I can only approve the fact, that people have strong feelings and viewpoints on politics: this is perhaps the one and only thing that can save this country – if people start really caring about politics. With two more months to go before the elections scheduled for May 12, 2007, the Armenian blogosphere is really getting into it, with pro and con views on everything and anything happening in the political life of the country widely discussed and often criticized in the blogosphere.
Among the 50 or so blogs I’m monitoring at this point the most systemic approach to the Armenian political landscape was expressed by Narjan this week, who looks at the overall system rather then single parties and their leaders:
[…]When the opposition, free elections, etc. are mentioned in a group of people, somebody will always remember with irony the colored revolutions. Which is in a way understandable – the people, among whom the protectors of the current administration do not believe in the change of the administration without a revolution.[…]
[..]From my point of view the essence of democratic elections is not in just bringing to power people whom the majority of voters support (which in itself is a disputable principle), but in the realization by those people of constraints to their power since the ultimate authority lies not with them but with the electorate.
Sasountsi Anarchist from the ALS Movement aroused a wave of criticism by publishing this Monday a post on Armenian Republican Party (HHK). Pigh and Angel-Xiligan were among those most fiercely and tactlessly criticizing Sasountsi Anarchist (but not addressing the content of the post), being especially compelled by the fact that the latter has been disrespectful towards Garegin Njdeh, Armenia’s national hero, whose ideas on state-building are often used by the HHK to give them weight and a dimension of heritage. In his reply Sasountsi Anarchist has not stayed above the offensive tone either, generalizing and stereotyping the whole of Russophone Armenian blogosphere and classifying them all as “Reactionary” and “reflexive of exactly the type of Russian nationalist Imperialist framing which is in Russia’s and West’s best interests”.
Although rather disrespectful in the discussion mentioned above, Pigh has a more pragmatic view of the Armenian politics, expressed in an earlier post:
There is no real opposition to speak of in the country: those who are around now have discredited themselves. Nor is there a fresh, independent new force. I don’t like government either. As already mentioned somewhere before, I am lucky to be working in the rural areas of Armenia and to see directly what is happening outside Yerevan. I have chosen a different route for myself – to get through this life and help, with all available means to the people. With personal money contributions and by making sure at work, that the finances of the organization are not wasted for nothing. I don’t know what will happen next, how will it all turn out to be, but we only have this piece of land: small, stony, barren, but at the same time – beautiful and cherished. Peace to our land, piece to our people, and let all of us, despite our view, try to do at least something conscientious for Karabakh, for Armenians, for Armenia.
Uzogh says giving freedom to the opposition did the trick for government – “the task of burying the little parties has been successfully solved”, as having 70 parties for 3 million people seems “nonsense” to the blogger, who subsequently notes in his comments, that having 4-5 parties makes more sense. David_Sand however contrasts those commenting on Uzogh’s post, noting, that:
[…]Today there are three, four large parties – republican, dodists, dashnaks, and say, someone from the orange ones – OEK [Rule of Law] or MAK [United Labour Party]. Can you explain how are ideologies of republicans and dodists different[…]?
David_Sand further explores the importance of having a pluralistic “political market”, and notes, that current trend is leading to a monopoly of political offer and choices, which will ultimately result in inadequate services.