Political weariness

The opinion poll which was conducted by V-PRC pollsters and recently printed in Ta Nea daily confirmed a view that has often been expressed in this column – that the decline in PASOK’s political and electoral power is not a coincidence… In truth, New Democracy’s lead is a result of PASOK’s political exhaustion and not a result of the conservatives’ political appeal to society. As a consequence of the country’s two-party system, the conservative opposition is strengthened by the disaffection and the political weariness caused by the Socialists’ long stay in power. People’s preference for the current ministers is due to two main factors: First, because people regard Socialist ministers as more experienced than New Democracy’s shadow ministers. Second, because ministers are more familiar faces due to their constant and influential presence at television debates. It is worth noting that Health Minister Alekos Papadopoulos and Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos – who both shun publicity – are exceptions to this rule. The people questioned in the poll were seemingly unaware of the fact that the health minister is carrying out a reform of major importance. The V-PRC opinion poll, however, also has ramifications for the Socialist party. It shows that PASOK’s asset is no longer the prime minister but his ministers, a fact which strengthens calls for a change in leadership.