Proposal in a vacuum

This is not the first time that, being in a difficult position, PASOK has looked to the left and called for cooperation between Greece’s «progressive forces.» After its slim election victory in 2002 and particularly after the intense reactions that some of its policies sparked among certain social strata, the ruling Socialists spoke of the need for a «new social progressive majority.» In the wake of the municipal and regional elections that showed that PASOK has lost ground among the social classes that used to make up the core of its power base, PASOK has repeated its proposal with one eye fixed on the next parliamentary polls. This time, PASOK has declared its «frank desire to create a progressive pole of the forces of left and center-left in Greece.» What the anxious PASOK longs for is easily understandable. Time, however, goes by and the country’s economic and social problems become increasingly evident, Greece’s productivity remains stagnant and, politically speaking, the Socialists’ vague proposal is of no special worth. Still, some of the terms included in PASOK’s proposal are in need of some clarification. The ruling – so-called modernist-minded – cadres who have been in a state of ideological confusion the last couple of years should explain what they now mean by the term «progressive» and what its practical implications are. They should also clarify what they mean by «left,» in what ways does the «left» differ from PASOK’s «center-left» and where do these two meet so as to allow for the creation of a policy that would fulfill the expectations of a «new majority.» For the time being, given that the government is following a policy – the one it thinks is best – that the administration of the Left Coalition (Synaspismos) disapproves of, demonstrates that PASOK’s proposal was made in a political vacuum.