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Democratic Armenian Diaspora "DAD"

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  • Democratic Armenian Diaspora "DAD"

    It feels as a new start a great step,the idea of democratic election of representatives of armenian diaspora communities is indeed enthusiastic and promise better days for all of us and for our diaspora homelands.

    Conference Participants Enthusiastically Support Elective Diaspora Leadership By Harut SassounianPublisher, The California Courier After much anticipation and lengthy preparations, the Institute of Armenian Studies at the University of Southern California (USC) held on November 20 a successful international symposium - "The Armenian Diaspora: Elective Leadership and Worldwide Structure."
    The symposium was attended by 600 enthusiastic participants from throughout the United States, Canada, Russia, Australia, and Europe. The speakers were: Dr. Z.S. Andrew Demirdjian, Cal State University, Long Beach, 'The Persuasive Power of Numbers: A Call for Political Clout'; Dr. Archalus Tcheknavorian-Asenbauer, Senior UN Advisor, Vienna, 'Armenian Unity and International Politics'; Harut Sassounian, Publisher, The California Courier, 'Proposal for a Popularly Elected Structure to Represent Diaspora Armenians'; Dr. Gaidz Minassian, Foundation for Strategic Research, Paris, 'Toward a World Council of Armenians: Why, How, Who?'; Gov. George Deukmejian, 'Personal Reflections of California's First Armenian Governor'; Honorable Grigor Hovhannissian, Consul General of Armenia, Los Angeles, 'Welcoming Remarks'; former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans, 'Maximizing Influence in a World of Nation-States: A Challenge for the Armenian Diaspora'; journalist/author Mark Arax, Fresno, 'The Power of Speaking to the Media with One Collective Voice'; Dr. Levon Marashlian, Glendale Community College, 'The Necessity and Difficulty of Establishing a Diaspora Congress'; Dr. Stephan Astourian, Univ. of California, Berkeley, 'The Traditional Armenian Parties and the Problem of Pan-Armenian Coordination'; Dr. R. Hrair Dekmejian, USC and Dr. Nyree Derderian, Stanford University, 'Models and Modalities of Creating a Trans-Diaspora Framework,' followed by a round table discussion between the speakers and the audience.

    My own remarks were an expanded version of the article I wrote nine months ago, proposing the creation of a democratically-elected structure that would represent all Armenians in the Diaspora.

    I stated that a growing number of Armenians have realized that a collective effort is necessary if they are to survive as a dispersed ethnicity detached from its homeland. Beyond the need to preserve the Diaspora's vibrancy and cultural identity, Armenians share a common quest for justice from Turkey and a firm commitment for the security and economic prosperity of the twin Republics of Armenia and Artsakh. Armenians have finally concluded that they can benefit immensely from pooling their limited resources and jointly tackling common problems facing all Diaspora communities.

    As outlined in my February article, I elaborated about the framework of establishing an elected body that would legitimately represent Armenians throughout the Diaspora, except those in Armenia and Artsakh, who already reside in state structures with elected governments. Thus, for the first time in Diaspora's history, Armenians would elect their own representatives or leaders, on the basis of one-man, one vote.

    I also suggested that elections be held by Armenian communities to choose one representative for each group of 20,000 Armenians. The collective body of 350 representatives from all electoral districts throughout the Diaspora would become the entity that can legitimately claim to speak in the name of all seven millions Armenians, outside of Armenia and Artsakh. Popular elections would encourage the silent majority to get involved in community affairs. This would be a dramatic shift from the current situation where a small number of individuals work around the clock, sacrificing their time and effort, while most Armenians, who are unaffiliated with any organization remain disengaged and disinterested. Should such grassroots elections succeed, large numbers of Armenians would feel empowered and energized, having actively participated in choosing their leaders.

    The academic symposium held on Nov. 20 is the first of many steps necessary before launching the ambitious initiative of creating a worldwide representative structure. A team of researchers should now explore and determine the optimum mechanisms to conduct such elections, estimate the demography of each community, establish qualifications for both voters and candidates, and recommend measures to prevent voter fraud.

    Conference participants were particularly interested in hearing Dr. Minassian's presentation of a detailed plan unanimously approved by French-Armenian organizations to hold popular elections for a representative leadership early next year. The French experience could serve as a most valuable precedent for other Diaspora communities.

    It was made clear at the conference that a single electoral plan cannot be applied uniformly to all Armenian communities. Since each community lives in a unique legal and political environment, it would be necessary to devise an appropriate plan for selecting representatives in each country, in consultations with local leaders.

    It was interesting to note that when Prof. Dekmejian asked the audience if they favored an elective Diaspora structure, almost everyone raised their hands, indicating enthusiastic support for establishing a united Diaspora leadership framework.

    The proceedings of the symposium could be viewed on the following website:

  • #2
    Re: Democratic Armenian Diaspora "DAD"

    The full conference can be watched here.
    I am afraid it is a bit long.

    Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
    Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
    Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests


    • #3
      Re: Democratic Armenian Diaspora "DAD"

      Well great! Another democratic structure ripe for abuse, manipulation and corruption... I will bet this will have the same results the ANCA boasts of while in reality all it does is spin its wheels and takes in buckets of cash. I realy would like to be optomistic but not much in the diaspora gives me reason to feel that way. Instead of participating in nationbuilding most diaspora organizations prefer to waist their time and resources on empty promises and lies of the USA polititions. This makes them feel good since they can say "i called my congressman about the bill # blehblehbleh" when in reality it made absolutely no difference and will not even be heard by the politition. The diaspora needs to connect with the homeland and do what it can to improve life there so that one day we will want to go live there ourselves instead of waisting our time, money and other resources on empty promises as the armenian people assimilates into oblivion. I have gone over this before and will conclude with saying that it is the end result that will matter and the present course of the diaspora leads it exectly to where the turck intended it to go. Something different needs to be done.
      Hayastan or Bust.


      • #4
        Re: Democratic Armenian Diaspora "DAD"

        Gerard Cafesjian just warned about what Haykakan mentioned above.

        "If the exodus of people from the Republic of Armenia is not stanched, the Armenian people will eventually become extinct through intermarriage" thus making the Genocide of Armenians complete, Mr. Cafesjian warned.
        For the first time in more than 600 years, Armenia is free and independent, and we are therefore obligated
        to place our national interests ahead of our personal gains or aspirations.


        • #5
          Re: Democratic Armenian Diaspora "DAD"

          DAD is a great idea I’m its proponent too. Now it is the very time; polishing its ideological framework & organizational structure.

          It would be great if Armenian government, president and National Assembly will assist creating the organization offices in Diaspora & in Armenia itself, as a consultative body with detailed list of (clearly outlined & limited) responsibilities and obligations.
          Last edited by gegev; 12-24-2010, 10:40 PM.


          • #6
            Re: Democratic Armenian Diaspora "DAD"

            A dangerous and stupid idea. We have one country, one parliament, one Armenia. This ´extra´ government will just seperate the Diaspora Armenians more from Armenia. We do not need a ´second´ government compromised of stupid Diaspora individuals which Western countries can easily infiltrate.

            Diaspora Armenians just need to get involved in the current politics and socio-economic life in Armenia. If you want to change something, you have to do it from the inside, slowly but steadily this is being done.


            • #7
              Re: Democratic Armenian Diaspora "DAD"

              I saw Harout Sassounian on Armenian TV talking about “DAD”, I would say it’s a brilliant idea, bringing all the Diaspora Armenians together around one table democratically vote about issues that concerns our destiny and make them speak as one voice against Armenia’s and Armenians’ enemies.


              • #8
                Re: Democratic Armenian Diaspora "DAD"

                Originally posted by Yedtarts View Post
                ....and make them speak as one voice against Armenia’s and Armenians’ enemies.
                Isn't that more or less exactly what all of the many organisations that went before also stated they wanted?

                This new lot should have had the sense that within that core ideal ("legitimately claim to speak in the name of all seven millions Armenians, outside of Armenia and Artsakh") lies their inevitable and entirely predictable failure.

                But at least it means more banquets.
                Plenipotentiary meow!


                • #9
                  Re: Democratic Armenian Diaspora "DAD"

                  It cannot fail,it will only straighten the numerous diaspora communities and will try find ways of better representation.


                  • #10
                    Re: Democratic Armenian Diaspora "DAD"

                    No, bad idea. Armenian government represents the Armenian nation - creating a fake diaspora government will only increase division between diaspora and Republic of Armenia. Diaspora must submit to the Republic and fight for the interests of Armenia and the RA government.
                    Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
                    "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."