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Public Discussion: The quality of the Moldovan political class: importance, current state and how to improve it
on the organization of the debate “The quality of the Moldovan political class: importance, current state and how to improve it”. Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. Public debates series held by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”
Held on 17 October 2017, Debate 78 brought together Vitalie Gamurari, Democratic Party Spokesperson; Grigore Novac, Socialist MP; Radu Marian, member of PAS Party’s National Bureau; Chiril Moțpan, secretary general of PDA Party; Vitalie Sprînceanã, sociologist; and Igor Boțan, director of ADEPT, the Project’s standing expert.
Why this subject and selection of speakers?
There are at least two reasons for this debate: an older and a newer one. The older one is the paradoxical situation—which can be seen almost through the entire period of Moldova’s existence as an independent state—where political parties and politicians, despite being the locomotive of state affairs, are now at their lowest levels of public support since Independence. Let’s try and see why this is happening and what can be done about this. The second reason is the recent adoption of a mixed voting system which the promoters touted as a way to improve the quality of the political class, among other benefits, and which would ultimately improve people’s lives.
Before the debate moved on to the situation of the political class in Moldova, the educational component of the Project required an introduction to give the basic definitions and notions, including the definition of the political class, its relationship with society, and the importance of having a high-standard political class.
In particular, ADEPT director Igor Botan, the IPN project’s standing expert, said the quality of the political class in Moldovan society leaves to be desired. The people’s attitude is reflected in opinion polls that are influenced by the discrepancy between words in the election campaign and post-campaign deeds. “This discrepancy is seen in the election campaigns of parties that are represented in the legislature. The people hear one thing, but then travel through the world and see how other people live and then come home, take part in elections, remember the electoral promises made by the main political forces, see this discrepancy and their assessments find a reflection in surveys,” stated Igor Botan, noting that the British political class in the case of the Brexit did things to its detriment so as not to allow for discrepancy between deeds and words.
Socialist MP Grigore Novac said things should not be generalized as the consistency in acts is different from one party to another. In Moldova, there are many political parties that were registered officially by the Ministry of Justice, active parties and parties that do not distinguish themselves. In the best case, these make themselves seen in the election campaign and state their opinion as to how the country should be governed. “On the one hand, there is politics. On the other hand, there is the citizen who accepts this path. I don’t think we can devote increased attention to those who point the finger at us and tell us what to do when a large part of the current political leaders, forming part of a coalition or another, Cabinet or those who are behind parties did business with oligarch and now struggle against them. This is at least cynical,” he stated.
Radu Marian, a member of the National Standing Bureau of the Party “Action and Solidarity” (PAS), said there are debates between the opposition and the government, but these do not center on policies and solutions, on the real problems. They center on political games and games behind the curtains. “I think it’s time to change this state and this can happen together with the appearance of a new generation of parties. The PAS brings the long-term country development view that has been absent during the past 26 years. We hope to deliver this view to the people. We will discuss solutions only for periods of four years and hope the next parties will try to have a long-term view,” he stated.
Vitalie Gamurari, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Moldova, said the Moldovan politicians represent the real state of society and this applies not only to Moldova, but also to any state. The political class should realize that it should not bring politicians from abroad, but should come to terms between them. The promotion of young people and new persons in politics will be to Moldova’s benefit. “The truth is that the people lost confidence in politicians during 26 years. I don’t say that those who are in power or in the opposition are perfect, but the attempt to reach a consensus was made at least by the Democratic Party during the past year and a half. It tries to be open for dialogue so as to be appreciated by the people. This is a situation by which the political class in Moldova could be modified in the future. I mean quantitatively and qualitatively as well,” stated Vitalie Gamurari.
Chiril Motpan, secretary general of the Political Party “Platform Dignity and Truth”, said there is now a big discrepancy between the political class and the people in Moldova. The political class created an authoritarian state, political police, submissive institutions and obedient media outlets. Therefore, the assessment of the political class is very relative. In the European states, the political class is built during many years, while the lack of professionalism in politicians generates lack of communication between the ruling political class and the extraparliamentary parties. The replacement of the political class is indispensable given that the situation now is absolutely detrimental to society.
Sociologist Vitalie Spranceana said the “microspore” examination applied at the level of the political class should be applied to parties apart so as to see how a part of society works. The parties recruit political leaders and engage them in the struggle for power. A difference should be made between party bureaucracy and those who hold political posts. If such a distinction is made, we see asymmetry of power, for example, inside the party, between the administration and members. The role of youth organizations and women’s organizations in providing new leaders should also be analyzed. In their speeches, the politicians during many years centered on such issues as the integration into the EU, entry into the Russian area or union with Romania. The renovation of the political class implies the renewal of the public narrative.
The Agency published 7 news stories on the debate (see the English version of www.ipn.md): on 117.10.17, „Quality of political class: importance, current state and ways of improvement, IPN debate” - http://ipn.md/en/special/87016; „Igor Botan: Problem of political class resides in discrepancy between words and deeds” - http://ipn.md/en/integrare-europeana/87014; on 18.10.17, „Grigore Novac: Sincerity of parties after 2009 has been not the expected one” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/87024; „Vitalie Gamurari: Political class should reach consensus” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/87025; „Chiril Motpan: There is big discrepancy between political class and people in Moldova” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/87026; „Vitalie Spanceana: “Microscope” examination should be applied to parties apart as well” - http://ipn.md/en/special/87027; „Radu Marian: Polemic between opposition and government does not center on solutions” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/87028.
IPN promoted the debate before and after the event, in particular the ensuing news stories, using all the available channels, including social networks. Confirmatory materials of deliverables, as well as a media coverage dossier are attached.
Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN
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