Expert opinion
17 October, 2013
Interview with philosopher Zaza Piralishvili

Why the 2013 Presidential elections don’t resemble previous ones? Do the election programs, promises and political views of presidential candidates differ from one another? Below Philosopher Zaza Piralishvili dissects these issues.
Z.P. – We may find ourselves at the verge of a second phase. I view three outstanding candidates for presidency: out of them Giorgi Margvelashvili does not offer himself as a political leader. Nor has his nomination had any informational prelude. He is still
considered as the Ivanishvili’s creation and now is attempting to compensate this loss. Davit Bakradze is a transitional figure. I think his current role is the maximum that he can offer in Georgian politics. As for Nino Burjanadze, there are several serious arguments against her and it may be difficult for her to overcome them.
Among the candidates there is no one who is seen as an unconditional authority by majority of population. One more factor is also at play. Today there is less expectation of armageddon, a final clash of good and evil (although they are trying to instigate passion, especially by inculcation of the idea of justice). Somebody might say that the reason for this is that candidates lack charisma and besides it’s obvious in advance how the elections will end. This could be true partially but let’s not rule out that voters may vent out all the vice of their mystical-poetic attitudes to politics. There is even more about it. We all feel more vividly that we are the main subjects of political life. And one thing more: from the very beginning we review any politician as a suspect. It’s another issue that politicians themselves cannot get accustomed to this. For us, it’s of utmost importance to learn how to be armed with rational doubt in order not to let anybody govern us.
By this, soon the society will become more difficult to be governed by a political class and the latter will try to elaborate a more adequate language to communicate with us. Those who won’t manage this will be ousted. I think it will be difficult for National Movement to escape crisis. They couldn’t manage to abandon their leader and his milieu. They can have a dialog with people only through PR, etc. Incessantly they repeat their own selves and don’t feel how grotesque their attempts become. Despite the fact that I’ve never said good words about National Movement, I’m sure that crushing of the Nationals will be a grave mistake. On the other hand, it is also certain that the culprits should be punished…
Q. – Which candidate has an effective advertising campaign?
A. – In two weeks after October 2012 elections, criticism towards the new authorities had increased. They were criticized not by the Nationals but by those who very little time ago displayed sympathy to this force. I hope Ivanishvili is the last politician on whom a considerable part of Georgian electorate made unrealistic stake and afterwards demanded from him to fulfill the promise. Now at least we seem to be moving to the point when there will be a sort of balance between the program and political actor. Now the history has to gives us time – after 70 years of hardest historical stress we managed to learn a lot during the last 20 years.
Excess of spectacular charge during the pre-election period is typical of many countries in order to bring voters full with emotions to the ballot-box. This technology is calculated for those people for whom elections are rather expression of collective enthusiasm and solidarity than the means of real solving of the country’s problems. Besides, if the candidate doesn’t manage to win the information space, he won’t be in the center of attention and neither a good program and nor big number of supporters will be helpful. Lately politicians learn that success isn’t achieved only by meetings and revolutionary spectacles and they are dealing with another type of electorate.