OPINION

Not a crime: Rebelling deputies

The conservative prime minister sacked Evangelos Polyzos after the deputy from Pieria said that «there are honest people in all parties and there are also people who take bribes.» Meanwhile, the leadership of the PASOK opposition reprimanded Panayiotis Sgouridis, a deputy from Xanthi, after he voted in Parliament for parts of the government-proposed bill on public-private partnerships (PPP)… The recent incidents involving the two rebel deputies should prompt a reconsideration of certain parochial and counterproductive principles pertaining to the functioning of political parties. There is little doubt that Greece’s electoral system and the political power balance has cemented the country’s two-party system. Any maverick political formations that attempted over the past 30 years to break the monopoly of the two mainstream parties (such as the DIANA, Political Spring, and DIKKI parties) died soon after they came into being. The unity and cohesion of the two main parties is not threatened by inner dissent. Occasional disagreements by isolated deputies should be welcome and considered legitimate by parties that eye a large catchment area. After all, any dissenter is paying the price of excluding himself from higher political office inside the party or government, as his views are out of synch with those of the leadership and the party majority…