OPINION

Losers

It’s typical reflex reaction: When faced with something you can’t understand or admit, you conjure up conspiracies. It’s what makes the fans of a bad team blame the referee or the system. The real problem is when you start to believe these conspiracies. PASOK leaders are facing a similar risk. They take it out on public surveys, pollsters, TV channels, political maps and business people cozying up to New Democracy. They see enemies and conspiracies all around them. The channels are said to snub the fresh faces of the Papandreou era. Of course those who know a thing or two about Greek television understand the silliness of the argument. Yes, TV people invited the most colorful Socialists on Sunday. But that is because of a provincial mentality that reduces an election night into cheap spectacle. But PASOK itself did not try too hard to send Panos Beglitis or Stavros Lambrinidis to one of the panels. One can hear PASOK cadres complain that «we have clear positions on all issues, but the media won’t air them.» It would help if Papandreou had better timing and if his speeches were distributed to the media punctually. If people don’t get the message, there may be something wrong with the message. It’s no coincidence that PASOK’s views on education or Greece’s territorial waters are still in a thick fuzz of incoherence. Papandreou is faced with the same channels, firms and pollsters that saw him skyrocket in polls as he inherited the PASOK mantle. Meanwhile, Costas Karamanlis rose against all odds. That’s the system: Old-fashioned, provincial and unfair but if you want to change it, you’ll have to fight. In the 1980s ND has similar problems trying to make holes in Andreas Papandreou’s hegemony. Conservatives would then fire at everyone else, from the Americans to the polling companies. Until they realized a whiner will quickly make a bad loser.