Public Expectations

5 m.   |  2019-07-01

To many problems, not enough time. 

E vents, which took place in Armenia in spring of 2018, finally led to the change of political power. The huge dissatisfaction towards the previous powers reached its peak, which as a result of the April events, led to the change in power. The shortcomings were not so much economic policy, it was a matter of how all these influenced society and public perception. Understanding this from this point of view is important for us, as we can explain inner-political processes and public attitudes while observing it within the same prism.

The revolution brought a great wave of expectations, which continues till this days. The more problems were accumulating, the greater was the expectation becoming for the new government. Moreover, the accumulated problems were always largely fundamental and it is impossible to record any changes during the first several months or even the last year of the new government. 

The Artsakh conflict is an example in which the difficulties are portrayed, and grabs a large part of public resources: including general concerns, internal and external tensions, anxiety of a resumption of war, large financial and diplomatic resources, constant employment of information field and significant part of public attention. 

The high level of poverty and the solution of other social issues require long-term efforts by the government, as it closely depends on the increase in salaries of budget-funded organizations that is from state budget incomes and the increase in financial turnover including private sector activation. 

The increase in pensions also closely depends on the increase of the state budget, which can only occur due to the increase in tax revenues. The latter, in its turn, depends on the growth of investments and activation from the private sector. That means that the growth of investment has an important place in the solution of social problems, which requires political stability, legal regulation and economic attractiveness. 

  1. The establishment of political stability after the post-revolution require some time for making sure that political and economic atmosphere is favorable for investments. 
  2. Legal issues, overcoming the filling of injustice, regulation of corrupt systems. On the one hand, reconsideration of scandalous cases under the law, on the other, anti-corruption events. Vetting is among the tools used at this stage of system regulation, which is time-consuming, by taking into account international experience, forming a necessary legislative base and implementation of practical steps within the entire judicial system. Let’s note, that apart from the fact that how much this process will justify, actually, the authorities chose this tool and its passage will require quite a long time. 
  3. Besides political stability and regulation of the legal field, economic attraction has an economic component, which first of all implies a regulation of taxation and legislation. We should note, that the solution to the same problem was in the midst of the former authorities. Being a complicated issue, it is objectively time-consuming until finding the full compliance model of tax legislation to the economic environment of our country.

Energy, infrastructure field: This is one of the most politicized issues, which is interconnected both with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and with the relations with Russia, US and the EU. The width of this issue speaks about the difficulty and slowdown of the development. 

Demography is characterized as a result-problem, as it is a consequence of many fundamental problems. You cannot take and separately solve the demographic problem: first, it is necessary to involve investments, raise salaries, overcome poverty, and solve the energy issue and geopolitical issues.  

We should also mention that all these challenges are general objectives and are not only unique to Armenia. These goals refers to any country and society. Such fundamental issues can also be listed in the field of agriculture, health and law enforcement.

This is what these few examples show us. It is obvious that all these fundamental problems are interconnected and it is impossible to achieve progress without a solution to one of them. The public expressed its dissatisfaction and formed a new government led by Nikol Pashinyan, expecting regulation to all these problems. Whereas the same public is rushing the new government and as the latest media has showed, is not ready to give the new government sufficient time in solving these problems. 

The problem is within the public perception. Directive or not-directive criticism addressed towards the authorities creates public haste. Based on the surveys conducted by “GALLUP International association” at the end of April, 2019, 65% of the population trusted the authorities in general: this index is 10% less compared with those registered in September. This is a result of inadequate public expectations towards the period of time given to the authorities. 

Observing this reality with the prism of propaganda challenges, it can be emphasized, that the efforts of the government aimed at promoting media literacy, should also involve detailed coverage of these fundamental issues for different public layers for the adequate perception of information and for reducing the impact of manipulation. 

It is necessary to present the importance of applied details to the public, as well as their role in the solving processes of these fundamental issues, in order the public could better understand what this or that small thing does and what purpose it will serve in the future.  

Please note that this article is a translation from original Armenian.

[1] «8-10 տոկոս նվազում կա». Արամ Նավասարդյանը՝ Նիկոլ Փաշինյանի վարկանիշի մասին, 14.05.2019թ.