What else is there left to do?
Posted by kronstadt on May 11, 2007
The voter apathy in Armenia is no surprise to me. Rather, this apathy is in itself another way of looking at Armenian political landscape today. Maybe even this apathy is an expression of another ideology…
Lets take an average working class citizen of RA — Poghos-Petros, as an example.
Right… so what does Poghos-Petros see in front of him? First or all there are all too many holes that the government has meticulously created to insure that it’s parties HHK and BHK smoothly and unquestionably get elected and that one of Rob’s favorites smoothly succeeds him. Some of these holes include the highly questionable results of the census which show the number of citizens living in Armenia being well above the estimates (despite huge emigration outflow) in the last 2 decades. Then there is the question of state monopoly over TV. Then there is the dual citizenship with a clear design not to integrate the Diaspora but to stage a major electoral fraud and to import even more Dashnak nazis into the country. Then there is the question of fairness of the election campaigns. HHK and BHK gets a lot more publicity and can afford a lot more lavish adverts, concerts with sexy Russian chicks and TV airtime, and what not. Then there are another hundred or so similar too. In short, what does Poghos-Petros already see?
1) that the balance is disproportionately on the side of the 3 pro-government parties. That the opposition stands no chance to even compete in terms of ideologies (IF they had any uniquely differing and practical ideologies in the first place).
2) that elections are not going to be fair
3) that there is a high chance that the vote will not be even counted, and/or that the HHK, BHK, ARF will find their ways to forge the elections one way or another
4) that these elections are an insult to the inteligence of any self-respecting common man
And when Poghos-Petros sees all this, when he is presented with the following options, which one is most RATIONAL to choose?
a) to sell the vote for 5000 Drams, and at least make some money out of it (cause Poghos-Petros knows that whether he does or not, one way or another HHK, BHK and ARF will find a way)
b) to hold on to his vote, proudly go to the ballot box and maintain confidence in Armenian democracy.
And when Poghos-Petros sees all of the above, and when he knows that the elections are not going to change anything, what other way does a public have to express its will?
b) Praying, Hoping and Waiting for the divine intervention
If the elections are unfair and mean nothing, what else is there left to do? It is then the citizen’s DUTY to overthrow the system and to replace it with a system through which his individual choice can be systematically expressed. One must remember that one one does not live for democracy’s sake, but vise versa: it is Democracy that is there to help facilitate a meaningful political life.
Maybe current voter apathy has an explanation after all. Maybe this apathy is a statement in itself. People have just simply lost faith in this system.