Editor's comment
Promises to keep...
17 July, 2015
There is so much talk in town about the promises that were not kept... Promise has a momentous psychological effect on our social and political life, and it should not be given easily and randomly, especially if promisor is a politician and promisee is an elector. The election promise is an extraordinary kind of promise. It has a propensity to either turn into a cooperative standpoint in the life of society or become an apple of discord between the elected individuals
and their electors. An electoral pledge will consequently morph into a political model, suggested by a political wannabe who made the pledge and had their electors believe in the veracity and reliability of that pledge in the process of agonizing over the voting outcome. This is a diabolically overwhelming moment when a politician becomes absolutely oblivious of the next-day consequences and lets loud and wordy pledges flow out of the glib mouth uncontrollably, having never heard the famous brocard Pacta Sunt Servanda - agreements must be kept. Yes, promise is an agreement to do something valuable in somebody’s favor. It is an open demonstration of a promise-maker’s intention to act in accordance with a particular objective in favor of the people the promise was made to. When politicians, who want to be elected to fill in a certain position, make a pledge, they mean that they are committed to do something or refrain from doing something, at the same time showing the capacity to act accordingly. So much for the commonly accepted definition of pledges and promises! Let us now look at how the reality is presenting itself. The governance, based on electoral system is the bases of democracy which is as ancient as the civilized existence itself. Democracy – probably not the most optimal organization of human society – is popular and universally acknowledged. Georgia has hurriedly and proudly placed itself among its many followers because Georgia thinks that democracy is the most straightforward way to communicate with people sincerely, openly and objectively about our best national intents and beliefs, notwithstanding the outcome of democratic elections being good and fair or bad and unjust. And we cannot afford giving up on this kind of political course, which was painstakingly brought in, barely inculcated and warily nursed for many years now. Too much time and efforts were brought to the national altar to have gotten it into our stiffened sovietized minds although the nation’s genuinely conscientious attitude towards the democratic development is still being hammered and tempered by the West in this country. Entertaining fulltime democracy in good faith is still a problem here, and there are many why’s to answer to that extent. We are still far from fair and open dealing in human interactions, especially political. We tend to make profuse election-time promises which in consequence turn out to be impossible to deliver on. An unfeasible electoral promise is a commonplace thing almost in every political culture. I have heard many jokes in the United States for instance about the election promises that were enthusiastically made by presidential or congressional candidates but never kept. If this can happen in America, in the country of real mature democracy, how much one can expect from a Georgian politician, hatched out in a green democracy like ours. I can declare almost certainly that our electorally excited promise mongers do not know the truth about a word spoken which is past recalling. What is said cannot be unsaid, my friends! In Georgia, we often use a saying that tongue has no bone, which means that it will say anything if we do not hold it. There is another wisdom which makes sense to me in this context – better the foot slip than the tongue. We – I mean the entire nation – have to learn well how to think first and then speak. Moreover – how to think first and then do! Otherwise, we might find ourselves right in the eye of the storm which has a potential to stop development. People like to hear promises but they also like to see the promises kept. For example, if you make the election promise of lowering taxes, enhancing the retirement facilities or dropping the prices on staples, you have to bend over backward to fulfill the solemnly made promise. If this is not done for some reason, which could well be a case, certain butts are going to be kicked real hard when time comes and the patience of people becomes totally depleted. If the publicly given word cannot be kept for some honorable motives that have to be taken into consideration, then the reason of unaccomplished pledges have to be intelligently and transparently interpreted, so that the anger of the shamefully belied electorate is restrained, at least temporarily, to save the country from revolutionizing the frustrating consequences of a lie. Lying to people is dangerous. Telling a lie to anybody is dangerous. If you lie to people, they will hundred percent give you that lie back, and you cannot blame them. Some of our politicians would lie through their teeth in order for them to see the election bottom-line provided for, but often times, some of those election assurances turn out to be a bluff, and that makes the potential conflict with the electorate almost guaranteed. Who needs promises that will not be kept!