05 April, 2012

Interview with Iago Kachkachishvili, PhD of Sociology

Again the ministers don’t go to the Parliament, Ivanishvili is still waiting for the reinstatement of his citizenship and Public Defender for umpteenth time is speaking from the Parliamentary rostrum about grave violations of human rights. The people go on living their lives expecting the elections with half-optimism and half-fear. We discussed these and other important issues with Iago Kachkachishvili, PhD of Sociology: 


Iago Kachkachishvili: The Parliament is not an independent Institution; it serves the

executive powers (the Government). The indicator that our authorities are non-democratic, is the fact that they aren’t working in the mode of internal opposition. Power Ministries and Ministers are the ‘bosses’ in the Government. Unfortunately, Parliament is one of the links in the autocratic vertical that depends on the Government. This reality is far from democracy.

Q. – ‘If Saakashvili dares not to restore my citizenship; if he doesn’t retreat’… - declared billionaire Ivanishvili about President Saakashvili. What’s your opinion about all this?

I.K. – For the time being the authorities have a powerful propaganda machine, thanks to which they can always sell white as black. For that reason, even reinstatement of Ivanishvili’s citizenship will be presented by the authorities not as a failure but as a victory and facing this reality, they will make impeding devices function in this direction. Most opposition-minded people are gathered in Tbilisi; traditionally it’s most difficult for the authorities to win elections in Tbilisi. This happens not because the wisest voters live here, but because they are more informed and can view events from different angles. It’s necessary to deliver alternative information to the citizens more intensively and on a larger scale. But no such large-scale strategy can be seen in the opposition coalition.

Q. – In his speech Public Defender spoke about many infringements of human rights. By the way, it’s worth noting that John Bass, US Ambassador to Georgia reciprocated this event on his Face-book, calling it very significant. Will this in any way influence our society?

I.K. – Activity of such Institutions is of great importance for provoking evolutionary changes.

Q. – According to NDI survey, the question ‘whom would you support in case Parliamentary elections were held tomorrow’, 47% voted for ‘United National Movement; runner up with 10% support of voters is ‘Georgian Dream’; third place with 3% goes to ‘Christian-Democratic Movement’. In your opinion, what benefit can such surveys bring in the pre-election period?

I.K. – Most significant in the survey is almost 40% of voters without any political preference. There are included the people who haven’t yet made decision which political force to support during the elections but there are also those who have made their choice but are hiding it (their share must be at least half of 40%). Mostly they are opposition voters. It’s obvious that NDI couldn’t adequately show the attitude of opposition-minded respondents. And what do we get as a result? A picture that doesn’t correspond to the reality. Most important is that the people accentuate not the big group that hid political choice from the people but those 10% who set the coalition of opposition parties far away from the ruling party. Such an inadequate picture has a negative influence on people’s conscience; again pushing the opposition-minded voters towards radicalism or disappointment. Such surveys cannot be considered helpful for heightening of people’s political culture and democracy.

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