22/10/10

2010 Regional and Municipal elections in Greece - The importance of the blank vote

  
Παρασκευή, 22 Οκτωβρίου 2010 11:55
Perhaps reasonably thinking people, seeing so many indicators describing the unsatisfactory situation the Greek society finds itself in, would be drawn into the abyss of despair and anger, as so many ordinary citizens today, sensing unforeseeable consequences of severe social unrest. Slowly but surely a view is crystallising that Greece’s political system is much less democratic and much more cross-party dictatorship. But perhaps the situation might not be incurable. An opportunity could lie ahead for a dramatic change of direction and if so this opportunity must not be lost.
If one believes that the results of surveys the last two years reflect the mood of Greek society, then its confidence gap with the political establishment in its entirety is unbridgeable. Trust to the country’s political leadership has fully evaporated. Put it more simply, the discredited political establishment does not represent any longer the nation and holds power against the interests of society for substantial benefit of a privileged minority. Percentages of votes for the two main parties when taking over power after national elections have now lost any value as the web of the full cross-party corruption continues to unfold. Under the façade of perpetual vendetta accusations the main parties’ machines continue to robe the meagre resources of the country even under the current disastrous situation. It is significant that the ‘last’ tax evaders’ conditional amnesty and the sharp verbal exchanges between heads of main parties without any follow up fully confirm the suspicions even for the most doubters.
But these very difficult conditions are the ones that create the opportunity. If indeed surveys are close to reality then a very large proportion of the electorate might be ready to express this despair and anger by using the vote on upcoming regional and municipal elections against a political establishment that betrayed the nation. The establishment expects it, is afraid that its time might be up and instils terror in the electorate about an upcoming social chaos if citizens do not vote along party lines as usual. As if the chaos towards which the country walks with certainty under current arrangements is not real. It will do everything to prevent a thunderous message which would become a catalyst for fundamental change.
We will see many “fully independent“, “dependent” or “party supported independent”, “revolting” candidates and whatever else one can imagine to grab valid votes along party lines. This time it is not very important for the establishment who will be elected. What matters is the percentage of the electorate that will cast a vote for some candidate. And this is the opportunity not to be lost for the country and for citizens to act decisively.
Every individual with the right to vote must fulfil this crucial duty that it owes to himself, his fellow citizens and his children; to exercise in any event this right, casting a valid blank vote. This obligation includes the non-privileged many but also the great majority of those who considered themselves privileged and must now see their privileges progressively evaporating. Everyone must realize that painful developments for the ordinary citizen will continue for a long time anyway. But a massive blank vote is hope.
The significance of a very large percentage of valid blank votes is very important. It will place the political establishment before a critical dilemma. It will either ignore the message of society that it does not represent it, therefore confirming in practice the system cross-party dictatorship with all the consequences that this response might have, or to accept it and put into action processes to overhaul the political system. These should include a strong national government for the professional and independent management of the country’s challenges and national elections for the emergence of a renewed Parliament with drafting powers for a major revision of the Constitution. A Constitution that has been shaped by unscrupulous demagogue power predators that brought the partisan mechanisms with their implicated networks under absolute immunity from an independent judiciary.
Forms of modern communication such as various tools on the internet would help to overcome castrated media channels that aim to prevent this important message reaching the citizen. But all means must be brought to bear by caring people to alert the electorate about the need to vote at the next regional and municipal elections, and to cast blank. Everyone has the responsibility to get this message across.

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