Democracy is a Process...
On the subject of democratic development in Armenia, Democracy Guy reacts angrily — although some would say justifiably so — to talk of building a democracy being a process. This is especially so when those that say such things are allegedly on the payroll of Armenian lobbying groups in the United States.
Republican Senators Chuck Hagel and Norm Coleman visited Armenia recently, and in between shopping for rugs and drinking Armenian cognac, apparently mistook the place for a democracy.
Coleman’s remarks seemed at odds with the strong US criticism of the last Armenian presidential election in 2003. The State Department said at the time that Armenian authorities “missed an important opportunity to advance democratization.”
Before you think Coleman and Hagel were either drunk or asleep the entire trip, it’s important to note that the trip was sponsored by the Armenian Assembly of America, the powerhouse lobbying group of diasporan Armenians.
For this purpose, the “democracy is a process not an event” horseshit suits them just fine. And American politicians are just petty enough to let a campaign contribution and a trip to buy some nice rugs and trinkets in Armenia pull the wool over their eyes. Democracy may be a process, but it can only begin with one thing…free elections. Period.
According to Democracy Guy — and few would disagree with him — there has been not yet been any precedent of democratic elections in Armenia — well, perhaps with the exception of the first ever presidential elections that brought LTP to power (although someone correct me if I’m wrong). Since then, however, it’s all been down hill. Anyway, his full blog can be read online here.