It’s usually what I think whenever I see a Georgian politician making a fool of himself, but since Bidzina was elected I’m feeling much more of what the Army used to call a ‘sense of urgency’.
The fact is, Georgians just don’t understand what democracy is. The idea behind it is to vote for whatever you want, but to respect what the other chap next to you thinks as well. The elections of October were paraded as being a historic point in Georgia’s history since they were the first democratic elections, which is entirely true…up to a point.
In my view (and the view of almost every other European/sensible Yank) the elections weren’t democratic at all, since most of the Georgian Dream voters were injected with some kind of Bidzina fanaticism. Whenever you’d speak to a Georgian Dream supporter, a glazed look would appear in their eye as they told you how wonderful he was and about the evils Saakashvili had committed during his terms. I wondered, half-seriously, whether watching Bidzina’s TV9 station had actually brainwashed them. The way they paraded through the streets on the election night wasn’t very democratic at all. In fact, it was reminiscent of a South American country ushering in a new dictator.
To a British person like me, democracy is just the best possible system available, and we all know that it isn’t flawless. We don’t even like the people we vote for, since nothing is very likely to change and it’s known all politicians are lying bastards anyway. Georgians, however, do not think like us. Remember that these are hot-headed and impatient people who, if calling someone who doesn’t answer, rather than wait an hour and try again or just send a message, will call the number again and again until the phone is picked up. Or when knocking on the door, it will take the owner of the property to actually turn up behind them and tell them they weren’t home. They are persistent, strong-willed to the point of ignorance, but surprisingly fickle where their politicians are concerned; the ones who were cheering for Saakashvili ten years ago are the same people who are now baying for his blood to be spilled.
Georgians have been promised a perfect system to replace the dictatorship of communism…and because of their hopes and dreams exaggerating the effectiveness of the system, they will not let anyone tell them different. Debates quickly turn into shouting matches, and peaceful protests are non-existant. Violent riots, however, are still on the menu.
I’m referring of course to the people gathered outside of the National Library to protest against Saakashvili’s planned speech and the UNM party in general. People were injured, and the American ambassador was forced to unceremoniously exit through the back door (all to the good, I hate the smug bastard). Then of course there was last night, wherein two MPs from either party had a fight on live television.
I don’t think Georgians realise (or want to realise) that their future depends on the international community, and observers from other countries don’t just judge possible EU membership (or whatever) on economic growth and social stability. Why, most of the political observers I met in October were clueless about Georgia, and stared around themselves like rabbits in the headlights as Georgian men shouted to their friends (who were standing two feet from them) about Bidzina, or girls, or football (which, I think, are the only three topics of conversation your average Georgian men is capable of).
My point is that these international observers don’t understand that when Georgian Dream supporters drive their cars through the streets screaming and shouting, it is just Georgians being Georgians. No, what they see are fanatical Eastern European lunatics who they don’t want anywhere near the European Union. But it applies for Georgian politicians, too, the kind of people who should know better. I’m all for settling differences the good old fashioned way by introducing my fist to another chap’s face, but at present I’m not in any position of responsibility and I sure as hell wouldn’t think about it on national TV. Did neither of those morons last night stop to think that if they let the other chap go crazy, they themselves would retain the moral high ground and make the other party look like violent lunatics? Furthermore, did they not consider the possibility that it will damage their international image? The Americans will groan, the Europeans will shake their heads and say ‘definitely not’, and the Russians will shrug and assume Georgia is going back to its old ways and will soon be under their influence again. Did they honestly not consider that? Of course they didn’t. And why?
Because they’re Georgians.
It’s all part of the fact that Georgians believe that what happens in Georgia should stay in Georgia, and it’s nobody’s business but theirs. Why should Georgian internal affairs affect their international relations? After all, it’s no business of the Americans or the Europeans if there’s friction between GD and UNM.
Obviously that’s rubbish, but good luck trying to convince a Georgian of that. I could write more on this, but you’ve got the point, and the gym is calling. Maybe I’ll edit this later…or not. Who cares?