By Anthony Verias, OccupiedGreece
By now you have all heard the name Alexis Tsipras; the flamboyant front-man (can I use that for a politician?) of SYRIZA. The “radical-left” party was founded in 2004 and saw the young Tsipras elected President at the age of 33. Now at the age of 37 he holds the opportunity to become the youngest leader of Greece.
Lovely story but it will never happen. Not this time around at least. In order to secure the majority 151 seats in Parliament they would need the 21 seats that are held by Neo Nazi’s Golden Dawn, also communist party KKE (26 seats) has ruled out a coalition.
The second place finish by the party, who only managed 4.6% and 13 seats in 2009, now gives them 52 seats. New Democracy who “won” the election receives 108 seats but captured only 2.07% more than did SYRIZA. This is due to a 2008 law which gives the winner +50 seats; full info on Greek election laws here by IrateGreek. So where does this all leave us? A big mess of uncertainty which have rocked markets and seen oil dropped to lowest level of 2012.
What was the big story of the election? SYRIZA stealing 2nd? Impressive but not surprising (at least not to me) (sorry had to); remember they beat PASOK who was headed by former PM George Papandreou, not exactly popular these days. Was the big story Golden Dawn Nazi party entering Parliament? Tragic yes, but they have the possibility of being voided at next elections and will never wield any real power within Parliament.
No looking at the numbers the things that stick out the most, and what should be focused on is 35% (didn’t vote) and 19% (garnered by parties not in Parliament). Election laws make it difficult for Greeks living abroad to vote and a record amount have left; though this is not enough to explain 35% absentee voters in a crisis-stricken country. Walking around the streets asking people who they were voting for a lot of responses were “you’ve got the wrong person”. What exactly does this mean? That Greeks are so fed up with their system they have lost complete faith in it.
There was a revolution at the ballot box with the 1st time New Democracy and PASOK did not finish 1-2, but there was also a silent revolution of those refusing to even take part in the system. If these voters show up in June it can change the whole face of Parliament. Now on to the crucial 19%, another revolution in it’s own right. Voters were so frustrated with mainstream parties not only did 35% not vote but 1.2M votes went to small parties (Greens,Pirates) even more than went to winner New Democracy. Many of these voters did not envision a possible SYRIZA win and many of them may migrate to them in the next election or maybe they’ll jump ship from LAOS (far-right party missed 3% Parliament threshold by .1%) to New Democracy. Ponder this, about the same amount of people didn’t vote than voted for top 4 parties combined! These two numbers of absentee and fringe party voters are what are going to decide the next election in Greece. So what is my prediction? Greece will have elections soon; the outcome of which is someone else’s guess.