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Did someone say Europe?

Cheap shots in Cypriot politics rule the day as party leaders choose bickering over substance

Eleni Xenou

Eleni Xenou

We are just days away from elections and it seems that we need to be reminded about which elections we are talking about.

And the reason for this is that political parties have switched to campaign mode, where cock fighting wins over presenting arguments as if they are trying to win a high school popularity contest, choosing failing politics over substance.

We are heading into European elections and still nobody has managed to tell us a thing or two about Europe or outline some of the perks we for all of us. And if a candidate touched on this point, it was more like a footnote and nothing remotely resembling a well thought-out issue.

And that’s because the main campaign issues ended up being those that our political leaders thought would put them ahead of the others and win talking points. And they score points by rehashing failed political narratives of the past, sticking stubbornly to ways they can boost their percentage points and how they can spin the outcome the following day in front of the camera.

These pop stars of the campaign trail live in their own bubble, resorting political bickering instead of addressing the importance of voting in European elections

Anyone with a functional brain (an ounce or two will do) can easily see that this is true and at the same realize that this is the sad state we are in when it comes to our political culture. And so, since they live in their own bubble with a view of politics that’s actually shaped by a constricted approach to thinking, these pop stars of the campaign trail resort to bickering and partisan politics instead of addressing the importance of voting in European elections and what we as voters stand to gain from all of this.

They are pandering to the masses shamelessly, trying to garner support while making it crystal clear that their primary concern is their party and not their representing us out there in today's Europe.

I don’t know if you truly comprehend how tragically low we have reached with our politics or if you too are falling in their trap, which would include things like targeting Niyazi Kızılyürek, making light of Eleni Stavrou’s nationalistic ravings, or even using an absolutely horrific crime that exposed the inadequacy of an entire system in order to show whose side you are on.

Meaningless cock fights

It is my hope that our judgment has matured with everything we have witnessed all these years, so that we don’t keep falling in the traps that are being set up by the stars of this political show for one and only reason: to take inventory and then run to cash the cheque the day after the election by betting on new and meaningless cock fights once again. And to think that all this is happening while Turkey is carrying out new provocations and we need Europe to be actively engaged so that we are not alone yet again in facing Turkish intransigence.

It is therefore important to keep in mind that everything featuring in our lives, from modernization, human rights, environmental protection, and numerous other economic benefits, they all come from the European Union. Some of the biggest projects in the country take hold because of EU funding and it is because of EU directives that require us to choose modern ways over our backward laws. And of course, something we should never forget, we rely on the Union’s support each time Turkey decides to have its ships sail illegally in our territorial waters.

So the question of who will be representing us in the European Parliament is of vital importance. Not because every political leader in the politicking industry can use this to boost votes but because we need the EU more than ever for the reasons I explained above. This is why we should have adopted horizontal voting, especially for European elections. But apparently this concept went over their heads, as our political leaders were busy digging out more dirt to win the next petty argument.

This is the time we need to step up because we owe it to ourselves to take action and get involved, now more than ever, especially now that those who represent us are tragically out of touch with reality.


The article was first published by Kathimerini Cyprus on 19 May 2019

Cyprus  |  Europe  |  EU  |  elections  |  Eleni Xenou  |  politics  |  political culture  |  petty politics  |  partisan  |  Kızılyurek  |  Stavrou  |  Turkey

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