The third group
16 August, 2012

 

As is the case before elections in Georgia, there are now three groups of us:  those who hate the opposition and are blind to the faults of the  ruling party, those who hate the ruling party and are blind to the faults of the opposition.  These two groups hate each other and can not understand how the other is so deluded, they think the other must be composed of bad people, immoral, or corrupt, or all of those.

 

 

Keep in mind

that people in the first two groups don't believe that there can be a third group. They believe that there are only two kinds of people: with us and against us. But there is a third group, the group that thinks the other two groups are acting like spoiled children. This column is dedicated to that third group.

 

The first things to say is that in this case, I don't believe there is a very good reason to be fiercely partisan now. The ruling team has done many good things for Georgia. Admit it. At the same time there are many important things they have done wrong or have not done. And there are some important things that are worse now then they were before they came to power. If you can't admit a few examples of each then you are  in one of the first two groups. But most people can name a few examples of each of those things. And it is very important to be clear about each of those things in order to keep your independence.

 

Why are people so pushed to partisanship in Georgia? Well, first of all it is not just a Georgian problem, it happens in many places before elections it is certainly happening in the US right now. But Georgia does have a particularly bad case. I think because choosing sides is such an important part of Georgian culture, more than any place I have ever been. When there is a question, discussion, or a point made, the first thing that happens is that people line up on one side or the other. To understand an idea, you don't need to research, you don't need to understand its history or its consequences, you don't need to compare how it is understood in other places, you simply have to see who is for it and who is against it and you know all you need to know. And if you see two people for and against the idea on TV yelling at each other, you have become an expert. I am not sure why this is but the compulsion to choose sides and to make everybody else choose sides is powerful in Georgia. It starts very young. And I don't think it is a very useful cultural trait.

 

It is good to look at practical things. Politicians in Georgia and everywhere say plenty of things, they try to set up a narrative that will be to their advantage. But to make the best choices, let's look at things that really influence our lives. Lets look at the experiences of people we know and trust to be honest, at real data. Media outlets and analysts that we trust and look to see if they name their sources clearly.

 

It is good to take a long view. In each election, people tend to say that this election will decide everything. It won't. Particularly in Georgia where so many politicians are so young. What is the over all direction Georgia should take? In reality, political leadership is unlikely to influence your life much in the short term anyway. What they really can do is move Georgia in a particular  direction. Coming to your own personal understanding of what that direction is should be important to each voter.  You can be in favor of one side or another, but avoid being aggressively against one side. Stay positive, that is another way to play the long game.  This election is really two elections, majoritarian and proportional. You can split your vote. Look carefully at the candidate in your district. If they were in parliament before, what did they do? There is plenty of very clear data about that, get that data and make a judgment. If they are a new candidate, find out information about them however you can. Are there chances to meet the candidates?

 

Also look carefully at the party lists. When they come out these lists will say a great deal about who the parties are. Are the people on the list independent or are they party lackeys? Have they done things on their  own or have they simply chummed up to the party? What do they stand for and have they done anything to prove they strand for that? Have they been honest? Do you know what they own or how they have benefited from their party affiliation or past positions? But in the end make the judgments directly. And it is completely reasonable to vote for a majoritarian candidate from one party and for another party in the proportional elections.

 

Print
Other Stories
The two sides of Georgia
On my first few days in Tbilisi, I stumbled across these two contrasting slogans. One is a testimony of open-mindedness and tolerance,
Mentally Ill or Not?
“The brain is wider than the sky.” Emily Dickinson.
Shall We Dance?
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” Friedrich Nietzsche.
Are We the Same or Just Getting Better?
Georgian-born Mancho Busse has been working in hospitality business for many years by now. Her husband, Robin Busse, works for the State Department of The United States,
Eco-Friendly Habits: How to Clean Your Off-Roading Vehicle Responsibly
Irresponsible waste disposal practices continue to have drastic effects on the environment.
 5 Techniques for Finding Your Inner Creativity
Whether you’re a writer, artist, or even a marketing executive, you’ve probably had days where you felt completely uninspired.
A suitcase full of wine and a heart full of memories
I left Switzerland and arrived in Tbilisi on December 28.
Five Reasons to Visit Georgia in 2017
If you've been searching for a unique place to vacation in 2017, the beautiful country of Georgia holds some hidden treasures.
PROMISING FUTURE OF COLLABORATION
“All roads lead to Rome” – states one of the most famous medieval proverbs. It’s fascinating to think how much the narrow streets and glorious walls of this eternal city have seen.
It’s Not So Bad, Chaps- Just Look at the Yanks: Ogden on Comparable Politics
Electoral fever is dying down in Georgia as it ramps up in the United States.
 “Moral Inversion” - Pre-election period in Georgia
Georgian pre-election period can be classified as “Moral Inversion”, a notion first put forward by Michael Polanyi.
America’s Trump Card
Like it or not, the name of the 45th American President will most likely be Donald Trump.
Clock is not counting down, it is adding up!
On Saturday for the ceremony in Charleston, instead of wedding gifts, the Managing Editor of Georgian Journal, Will Cathcart
A Protectionist Perspective: Ensuring A Georgian Future
Unlike many of my compatriots, I view my country as a sentient creature, a single organism. The mountains
Back in BSSR
"I remember that when I was a schoolgirl, they told us we have to be ready to give our lives for the motherland.
Thank you, father, for saving me from USSR!
On the 11th of October, the population of Belarus has elected Alexander Lukashenko to serve his fifth term
The EU Getting Squeezed in Georgia
Recent polls have shown that the EU is less and less popular in Georgia. The reason is that they
What is Georgia’s Military For?
There are two possible uses for Georgia’s military. The first would be to fight a war with an external threat or by its existence, to deter
Protohack
Last weekend I went to a hackathon in San Francisco called Protohack. In the former Soviet Union, people tend to think of hacking
European Migrant Crisis: The good, the bad and the liar
“I call an animal, a species, an individual corrupt, when it loses its instincts, when it prefers what is injurious
Refugees in Georgia
The people of Syria see the Assad regime weakening, and considering who may take over and what they might
David and Goliath: A Realpolitik Rendition
A Conservative Contrarian View on Georgia’s Geopolitical Dilemma
The Bleeding of Rustavi 2 - Our New August Surprise
When the powerful have to make something happen that they want few people to notice, they issue the statement late in the afternoon
The Good Neighbor
In 2012, Georgia was promised to witness what ex-Prime Minister Ivanishvili called “a new age.” It would be achieved by “restarting”
Independence, Institutions and Corruption
People talk about Georgia choosing between Russia and the West as if Georgia ended up at a soccer game and, well, since we’re here we may
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
21.09.2018
22.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6193
2.6193
EUR
1
EUR
3.0693
3.0693
GBP
1
GBP
3.4651
3.4651
RUB
100
RUB
3.9538
3.9538
Other Stories
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6193
EUR
1
EUR
3.0693
GBP
1
GBP
3.4651
RUB
100
RUB
3.9538