Before I go on doing more reviews of Armenian blogs on this blog review, I find it important, to state my position loud and clear on the passed elections, so when I do my next roundup of the blogosphere, you will know what are my potential sources of subjectivity.
Having become highly cynical and pragmatic on democratic system of government and its capacity to really reflect the will of people anywhere in the world, including the most advanced democracies, I must state re the Armenian elections, that I’m satisfied with the outcomes: I have been writing about the need to get rid of many stupid-little person-based political parties and having 5-6 parties in Parliament, who will be forced to focus on issues, rather then vague ideas pursued by the likes of Impeachment, and that is exactly what happened in these elections. Armenian people finally have started to understand, that bubbles like Tigran Karapetich, Stepan Demirchyan, shouting heads like Artashes Geghamyan, Arshak Sadoyan, revolutionaries like Aram Sargsyan and Nikol Pashinyan have nothing to do in the parliament.
Secondly, my prediction about the fact, that the International Community is ready to embrace these elections in Armenia as free and fair if there is enough imitation by the government, materialized, which served to fulfill a couple of important functions for the Armenian society:
- Political parties finally come to understand, that only work with the people can bring them to power – not devising more and more systems of forgery (although that also took place in this elections on a massive scale, but then it involved also direct bribing of people, which is still work with people if you ask me). We all saw, that shouting about corruption facts without presenting clear alternatives, visiting various countries and talking to Embassy heads doesn’t render any results, and this was well understood even by Orinats Yerkir, which got into Parliament in the end despite the British Spy sandal, largely due to hard work with the voters.
- Looking at the parliament we are going to have today, I have to note, that regardless what anybody says, the Republicans, Bargavach and Dashnaktsutyun have the most amount of offices countrywide, have invested heavily in their party structures and have indeed worked with people on local issues, and as we all should know by now: all politics is local!
- Armenian people received a clear signal, that if they want change, International community is not the right place to look for it. All change has to come from within.
I am also happy, that Armenia is officially not a banana republic anymore, following the announcement by the OSCE Observation mission calling the Armenian elections corresponding the international standards. I’m tired of various international organizations telling us what kind of democracy we should have. It is our country, and we should decide what we want here. Call me picky, but I’m not satisfied with the international standards, they’re not good enough for me. I want my very Armenian standards of democracy, and while the pressure is off from MCA, OSCE and others for the country to meet their standards, I hereby announce – I intend to keep putting all my time and effort to reach my own standards of democracy, be it in 10, 15 or a 100 years after.
I acknowledge, one last time, that these elections were a step forward, that they were good enough for the international community, and that they were not good enough for me personally, as I see elections as something much more then the month of pre-election campaign and the day when people cast their ballots in the box. …but I’m willing to wait and work more and see… Armenia – congratulations to you for whatever kind of elections you did have!
Well, you surprise me with your conclusion although I largely agree with all your points. Certainly, the election was a step forward although as you say, not something that is ideal. This is particularly the case given I am also convinced vote bribes played a determining role in the huge number of votes the Republicans attained. However, I am hoping that the passport issue is clarified by the full OSCE/ODIHR report which should eb available in a month or so,
As for now building on this, you’re right. It’s now time for political parties and civil society to address the population. For the former it should be in terms of issues and listening to the people, and for civil society it should be through a non-partisan approach. In my personal opinion, democracy is about whoever wins whether you like them or not, and not using donor money to effectively campaign against the government and for just one part of the opposition.
This should start now as we’ll soon be into the unofficial presidential campaign period so we can suppose that vote buying will also be significant unless we really change this now. Still, after this vote, next year’s election shouldn’t be any worse than this one. Well, it can be, but Armenia won’t fare well in the eyes of the international community. As you say, it’s time to build on this and that goes for everyone — government, opposition, civil society, everyone…
I do not live in Armenian but I was pleasantly surprised that the international community has concluded the election to be satisfying. This means Armenia will bee seen in more positive eyes in Europe and USA, it will make Armenia’s case for Karabag stronger. I have never understood the childish behaviour of the opposition in Armenia they dont have solutions just bitter resentment to the people in charge mostly because of their ethnic background being karabagchi, what ever that means? Finally a small step for democracy in Armenia how ever small it’s a step forward. I hope Orinats yerkir and Raffi Hovanessian will play a positive role in the parliament for the coming years and understand not to waist the trust they have received from their voters.
Patrik The Tiger
Onnik – which conclusion did you find surprising (to tell you the truth, I’m surprised with my conclusions myself, especially on this one:
I didn’t know, that I am of such high opinion of myself :))))))))))))))))))))))
Maybe I exaggerated a little… but then, this is a blog, its not a real article, and what I really need is a discussion, rather then “set in stone” statements.
Anyway, like I said in the first comment, I hope people will understand the shortcomings, failings and problems with this election and work to address them starting now, and NOT a month before the presidential or next parliamentary election. Perhaps with this new parliament we can at least hope that there are some politicians in there that will understand this need now. Civil society should now focus on pushing pro-democracy ideas and concepts among the electorate and not push for a radical opposition that lacks the support of many and which are seen as just the other side of the coin which the government is on.
Democracy matters, not who wins. As long as an informed choice has been made. In this sense, I think we have some way to go, and the issue of vote buying really is problem although I can’t prove any went on during election day. However, the large number of buses outside polling stations suggests this issue needs to be addressed in the future. Hopefully, the OSCE/ODIHR final report will also echo this.
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