The Greek political system’s Big Bang moment is nearing. The beast continues to devour politicians, parties, prime ministers and whatever else lies in its wake. This why predictions such as “Tsipras will fall by spring” or “Tsipras will be PM for the next 10 years” are, quite frankly, foolish.
What could this Big Bang look like? I have no idea; we all have our own scenarios. One of them is the complete “Italianization” or “Weimarization” of the political landscape. This could mean parties ranging between 5 and 20 percent, and the country entering an extended period of political instability. In the meantime, if Parliament were to vote in favor of simple proportional representation, this could lead to even greater fragmentation of the political system. In countries where public administration operates perfectly well on autopilot mode, this sort of scenario comes with fewer risks. In smaller countries such as our own, I’m afraid this could end up becoming the joy of small or greater vested interests capable of controlling developments through smaller formations and fewer people.
Another scenario could be that of a healthy two-pole system in which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras becomes the Lula of the Mediterranean, while transforming SYRIZA into a pro-European, center-left party. Although in this case he could count on the support of 30-year-olds, for the time being he is relying on the usual suspects with whom he shares his ideology and political exchanges. This scenario would be even better, if not utopian, if New Democracy was to rebuild itself and become a serious, center-right party. Yesterday’s vote will be instrumental. In between the two poles there could be some space for one or two jokers representing centrists left out of the two-pole system.
There is yet another, possibly nightmarish, scenario: Tired and angry voters abandoning the country’s left en masse and turning toward something and someone representing the extreme right with plenty of institutional authoritarianism. Societies going through similar crises often observe such dramatic shifts, and in Greece there is a tendency to go from one extreme to another.
There are also scenarios about a government of national unity, or whatever else you might want to call such an administration. This could happen, especially if the country was to once again hit a wall or experience some major upheaval. In such a case, very few politicians would be capable of leading a government, even though many believe they could take on such a responsibility.
If you’re asking me which one is the most likely scenario, let me tell you you’ve got the wrong person – you’d be better off asking a fortuneteller.