OPINION

The phantom of a majority

We are being told we need a majority government in order to avoid repeated election battles. But none of the majority governments we have had over the past few years has completed its full term. There has always been some reason of national importance that has forced recourse to the polls for a fresh mandate. So now we have elections every two years; if no party receives a majority, then we have another round with another electoral law that will ensure a majority government, even with just 38 percent of the vote, i.e. a distortion of the popular will. So we have a custom-made electoral law to give us strong government, at least that’s what they say. But what kind of strength is that? Strength in numbers, in parliamentary seats? Or political strength? International and domestic experience shows that a government’s political strength, that is, the degree of consensus across social groups, does not always go hand in hand with a parliamentary majority. There have been coalition governments that have produced political work of historic importance, and majority governments that have plunged the country into crisis. The country now finds itself at a crossroads, in a crisis that is not so much economic as political. What is missing from both the major parties is political will, political strength, political ideas. Its mission is a complete reconstruction plan, not three to four parliamentary seats, to be filled by apolitical people, media personalities or the spouses of singers. Italy, Germany and France can be governed by coalitions because they have established institutions, stable administrations and continuity within the state mechanism. Why haven’t Greece’s strong majority governments been able to establish these things? Precisely because they don’t want a state that is distinct from the Blues and the Greens, from factions and dynasties. That is the majority government we are being asked to vote for.