We believe that it is possible, but only under certain conditions. The first condition has to do with the reason for which candidates want to run in the municipal elections. The second condition is related to the establishment of the norms for a healthy competition between different ideas and proposals in these elections. In theory, it sounds as if these conditions can be easily met, however, in our country this is not a simple task. Of course, we do have some examples of local politicians who governed in the past in an honest way, they put the common good above their personal interests, were productive, left a legacy in the areas they governed, and their descendants are today enjoying a good reputation because of them. Unfortunately, in our time, the era of “homo economicus”, this kind of governance does not happen very often, and the results of poor administration are disastrous in many municipalities and regions.
If the candidates and the elected politicians reflect on how they are going to balance their ambition and their ability for good administration, then good things will happen in the areas they represent. Problems will start if politicians are overly ambitious and overly confident about their management abilities. This leads to fraudulent situations with many negative results, one of which (not necessarily the worst) is the unwillingness to cooperate with the other elected politicians. When this happens, it leaves the door open for pursuing personal interest (not necessarily financial) transactions, which do not correspond to the common good or the needs of the societies that these politicians were elected to represent.
Humans, except for self-preservation instincts, also have innate ideas which connect them to society and nature. If politicians are guided in their administration by their higher selfless ideas for the common good, then they will work closely together with other politicians, as required by the proportional representation system, and their self-preservation and ambitious ideas will be kept in check. When this happens, the pluralism of ideas and the exchange of opinions is rich, and the synthesis of these ideas is beneficial to everyone. One of the most useful things that elected politicians could do, would be to create an algorithm, based on sound criteria such as area, population, etc. of individual areas, for the fair distribution of funds by the municipalities to local communities and by the administrative regions to regional units. In this way, the solidarity and the collaboration between the individual units, which constitute an administrative area, would be strengthened.
Unfortunately, political practice in our country, both in state and municipal politics, particularly in recent years, is not characterised by a spirit of compromise neither by social solidarity. It is very possible that this old and corrupted kind of practice will be continued by the new municipal leaders. Whether regional agencies will be working for the common good depends greatly on the character of the newly-elected politicians. It is up to them to avoid personal interest deals, and to try to synthesise the ideas expressed by their electorate in a way that the highest number of people in their area is benefitted. If our politicians are inspired by a selfless way of thinking, then it is certain, that after a difficult beginning, they will be able to develop solid groundwork for future cooperation, which will benefit the area they represent. This kind of healthy collaboration will also benefit the electorate, which will be thus encouraged to support the choices and decisions of their elected representatives.
We, as representatives of the association “Maniot Solidarity”, do not limit ourselves to being simple well-wishers for our newly-elected politicians in Mani and the Peloponnese in general. We state that we will be active, and we promise and that in our own small way will support initiatives and decisions like the ones we described above.