By all accounts, next Sunday’s general election is crucial and decisive as regards the course and future of the country.
It concerns the path that Greece will take, the plan that citizens will choose, the priorities that the electorate will set, and the measures and policies that will definitively lead the economy out of the crisis or keep it in a state of stagnant bankruptcy and low expectations.
Essentially, in this general election one sees a confrontation between two schools of thought.
The first school, expressed by the prime minister, sees things evolving in a linear fashion, protectively, almost conservatively, without flare-ups, with the supposed certainties of “sure and secure steps”.
The second school, expressed and passionately defended by the main opposition leader, involves great reforms and great expectations.
The government’s take on events is based on the record of the last four years – which were obviously not the best and were clearly lacking in results – and on the wear of governance which resulted from disappointments, unfulfilled promises, and successive shifts and turns.
The government’s view is lacking in credibility, especially if one takes into account the delusions and self-deceptions that characterised its term in office and the accumulated burdens created by its obvious mistakes.
That is all the more true if one takes into account its methods and practices and the manner in which it harmed democratic institutions.
The government no longer inspires or moves people.
Though in some groups it may instill a sense of relative security, it is unable to offer a regenerative vision or raise expectations.
On the contrary, in the general population it stirs uncertainty and insecurity and depression.
For these reasons the message of the main opposition is clearer, hopeful, and attractive.
Most citizens say they cannot stand reservations and postponements and cannot settle for the misery of an anaemic development, which reproduces and redistributes poverty.
That is why they prefer clear solutions and are prepared to shoulder the cost they may entail.
Essentially, citizens cannot endure any more experiments and they seek liberation from the shackles of the long and relentless crisis.
The memories of a better life are strong and sufficient to shoo away fears.
On a daily basis both sides present their arguments to the citizenry.
We had the good fortune as a country to experience one of the calmest and most civilised electoral campaigns ever – without tensions, clashes, and below-the-belt attacks – and that is an achievement for our political culture.
Nothing, however, negates the fact that these elections are crucial, and in that sense absenteeism is impermissible.
Citizens this time around have a duty to take their fortunes into their own hands, to go to the polls en masse and to vote without hesitation and reservations.
This time the slogan “everyone to the polls” has real and substantial meaning.