Friday, March 21, 2008

Marginalizing ARF-D

During the last 10 years ARF-DAshnaktsutyun was part of the government. They claimed that they were an opposition to the government while being a part of the government. As a result, they have become a joke. The only normal thing that they did was the resignation of Vahan Hovhannisian from the post of the assistant speaker of the parliament when he realized how low his, and Dashnaktsutyun's, rating is among the Armenian population.

Now ARF-D has signed a pact to continue to be a part of the government. This way they have re-affirmed that they are nothing but a joke and do not deserve for us, the Diasporans, to support them in any way. I don't understand why the Diaspora branches of the party sit back and let the 100 year old party name be dragged through the mud in such a fashion so that a few of the party apparatchiks in Armenia can have cushy jobs.


HH said...

It is about 120 years this party exists: what they do is not a big news. Their calling is to be as destructive as possible and that's what they are inplementing all the time.

Anonymous said...

+ 100
I don't understand how can the Diaspora dashnaks let the Armenian dashnaks even use the name of the party any more

Anonymous said...

The party in the diaspora is actually a lot worse than in Armenia. They do not represent the community in the western united states one bit, nor are they inclusive of it. The only hope for this party to return to its roots is in Armenia. Here, they neither know, nor practice that which they preach. Their numbers are rapidly falling and younger members are not joining. Here, party members have no idea what the state of the country or the nation is. It is here that the ARF has become what the communist party became in the Brezhnevian era.

With that said, I do not agree with the divisive attempts by ltp and co. to bring about a regime change through hatred, violence and confrantation. Nor do i think it was the smartest thing for Armenia and its population to play into US geostrategic plans for the region and NKR.

Having covered the pre-election campaign very extensively, I was very hopeful with what I saw coming from the ARF. THey introduced new political culture in the country with the mock primary elections and the social contracts that Hovannesian issued. Their platform and campaigning methods were also the best out of ALL the other parties and individuals in the running. They were neither divisive, malicious or populist. They didn't play on peoples emotions in a petty American style way, nor did they ignore the current problems in the country. QUite the contrary every election speech made by Hovannesian foreshadowed the problems we are in today because of the authorities' corruption and LTP's message of confrontation.

It is sad, this party has strayed very much from its roots. It should NEVER have joined the coalition govt. when Kocharian came to power. THey should have been opposition from the beginning as they were during LTP's reign. I understand their reasoning that being in opposition would not allow them to carry out all their programs, which is to a certain extent true. They were able to raise minimum wage, pass legislation for dual citizenship and tackle the pension issues. With all that said, they should have still been in the opposition.

Their support would be much higher now, and their bid to the presidency would have been more legit.

I was hoping with Hovannesian's resignation they would have entered opposition and brought REAL opposition politics to the country--which they can. But they didn't, for many reasons. Aparachik desires for govt. posts, unwillingness to work with LTP (which is understandable since he banned the party and jailed its leaders). Unfortunately, the radical and once marginalized opposition, which really had no clear cut vision or platform for the country, and was composed of demagogic figures, has united behind LTP, who if one truly examines his approach, they will see he is not good for the country either.

At the end of the day one cannot ignore the fact that the ARF of Armenia is still the most democratic organization that the country has. It is the only party wiht an actual platform. It is the only one not lead by demagogues, and its the only one practicing European style politics. And it is the only one not serving foreign interests, which is more than i can say about Serzh (Russia) or LTP (America). ARF Armenia, as disappointing as their decision was, is the only pro-Armenia faction in the country. Do the research into LTP's comeback, who his major backers have been (US propaganda arm RFE/RL, and the US condemnation of the authorities after the election, then compare what went on in Armenia with Georgia, Ukraine, and even Pakistan and you will see a trend.)
LTP is the mechanism for the US (which is just as un-democratic as Armenia)foreign policy in the Caucasus. Through LTP America has effectively brought Armenia as a state to its knees, weakened its image in the international community and made it possible for Azerbaijan to get the upper hand on Armenia.

I just hope that March 1, and the state of emergency lit a large enough flame under the asses of the country's authorities to make them realize they and the country and karabakh are really holding onto survival by a very thin thread. This is how the pathetic excuse of humanities experiment with democracy works throughout the world. Let us hope it works here, so that cooler heads prevail and put enough safe and legal pressure on the new coalition government to do the right thing. If not, the situation will only worsen.

Gap between rich and poor will grow, discontent will continue to rise, larger segments of society will feel alienated, and become desperate. Armenia will fracture in that case, and azerbaijan's attack, which is coming and coming fast, will leave us in the dust--without karabakh, without syunik, encircled by Pan-turkik forces.
And rest assured Armenia's population will be cut in half as it was in 88 and the history of Armenia will come to an end.

Again, lets hope cooler heads prevail and people speak and act in a more balanced, safe and foresighted manner.

nazarian said...

Nice post, anonymous 3!

Anonymous said...

i have quite few comments on anonymous 3 long post on ARF

1-ARF lacked a clear strategy during the elections campaign, although the campaign was run professionally with new techniques such as signing contracts, introducing 2 candidates from ARF to chose from, etc, Vahan Hovhanesian's campaign was lame, colorless and odorless
talking about country's problems was not enough for the people who were going to vote, he never gave solutions or ways to achieve those solutions, he was identifying the problems and at the same saying that he will not confornt anyone and not lead any struggle (how he was supposed then to carry forward his program? let alone win the elections?

In one word, the campaign had no strategy, no direction, on the other side, LTP's campaign was effective because it had a strategy (despite what you call names and adjectives to it)which was opposing the current authorities and replacing them in a radical way, they mentioned clearly their GOAL and HOW TO achieve that goal...

2-Another factor that reduced ARF's vote % was its power sharing with kocharyan-sargsyan couple for the last 10 years, they are not regarded as opposition in Armenia no matter how much the party tries to show the opposite

3-There is a contstitutional violation in ARF"s campaign, its not a secret ARF had spent quite a big sum on election campaigns during 2007 (both for parliament and presidential elections), it is not a secret also that the sources of these funds are outisde of Armenia, which is a violation of RA election law and puts other candidate parties at a disadvantage..i just wanted to point this

4-Again i read the same cheap accusation that LTP is backed by USA, maybe he has SOME expectations from USA (Which i find it natural when confronting brute force of authorities and their backing from dictator Putin) i do not see that USA is backing/financing or supporting LTP, otherwise, if that was ture, LTP and his followers would have been in streets of yerevan till now...

5-It is wrong to attribute the passing of laws regarding increasing pensions, granting nationality to diaspora armenians and other social issues to ARF, no matter who initiates and presses for those laws and drafts, they wouldn't have passed without SS/RK consent, not to mention SS interest in image making and how he tried to use government funds and budget spending to win people's heart

So passing those laws cannot be considered as achievements of ARF while they were in the government

I have my personal objection on the nationality issue tough which is a long subject in itself (note that many HHK, PHK, other opposition parties and before HHS had opposed this rule)