Household issues ruin Georgian democracy24.10.2011 | 18:41
Georgian press keeps analyzing the results of the poll carried out by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) remarking justly that the problem of bygone "territorial integrity" gradually shifts into the background for citizens of Sakartvelo. People are more concerned over unemployment and growing prices. Consequently, economic difficulties overcome politics. GeorgiaTimes correspondent and economic expert Giya Huhashvili discuss why.
Despite numerous attempts of Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili to document the term "occupation", he can't deceive his nation. Results of the recent poll held by the National Democratic Institute (USA) show that the problem of "territorial integrity" lost through Mishiko's fault becomes less and less important. Lost ties with Abkhazians and Ossetians are ranked third for citizens of Sakartvelo (31% versus 45% last year).
The population of the republic is more concerned over unemployment and growth of prices. As Tabula.ge remarks, last year the inflation problem was important to 20% of respondents. Presently this index has drastically gone up - to 39%. The worst deterioration over the last three years is connected with the correlation between cleaning tax and electric energy consumption and increase in transport fares, as well as higher fees in kindergartens.
As for foreign policy that Mikheil Saakashvili is focused on, his aggressive rhetoric and constant insults against Moscow cause discontent of almost half of the respondents. 79% of the respondents favor a dialogue with Russia. By the way, only 45% consider Georgia a democratic country. No wonder: violent dispersions of oppositional demonstrations on May 26 and Robert Sturua's dismissal from the post of Rustavi theater art director for "wrong" political views were not left unnoticed by people of Georgia.
The most curious thing is that the authorities present results of this disastrous poll as their success. "The fact that citizens have a positive opinion of the level of democracy means that the process is moving ahead", - vice speaker of parliament Mikhail Machavariani said recently. Experts retaliate that importance of democracy and human rights are pushed back when the population has to face social, economic and household difficulties every day. "Civil sector and political life in Georgia are dull with national TV channels reporting on positive events only. Seeing this, a man can have an impression that the country lives in democracy, though it is media influence", - Valerian Gorgiladze, a sociologist believes.
The opposition believes, however, that people live in fear in Saakashvili's regime so they are afraid to respond categorically. If they had replied truly, the results of the poll would have been even more deplorable for the ruling team. Radical Laborists go to greater lengths saying that periodically published researches carried out by NDI in Georgia prepare the ground to falsification of the elections. "As usual, colonial institutes of the USA prepare the ground for total electoral falsification. With this in mind, the National Democratic Institute has carried out the so-called research turning things completely upside down", - he said.
What is NDI's recent research for Sakartvelo? In a conversation with GeorgiaTimes correspondent Giya Huhashvili, a Georgian expert for economic issues says that such problems as unemployment and price growth have always been essential for Georgia. "As for political issues, they simply fade into the background. Georgia has sunk into a sort of political nihilism. People have lost any hope for democracy. They see the authoritarian regime and expect no systemic changes in politics. The situation is only getting worse, so people get more focused on household issues. Not because political problems are solved: people just see no point in worrying about them", - our interlocutor believes.