Inter-party Negotiations in a Time of Crisis: What Hinders an Effective Dialogue?
The Personalization of Politics
Some experts and political party representatives point out that Georgian politics is overly focused on personalities with political processes overwhelmingly revolving around specific political figures. According to respondents, the intensity of the language employed by a political actor is often determined by the target of the message. This kind of approach is an obstacle to the formation of a reasonable political environment or an effective political dialogue. It is also worth noting that research shows the Georgian electorate is facing the same problem, prioritizing a specific candidate rather than the party the candidate represents. In modern-day Georgian politics, personalized political discussions are mostly focused on the individual leaders of political parties in the country. This practice makes the party platforms and issue-based narratives less prevalent.
For example, the rhetoric employed towards the United National Movement often revolves around Mikheil Saakashvili. It is worth noting that certain members of the ruling party even linked Nika Melia’s detention to the personal ambitions of Saakashvili. On the other hand, the rhetoric directed towards the Georgian Dream is usually focused on Bidzina Ivanishvili and his personality. The opposition at one point even mentioned that Ivanishvili’s departure from the party and politics would further delegitimize the parliament as there is a perception that, “those who voted for 41[Georgian Dream], … did so because of Ivanishvili”.
Political, “assaults” directed towards specific people is a dominant mechanism of Georgian party politics. Unlike issue-based constructive rhetoric, this type of communication can be easily transformed into a defamation strategy through personalized negative campaigns.