The FINANCIAL - Opinion

After 29 years in the survey business with access to rich data archives, I can confidently describe the dynamics of Georgian society in numbers and speculate about trends. In previous columns, I wrote about the evolution of positive attitudes towards the Georgian armed forces and how trust in political parties has dramatically declined over the last two decades. In this column I will present trust curves of two other important institutions: the press and trade unions. Why the press and trade unions in the same column? Simply because both are important pillars in any modern society that can sometimes be very useful in improving quality of life. And, you can see the drastic declines of both by glancing at Chart 1. 

Democracy’s need for political parties is fundamental is almost never questioned but some countries have figured out how to have democracy without political parties. These smart nations are the six Pacific islands of Nauru, Tuvalu, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia. I am sure that very few readers of this column have ever even heard of them. But we Georgians know them, at least Nauru and Tuvalu and not because our high school geography curriculum is biased towards the largest ocean. It’s simply because these two democracies (considered as such by reputable international organizations) decided to toe the Kremlin’s line and recognize occupied territories of Georgia as independent states in 2011.

The FINANCIAL -- The Belt and Road Initiative, is a significant development strategy launched by the Chinese government with the intention of promoting economic co-operation among countries along the proposed Belt and Road routes. 


Over the last ten years, the number of those who remain skeptical about a return trip to Earth after death remains the same, roughly seven out of ten. However, if we compare those who do believe in reincarnation, the number has doubled -- from 9% in 2008 to 18% in 2018.

It is said that Franklin D. Roosevelt won the 1932 U.S. presidential election with the help of the radio, John F. Kennedy won the presidency by embracing Television and Barack Obama succeeded by virtue of the Internet. News media, which allows for political socialization, is one of the most potent tools in a politician’s hands. As Malcolm X explained: “The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have power to make the innocent guilty and make the guilty innocent, and that’s the power. They control the minds of masses.” The question then is: Which kind of media has the capacity to control the “minds of masses” in Georgia? Which media is the most powerful tool in Georgian politicians’ hands and finally, who is the audience?

When the Soviet Union started flirting with political openness 30 years ago and lost its grip, democratic governance became the only alternative for much of Eastern Europe, whether the people were prepared for it or not. With the geopolitical chess match of the Cold War over, many dictators lost their legitimacy and were removed from power by force or the ballot.

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