Apathy, Monkeys & Roosters: People Should Stop Blaming the Animals

According to the Chinese calendar the Year of the Monkey is followed by the Year of the Rooster. Astrologers warn us that the lies, scandals and conflicts of a fire monkey will be replaced with the swagger, arrogance and aggression of a rooster. Apparently, we will have to continue being highly cautious in 2017, as we were the year before. In short, we shouldn’t hope for anything better in the coming year, especially when the main political event of the coming Rooster year will be elections, just as it was in the Monkey’s 2016.

The local elections will be held in October, while the main political battles are expected beforehand. However, as this year’s post-parliamentary-electoral period revealed, events are developing in a direction which could lead to the Georgian Dream being without a single competitor next autumn. And the reason will be simple: there will be no organized political power left in the country. After their failure in the parliamentary elections, Georgia’s pro-European political wing has completely disappeared from the radars. Some of their leaders simply left politics, others the country, while some decided to reach an agreement with the government. The United National Movement remains the one and only oppositional power, though the ongoing internal controversy in the ex-governmental party is like a loaded gun. And this process further enhances the unfortunate prediction that in October the political pitch will be completely clear for the current government.

Apparently, billionaire and ex-Premier Bidzina Ivanishvili’s words about the cleared political field are coming true. At the time, Ivanishviili pronounced that only two political subjects would be present. However, it seems this time he went too far. Georgia is meeting the New Year with vanished dreams and an economic stroke. People no longer believe the Georgian Dream’s promises about next year being “very good”. Economists rule out the strengthening of the national currency and if the processes continue in the direction they are heading, the governmental party will have to start thinking about new lies for the upcoming local governmental elections. Analysts believe that if the government continues to destroy the economy at this pace, neither the elections nor their lies will help them, no matter who comes up with them, even Ivanishvili himself.

In light of the economic distress, protests are being forecast. Discussions about alleged demonstrations have become so frequent and you can also hear thoughts on why people aren’t coming out in streets now or why they have become so inert. “If this was Misha’s times...” – they say. Indeed, it is interesting why Georgian society has become so passive today and why it was so active during the previous government? Whether the rebel rooster will kick-start society or not will probably depend on the government. However, if we remember President Shevardnadze’s times, the situation then was much more difficult than today and people did not protest in streets, not until Saakashvili turned up.

Perhaps the urge for peace and relaxation is currently so strong that the mental majority of the population is ready to endure literally anything, if only to avoid changes. This could also serve as an explanation for the UNM’s defeat in this year’s parliamentary elections. People preferred Bidzina’s ‘mediocrity’, ‘free money’ and ‘free loans’ to Misha’s ‘modernization’. What the electorate will choose next autumn is hard to predict. But we can safely say that the only concern of the current government is to somehow “drag” itself peacefully along until those local government elections. The rest will be revealed on polling day.

If we look into the history of the government’s pre-election lies, the one from 1995 by President Shevardnadze about one million jobs leads the race. Georgian Dream’s promise about free money can’t get even close, not to say anything about the promises of the United National Movement about “a lot needs to be done” or “deeds instead of words.” The most important concern for us should be being able to tell the truth from the lies, at least during these upcoming elections, so that we won’t have to blame our worsened lives or that of our country for another four years on some dragons, goats, monkeys or a rooster.

Zaza Jgarkava

29 December 2016 19:18