Friday, August 21, 2015

Nothing to vote for in Greece

Last month, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sold out his own voters to the Germans and accepted even harsher austerity to repay the odious debt of previous corrupt governments. And now, the task done, he's called elections. The goal is presumably to gain post-facto approval of his sellout, while heading off a backbench rebellion by his own party. But now that SYRIZA has joined PASOK and New Democracy in the quisling camp, that doesn't leave Greeks who want a government who works for them, rather than Germany, much to vote for. The primary alternative are Golden Dawn, who are actual Nazis. Which isn't much of a choice. Election turnout has dropped by almost 7.5% since the crisis began, from 70.9% in 2009 to 63.6% in January (up from a low of 62.5% in June 2012, because there was something to vote for). And with nothing to vote for, and no real choice to make, it is likely to drop again.

That will likely suit the Germans very well, but with over a third of Greeks abstaining from their elections, the legitimacy of the system is in question. And when successive governments have so profoundly betrayed voters, you really have to wonder how long people will tolerate it.