GREECE AND EGYPTIAN ELECTIONING June 18, 2012Posted by wmmbb in Global Electoral Politics.
Greece and Egypt have taken central stage under the spotlight of electoral politics in recent days. So what if anything do they have in common?
The Greeks have now completed voting, since it is now after 7pm Athens’ time, so the die is cast. Apparently there has been no public released opinion polling for the last two weeks. My expectation without any knowledge of the results or the election campaign is that results of the previous election will be repeated, with clearer and stronger polarization. Who would vote for impoverishment and enriching the Bankers.The election of Hollande in France changes the context in a significant way. Now the Euro policy is controlled from Berlin.
Costas Douzinas and Joanna Bourke, at The Guardian, provided a substantive analysis and description:
The Financial Times Deutschland last week published an article on its front page headlined “Resist the demagogue”. It was written in Greek. The article advised the Greeks to reject the radical left Syriza party and vote for the rightwing New Democracy today. It is the culmination of an astounding campaign of fear and blackmail against the democratic right of Greeks to elect a government of their choice.
Angela Merkel, the European commission president José Manuel Barroso, and even George Osborne, have ordered the Greeks to vote the right way. This direct intervention into the democratic process of a sovereign state follows a plethora of threats and rumours, secrets and lies, telling people that if they vote for Syriza, the country will be ejected from the euro and untold catastrophes will follow.
Why are the European elites carrying out this unprecedented campaign, which strikes at the heart of the EU and would lead to outrage if the target were the British, the Italians, or the French? The reason is simple. If the Greeks vote a Syriza government into office, the EU and the IMF will have to drastically change the austerity policies that created an economic disaster and a humanitarian crisis.
But far worst they will lose face among those who have crippled the economies and extracted the wealth from other societies, and who most often successful have murderously beaten down any form of economic and cultural resistance. They will be seen as not of having the right mental, emotional and spiritual toughness to be the executioners of capital, and wealth and well being for the deserving few. Structural injustice just does happen it has to be implemented by violence.
Egypt too is having fun with elections. Apparently turnout and enthusiasm for the presidential election is low. That is not exactly surprising because the Supreme Constitutional Court has ruled that the 2011 parliamentary elections were invalid. This ruling, if it had application, would perhaps have invalidated every election in Germany since the end of the Second World War, and in New Zealand since the adoption of the Multi-Member Proportional System.
Paul McGeough in The Sydney Morning Herald, sets of the events:
The jig was up in Cairo when Barack Obama coughed up to the generals a cool $1.5 billion that he might have dangled before them to keep them on democracy’s straight and narrow.
Instead, he threw the money a couple of months back and they’ve been running amok ever since. The military cordon they placed around the Egyptian Parliament on Friday was the latest in a series of staggering events that can be spelt out in a four-letter word – coup.
With hardly a murmur of international criticism, the generals have amassed more power for themselves than the ousted dictatorship had, even to the point of reinstating the worst aspects of the hated emergency laws on Wednesday.
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The generals have been artful in convincing the world that they are well intentioned – since the January day last year, when they sacrificed the dictator Hosni Mubarak as the price for their own power and vested interests, right up to Thursday’s twin rulings by their crony mates on the Supreme Constitutional Court, which sacked the country’s new Parliament and gave a leg-up to another crony mate in the presidential race.
They have scuppered the Parliament and derailed the drafting of a new constitution, and if/when their preferred candidate wins the presidency, they’ll all kick back with a shisha pipe and lock in their vision for the new Egypt – which is very much like the old Egypt.
They are having an each-way bet. In the event their man goes down to the Islamist candidate running against him, the junta will have all the power it needs to nobble the new president through its clench on the new parliamentary elections and the drafting of the new constitution.
They have created, deliberately I suspect, an electoral mess that is unlikely to produce a legitimate, unifying president – and thereby, they create the justification for their argument that they must retain the power to watch over him. At the same time they have cleverly debased the judiciary, so if anyone has a complaint or grievance, where do they take it?
Does Honduras ring any bells? Are we surprised? Are we shocked? Pity the people. Celebrate the greedy one.
Sebastian Mallaby highlights three ramifications of a potential subsequent Greek exit from the euro:
The markets will sort things out as they always do, and in there absence there is always mass murder, whether deployed by presidential decree as in drone killing, the dated aerial bombardments of the mid-20th Century in South East Asia, or by the hand of the dictators, until they start to exercise some independence.
When the Egyptian people return to the streets, to offer their necks to the tyrant and their acolytes, the tough guys will place the statue of Caligula in the temple, and the opposition will be described as terrorists.
- Patrick Cockburn: Greece’s day of reckoning dawns in a climate of anger and uncertainty (independent.co.uk)
- Your Complete Guide To Today’s Greek Elections (businessinsider.com)
- Greek election: Live (telegraph.co.uk)
- Greeks Vote In Election Critical to Euro Zone Future (blogs.barrons.com)
- Greek elections: Greece returns to the polls – live coverage (guardian.co.uk)
- A wild election weekend for Egypt, France and Greece (cnn.com)
- Egypt military to oversee laws, budget: army (dailystar.com.lb)
- Egypt’s highest court declares parliament invalid (cantankerousgentlemen.wordpress.com)
- Greek election decided in Spain (japantimes.co.jp)