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What should the “Georgian Dream” change

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What should the “Georgian Dream” change

During the last days, lots of  our citizens express through the massmedia, social networks, and private talks the following opinion : The government must start urgent reforms, since  it is a demand of the voters who ensured the victory of Salome Zurabishvili in the second round of the race for nomination.

It is interesting, what kind of changes do they mean and, how the “Georgian Dream” can answer to such calls. In comparison to the first round of the elections, Zuirabishvili received about half million more votes. Now,  experts try to decrypt the composition of such a big army and, define three major groups: Opponents of Saakashvili (“Antimishists”), Radical Conservators, and so called “Mercantiles”, i.e. those who supported    her due to promises of debts write-off and other bonuses. Of course this division is conditional, since one and the same individual may fall into two groups at one and the sane time, but, is needed for qualifying the demands they address to the government.  

The “Nationals” do not look through deeply this theme, at least because  of the fact that according to their post-elections mythology, Zurabishvili’s voters were “sold” for potato and onion and,  spread of the videos showing  how the Saakashvili’s government was  distributing potatoes  in 2012, does not change their attitude. Such an approach plays a certain anesthetic role for them, but its taking in a high dozes, is dangerous. In 2012 they have assured  themselves that they lost the elections because of the “prison videos”, that later on, has led them  to incorrect political conclusions and now,. they are trying to re-shift an accent on the debts write-off and potato distribution, however, it is a problem of Saakashvili and the “Nationals”, not of the society.

What do the Saakashvil’s opponents want? –  100% neutralization of a threat of restoration of the former regime,  say “no” to advancement of the “ported” “Nationals”, legal assessment of the period of Saakashvili’s governance, punishment of smashers, torturers and other offenders, return of the illegally seized  property, change of style of relations with the “Nationals”(they think that the government should not have a attitude to the  “Nationals” as to a  legitimate political force, but  about like as the society  treated Fascists and Nazi in the  post-war Italy and Germany).  A part of “Antimishists”  go even far and requires  systemic reforms, which will change radically the court and the law enforcement bodies and separate them from the repressing and anti-democratic role they were granted by the former regime – we can say that they speak about ‘Systemic denatification”     

Of the aspects listed below, the most simple is to correct the personnel policy of the “Georgian Dream”. Noteworthy that Bidzina Ivanishvili  also touched   this theme in his high-profiled statement he made after the first round of the elections: “The personnel policy should be changed  very soon, which will be based  on  experienced individuals,  permanent attraction of new persons, especially – the youth, since they also must be involved in the country’s governance and development of new policies”. He did not mention “ported” in this context,   however, Ivanishvili knows perfectly well that this is a painful theme for the electorate. Thus, e may suppose that during the period that is left  until the parliamentary elections, the “Georgian Dream” will not introduce at the front scene the individuals similar to Vano Zardiashvili and Levan Murusidze, but employ  them somewhere   in the labyrinths of the executive power

Implementation of such the politics may become difficult in those  regions, where  the “ported” are its main supporting force of the “dream’s” local partial and governance structures, but, in general, this is possible .like deny to advancement of such really incompetent persons. A clear example is Aleksandre Jejelava. By the way, he liked the former government as well: in 2012,in his blog, he tried to justify  the “prison vides” related events, and it happened in time when even “Nationals”  were too shy to do it. How this individual received the minister’s position”? Why? For what?

As to the other aspects of relations with the “Nationals”, It seems to be difficult to the “Georgian Dream” to make the  steps desirable for the “antimishists” , since the “Dream” is afraid of negative reaction of the west and, will not arrange ‘ Nurnberg Process”, by a higher probability – it lost this resource somewhere at the cross-point of 2013-2014. It may organizes the court processes  against some zonders and their middle-ranked heads, but this will not satisfy a general demand, while for returning back the seized property,. there exist  pure juridical barriers as well, in line with the political ones.

Changes in this direction will probably have a cosmetic nature and the “Georgian Dream” will use “give me one bird” tactics

At one glance, the systemic reforms are nor related directly to the problem named “National Movement” but originates a rather interesting, to some extent tragic dilemma. If a reform reduces influence of the “Georgian Dream” on the governmental institutions, the “Nationals” may use such a situation for their own interests. The authoritarian control is very bad and on one hand and, creates  lots of problems to the government in relations with the large public, but, on the other hand,  is a guarantee of security and in case of need –  an instrument of suppress of the “Nationals”. So,  less expected   that Ivanishvili wishes to lose it and implement the radical reforms.

What do the radical conservators want (in addition)? – Refusal of the ultra-right initiations (gay marriage, legalization of light drugs, etc.), Immigration policy tightening, protection of religious feelings, protective c attitude towards the citizens of Georgia (problem of sale of the land to foreigners, etc.), promotion to introduction of the traditional values   in the schools and the society). At one glance, the “Georgian Dream” is less limited here. For example, it   made certain concessions in vase of the light drugs, despite the fact that Ivanishvili wanted to enter on the developing global market of legal marihuana  and invested some resources in this project, but, the “Georgian Dream” since 2011 has been afraid that in case of transit to the conservative position, the west will support actively its liberal opponents and, this may  have a negative outcome for the “Dream”. Probably, just for this reason caused a stage-by-stage “liberalization” of the “Dream’s” policy during the above mentioned period.  Therefore, the reforms desirable to the conservators, will have a temporary or partial effect, with a higher probability. An analogical attitude has the leading party in improving the relations with Russia, that is required by a part of the voters. “Dream” is afraid of a “punishment” by the west if it makes even a step to this direction

What do the so called  “Mercantiles”, want? Here everything is simple. They de5emand new bonuses from the government.  In the Book ”The moral basis of a backward society“ published in 1958 (devoted to Southern Italy)  an American sociologist Edward Banfield wrote that in such  the society, a voter uses the bulletin for  gaining a material benefit in a short-term perspective. He may consider that  a case is his long-term class od social interest, but this will not affect his choice  if he is guided by particular material interests of his  family. Votrers believe less the promises  of the electoral partiesand, vote for the benefit they have already received (of course, provided that  it will be increased in future)”. Until the economic state of Georgia is improved, a significance of this factor will remain high. Moreover, it may become even higher, since before the second round Ivanishvili   implemented the “Dept Cover” special operation – in 2020,  this category of the voters will demand much more, Finally, this way leads to degradation of the  already weak democracy. By view of political technology, Ivanishvili made a correct step, but, by a political view, he created a rather dangerous precedent

Overcoming the poverty  and revival of the economy id a common and “eternal” demand of the voters of all categories . But, in addition to the economic factors, this demand is prevented  a parasite nature of the modern Georgian elite. Here, one nuance is important to note –  unlike ordinary parasites, the parasitoids kill an organism gradually and are fed and growing on their account. By the way, “Foreigner” from Ridley Scott’s famous movie, is a parasitoid, similar to the current Georgian elite  – it weakens an organism (country), which feeds it, due to instincts, tries to rob the population fully   even take a minimal existence  sources and does not think what may happen afterwards

The measures Bakhtadze’s government takes against the “Excessive depts”, is not just the PR – even an average level economist can  understand that the current situation relates to the highest political risks and creates threat to even the top layers of the society, but, in this case, the  already delayed and essentially palatal infringement is not sufficient. Here  radical steps, cleaning  the political structures, limitation of  an appetite of oligarch capital are necessary, but, they are  difficult to imagine  in the oligarch system, while without such preparatory works, any economic reform is doomed to lose

It is pity but  a probability that “Georgian Dream” will try to create illusions, is rather higher, but, it cannot be excluded that this Party will act especially carefully in relations with the voters, as it was a practice in the past and, cause several painful blow to the National Movement” .In the first quarter of 2019 we  will see  whether the leading party responded adequately  on the “yellow card” of the first round or considered that the problem is overcome and may continue life as previously

Luka Nemsadze

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