Wanted: Genuine politics

As the election date nears, the two main political factions are intensifying their effort to woo middle-ground voters. Although tension runs high, and despite some high-blown rhetorical flourishes, PASOK and New Democracy are conducting a dignified campaign without any hits below the belt. Only in a few cases have they traded barbs or tried to rally their fighting forces with militant rhetoric; up to now, at least. There have been, of course, some advisers who recommend a more dynamic campaign based on political bashing and more nasty blows at crucial junctures. Tension is set to grow in coming weeks. One cannot possibly expect the two front runners in the runup to the elections to launch a mild, conflict-free campaign. Ideally, the strength of the rivals would depend on the rigor of their political proposals and arguments and not on their representatives’ aggressive or polarizing posture, whether spontaneous or not. The problems facing Greece today are large and complex. More than ever, people want to be informed about the exact causes of their woes and want to hear about concrete measures and what they will cost. The politicians who fight on television windows are seriously lacking in this respect. They talk too much, raising their voice and trading heavy allegations against each other, but fall short of engaging in genuine political dialogue. They fail to enlighten the viewing public about the true causes of the troubles and recommend no clear remedial action. Neither the politicians’ smiles, their militant outbursts nor their sound bites are enough to convince the citizens. Unless the situation changes soon, the two main rivals will have made no substantial political contribution in this election battle.