouskos, Vassilakakis, Papazoe – plus one or two others I have probably forgotten. The motives and justifications behind these «distancing» acts (and we must not forget that these are taking place during a critical pre-election period when the popularity and appeal of the ruling party are being painfully tested) are, of course, different in the case of each individual and should not be lumped together or seen as a deliberate and collective attempt to weaken or undermine the government and the ruling party. As it is though, they underscore a climate of defeatism that undoubtedly works against attempts being made to show the electorate that PASOK is united and strong and prepared for the forthcoming electoral showdown. Personal discontent, political or ideological clashes, disagreements over policy – of course, all these can arise and have arisen in the past. However, the lure of power, or even guileless dreaming, the selfless desire to give (to society but also to the party one is a part of), nearly always predominated and kept the dissenters and the disenchanted in their place…