The Greek citizens are famous that they are politically active and engaged. You can hear political talks everywhere – in the metro, coffee shop, at work, at home. The electoral activity is usually 70%, because not until long ago, Greeks were obliged to vote by law. The election day for them is a holiday, because Greeks vote from their birth places. Everybody goes back to their birth homes, sees some relatives and classmates and because of the election, has a great time.
The 2009 June 7th elections for European parliament showed that something in this idyllic model – citizen-politics-elections has changed. The electoral activity in the country registered the lowest level in the European Union – about 52%. A phone survey done by Kappa Research two days after the election, gives some answers to the questions why Greeks didn’t vote, how long they need to form on opinion on whether they will vote or not, whether they are inclined not to vote on the elections for national parliament, by analyzing separately the tendencies among the voters of the two biggest parties – PASOK and New Democracy.
The first thing that the survey proves is that the decision not to vote was not taken by accident. 58.8% answered that they have decided not to vote, either weeks or even months before the European parliament elections. Among the voters, who are leaning towards PASOK this percentage is 68 and among the ones who usually vote for New Democracy – 56%. The voting reluctance has increased during the week before the election due to the incapability of the parties to offer solutions to the country’s problems – 74.4% from the surveyed say that the events from last week have influenced their decision not to vote.
The second thing, which the survey brought out in the open, is the main reason for the reluctance to vote, which is the disappointment from the political figures in the country – 65.2%. The second reason why the New Democracy followers did not vote was the three day weekend, because of the Holy Spirit holiday on Monday (June 8th) – 30.5% from the questioned. On the other hand, PASOK followers did not feel like travelling all the way back to their home towns – 23.4%. The followers of the socialists are giving a political explanation to their unwillingness to vote – 17% of them say that they do not agree with the way Europe is treating its citizens.
A flash of hope comes from the decision of a significant part of the surveyed to go and vote in the upcoming elections for national parliament. But despite this, 10.6% from the left voters say that they will not vote and the same answer gave 5.1% from the right ones.