For any democratic society to function at its optimal level, the voting public must be presented with options amongst leaders, parties, and ideas. The last portion, ideas, is the one where the real crux of the battle is won. When a party or a movement can capture the hearts and minds of the people with their ideas then it matters far less who the ‘face’ of said movement is, so long as the ideas are sound and there is a clear presentation of how the ideas will be implemented. Since 1974, following the fall of the military junta that ruled Greece from 1967-1974, two parties have governed Greece for all but five years from 1974 to today.
Citizens were essentially forced to pick between familial dynasties and largely not the most qualified candidates but the least bad ones – which is a false choice to begin with. Of those political parties that partook in a two-party system that emerged when democracy was restored in Greece, PASOK the center-left socialist party was seen as the representative of liberal and progressive policies that sought to distribute power to all levels of Greek society. Fast forward to today after a disastrous reign by the radical left SYRIZA party brought Greece to the financial cliffs and to her knees, PASOK faced a great reset moment.
Earlier this year PASOK’s President, Fofi Gennimata passed away after a valiant and prolonged battle with cancer. Elections were announced for the leadership of the party and Nikos Androulakis, a young European Parliament member wanted to take on the old PASOK and modernize his party. Androulakis won the presidency but went back on his promise, and a historic opportunity to reshape one of Greece’s major political parties was lost. Instead of bringing on young people with fresh ideas who wanted to push Greece forward, Androulakis has put old members of an outdated political party in positions of authority in which they no longer have any business being. Truly, a missed chance for change.