OPINION

Colors and parties

The nation is awash in color! The electoral map, with green and blue prefectures, has become the sole focus of our attention. Television debates and the front pages of newspapers center on this colorful map and its ostensible truths. «Greece is blue,» the right claims. «No, it’s half green,» the center-left counters. What both are overlooking, however, is what every painter knows: Most colors are created by mixing others. In the recent elections, mixing was the rule, not the exception. And you don’t need the reassurance of an elections expert to know that party leaders often force their supporters to refute their own views and vote for what they are most opposed to. But these concentrations of blue or green are the result of circumstance, where trends have converged – nothing more. It is not hard to imagine how a staunch leftist feels when he sees his prefecture awash in green; nor how a New Democracy supporter feels seeing his municipality colored red or yellow, after following the anti-PASOK rhetoric of his party and voting strategically communist or democratic. These simplistic maps are offensive to citizens, many of whom are randomly classified where they do not belong. Moreover, the maps leave our political elders exposed in many ways. Those who reassure us that «social problems do not have a color,» who claim to respect the non-party nature of local government, are the same people who – in the euphoria of their success – paint their prefecture in these very colors.