We vote for positions, not for deceptive images – Article by Yiannakis Kolokasides, AKEL veteran, former member of the Political Bureau of the Party
Sunday 6 November 2022, “Haravgi” newspaper
The conclusion the newspaper “Politis” drew from the latest poll, commissioned on its behalf, is that voters “vote for the image of a candidate and not his/her positions”. If this is indeed true, then it is a wretched condition and comedown. It would represent a decline in the level of political awareness, or rather the absence of political awareness we have in our country.
Of course, this phenomenon should not surprise us. For years, if not for decades, depoliticisation has been systematically fostered and cultivated in Cyprus, supposedly in the name of combating political party domination over the state and the ills of the parties and their practices. The perception of a democracy hostile to political parties is being cultivated.
In truth, what kind of democracy is this? All parties are being put in the same basket. Party practices are collectively cursed and condemned.
Who is promoting depoliticisation? It is the political-economic establishment and the powerful economic interests that want thoughtless citizens who are harmless to their interests and rule. It is the mass media, especially the television channels, which literally and figuratively sell images to make profits and serve their behind-the-scenes sponsors. It is numerous personalities, with or without quotation marks, seeking a prominent position/place and their political ascendancy and career. People who vent their anger in social media networks by turning gossip into a supposed “struggle”. It is the bourgeois parties themselves, who are fishing for votes by blurring people’s consciences. It is the system in general in its attempt to reproduce itself continuously and painlessly.
By doing so, consciences are formed which opt for the image over position/policies. They opt for the cover over the content.
This is an image that is, as a rule, false and deceptive because behind what is seemingly portrayed as new and fresh, the old and rotten is often hidden. Because behind the smile lies hidden agendas and political amorality. Because behind the apparent image of easiness and coolness lies the inability to handle critical situations. Because behind the image being portrayed of renewal lies the restoration of the most corrupt establishment. Behind the image of modernisation lies the ruthless policy of neoliberalism. Behind the image being promoted of someone who has never done any wrong before God, lies the malignant religious fanatic. Behind the image of pluralism, lies the glaring absence of positions, even the concealment of real positions too.
For that reason, we observe the emergence of supposed messiahs and saviours! Like Macron, for example. Young, good-looking and perceived modernist, but who has made life hell for the French people and forced them to take to the streets and organise strike actions that France has not witnessed for decades.
Fortunately, however, there are citizens who are resisting. Citizens who are concerned. Citizens who want and are fighting to rid themselves of the scourge of the ruling DISY party and its representative in whatever form they may express themselves. Citizens who are struggling to block the way for Anastasiades’ clones. Citizens who are fighting for change with a truly progressive content. Citizens who seek substance over image.
That’s precisely why they vote for Andreas Mavroyiannis. Because they value his ethos, integrity, credibility and abilities as a person and as a politician. Because they share his aspirations and vision for Cyprus and our people. Because they agree with the positions he puts forward. Because they welcome his determination to fight to keep the hope alive. Because he is set apart by the social sensitivity they look for in leaders. Because they believe in the values he serves. Because the independent candidacy of Andreas Mavroyiannis is supported by AKEL with its hundred-year history and struggles it carries.
Through the work of all of each and every one of us, citizens, who choose positions over images, can become the majority current in the forthcoming presidential elections.