Inter-party Negotiations in a Time of Crisis: What Hinders an Effective Dialogue?
The Content of Political Dialogue: Issue-based VS Not Issue-based
The lack of issue-based communication is one of the most commonly cited factors which hinders political parties from pursuing reasonable political campaigns in line with national objectives. This remains a long-standing challenge for Georgian political culture. Issue-based discussions are not of primary importance for political parties. The lack of issue-based debates can be clearly seen in the ruling party’s absence from inter-party public discussions. Consequently, a meaningful and reasonable discussion around current policies is virtually impossible. Additionally, the majority of the parties do not actually have a realistic, result-oriented political program of their own. Political campaigns rely on promises directed towards manipulating the electorate, with meaningful, inter-party debates around electoral issues almost non-existent.
Moreover, some political party representatives point out in their interviews that small parties are, “compelled” to replace their original rhetoric with more radical rhetoric in order to maintain their visibility in a competition with the bigger parties. Based on the aforementioned logic, political communication is predominantly focused on these not issue-based, “anti-campaigns,” which turns into aggressive rhetoric directed towards political opponents with the aim of attracting voters. Issue-based inter-party communication can be a solution to this ongoing political deadlock. It has a potential to both become a starting point for an effective dialogue in the short-term, and for establishing a compromise-based political culture in the long-term.