The U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern dwelt on the factor of the civil society in Armenia in his video blog.
Everyone is focused on this factor. Some are amazed by the activeness of the civil society, its success, others consider it useless work which is unable to change the system, yet others think it is government’s project and PR, while some people are just indifferent others treat this factor with political jealousy.
No doubt a new platform has been formed in Armenia, the seeds of which were visible years ago, which has become a more or less stable environment with systemic tendencies.
The main issue of the civil society is the formation of the civil society itself which will be an alternative to the current political system and will make it change and become more adequate to the civil changes, or it will definitely separate the system from the society creating a new one instead.
The political system is obviously unable to respond to social needs and demands of the population anymore. In addition, the issue is not only the formulated or visible needs and claims. Perhaps, there are many other claims that the society has not formulated yet, it may not have even realized the existence of those issues but one of the elements of viability of the modern political system is to notice the important needs and claims which are still unformulated, the strategic priorities of the society and to get to their solution.
The political system has not been solving any issue in Armenia for a long time now, neither the government, nor the opposition. So, it is up to the society to set up a new system capable of solving its issues. This system may be a civil one, free from parties.
There is a nuance though.
We know that almost all the political forces have authoritarian or totalitarian rule, the parties lack internal democracy, and the grassroots are not decision makers but decision approvers. Whoever disagrees with the decisions is declared a traitor, conspirator etc.
Meanwhile, each party has honest members who think otherwise, who are individuals and are not guided by party interests only, are free from the political dogmas established in twenty years of independence which worship individuals. But the authoritarian or totalitarian atmosphere in the party represses them.
The non-party civil system may be the right environment for those individuals who could express their personal, human and creative qualities enhancing the efficient use of that resource of the society, for change of government and establishment of a new political field and atmosphere.
In this sense, the civil society may be the garden where the dying resource of the party desert will grow.