I actually expect our government officials to follow the rules and stop this BS. I am strong believer of meritocracy, how can I not be as an immigrant in a foreign country where my worth is viewed as what I am able to do and not who I know or who my dad is. This is also the way that I view other people, and also what I expect from other people. I expect there to be rule of law, something that does not exist in Armenia today. I expect Armenia to be a state of ideals not a corrupt hell hole that its population are trying to abandon on mass.The government is a reflection of its people. It doesn't matter who (which individual) is in charge, the reality is the oligarchs are a by-product of our society. If you took someone from the street who's constantly complaining about the oligarchs and criminals in government and you made him a millionaire overnight, in 99% of the cases he would act exactly the same way as the people he's criticising. I'm sure of this because if you look closely you'll see that corrupt state of mind everywhere around you. Just a simple example: A man goes to see a doctor who is a relative or a friend of the family. He arrives there and sees a whole bunch of people waiting for their turn. The doctor comes out to the waiting room and sees his relative, ignores the other people waiting there and calls the man in just because he knows him.
We see the same favoritism in politics although the impact of it is bigger, I think the smaller sin is just as wrong as the bigger sin. You can see many examples of this in our society but somehow, people like YOU expect our government officials to become saints when they reach office. Now honestly ask this question to yourself, how would you and the people close to you act when you were that man visiting the doctor? Would you say no and wait for your turn or walk in smiling, feeling good about yourself?
You can turn it as many times as you want but the situation will not change, the population of Armenia wants to leave the country today! There are many reasons for it, but the biggest and most important reason is that most of them cannot find a job in Armenia today. While a small elite that is connected to the regime, be the Sarkisian regime or the Kocharian regime or the LTP regime, are enriching themselves while the ordinary citizen is chocked by these criminals.
Armenia does not have the luxury of time. It has to change now or become a footnote in history! How long can Armenia take the exodus of its people? how many more years until there aren't enough people in the country to defend the border? The last two decades Armenia has seen a real brain drain, the first ones out where the highly educated ones. How many more of that can Armenia handle? The biggest difference is that the social and economical changes came with violence in many European countries, with workers rising up and demanding more rights. With strikes and riots, they demanded and got their rights. It was struggle for them to gain rights. While in other parts of the world a whole civil war was fought to free a part of the population and almost a hundred years there was need for more violence, strikes, marches to get things really changes. If you leave it up to the elites that rule the country nothing will ever change, because they fear that they will be the ones to lose power and wealth. Why do you think Carrefour is being kept away from the Armenian markets?What we need is an evolution in the mentality of our people, this takes generations but I believe (if everything remains stable) our people will reach that level of consciousness, where they understand that national interests should always come before personal interests. It takes time but we will get there, now that we have an independent Armenia - which is essential for developing this kind of mindset. You were educated in Belgium, you should know that not even a century ago Western Europe was also run by "oligarchs" as you call them. Then some (first one then two then others followed and politicians seeing the support it got from the population also followed) of these rich businessmen reached a level of consciousness where they understood it was their moral obligation to give something back to society. They initiated the movement for social benefits and workers rights.
Let us say tomorrow all blockades against Armenia will be abolished, will that change the economical situation in Armenia? Will there be a difference in 10 years? No it wont, the only difference will be that the rich in Armenia will get even more richer and will be able to buy a couple of more cars or build a hotel or a church. There will be no change for the ordinary Armenian because today there is no open economy in Armenia. There are artificial barriers of entry, these barriers are even illegal. They are not set up by the government, but are set up by the ones close to the government to protect the industry of their choice. How can Armenia grow today or tomorrow, when the price of oil is artificially controlled by the import monopoly of one oligarch? How will removing all of the dangers Armenia faces externally going to change that?Very simplistic statement you make here. Who are those people you're talking about? Do you mean Sarkis86, Vahram and the other patriots on here who actually understand there is more to it than just the oligarchs? And please the number of people whining about the oligarchs is far higher than the people who actually understand that there is more to it. Just read some of the discussions on facebook or blogs and you even have your own media (hetq, armenianow) which are always crying foul about the oh so bad oligarchs. Maybe we're just sick and tired of the constant crying, whining and pessimism which you and others like you propagate. While you people think about changing the government and removing the bad oligarchs, installing american style "democracy", human rights and other blabla - We actually think how we can work with what we've got and remove "the bad guys" gradually, when the time is right. Besides it's better to work with the "dog" you know than start a revolution and bring new "dogs" or foreign "dogs" to power and start all over again.
The only way that this can change is by popular demand of the people of reforms and today the Armenian population doesn't demand such a thing the only thing that they want is their man in power. So I feel it is my job to demand those things to raise them up, because no one else is.
The real danger to Armenia is not the Turkish or Azerbaijani military but the closed economy of Armenia, where some tugs can control the economy and buy off any official that they want. The ones that they cannot buy off they can remove by force. This reminds me very much of the same situation in Africa after the states gained independence there and 50-60 years most countries there are still dirt poor, and the ones that moved away from poverty like Botswana did that through pluralistic governments and economical institutions.
How can a force that is affiliated with criminals be respectable? When the brother of the president is one of the biggest oligarchs in the country? What does that say of our country when a person like that can become president? The only politician that I respect in Armenia today is Tigran Sarkisian, one of the reasons that I respect the man so much is that he is hated by every oligarch in the country. If one man can bring change it is him!Please, the RPA is the only respectable political force we have today. What about the PAP are they clear of "oligarchs"? Or even the ANC (remember sukiasyan)? The RPA needs to clean house but this also takes time. However our respectable president Serzh Sargsyan has started this process. Just think of the mayor in Gyumri (also RPA member) which rightfully got removed for mr. Balasanyan (PAP member) with the full support of the RPA! Not everything is as simple as you would like it to be.
Revolutions don't bring anything good, there have been enough examples for you to see the last couple of years. If you think it would somehow be different for Armenia you're dreaming. There is this saying in Armenian which I don't remember exactly word for word but it goes something like this: "Revolutions are thought out by "intellectuals" (typically the western educated, arrogant, brainwashed types), initiated/started by students (the hot blooded-not in control of their emotions types) and won by the "srikaner" (the "oligarchs" as you call them).
So a patriot to you is someone that follows the government and its policy with questioning it or its motives?