Artificial ‘offside’

Artificial ‘offside’

There is a stream in the mosaic of different opinions associated with the upcoming parliamentary elections, which offers to actively boycott the elections and resolve all the problems on the street. If allowed to make a parallel with football, it is something like an artificial “offside” that requires highly agreed and synchronized actions from the team. If one of the defenders at a certain point does not run ahead the rest, it is not an offside situation and the goalkeeper remains all by himself with the forward. In the case where the significant part of the society is in favor of the boycott, and this movement has pronounced leaders and organizers with their plan worked out in advance, in that case, yes, the boycott might work. But today, the majority of the opposition participates in the elections and fulfills an appropriate propaganda. In this case, boycotting would be donating votes to the authorities.
As for the “street”. Different people understand different things under it. Usually, from about 1992, the opposition understand following steps under it: gather a certain number of people in the Freedom Square, make them come to the “right quality requirement” and then lead them to Baghramyan 26 demanding the president’s resignation and immediate regime change. Over 24 years, the “street” has not reached its goal in this sense. And I think it’s very good. Because if the assault at the president’s or in the near future, the prime minister’s residence ended with success for one time, then two months later, another group being sure that it is possible to do a change of regime in this way will do this attempt too. And so on and so forth. Even if we put the external challenges aside, purely from the perspective of internal life, it will not solve any problem both in the economy and politics.
However, this does not mean at all that the street protests: the peaceful rallies, pickets, and marches do not play an important role in the political struggles. Simply, these platforms cannot be just a means of conveying information (now, there are many alternative means), nor a place for “improvisation” of politicians: “People, who go for going to Baghramyan-26”, “No, let’s go to the prosecutor’s office,” “No, the right thing to do is to block the street.” The organizers of street struggles must have clearly elaborated plan in advance, which must be as it is common to say, a part of “hybrid”, also parliamentary, also campaign struggle.
And most importantly, it should be clear what the political forces want to do on the street or through elections. So far, we do not hear anything else other than empty words.

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