The Greek Parliament had to vote on the approval of a planned austerity bill while about a hundred thousand protestors set the city in flames. When the Greek fire was burning the city of Athens ablaze, the members of the parliament approved the bill with almost three fourths majority. Representatives of all parties cast their votes and almost all the parties declared their necessary support for the bill; the only full-opposition being the extreme right LAOS. However just after the voting, major parties declared that they would expel their deviant MPs from parties, as they did not conform to the party decision. The result is, 15% of the MPs are not affiliated with any party at this moment.
When one looks at the party representations, he might think that parties vote as blocs and individuals that think alike re-group in the same parties. Yet in the case when many parties agree on a certain policy and start becoming alike, there should be more room for individual voices. Especially when there is the claim of democracy within parties, individual MPs should be allowed to vote however they wish. If an individual is not satisfied and persuaded with the explanations given by their party, how can he think otherwise just for the sake of being in line with the party?
Moreover, among the protestors were not only LAOS supporters who demanded absolute political freedom of Greece from international bodies but citizens of Greece who voted for all the parties in the parliament. The decision of major political parties such as New Democracy and Pan Hellenic Socialist Movement, to expel MPs means they either put a limit to their supporters’ rationale or they claim to have an absolute sight of what future might be and do not like to be contested in democratic processes.
At a time when parties are preparing for early elections in April, it was not a very wise decision to expel MPs from parties, especially when there is no absolute national consensus on the bail-out plans. It was a bill best left to the citizens in order to avoid this much violence and chaos perhaps, but no matter what the agreeing or opposing sides should have been welcomed at all costs.