Well, under the law, Greek police now have to round up and arrest 4,315,854 people – the number of those who didn’t vote in the Sept. 20 election, some 44.56 percent of those registered and required to cast ballots.
They would, technically, face fines and jail sentences for a silly law that’s never been enforced – compulsory voting.
But in this case they should get awards for voting by not voting or they could have been accused of contributing to a conspiracy to further ruin their country.
Anyone legally registered and who’s under 70 is mandated to vote. But this second general election this year – with a July 5 referendum costing 60 million euros thrown in just for fun – so wearied Greeks they didn’t bother to show up for a useless exercise that cost another 33.6 million euros to bring back the same people, SYRIZA and its partner, the far-right Independent Greeks.
Most of that is put on the uneasy head of Prime Minister and Looney Left SYRIZA leader Alexis “The Great Reneger” Tsipras, who called for the second election – seven months after winning a first – so he could shed his party of anti-austerity rebels angry that he betrayed them and Greeks by breaking virtually every promise he made.
But politics being politics and this being Greece – where there’s a sucker born every second, not every minute – he was rewarded with another walkover win against the irrelevant New Democracy Capitalists who put up a 61-year-old man with a shadow over him, former Parliament Speaker Evangelos Meimarakis.
The Capitalists blunder came when former Premier Antonis Samaras, who Tsipras whipped earlier this year, quit following the referendum in which Greeks backed the SYRIZA leader’s call for them to oppose austerity demanded by international lenders before he capitulated.
Meimarakis was appointed as an interim leader instead of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a bright, 47-year-old Harvard educated former minister who, like all of them, has baggage but at least he didn’t look like he needed Red Bull to stay awake.
When pre-election polls wrongly showed SYRIZA and New Democracy in a tight race before the bulk of the 10-15 percent undecideds joined the masochist vote in going for the Leftists, it looked like Meimarakis might give Tsipras a battle.
It’s unlikely Mitsotakis would have won either but at least there’d have been some pep in a campaign so lethargic it made a French film festival appealing as an alternative to watch.
This was the campaign no one cared about and it showed in the vote too where the Abstainers were the wisest ones, giving up on Tsipras, the political parties and the whole rotten game knowing it wouldn’t make a dime’s worth of difference who won.
Instead of arresting those who didn’t vote the cops should have arrested those who did because it was a crime what they did bringing back a man who is now readying a new torrent of lies at the same time he’s going to unload a new raft of harsh measures on people he vowed to protect.
With Capitalists there is no subterfuge or hidden agenda: you know up front they are going to side with bankers and the Quartet of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-IMF-ECB-ESM).
They schooled Tsipras in politics and forced him to agree to more austerity and reforms in return for an 86 billion euro ($95.84 billion) third bailout he said he would never seek nor accept but did both, building up his clandestine curriculum. His crime was pretending he wouldn’t hurt people and he’s been trying to smile away the deceit.
“It was incredible that a man who betrayed every single promise he ever made, who oversaw a period where the banks were closed and capital controls were enforced, who played such a big part in worsening the economy, was again voted in so spectacularly,” Lefteris Pavlis, who owns a chain of eateries, told The Guardian’s Helena Smith.
So Tsipras, as he did in January when he declared he would destroy the “corrupt oligarchy” and go after tax evaders in Greece without doing either, this time pronounced his win a “Great Victory,” for himself.
It won’t be for people who will be hit with a 34 percent increase in the ENFIA property tax surcharge he vowed to eliminate but increased, nor pensioners seeing cuts every month now.
Nor for those who believed he would restore the minimum wage, bring back collective bargaining rights and help society’s most vulnerable not knowing he was a snake in a sport coat without a tie.
Here’s the truth behind the Great Victory because statistics don’t lie but politicians do. SYRIZA and Tsipras in the Jan. 25 election got 2,245,978 votes for 36.3 percent of those cast.
On Sept. 20 they got 1,925,904 votes – 320,074 less.
With 35.5 percent of the vote he said that was a win, unless you count not only those staggering numbers he lost but the abstainers. Folding in the no-shows, Tsipras and SYRIZA really got about 22 percent, which means 78 percent of the people didn’t want him.
“People voted for change, for what they believed would be a fresh start,” Pavlis said. “They voted to give Alexis Tsipras a second chance.” Not enough. When he fails again he’ll want a third chance for a great victory. Make that Loss.