What is the Otsneba Brand
11 October, 2014
What is the Otsneba Brand
I have a difficult time saying what the Georgian Dream Coalition (Otsneba in Georgian) stands for. What is its brand? Apple computers are thought to be clean, well designed, expensive, beautiful. BMW cars are high quality and macho. Successful products work on their brands as much as the things they actually sell. It is no different for political parties. Nothing will kill a party faster than if people don't know what it stands for. And the brand of a party
can only change as quickly or slowly as the opinion of the voters change. So what does the Georgian Dream stand for or believe in?

Since the late eighties, there is a tradition in Georgia of people creating parties and keeping them as their personal vehicle. The National Democratic Party has been lost since Gia Chanturia was killed. What is the Laborist party without Shalva Natelashvili? Citizens Union was made in Shevardnadze's mold, it was a balancing act between the young reformers (some would sarcastically say the young English speakers) in parliament and the corrupt old communists in the Executive. When the reformers left it, the corruption was exposed and it all evaporated. Twelve years ago when the opposition to Shevardnadze was in talks about merging, Misha told Zura Zhvania, you are welcome to join my party whenever you want. That party was his and it was the vehicle he used to end Shevardnadze political career.

UNMs brand somehow mirrors Misha's: young, fast, not interested in listening, interested in public opinion but not so interested in people. Ready to transform Georgia into a capitalist paradise whether the people wanted it or not or even understood what that meant. Pro-western in public comments and deeply anti-Russian. Even from the early days in power there was a sense, like them or not, that voters know who these people were. And by 2005 they had shown themselves to be good at ending administrative corruption.

To be fair the UNM is a party, and a party organized around Misha. How closely connected the party is to Misha and to its former leaders will be important in deciding its fate. But it is one single party. Otsneba is a coalition. It has some western educated people and groups within it. But it also has less western looking more nationalistic groups within it with a very different vision. It has people connected with it from older administrations and it has some new faces. Like the Citizens Union it is a very broad coalition so maybe it doesn't have to have one single brand. But then what holds it together? Why not just have its very different parts compete independently within Georgia's political sphere?

The UNM tries to paint Otsneba as incompetent. And yet the parliament is a much stronger institution than it was under the UNM who significantly weakened it. NATO is much happier with defense policy now than under the UNM. The judiciary is slowly becoming more independent. But there isn't a clear logic to which policies are pursued and which are ignored or botched. There isn't much of a logical framework that people can understand. Is it left or right? The UNM seems to think it has a monopoly on being pro-western. It doesn't. But is Otsneba pro west? Is their heart really in it? What do they really care about most of all? What would they like Georgia to look like in ten years?

Most of all it is the party that ended Misha's reign. That is still what most of its leaders get most excited about when they speak. And the UNM is still around. If you listen to some in Otsneba the most important thing Georgia needs to spend its time on it hunting down the last UNM supporters and silencing them. But most people don't agree. They have other priorities; the same priorities that people around the world have, jobs, education, safety, etc. And I am not sure there is agreement within Otsneba about those. Which do they think are important and why and how they will they pursue them? I wish I knew. It's time for us to get a better understanding about that.


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
13.11.2018
14.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.7166
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0602
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.4900
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0131
4.0131
Other Stories
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0131
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30