Editorial: The great wager of the Greek centre-left
Ten years ago, we witnessed a political upset. SYRIZA sufficiently chipped away at PASOK’s electoral base and became one of the two predominant poles of the Greek political system.
Ten years ago, we witnessed a political upset.
SYRIZA in a short time sufficiently chipped away at PASOK’s electoral base and became one of the two predominant poles of the Greek political system.
Today, opinion polls suggest we may see a similar political upset in reverse, as the centre-left Movement for Change (KINAL) is rapidly catching up on SYRIZA.
Even if this reflects a momentary enthusiasm over the election of KINAL’s still largely unknown new leader, Nikos Androulakis, the conclusion is the same. This is the most important opportunity for the Greek centre-left to reclaim its place on the political map.
The current confluence of events and the stagnant situation in the main opposition party favours KINAL. The wager does not concern only the party’s current polling numbers, but also whether it can retain that level of support in the next general election.
The new party leader, his close associates, and the rest of the party’s cadres now have the political capital of the mass participation of members and friends of the party in the leadership election. That alone demonstrates the desire of progressive voters for a change in the Social Democratic segment of the political spectrum.
That desire is accompanied by voters’ heightened expectations regarding future developments. Similar expectations that were later belied were cultivated in the past by centre-left parties.
Will things be different this time around? That is a question that PASOK (as KINAL was previously named and soon will be called again) must answer in the immediate future, as it enters a new race. This race requires unity, the broadening of its political base, and an opposition strategy based on a clear political programme.
This is a great wager, and there is no room for failure.