On political morality

The decision by Dimitris Tsovolas to suspend operations of the Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) and, above all, his unvarnished explanation for doing so, was a model of democratic and political morality. So was Tsovolas’s posture during the party’s eight-year life. The former PASOK minister was consistent, uncompromising and persistent, regardless of whether one agrees with his views or not. Even if Tsovolas’s decision could work in PASOK’s favor in June’s European elections, no one can blame him for this. For he has every right to interpret the lack of public appeal and to make his own decisions on the basis of the fact that most of DIKKI votes came from left-leaning supporters, and most often from PASOK. On the other hand, Stefanos Manos, Andreas Andrianopoulos, Mimis Androulakis and Maria Damanaki all defected to PASOK but, unlike Stelios Papathemelis who joined New Democracy, they avoided putting their transfer to the voters’ judgment. George Papandreou, the champion of «participatory democracy,» put his new recruits on prime electoral lists, thereby also undermining the institution of honorary appointment which was established in order to enrich the body politic with distinguished personalities and not as a way to buy off political conscience. Furthermore, unlike Androulakis and Damanaki, who joined PASOK by declaring their political recantation in public, it’s hard to say with certainty whom Manos and Andrianopoulos – who both claim to be independent liberal deputies – represent in Parliament. Indeed, where do they base the right to express personal views that were never judged by the people? Far less tortuous or inexorable questions led Tsovolas to pull the plug on his own party. Sensitivity is closely knitted with political morality. Political amoralism, on the other hand, leads to apathy and thick skins.

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