The closer we get to the elections of September 20, the more we feel we are walking toward a dead end. From simple observation, this is in part why there suddenly seem to be a lot of people saying they are not going to vote in the polls. There is a sense that Greek voters are constantly shifting preferences, that they are experiencing a sense of exhaustion, futility, frustration and a new kind of anger. They wonder why they should even bother voting, that the false dilemma that had been presented to them in regard to the memorandum collapsed and with it the sense that they had a say in whether the country would accept a new bailout under strict terms.
The sense of animosity between those politicians who were ostensibly against the memorandum and those for it has been revealed to have been nothing more than a convenient illusion. What could be better punishment for a political system and a people who refused to accept reality than an electoral race that has one purpose only: to bring some order to the precise reality we have been trying to avoid for the past eight months and one that has come at an additional cost of several billion euros.
So, behind the rejectionism of those who claim that they will abstain from the September 20 polls, there is a powerful motive: to avoid taking their share of the blame for the end of the lies. Of course, the political system is also busy avoiding acknowledgment of the real problems and offering any form of solution to them. In this pre-election race, Greek politicians are doing what they know best: calculating how and with whom they could govern, thinking up clever retorts to the barbs of the opposition and finding ways to appear to be fighting for a better future for the country while, in fact, doing nothing much to that end.
There is a tragic irony about these elections that says it all. They could have been avoided and they are happening for all the wrong reasons but they are also becoming increasingly crucial the more clearly the magnitude of the country’s bankruptcy becomes apparent.
Voting is imperative as a matter of conscience. The pro-Europe parties are tried and tested, though they have chalked up more failures than successes over the past few years. Nevertheless, this is what we have and this is what we’ll have to work with. By closing their eyes to reality or turning their backs and putting the onus of responsibility on other voters, the only thing that abstainers will accomplish is showing up their own irresponsibility.