15 July 2020, Wednesday, 1:39
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Only One Idea, One Slogan, One Program Remains At This ‘Election’

Only One Idea, One Slogan, One Program Remains At This ‘Election’
Vital Tsyhankou

Anyone, but not him.

People understand that no beautiful reform programs, no geopolitical attitudes, or more reasonable laws make sense until the main question is resolved - “anyone, but not him.”

The stormy start of this election campaign showed that the most attractive and relevant slogan for the masses was the “as simple as life” call for the resignation of Lukashenka. After all, no positive, creative program today can unite, attract a fragmented, disunited, and betrayed Belarusian society.

Therefore, in these elections, people are primarily ready to support not those who have beautiful and correct programs, but those who, in their opinion, are more likely to overthrow Lukashenka. For some, this is a radical blogger Tsikhanouski, for others - former representatives of the “nomenclature” Tsapkala and Babaryka.

We noticed that attempts to catch Babaryka and Tsikhanouski on some unsuccessful statements, point out any contradictions in their words almost do not affect their supporters? After all, this is not important for people now. And the only thing that matters is whether this person has a chance to remove Lukashenka from power. This is what people ask, what interests them is how serious this candidate is, whether he is really ready to fight for power, whether he has a chance.

In this sense, even accusations that Moscow is behind someone can have the opposite effect. Indeed, for some, the possible “Moscow is behind their back” is a terrible sedition, and for others - “well, let Moscow at least help to overthrow him if we cannot.”

All “politics”, all economic programs, all geopolitical orientations of potential rivals have moved aside, by and large, they are not important for the general public. Participants in the initiative groups of various candidates who are now collecting signatures testify that the people who come to sign are not interested in the views of the candidate, but ask only about one thing: “Is he against Lukashenka? Then I will sign. ”

Perhaps the contenders themselves felt this, realizing that no one was interested in their deep thoughts about economic reforms. At the first press-conference, Valer Tsapkala talked for hours about economic schemes, about China and Singapore, but after a few days (perhaps feeling the mood of the audience), he turned to mocking remarks about cows and goats of Lukashenka. Viktar Babaryka, in general, refuses to unequivocally answer “this-or-that” in the style of fundamental political issues, thereby emphasizing that he wants to be acceptable to the majority of the electorate.

The society (at least the part that does not perceive the current government) has moved from the question “Who, if not he?” to the statement: “Anyone, but not him.” And, I think, it cannot be said that in such a formulation people show their naivety or political illiteracy. Not being political scientists, people understand that the current system is so tailored to one specific surname that any other name at the top of power automatically means a change in life and, in a sense, the destruction of the authoritarian system itself. And the state of the society now is such that most are ready to welcome any changes, believing that “it will be no worse.” People just feel that the current shameful situation is caused not by some objective reasons, bad laws or underdevelopment of the Belarusian society, but in many ways by the desire of one particular person to stay in power.

And there is a story about the coronavirus, which has proved to many that government decisions that affect the health and lives of thousands of people are determined not by professionalism and competence of officials at all levels, but by the ideological obsession, political interests, and character of the ruler.

People understand that no beautiful reform programs, no geopolitical attitudes, or more reasonable laws make sense until the main question is resolved - “anyone, but not him.”

Vital Tsyhankou, Radio Svaboda