Get to work
10 November, 2014
There is a great deal of discussion in Georgia about who is pro-western and who is not. It is not an easy discussion to have because almost everybody says they are pro-western. Many in the UNM say they are pro-western but did many things that Europe didn't like. And many in the current government have made comments that indicate they have fundamental disagreements with fundamental European values. It is an important discussion, and one heard everywhere. But another way to
differentiate the groups of politicians is those who actually try to get things done and those who don't.

There are plenty in the government and parliament who are doing things. The parliamentary leadership its self has had not only to pass laws but to try to rescue to the institution of parliament itself and the constitution from the weakened state it was in when they inherited it two years ago. And they have done a pretty good job. At the same time, many in parliament on both sides, have just been making pointless speeches or trying to score points of little value to anybody.

By any definition the Defense Ministry under Alasania was a very effective ministry. People have different views of Alasania's effectiveness as a political leader but he was clearly a very effective minister. So effective at building Georgia's relationship with NATO and the west that his removal brought up very reasonable concerns about the true reasons for his removal. And the arrest of his staff, the so called corruption operation while he was out of the country was an immature and move. If the government was really worried about corruption, they would be looking at other ministries like the
Ministry of Sport and Youth for example.

Looking around at the other parts of the Georgian government, what are they doing? What policies are they pursuing? When they speak publicly, do they explain their goals? What do they spend their main efforts on? Some of the ministries really do seem to be working hard in the interest of the people of Georgia. Others, not so much. The ministers go through the motions of being a minister, attend the ceremonies but not much else. Some only seem to get excited when complaining about the National Movement, or getting in various personal arguments. Some members of the opposition are similar. It is all politics without real plans for the future.

Here is a good example. Recently Tedo Japaridze the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee in parliament went to Iran and then brought some Iranian members of parliament to visit Georgia. This was a very important visit. The US and EU may very well sign a deal with Iran in the coming year that will be one of the most important changes in Georgia's external position. This relationship is crucial for
Georgia. Although this is unlikely to bring votes to Japaridze and was in no way a populist move, these relationships will bring real benefits for Georgia. How many things like that are happening in Georgia? When we look at each ministry or parliamentary committee, can we way what they should be doing? How will we judge them in two years to know if they have succeeded? Are their goals clear?

The management of the state when done well, is not very exciting. The most successful governments are ones that aren't in the news very much because they are busy quietly working on behalf of the population. Who ever reads about Denmark? In Georgia it is easy to see a real difference between those quietly work and those who make a great deal of nose. So when analyzing the current changes, look at who is doing real work, and who is spending their time on old arguments.