Today, Greeks go to the polls to elect a new 300 seat parliament. Voting is from 7am to 7pm at polling stations across the country. Some 9.79 million people are registered to vote. This number is disproportionately large as Greece only has a population of 11 million. Many voters live abroad, some have died (yet their name is still on the electoral list), and some 48,000 voters are registered twice! People have to vote where they are registed - often where they were born. This means that many are travelling to their home towns and villages to vote. Airports, ferries, trains and roads are very congested.
The election battle is between the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) who won 43.79 percent of the vote in 2000 and the New Democracy Party (ND) who came close second with 42.74. The 2004 result is very difficult to predict, especially as opinion polls were banned two weeks before the election!
I will of course keep you posted with the nail-nibbling results!
Maybe here (Britain) where the two main poilitical parties are aligned on most of their major policies and are only separated by their names, maybe its possible to understand why some people feel like they do.
But having said that, maybe we should take the lead of other countries and make voting compulsory.
I have always used my vote as i look at it like this way. A no vote is a vote for the winner and leaves you with no right to moan when that winner decides to do something you disagree with.
Message posted by sixpackpieman on 07áMarchá2004 at 2:09pm - IP Logged
My point exactly Denis, the amount of people who moan that a particular political party has been elected.
'Who did you vote for' I ask
' I didn't' they reply
'say no more' Is becoming to be my favourite saying
Message posted by Sailor on 07áMarchá2004 at 2:41pm - IP Logged
I totally agree, If you are entitled to vote, then use it. Even in my military career we had to vote, normally by proxy, ie, if your away from home, your spouse or parent can vote for you using your sealed vote.
I personally think it is important that one votes, either nationally or locally to ensure you have the right to comment. But sometimes people vote like placing a bet on the National, if the horse is pretty, and they like the jockey, and the colours he is wearing, they bet on that one, regardless of the fact it has never won. One must look at the policies given, or they as some one has said the two major parties are paralell, but they do have their differnces, dislikes and likes.
But the important thng is you vote for what you want, and not who they are.
I forgot to add that no one is permitted to sell Alchohol today! This is for two reasons:
1) so that voters can make a sober choice!
2) to stop fights!
You will be glad to know that I have just returned from the kendroma Kafenion, and Alex has decided to ignore the law. I left just before all the fighting started!
I wonder if Kev from Acharavi has observed Greek Law today?
Message posted by Bob and Wendy (Uncle Bob) on 07áMarchá2004 at 9:43pm - IP Logged
Bob and Wendy
Just to add to the congestion in Greece this weekend, some of the Greek members of the Philhellenes Greek Dancers have returned to Greece so that they could place their votes.
However there were enough of us to make a good impression on the audience at our performance on Saturday in London. Fortunately the weather smiled on us with a little sunshine and fluffy clouds, it rained in the evening on our way home.
Message posted by Graham T-A on 08áMarchá2004 at 1:49am - IP Logged
I remember being in Imerolia many years on an election day. We went down to the Taverna unaware that there was to be no drinking that day.
When the owner,Vassilli, saw the look on our faces when we were told that he was unable to serve us he took pity on us and said that if we kept the drinks out of sight under the table we would be alright. We had a light meal to make things look legal.
I think we in the UK should have the same electoral system as in Australia, where if you dont vote you are then fined, I am sure this would encourage more people to go along to their polling stations on the Thursday nights and then maybe we would get a more genuine representation of the population of the UK, ...(off soapbox now )
Message posted by Alex 1977 on 08áMarchá2004 at 11:33pm - IP Logged
The member of Parliament for Corfu is Kontokali's own Angela Gerekou (Probably the most famous person from Corfu right now). I know I'm proud of her, as she is my cousin!!! Too bad the socialist's lost....
Message posted by sixpackpieman on 08áMarchá2004 at 11:35pm - IP Logged
Don't tell me, your related to the losing socialist as well?
Message posted by planetolivewood on 08áMarchá2004 at 11:50pm - IP Logged
Just picked up your post "I wonder whether Kev from Acharavi has observed the law" [relating to not selling alcohol]. We would have done from a respect point of view (especially being British and running a business here). However, we had no choice actually ! Here follows the story:
We are quite proud to say that we gave the bar up to the Dems for their election campaigning for the entire week. Consequently we never sold one drink. The politicians and campaigners literally took over the bar and decorated it with posters and Greek flags and all-sorts. They accosted folk from the street encouraging them to vote their way all week. It was superb and we were so proud to be a small part in what was an extremely interesting election. What makes it so interesting is how serious and committed everyone was to their own cause. The Greeks showed pride in their beliefs and hope in their aspirations (spelling???). It was great. On Sunday night at arounf 10PM (ish), we were at the bar to celebrate with the Greek campaigners and their win. I have to say that Easter, Xmas, Ochi Day and the other festivals etc. are superb but there was something in the atmosphere last night during the celebrations that struck us big style.
I don't want to get all political, but, back in the UK, I didn't trust any of them, didn't vote, but, ABOVE ALL, I NEVER complained about the government. I didn't feel as though I had the right 'cus I didn't vote. I actually feel ashamed of my stance back then after seeing how passionate the Greeks were. I agree with the posts previous that we should vote.
What a great week it has been observing proceedings and, again, we are proud that we were a [VERY] small part of it.
PS - I went to bed before the fights started LOL. PPS - (they bought their own drink with them and poured whisky into coffee cups during the ban tut tut tut)
Message posted by Alex 1977 on 09áMarchá2004 at 2:05am - IP Logged
Actually, I'm related to Angela Gerekou, who hails from Kontokali. She's with the PASOK party, and got in. Too bad her party didn't....
Kev, I enjoyed your story. Wish I had know, as I would loved to have joined in (ooops I was away!), anyway a thought struck me. What would have happened in the ND lost? The mayor would have closed your bar!
Message posted by Susanna on 09áMarchá2004 at 8:04pm - IP Logged
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