This is the first time a left-wing party claims victory in elections in Greece. Now the challenge for Syriza is to come across as a competent political force ready to hold a wider lead over its rivals. That said and based on its overall performance it needs to :
1) Narrow the political divide between the rural & urban areas by working more on local campaigning
2) Embrace a more effective communications strategy (a well known weakness), come across as more proactive instead of reactive, more aggressive instead of defensive when needed.
3) Attract voters who identify themselves with the centre of the political spectrum who back the likes of Democratic Left or The River. This topic has repeatedly sparked heated debate since any attempt for a rightward shift turns off the radicals among its electoral base who at the worst could switch to Antarsya or other left-wing parties.
4) Capitalise on Rena Dourou’s key win on the race for Attica governor, a region with the largest population posing a test for Syriza to show that it can bring results.
Say hello to a new era where PASOK’s ability to rule with a comfortable parliamentary advantage is over. With the repudiation of austerity policies at the ballot box, it saw its vote plummeting from 43.9% in the last elections to 13.2%. “PASOK is rotten” said its leader -Evangelos Venizelos- to his aides, highlighting the need for readjustment as many of those sustaining the party’s state electoral clientèle -nurtured by favoritism, contracts, and subventions- seem to “abandon the ship”. With perks cutbacks under the bailout agreements, high-profile members of major trade union bodies cut ties with the party, while others move around on the political spectrum, seeking shelter with hints of electoral success.
There was media frenzy over fruitless coalition talks and the “last-ditch efforts” to form the so-called “government of prominent personalities”. Following Papademos leadership, the option of having unelected technocrats in government again, was under consideration. With the tyranny of pragmatism enslaving politics and society, fully trained economists are seen more competent to spot the right policies. They are supposed to have the skills and experience to ensure successful execution of EU guidelines and maintain effectiveness in a financial environment of ambiguity. Is there any clear evidence to support that? The euro for instance, was launched without significant political institutions behind it, which was not proved to be very clever. However the prospect of a second round of elections, was expected to bring havoc anyway. Under edgy circumstances, voting -the backbone of democracy- is considered lethal. No need to wonder which section of society might feel threatened when people have their say for their own matters. Apparently a caretaker prime minister took over until elections in June, with a possible “Grexit” making headlines at the moment.
With more than two years of cuts, layoffs, unemployment and…suicides’ rising toll, Greeks expressed their resentment over the political establishment yesterday, in what appeared to be one of the most low-key general elections. There were no massive rallies, not excessive use of promotional material whilst for the first time, socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy avoided setting up in public space their pre-election campaign kiosks, in case passersby attempt to destroy them.
From the beginning, it appeared unlikely for any political party to win a majority. Some believe that the election results officially dropped the final curtain on polity, the time period from 1974 onward, where PASOK and New Democracy succeeded each other in power. With many voters backing small parties and left-wing Syriza achieving its best result ever with sweeping gains in constituencies that traditionally belonged to rivals, there is a merit on that assumption.