OPINION

Bypassing democracy

Apparently deeming democratic procedures no longer to be of any political use or worthy of respect in PASOK, the party’s masters have abolished them in practice. As certain leading members of PASOK have said in public recently, there are some situations – such as the present one – which override the proper democratic process in the party. So it must be bypassed… The modernizers’ leadership has thus, on its own initiative, manufactured an emergency situation. Employing the traditional method of political intrigue, it set in motion developments it believed it would find useful in the runup to the elections. There was a successful rehearsal for this mockery of a democratic process in the ruling party about two years ago, when Costas Laliotis stated he would be a candidate for the post of general secretary of PASOK. His announcement was taken by everyone in the party to mean his automatic, uncontested election. Later, it made no particular impression when Costas Simitis autocratically forced the new secretary out and, with total control of the vote, replaced him with Michalis Chrysochoidis. Accustomed as they are to accepting situations imposed from on high, all leading party members are applauding Simitis’s current initiative anointing their «comrade» George Papandreou as the new leader. They now must all support the initiative, distributing statements and confident smiles on the outcome; some must stifle their bitterness because they were completely left out of the game, while others will vigorously advertise the unprecedented generosity of the leader, who paved the way for party renewal just a few weeks before the polls. Below, the party’s plebs await the signal to validate, enthusiastically, the intrigue. Here ends the lesson of PASOK reform.