PASOK is the leading opposition party. Founded in 1974 by the economist Andreas Papandreou who led it to victory in 1981, making it the first socialist government ever to do so since 1924. He led a series of reforms including de-nazifying the military, building schools and hospitals. The only branches he admitted that he couldn't reform was education, police and the judiciary.
The party is now lead by his son George Papandreou. He is trying to continue the reforms implemented by his predecessor and former PM, Mr Simitis. In this way PASOK is similar to the Labour Party of UK and Australia, both of which advocate a Third way in politics, one that realises that global economic integration is a fact but combines it with social responsibility. PASOK differs from ND in that it has a comprehensive policy platform that includes increasing recycling by 100% in 5 years, building drug rehabilitation centres (How DARE he insinuate that some Greeks have drug problems), care for the environment and regional economic regeneration programs. I have not seen such a comprehensive platform in the other parties.
However this shift in thinking has alienated him from traditional voters, those who still expect the role of PASOK is to hire 'their boys' to government postings. Many of those who are vocal against George Papandreou are those in the Greek foreign service. When he was minister he hired many Greek - Somethings (Greek - Canadians / Australians etc) on fixed year contracts based on their knowledge as opposed to making/hiring Permanent staff from within the ranks of PASOK.
And its this shift away from political patronage that has politically harmed George Papandreou and the party. I say harmed him personally because while PASOK was in power, not everyone followed his example and many charges of corruption were levelled at fellow politicians, and was one of the reasons they lost power. But those who were criticised as being corrupt are the ones who remain popular to this day, and should he win their is no guarantee that they will change. It should be mentioned that during the Prime Ministership of Simitis, corruption as measured by Transperency International fell, something that New Democracy has reversed.
The other problem with George Papandreou is the time he spent in exile growing up and being educated in Scandanavia. His policies, the way he talks calmly without hyperbole might be good for Scandanavia and the rest of Europe, but apparently that's not what the people in Greece want to hear, or at least what the media says isn't what people want to hear.
As a result PASOK remains behind in the polls.
However, and many may disagree i do think he has a Vision for Greece that is more in line with some of our more progressed neighbours.