What is it all about?


Democracy, ostensibly purports the public domain in politics, which is good. Seemingly, of course! It took Humankind almost two millennia to make it popular enough for the world to recognize its merits, although the flaws it has are just as easy to see. I have nothing against the people’s rule in general, but because it is indeed the rule of a big bunch of individuals, and not of a solo man or woman, it is accompanied by a lot of blah-blah, and embellished with plenty of sugared promises to the citizenry about a better life, brought around by a running politician. And a politician can join the marathon only in the arena called elections. Elections! What is it all about?

An election is about democracy, and vice versa: democracy is about elections, and so they determine and balance each other out in compliance with the rules made valid and available by the crowd, organized into a congregation of citizens who, having been elected by the population, are allowed to make the rules of the game, known as public life. This is where my story starts: the Georgian electoral epic taking place in the country every once in a while, only that while seems like an eternity to the politicians who strive to move into the governing slot from the bench of its opposition.

Any politician’s wildest dream is to elbow his or her way via the thick of the public onto the ruling dais, from where, in case of good electoral luck, the viewfinder will start reflecting the people’s life and the nation’s fate like the images in a funhouse mirror. The elected legislators and executives immediately turn around so much that the second they get elected they look like a switch turned: amnesia takes over and the happy feeling of bad times gone digs in for a long while. The key electoral word anywhere around the globe, including Georgia, is ‘change’, which either happens or not as a consequence of the nervous prolonged electoral process.

Elections, the strongest and the most indispensable tool of democracy, have become a natural part of our life, being one of the most prodigal spenders of our funds, squandering the money with such an extravagance that nobody knows exactly how to account for the imposed-on-us expenditure. Those who don’t spend do not get elected, this is what they say and I have heard, so the impression is that money can push forward any person with even mediocre political capabilities but smart enough to go and get the dough! Is this fair? No, it is not, but it has become a rule and we have gotten used to it.

What if I conclude that democracy will not function without elections and elections can’t work without money? If this is true, then we might think that in most cases, not the smartest and the ablest would come to the helms of the nation, because of those unavoidable financial vibes of the electoral campaigns. You cannot eschew campaigning if you want to find yourself on top of the governing machine, and campaigning means a lot of sweat and gullibility on top of the mammon devil.

I always have a question ready to tickle the wits of my potential respondent: why does it make sense to use that much physical, pecuniary, intellectual and moral energy of the nation on something that provides us with no stable guarantee that the selfsame nation will find itself in the strongest possible hands, controlled by the sharpest intellect, for all of us to be sure that our labor, freedom and security are not threatened by the stupidity of an accidentally elected individual only because somebody said that a democratically organized society is the best version for managing a human life? I understand that we are cornered in this political model, but could we at least make the best and the most adequate choice, even if we are captives of the system, the perpetuation of which is a matter of centuries? I love sarcasm, but it is not lethal enough to get rid of what is not perfect and ideal, and bring in something to more adequately fit into our routine, so let’s make use of what is available, but with enough smarts to help.

By Nugzar B. Ruhadze

Image by Marco Verch

10 September 2020 16:17