- Sep 30, 2014
- Athens, Greece
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Wounded by a historic defeat, the Pelasgian Left attempts to reinvent itself
Propontis, 17 June 2021 | Artemios Efthimiou
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(Photo from PERT World Propontis): The new Pelasgian federal parliament building just beside Nymphaion lakeshore, whose style combines elements of traditional Propontine and Modernist architecture
The June 11 election left the Pelasgian Left with a clear message: Vatatzidis is not enough. Though Pelasgian voters were excited to oust President Vatatzidis and to restore full democratic governance to the country, they trusted the centre-right (the faction that once put Vatatzidis into power) to do this much more than they trusted the Pelasgian Left. This is not due to the centre-right's own inherent trustworthiness or success; it is due to the Pelasgian Left's own division and lack of touch with the voting public. Centered in major coastal urban centres and composed of upper middle class cadres, the parties of the Pelasgian mainstream left are woefully out of touch with the voting public of an industrial, rural, and deeply traditional society. For instance, both major Pelasgian political parties support legalizing same-sex marriage and relaxing divorce laws; however, most Pelasgians reject this proposal. Indeed, a recent poll found that 72% of Pelasgians are actively against such a measure. Most of these people were concentrated in the lower and middle class--the traditional target of the Left's platforms. Indeed, most Pelasgians also disagree with the Left's proposal for "socially responsible subsidies"--that is, the granting of public funds to companies meeting the Left's policy goals, instead of enacting regulations. Most Pelasgians view this as an ineffective measure to promote social agendas that have little to do with working class concerns, or with advancing secularism in a relatively clerical society. Moreover, the Pelasgian Left lacks the support of corporations that back such initiatives elsewhere in Europe; indeed, during a survey of the powerful Pelasgian Enrepreneurs and Industrialists' Association (PESEV), 92% of respondents said they viewed a left-wing victory unfavourably. This figure was even higher among the Pelasgian Shipowners' Association--96%.
As such, the Pelasgian Left has its work cut out for it, if it hopes to win an election. First of all, the most important aspect of any reform proposal would be party unity. As Pelasgia employs a mixed electoral system, which grants around half of the Common Parliament's seats based on single-member constituencies, division into smaller parties splits the Left's vote to the benefit of the Right, particularly the powerful Constitutional Democratic Party. To remedy this issue, the largest left-wing Pelasgian party, the Radical Leftists and Labour Union, met with the certain delegates of the co-governing Social Democratic Party, and the more fringe Internationalist Communist Party (DKKP) to discuss a merger. Whereas the DKKP rejected a merger outright, certain Social Democrats favoured the move, as did many Union politicians. The second sticking point of such a cooperation, however, is the issue of platform; admittedly, radical left-wing policies and social progressivism are unpopular in Pelasgia. However, in an industrial society, traditional labour issues are quite popular. Both factions agreed that labour reform and workers' rights would thus have to form the core of any platform, placing any new party somewhere in between social democracy and light democratic socialism. Likewise, secularism, the main issue separating the Left from the Christian Democratic Right, would have to come up. Whereas Pelasgia is a deeply religious society and the seat of no less than two Patriarchates, many Pelasgians, especially younger ones, find themselves alienated by the Orthodox Church's retrograde teachings and its open interference in politics. The latest flirt between Church officials and the Vatatzidis Administration only strengthened this trend. A broadly secularist but not anti-religious platform could earn the Pelasgian Left strong support among the youth, and even among many older Pelasgians, who remain privately Christian without wishing for the ecclesiastical hierarchy to meddle in secular matters--and for the State to meddle in matters of Faith, as has often been the case in Caesaropapist Pelasgia.
Though talks between the Social Democrats and the Union have not yet produced a definitive merger or even a joint platform, they have set the foundations for a new, young, popular and responsive (if not populist), and--most of all--electorally viable Pelasgian Left. As many of the more socially elite and social rather than economically left-wing cadres of the parties oppose this new basis, however, only time will tell whether the Pelasgian Left will adapt to the times. For now, Pelasgians are stuck with a dominant centre-right, a shattered left whose most historic party is in coalition with the centre-right, and a Church that openly collaborates with the right-wing establishment to suppress left-wing electoral turnout, all the while cashing in on its political clout to extract various concessions, including State acceptance of land claims and compensation requests. If the Pelasgian Left is to make any significant wins, the upcoming elections for the local governments of the twelve Republics will act as a litmus test.
Natalian, Eiffellandian Gov'ts to Nymphaion: The Foreign Minister of Eiffelland and the State President of Natal are reportedly set to visit the new federal capital of Nymphaion in the coming days. Pelasgian and foreign commentators have noted the importance of the visit, as a Germanian liberal democratic foreign minister and a Himyari Head of State are the first foreign minister and Head of State to visit the new Pelasgian capital, respectively. Many see this as a sign of Pelasgia's realignment with the liberal democratic world, and of its commitment to Himyari solidarity and independence.
Pelasgian Nationals evacuated from Pannonia: The Union Government has confirmed the evacuation of Pelasgian nationals and their dependents from Kipest and other regions of Pannonia following violent clashes and an uncertain regime change in that country. Reports also indicate the presence of Pelasgian diplomats in Bourdignie to set up a diplomatic mission, which could point to a coming recognition of that country's independence by the United Republics. The Ministry of National Defence has also confirmed the return of all Pelasgian military assets and personnel from that war-torn Germanian country.
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