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Greece to hold early elections on May 6th

Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005


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Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17673917

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has called elections on 6 May, after five months of technocratic government.

Mr Papademos, an economist, was made prime minister last November to help steer Greece through its debt crisis.

He told a cabinet meeting that the government had left behind "an important legacy" and would continue its work during the election campaign.

After asking President Karolos Papoulias to dissolve parliament, he will then speak on national TV.

The election will be Greece's first since the start of the debt crisis that has led to drastic spending cuts and violent protests.

Opinion polls suggest parties opposed to austerity could make big gains.


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

I wonder if the three main anti-austerity left parties will be able to put together an electoral pact...if they did that, they could be within striking distance of actually coming to power.


Doug
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The most likely outcome at the moment looks like a continuation of the New Democracy-Socialist grand coalition. Latest poll I can find:

 

ND (centre-right)- 20.5%

PASOK (centre-left) - 13.8%

KKE (Communist) - 7.5%

SYRIZA (Democratic Socialist ) - 7.4%

DIMAR (Democratic Socialist) - 6.7%

ANEL (center-right/anti-austerity) - 6.5%

XA (Nationalist far-right) - 3.0%

LAOS (Orthodox far-right) - 2.9%

Other - 4.1%

 

Leaves a massive undecided vote but I have no idea which way that will go.

So while that technically gives anti-austerity parties a majority, the trouble is they aren't the same sort of party at all. I don't suppose it's very likely that they can all work together.

 

 

 


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005
Good Lord-that poll looks like the results of most recent Israeli elections.

josh
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Exit polls point to left party finishing ahead od PASOK. Two major parties to get less than 40% of the vote. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/06/greek-elections-exit-polls-p...

janfromthebruce
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josh wrote:
Exit polls point to left party finishing ahead od PASOK. Two major parties to get less than 40% of the vote. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/06/greek-elections-exit-polls-parties?newsfeed=true

 

The latest figures showed New Democracy leading with between 19 – 20.5% of the vote, followed by the radical leftist party, Syriza, with as much as 17% and socialist party Pasok with between 13 – 14 %. And for the first time since the collapse of military rule, ultra-nationalists were also set to enter parliament with polls showing the neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) capturing as much as 8%.


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

If what remains of PASOK goes ahead and joins New Democracy in another pro-austerity coalition, PASOK will lose all its remaining support.  There is no way the Greek people will ever vote for PASOK again if it refuses to learn the lessons of this election.

You do have to wonder if a military coup could come as a result of this, perhaps in alliance with the "Golden Dawn" blackshirts.


josh
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Right now, with about 2/3 of the vote in, a ND/PASOK coalition would get 153 seats, thanks to the 50 seat bonus that goes to the party that comes in first. The left would get 94 seats. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2012/may/06/greece-e...

janfromthebruce
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oh that explains the sharp decline in seat counts for the 2nd place finisher although only several percentage points behind the 1st place finishing party.


Fidel
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TheStar wrote:
Syriza head Alexis Tsipras said the drubbing of New Democracy and PASOK, which had signed Greece's loan agreements, meant "their signatures have lost legal legitimacy by the popular vote."

That's not good for western bankers and their fraudulent conveyance scheme to sack and loot Greece.


Ken Burch
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This is going to create a massive crisis of legitimacy.  On what real basis would a Pasok/New Democracy coalition claim authority?

Looks like the ultimate outcome now will either be revolution or a repeat of 1967.


Aristotleded24
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It's noteworthy that while some news headlines are spinning this as a victory for New Democracy, New Democracy actually lost popular support from 2009.


josh
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ND/PASOK now down to 150. One short of a majority. ND is down 14%. PASOK 30%.

Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Where do the "Independent Greeks" grouping fit in to all this? My impression is that that party is basically a breakaway group from ND.

Will their proposal be "austerity lite"?

This might be a good time to start doing benefit screeings of "Z", since that scenario may repeat itself in the new conditions.


josh
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Yes, they appear to be the anti-austerity wing of ND. I would imagine that they could form a coalition withe ND and PASOK if there is an amelioration of the harshest aspects of austerity.

West Coast Greeny
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The Conservative New Democracy won the largest share of the popular vote. 19%. They also won the most seats thanks to the 50 seat bonus. Somewhere around 109 in a 300 seat parliament. The other parties:

Coalition of the radical left: 51 seats
PASOK (pro-austerity, social democratic): 41 seats
Independent Greeks (Conservatives, anti-austerity, nationalist): 33 seats
Communist Party of Greece: 26 seats
Golden Dawn (fascist thugs): 21 seats
DIMAR (former PASOK, anti-austerity): 19 seats

The pro-austerity parties, as it stands, hold 150 of the 300 seats in parliament. They could eake out a 1 or 2 or 3 seat majority, but that's hardly a stable government, and it sure as hell isn't a mandate to push through more austerity. 

The anti-austerity parties, holding the other 150, can't possibly govern together, being spread across the extremes of the political spectrum

The left don't have a majority of seats. The right don't have a majority of seats without Golden Dawn.

What I think we are going to see is a ND-PASOK-DIMAR coalition, which will mostly halt cuts and start the process of steady, orderly, but not full, default. The government will be extremely lucky to last a year.


Jacob Richter
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It's good to see SYRIZA go up at the expense of the untrustworthy KKE.


West Coast Greeny
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josh wrote:
Yes, they appear to be the anti-austerity wing of ND. I would imagine that they could form a coalition withe ND and PASOK if there is an amelioration of the harshest aspects of austerity.


They at least campaigned on being stridently anti-austerity. The leader wants the courts to have the power to jail former politicians and claims Greece has fallen to an international conspiracy. He also demands reparations from Germany.


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Jacob Richter wrote:

It's good to see SYRIZA go up at the expense of the untrustworthy KKE.

Hopefully, KKE will take the lesson and finally admit that there's no good reason, in the year 2012, for ANY party to stand for election on a program of unquestioning defense of Stalinism.


Given that Stalin sold out the Greek left(including the Communists)in 1948(as he had betrayed the Left in Spain by pulling out of the Civil War and then sold out every leftist in the world in 1939), I never understood why the KKE would feel any loyalty to the legacy of "Uncle Joe" at all. 

Stalin was never anything, in the end, but an enemy of the Left and an enemy to working people.  He had the loyalty of hundreds of millions, throughout the world, yet never returned that loyalty. Terror and represseion aren't revolution and the Gulag and Kolyma were unforgiveable.

Let Uncle Joe ROT, KKE.  That's your only way forward.  It's HIS fault that you made no gains today.


Wilf Day
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If PASOK gets inspired by Hollande and says Europe now has a better answer than austerity, the left + the Independent Greeks (Conservatives, anti-austerity) would have about 170 seats? Not likely, except the other options look even worse.


Jacob Richter
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Ken Burch wrote:

Jacob Richter wrote:

It's good to see SYRIZA go up at the expense of the untrustworthy KKE.

Hopefully, KKE will take the lesson and finally admit that there's no good reason, in the year 2012, for ANY party to stand for election on a program of unquestioning defense of Stalinism.


Given that Stalin sold out the Greek left(including the Communists)in 1948(as he had betrayed the Left in Spain by pulling out of the Civil War and then sold out every leftist in the world in 1939), I never understood why the KKE would feel any loyalty to the legacy of "Uncle Joe" at all. 

Stalin was never anything, in the end, but an enemy of the Left and an enemy to working people.  He had the loyalty of hundreds of millions, throughout the world, yet never returned that loyalty. Terror and represseion aren't revolution and the Gulag and Kolyma were unforgiveable.

Let Uncle Joe ROT, KKE.  That's your only way forward.  It's HIS fault that you made no gains today.

Sold out in 1939?  It was all that subsequent trading with Nazi Germany that was the sellout, not the more understandable signing of the Non-Aggression Pact (which didn't cover the trading).

Nationalists amongst the Greek left should look to the likes of Lassalle instead of Stalin, though.  That's for sure.


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Or Rosa Luxemburg.


Fidel
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Well all I can say about it is this: Thank God Joe's Russia and the Red Army beat the Nazis. The Nazis were the most efficient mass murderers and biggest threat to democracy in the last century. 

Europe in turmoil as France and Greece reject austerity

France and Greece reject ECB diktats

 

 

 


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

I salute the heroism of the rank-and-file troops of the Red Army, and always have done.  You know this, Fidel.

The USSR would still have defeated Hitler if it hadn't become a police state.  The KGB and the gulags were never necessary(just as such things are unjustifiable when right-wing governments create them).

In, fact, it would have done so even if it had been run on the policies the Krondstadt rebels of 1921 fought and died for(or not needed to so, since a Revolution run on THOSE principles, a revolution without repression and with immediate liberation and emancipation of all, would likely have swept Europe and there might never have been a Hitler at all).

"All power to the local Soviets" would have built a magnificent revolution, and done so without sending millions of supporters of the Revolution to their deaths.  The USSR began to die the day the pro-Lenin troops stormed over the ice and ended the last chance to stop "War Communism".

And a tactic like "Gladio" would never have worked had the USSR avoided repression from the start.

It's the Revolution itself that should be fought for...not which party has "the leading role" in it.  In a true revolution, the Party shouldn't matter.

That's why  the KKE, despite massive public anger over the austerity program, made no popular vote gains at all in this election.


Fidel
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Ken Burch wrote:
The USSR would still have defeated Hitler if it hadn't become a police state.  The KGB and the gulags were never necessary(just as such things are unjustifiable when right-wing governments create them).

There were a lot of Russians still loyal to the Tsar after 1917. Many of them refused to co-operate with the new government well before Stalin ever got his mitts on Russia. Historians admit that there will be x number of loyalists to any outgoing regime. It was true in China as well.

I don't know that the Red Army would have been very effective against the Nazis without Stalin's increase in steel production, which was falsely predicated on collectivization of farming according to modern day economists. But they do give credit to Stalin for industrializing Russia and increasing steel production by 500% regardless of results of collectivization efforts. Lenin's NEP simply wasn't working before that.

Ken Burch wrote:
And a tactic like "Gladio" would never have worked had the USSR avoided repression from the start.

I think there were overlapping issues surrounding the decision to raise an iron curtain. The most obvious was the massive loss of life and destruction suffered from western aggression against the revolution part II.

But before Gladio terror there were efforts to entice engineering and other talent to the west. Before the Wall went up, workers from East Germany were commuting to the west freely and without incident. Then the gladio began. The Sovs looked like shits for putting up a wall which the NATO gang anticipated. 

Ken Burch wrote:
It's the Revolution itself that should be fought for...not which party has "the leading role" in it.  In a true revolution, the Party shouldn't matter.

That's why  the KKE, despite massive public anger over the austerity program, made no popular vote gains at all in this election.

 

I think no particular party has majority rule, and that's important in a proportional democracy where parties are then obligated to align with other parties. Sounds like 1930s Spain when a united front on the left was democratically elected to oppose fascism.

Greeks voted for none of the parties promising austerity as a way to put in balance what was unbalanced by European and Wall Street fascists. Wall Street and the Obama government are watching Europe closely in order to decide what they can get away with in America as far as the austerity program goes there.

But as far as Russia goes, the west and particularly the Brits and America have always been interested in Russia's vast mineral deposits and natural resources in general. Zbigniew Brzezinski fancies himself an imperialist strategist in the spirit of Halford Mackinder. The Gladio gang continues to surround Russia and China with all manner of nuclear weaponry and military bases even today, Ken. There can be no legitimate purpose for nuclear weapons, and the Asians know it.


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Yes, of course, the West would be interested in the resources.  The question was, was the only way to keep them from TAKING the resources to use the methods Stalin employed?

Perhaps that's unanswerable.

In any case, the legacy of negative feelings people in Greece and elsewhere hold about Stalinism clearly played a major role in the KKE's being totally unable to make any headway in the popular vote.

It would not betray their ideals or weaken their program to admit that the way of Stalin should not be the way of the left in the future.

What was done in one situation is not necessarily what should be done in all future situations.

(on edit)

You need to fix one graph in your post, Fidel.  It now looks as if you wrote the section on Krondstadt, instead of quoting what I had written.  I know that wasn't your intent, so I thought I should point it out so you can fix the formatting.


Fidel
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Ken Burch wrote:

Yes, of course, the West would be interested in the resources.  The question was, was the only way to keep them from TAKING the resources to use the methods Stalin employed?

According to what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, yes. He was determined to wage war of annihilation against Soviet communism. And it was determined beforehand that Russia would not be able to supply food for everyone the Nazi invaders included hence the secret closed door decision for a war of annihilation. The Nazis planned to mass murder millions more than they actually did.

All of Hitler, Mussolini, Churchill, Roosevelt and the corporate sponsors of Nazi Germany's war machine underestimated Stalin's readiness for western aggression part II. HNN documentary I viewed said that western leaders all thought the Nazis would occupy the Kremlin six weeks from the start of Barbarossa. This was Churchill's excuse for not allying Britain with Russia sooner. Stalin trusted no one. He did have delusions that the coming war would be a war for resources between fascist countries only. But that notion was soon cancelled with the German invasion.

In China, Chiang Kai-shek failed his western backers. Chiang was considered to be a slacker after murdering only 10 million Chinese before Maoists chased him and his thugs to Taiwan and Burma.

Historical precedents reveal that imperialists do not deal for another country's resources, Ken. They take. Same in Libya and Iraq. They covet Iran's sovereign oil wealth now. This is not difficult to understand given real history of resource grabs and attempted ones since WW II and even before that. All wars are resource grabs just as all national debts have been largely due to financing imperialist wars of aggression. Imperialists are very predictable in their need to wage war, and Stalin was keenly aware of it.

Fascists today are trying to avoid costly wars of aggression by achieving with monetary policies what used to be done with standing armies. They believe they can pillage and plunder Greece without firing a shot. Greeks aren't going along with the new liberal fascism, though.


Ken Burch
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Clearly Greeks aren't...and I salute them for that.

 


Fidel
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I think Greeks are extraordinarily gutsy for sure. I wish as you do that they'd voted KKE. It really would have been a blow to European fascists and their plan for neofeudalism in Europe.


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

I'm glad SYRIZA got the vote it got. 

And what I REALLY wish is that SYRIZA, the KKE, and DIMAR could have created a United Front campaign.  Between them(and with the votes of DISO somebrought in)there was a non-PASOK left vote totally well over 30%.

It's likely, in my view, that the remaining PASOK support will now collapse, with many of those who backed it out of loyalty for Andreas Papandreou and his early radical era will move to the other Left parties, with any pro-austerity remnant dissolving, as it logically would, into ND, its natural home.

 


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