OPINION

Pre-election illusions

The chief criterion in the political clash between the two major political parties – at least as it is understood by most of the public – is not the relative capability and effectiveness of the two rivals in their accomplishment of government work. And this is simply because the New Democracy administration has not been tested in power. This basic gauge can be identified in the political ethos and style that have been formulated by each party. PASOK may be the party that is in power but its influence is indisputably on the wane, while New Democracy is officially the main opposition party but appears to be the clear front runner in forthcoming elections. ND leader Costas Karamanlis has been aware of this for some time and is exploiting it to the fullest, proclaiming the moderation and humility with which his party would govern in the event of an election victory. But this is no more than a pre-election pledge and should be taken as such for the time being. However, the favorable impression it makes on the voting public is directly proportional to the aversion being provoked by the extended high-handedness, impertinence and arrogance of PASOK – evident in the way it runs the country but also in the way it reacts to its political rival. Indeed, PASOK’s most recently adopted pre-election tactic is based on deploring and scorning its rival so that it might thus increase its own value.