Sunday, January 27, 2008

Week 20-27 January: Elections, fair play and society

Political communication is suffering from the flaws of the mass media society. An articulated analysis is often replaced by slogans, the mutual respect between challengers by aggressive statements. It all leads to a polarization that it is quite difficult to reconcile afterwards.

While in Azerbaijan some newspapers, quoting the Financial Times, already claim the re-election of Aliyev, 8 months before the election (an untimely election campaing?), in Georgia the new government has to take shape. And, clearly, it is no longer time to linger on accusations or open insults, but rumors suggest that all ministers who answer more directly for the level of life of the population are going to be removed: Giorgi Arveladze, the Economy Minister; Davit Tkeshelashvili, the Minister for Healthcare and Social Welfare; Kakha Bendukidze, the State Minister for Economic Reforms.

In Armenia candidates blame “the others” for the quality of political confrontation.
Levon Ter-Petrosyan calls for a mitigation of tension and creation of an atmosphere of tolerances, but, at the same time, goes on in defying the government a bandocratic system. Vazgen Manukyan declares to feel “uneasy about the vitriol and aggression that is presently spreading throughout our society not only by way of public rallies but also through the press and television.” and adds “This road will not lead to an improvement of the situation in Armenia”, words that do not prevent him from describing the ruling √©lite as “worthless people whose sole aim is to retain those positions”... et cetera et cetera.

Such a venom, the Armenian Observer points out, seems to be infecting the blogosphere, “whereby a range of extremely intolerant propaganda-blogs have sprang up, and have started attacking all and everyone around in the blogosphere - have taken the fun away from blogging. Instead of being the enjoyable personal hobby it once was, blogging now is increasingly becoming a risky business, a hostile environment, where you risk being attacked and harassed for your views.”

So, while the electoral platforms of some candidates promise to change completely the country in a lapse of time from 3 to 5 years, the web offers nice views of the same heroes in the shape of devils… Wasn’t the red-eyed picture of Tony Blair, during the election campaign, harshly criticized for not being in line with political fair play?

Probably Armenian society doesn’t need heroes nor devils… and since this is just a blog, and I have already mentioned the UK, let me put it with some brilliant English humour… (

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