On June 18, during the first extraordinary cabinet meeting, Serzh Sargsyan said referring to members of the government that better performance is expected from them because not only the president and the parliament but also the society is following them, since the latter has become more open.
At first sight, this protocol or formal statement has a real context, and the government, the system in general and the society should not treat it skeptically.
Serzh Sargsyan is not just hinting about the possibility to use public opinion but also the impossibility of internal backstage agreements. They will have to take the society into consideration. In this sense, Serzh Sargsyan’s words are consistent with domestic developments.
The society’s role is increasing with the development of the IT and communication media.
And here comes the important thing, the non-formal one.
Information is becoming more and more accessible rendering it almost impossible to hide anything. Especially thanks to the internet and mobile phones life no longer has blank spots. Any move becomes visible receiving public reaction.
We have the fresh example of the crime in Harsnakar Restaurant. It is evident how the attitude of the authorities towards the incident is changing under the pressure by the society.
The incident sent the society into a fury. The web is full of assessments and complaints, the information about the incident keeps flowing, completing the picture but all this is happening not thanks to the work of the state structures but the mass media.
As a result, if no one was detained immediately after the incident and only one person was guilty, two days later the persons involved in the beating incident are being identified, as the case is assigned to the General Investigation Department of the Police. The Police issued a statement expressing its determination to rule out unlawful actions. The statement by the owner of the restaurant Ruben Haytrapetyan is also a result of the public pressure. His statement is very interesting since the MP was just trying to excuse himself and wash his hands of the crime.
There is no doubt that without public pressure the authorities would never issue so many statements on this incident in two days.
The society is not almighty, of course, it is even unable to trigger systemic changes but the important thing is the growing the public conscience along with technological development. This development expedites change of public conscience.
This will inevitably lead to re-evaluation of the role of the society in domestic and foreign affairs.
The pace and dynamics of this process may not satisfy a lot of people but the process cannot be stopped. It will be moving on automatically and the only problem of the society will be the dynamics.