Rioting in Greece: Popular will or hooliganism?

By | Dec 10, 2008

The recent riots in Greece have made me wonder about expressions of popular will.  In a democracy, the expression of popular will is seen as the central component of the entire system.  Governments, constitutional techicalities aside, are expected to rule for the people at their behest.  In Greece, the popular will of the people seem to be calling for early elections.  However, rioting doesn’t necessarily mean that confidence in the existing government has been lost; it simply means the loudest in the population think that.  Regardless, my train of thought is focusing not so much on the rioting itself but on the concept of early elections.

Should a goverment grant early elections when popular will has turned against it?  After all, the public whims can change daily.  Is it better for a government to carry out its mandate that it was orignally elected for, then approach the public with its record?

This is a difficult question as the first can lead to governments that weak and unsuccessful.  The second can lead to governments holding onto power beyond their time.

I have no answer for this, but I do feel that polical parties in any country should make clear what their policies on this kind of situation.

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