I did my best to avoid seeing the campaign spots of all parties before the elections for two reasons: first, they are usually in really bad taste. Second, they are ,as a rule, infuriatingly inaccurate and misleading- which is what most advertisement is about anyway. Sadly, the Greek social media are being flooded with videos lately and I finally gave in and watched a few-avoiding the extreme right wing ones so as not to lose my faith in mankind completely.
A few of them were hilarious-some intentionally and some unintentionally. The rest were simply annoying, as I expected- just like nails on a chalkboard. The previous government received a lot of criticism for their tv spot, which is fair enough, because it’s so far removed from the Greek reality that it should be tagged as ‘fantasy’ on IMDB. However, the one that pissed me off the most was the spot of the other formerly major party. The story revolves around the passengers of a plane that has presumably just taken off, who are being addressed by the newbie pilot. He proclaims his excitement about this being his first flight ever and proceeds to offer the usual briefing concerning altitude, temperature and so on. He unfortunately doesn’t seem to know what he is talking about and the crowd starts panicking.
What’s the moral of the story? ‘At the 26th of January the country must be governed’, the video concludes,’ We guarantee stability with knowledge, responsibility and experience’. Now, clearly, a lot of Greek parties have a weird definition of stability, as well as responsibility. As long as I’ve been alive the two parties alternatively ruling the country have demonstrated a surprising lack of understanding of several basic concepts such as ‘stability’, ‘progress’,’democracy’ and so on.
What took me by surprise was the inclusion of the word ‘experience’. Being a politician in Greece is one of the highest-earning professions that comes with a lot of added benefits, including a very generous pension. Α profession, that clearly requires years of experience on someone’s CV. Why did this take me by surprise? I don’t know, I guess I somehow still hold the distorted belief that being in the parliament actually has something to do with like….I don’t know…serving the people, who are supposedly the ones actually holding the power in a democratic nation-fighting for the people; not for symbols, not for religion, not for the interests of any company-domestic or other, not for pocket money. Once again, I’ve got it all wrong.