We won’t vote!

Voting is a right. It is actually one of those bizarre «obligatory rights,» as the eligible (whom the political elite do not seem to hold in high esteem) who fail to show up at the polling centers out of indolence or illness are threatened with punishment unless they present a certificate from a hospital or a police station. However, the circumstances under which the coming elections will take place are alone a very good pretext that could create a momentum for abstention that might not overly concern the parties but would still give election experts plenty of food for thought. While the Socialist party secretary, Costas Skandalidis, says that «the Athens municipality is a mess» and Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos fires back at what he denounces as ministerial «trickery» – while, in other words, top political figures exchange bland accusations – the citizens of the municipality can dial 1464 to find out where they will (not) vote or dial 107 to find out which pharmacies are open overnight in their neighborhood in order to purchase, if not popular-sovereignty pills (they have not been imported yet), then some tranquilizers at least. Thousands of voters have multiple entries on voting lists; tens of thousands have been excluded from their traditional polling centers; polling cards are officially declared useless and are not distributed by the municipalities although special funds have been supplied to this purpose; personal declarations are signed that will provide grist to the mill of future objections; obscure last-minute interparty agreements are made to avoid complete stalemate – all these shape the electoral landscape that voters have to tread in order to place a cross on their favorite smile. At least there will be free taxis and minibuses. They can take them to any theater staging Dario Fo’s «We Won’t Pay!» this time adapted into «We Won’t Vote!»