Wednesday, 03 June 2020

E Editorial

A well-formulated political agenda is required

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There is a deep-rooted opinion in Armenia, according to which parties are tools for gaining power, and the ultimate goal of engaging in politics is to have power. It is clear that if there are convictions and programs for the development of the state, in order to implement them, first of all, one must acquire the opportunity to form an executive body, that is, to have power. This is the main reason why Armenian parties and pro-government groups are becoming more active, especially from election to election, or when there are turbulent times that promise political change.

This is a rather vague and superficial idea about politics. In fact, engaging in politics implies the formation of a political discourse, a speech, and thus influences the situation, and sometimes dictates the agenda of political decisions. In short, to engage in politics means to "produce" political thought.

In the West, parties have a completely different function and content than in the former Soviet Union, where "whatever party they form, in the end it turns out to be the Communist Party of the Soviet Union", as a Russian politician accurately described.

Since we are talking about the Western experience, let's pay attention to one important circumstance. In the West, science is attached to universities, and in the former Soviet Union it is attached to the academies that had and still have state status. The same can be said about parties. In the West, parties are a storehouse of political thought that have political depth, tink tanks, research centers, present their shadow government, and more. The parties are also preparing their personnel anchor and are ready to represent the shadow government.

In that light, let's look at the current situation in Armenia. In 2018, a change of government took place, after which the "revolutionary" team that came to power was not able to formulate its political agenda and has not implemented any reasonable and fundamental reforms so far. As a result, the promised "vetting" is stalled, the amendments to the Constitution remain unfulfilled, and a number of constitutional laws remain unchanged. No steps were taken to establish "proprietary legitimacy", which is one of the most pressing issues, failing to unite the public against internal and external challenges.

This series can be listed for a long time, but it is not essential. Without all this, the change of government becomes aimless, because replacing "bad" people with "good" people is not a political change. To form a stable state system means to have institutions where the quality of specific people has little effect on their usefulness. The meaning of the changes is the creation of an effective toolkit for balancing and mutual control of institutions and branches of government.

The necessity of all this brings to the fore the imperative of forming a political agenda. Only the agenda, full of the spirit and content of modernity, is able to unite not only the healthy political forces, but also the whole society, and put to the best use their energy, experience and abilities for the benefit of the state and the people.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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Yerevan, Armenia


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The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the Center.

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