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PARUYR HAYRIKYAN AGAINST EXISTING DEMOCRATIC SYSTEMS
Moderator
Michael Mirziashvili
Director of project Georgi Vanyan opens the hearing: Today in Tekali we have gathered people from Noyemberyan and surrounding border villages, Marneuli, Tbilisi, Baku, and Yerevan who are not indifferent to our future. This gives me hope and, why not, confidence that this geographical cross-border point of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia can become a cultural and spiritual center of the South Caucasus. At today's hearing of the South Caucasus Court on Human Rights we will consider the claim by Paruyr Hayrikyan against existing democratic systems. The defendant will be Zardusht Alizade. The main figure - moderator - of this hearing will be Michael Mirziashvili. I think that after what I now will say half of, my friends will be angry with me and perhaps half the population of our region will be so too, but I consider him to be the intelligence, honour and conscience of the South Caucasus. So, I guarantee a fair trial under Michael Mirzishashvili and pass the microphone to him.

Michael Mirziashvili: Dear friends, I greet you all! As you can see, I successfully replaced the Communist Party of the USSR without being even a former member of it.

The moderator introduces procedures of the hearing to the audience and gives the floor to Paruyr Hayrikyan to present the Claim.
Minutes
of the civil hearing
held 18 July 2011
in the village of Tekali
(Georgia).

Plaintiff:
Paruyr Hayrikyan
Defendant:
Zardusht Alizade
Paruyr Hayrikyan, Plaintiff: I thank you for the invitation and applaud this initiative in the global sense because civil initiatives remain the only hope in terms of our interaction. Unfortunately, nowadays our state leaders are busy with everything but the real world.

I consider today's topic is very important not only for our region, but also, excuse my immodesty, for the whole of mankind as most problems have occurred and continue to occur in the world because we have yet to make use of real democracy. Of course, I consider Zardusht Alizade not as an opponent on this subject, but only as a conversationalist even the format of the hearing is such that we oppose each other.
No vote given for the benefit of any candidate will remain outside the process of managing the state because of the theoretical imperfection of parliamentary systems.
I must start with this - I am for real democracy and against existing democratic systems because currently the existing democracies are not democratic enough.

Democracy is in crisis. It is one of the concerns worrying the civilised world. Even in countries which are considered as democratic there is an apparent apathy among citizens to democratic processes and institutions. That is elections, political leaders, parliaments, and elected state officials. As a result, there is a very low percentage of civil participation at elections and a small percentage of people believe in the importance of their participation at the elections. The reason for this mass frustration is because existing democratic systems are not wholly democratic.

What racing progress our civilization has achieved for the past century and with what perseverance these democratic systems have been conserved for 100-200 years! Try to imagine how we would feel if flights were replaced with wagons, computers were replaced with dice, light bulbs with kerosene lamps and candles, and if modern medicine were replaced with mediaeval sorcery. At the same time we do not see, and do not want to see, that our current democratic systems are in the middle ages and even earlier times of civilisation when it comes to social science.

The basis of democracy lies in demos - nation. Nation means people, a community of people. In order to achieve a genuine democracy we should always remember that democracy starts with the subject expression of a person's free will. We have to verify that the most important angle here is an individual with their rights and in particular with the right to equal participation in state management.

Citizens are equal only on the day of elections by voting. This is the main shortfall of existing democratic systems. From the day of counting the votes and the establishment of the parliament starts discrimination which lasts until the next vote. Only one day in every 3, 4, or 5 years...

In 2000 your humble servant started using the term of citizens' representation coefficient. Parliament forms as a result of elections. Consequently it is a representative body of citizens who participated during elections. It is not difficult to determine the level or size of representation of each citizen at the elections. For example, in the US House of Representatives in the case of A each voter of the congressman who received 300,000 votes is represented in 1/300,000 part of parliamentary vote and in the case of B each voter of the congressman who received 250,000 votes is represented in 1/250,000 part of a parliamentary vote. From point of view of equality there is a disparity approximately in 20%. But we are talking about equality. If there is a disparity, then equality is violated. But this is the case when voters have a representative in Congress or in parliament. But how can we explain the fact that the voters of the candidates who lost in the elections with 150,000 votes in District A and 249,999 votes in District B are not represented in the parliament at all? That is, if we want to calculate the coefficient of voters' representation then we have to divide 0 by 150,000 or 249,999. The coefficient equals zero and a significant number of voters are not represented in the parliament. It turns out that the principle of equality in the countries which are considered as citadel of democracy does not in fact exist.

In 2002-2003 we put into use the formula of democracy in countries as a tool of arithmetic expression of the level of democracy. This formula enables us to have generalized criteria to gauge democracy. Using this formula helps us estimate and compare levels of democracy in different countries. American specialists have been using this formula for 6 or 7 years. Years later this very formula helped us find a way to turn existing democratic systems into genuinely democratic ones. According to the Formula of democracy in the countries, the percent of democracy in the country (PDC) is expressed as:
Every member of the parliament should vote in accordance with the vote they received (and also in accordance with the votes delegated to the member of parliament by the candidates who lost). That is, in parliament the number of voters participating in each election should correspond to the number of votes.
PDC = R/V * F * E * H * J * L * 100% ,

where V is the number of citizens who participated at the elections in a particular country; R is the number of citizens who gained their representative in the parliament as a result of elections; F is a coefficient which shows the frequency of parliamentary elections; E is a coefficient which shows the appointment of the head of executive power by election; H is a coefficient which shows the frequency of elections of executive power; J is a coefficient showing the manner of formation of judicial power, and L is a coefficient showing the frequency of the formations of the local authorities.

In the theory of state there is a sign of equation among three main branches of the power. This is logical otherwise the three branches would not be able to control and balance each other. It is to the point and even necessary to constitutionally fix the principle of division and mutual balancing of the legislative, executive and judicial powers. But it is clear that the representative mission that is to represent citizens who act as voters is incumbent if not at all but mainly on the parliaments. Considering this, all specialists pay special attention to the problems of parliamentary systems.

Parliament is a necessary and mandatory component of democratic states. Parliamentary systems have a long history, but only within the past centuries have they been eligible to be genuinely democratic - that is to represent citizens or declare that they represent citizens.

For the past few centuries the term parliamentarism, used widely, has been associated with the term democracy. The presence of parliaments is not a sufficient condition for democracy, but unconditionally is perceived as a necessary condition, and more than that as a precondition for democracy. You can imagine a democratic country without executive and judicial bodies elected by the people, but it is pointless to talk about democracy if a country does not have a parliament elected by the people. It is not incidental that the existence of parliament as a stronghold of democracy is mandatory in presidential, half-presidential, parliamentary republics and constitutional monarchies.

The main components of a parliamentary system is the way parliament forms and most importantly, the manner of voting in the parliament which includes the connection of the elected with the electorate, the possibility for citizens to monitor the way the elected representative makes use of the vote received, and the prevention of the violation of equality of citizens through ensuring equality of equality of parliamentarians etc.

I want to underline that constitutions envisage the principle of equality of citizens but we observe that parliamentarians are equal in the parliaments. If one parliamentarian got 100,000 votes and the other 40,000, they are equal, but the equality of citizens are violated by their being equal because it is obvious here that 40,000 is not equal to 100,000.

Election system, powers and proxies, procedures, and in particular the decision-making process differ but what unites parliament is that they are a body representing people and parliaments are those who make decisions for and by people. Parliament has two main features:

A) parliament is a representative body of a particular country

B) all citizens are equal in deciding how to manage the country

Parliament itself does not matter here. Parliamentary system does. It means everything related to the venue, role, formation, and powers of the parliament.

Existing parliamentary systems provide the right to vote which means equality during elections. Every voter has one vote, votes are equal etc. But the right of citizens to equal representation in the representative body is not provided. Traditionally democratic countries such as the USA, Great Britain, and France with their majority election systems do not provide equality of citizens. In countries where the majority election system is applied parliaments turn into the representative body of the citizens who won (those citizens who voted for the candidate who got more votes than their opponents), but a representative body of every citizen (those who lost and won).

Political activists may find themselves outside of the system of state management. If you do not get votes you are outside the system, but a citizen should always have their share of participation in managing the state. If because of the imperfection of election system even one citizen, let alone thousands and millions, is deprived of the right to be represented in the representative body then this system is not only defective but also depraved.

Let's get back to the part of the formula of democracy which directly deals with the parliamentary systems. Here the coefficient of frequency of parliamentary elections equals 1.4 for a parliament elected once a year, 1.2 for a parliament elected once in two years, 1 for a parliament elected once in three years, 0.8 for a parliament elected once in four years and 0.6 for parliament elected once in five years. The coefficient of the frequency of parliamentary elections is directly linked with democracy. If democracy is the right and opportunity of people to participate in managing the state then won't it be natural to think that if a parliament is formed once in two years then this parliament is twice as democratic than if elected once every four years? Mathematically, democracy is directly proportional to the frequency of elections.

In the mentioned formula, the main feature of democratic systems is the percentage of representation in parliament. As far as the electorate or voters are concerned we have to make it clear that the function of participation in managing the country is not an obligation, but the right of a citizen. Those who are interested probably remember how in some countries of Europe, such as Greece or Belgium, participation in elections was considered as an obligation, but under the pressure of the European Court these countries dismissed this principle. A voter may choose not to participate in elections. Here the difference in the number of voters participating in elections does not matter. As you can see from the mentioned formula: R / V * F, it is important that the number of those who participated in elections and the number of those whose candidates gained a seat in the parliament is close to each other. That is, R is close to V. When R is close to V, the number of citizens who have their representative in parliament increases which means that parliament becomes more representative. In the examples known to civilization the best scenario is when a parliament can be representative of 90% of citizens who participated in the elections. It happens when there is a proportional election system without barriers. In case R and V are equal, their correlation equals 1 i.e. parliament becomes a democratic institution which guarantees absolute representation. Parliament becomes a democratic body which represent all citizens who participated at the elections. How can we ensure that R is close to V in various systems? I can explain if necessary during questions.

Nowadays the problem of getting close to a 100% representation in the representative bodies is theoretically solved. The principle which is the basis of this solution can be applied in more widespread majority and proportional election systems. I will not go deeply into details here, but I request to verify it if all details are taken into consideration. Within a week after announcing the results of voting the candidates who could not become parliamentarians, but received votes during elections, make it clear to which of the elected parliamentarians they delegate their votes received during the election. They can also make statements on this issue even during the pre-election campaign.

Let's take the majority system. In majority election districts there cannot be one elected parliamentarian. And if two American election districts are joined then it means that two candidates should be elected from these two districts. If four candidates participate and two of them who make it to the Congress are determined by the votes of electorate, the rest who cannot make it have the right to delegate the votes they received to the ones who made it to the Congress.

Thus, the ballot practically becomes a power of attorney which the citizen grants to a certain political power or certain individual for a certain period of time for the purposes of making decisions on behalf of this particular citizen. If the parliamentarian fails to live up to expectations then during the next elections they miss the opportunity to be granted a power of attorney by a disappointed voter.

The way to eliminate the main shortage in modern democratic system is found. It enables and obliges us to speak about the need to switch to an ideal democracy whereby:

No vote given for the benefit of any candidate will remain outside the process of managing the state because of the theoretical imperfection of parliamentary systems.

Every member of the parliament should vote in accordance with the vote they received (and also in accordance with the votes delegated to the member of parliament by the candidates who lost). That is, in parliament the number of voters participating in each election should correspond to the number of votes.

Thus, parliamentary voting is getting closer to a referendum on the issues that are on the agenda of voting, but unlike a referendum it is not citizens but parliamentarians, who gained trust of citizens, who are aware and able to make use of consultations by specialists in various areas, and are responsible for issues that need a professional approach. As the first step, political science should dismiss the quite undemocratic way of actions which ease the task of management and of the prevention of a "crisis of power" at the expense of the rights of citizens, and in particular the right to have a representative in the representative body. The presence of passing the threshold, the so-called barrier, in most parliamentary systems is a direct limitation of minorities' rights. Politicians usually do it to make managing the state easy. But it is undemocratic and violates human rights.

Some practical remarks. In case the system suggested is accepted the number of citizens participating in the elections will significantly increase. Everyone will be convinced that their vote will not be lost, that they will monitor the way their elected representative make use of this vote, and this way will determine their priorities in the next elections. In our approaches we are guided by the principle of equality which became a universal principle (Universal declaration of human rights adopted by the resolution 217 A (III) of UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948). In other words, the principle of equality for all human beings is primary for us.

We believe that the main provision of the participation of citizens in managing the state through parliament poses a task first and obliges the civilised world to adopt the "Universal declaration of democracy" on the highest level which will be mandatory for all nations.

Moderator announces questions and answers session and passes the first floor to Defendant.
Defendant: Dear Mr. Hayrikyan. I have scrutinized the improvement in the system of counting votes and the representation of citizens in the decision-making process suggested by you and I have a question. Why do you suggest giving the right to delegate votes of voters to the candidates who lost, but not to electorates directly? Maybe I voted for the candidate who lost but I got frustrated with during the election campaign and decided to vote for a different candidate. That is, I would like to be the master of my vote until the end. I do not want the same politician who I voted for once to be the master of my vote throughout the time of the parliamentary term. This is my first question.

And my second question. Suppose that all members of parliament have 100 % of the votes. During decision making on certain issues the principle of majority will still be ruling and some members of parliament will still be in the minority. That is their votes will not be considered. These are my questions. Thank you for your attention.

Plaintiff:
Thank you for very serious questions. I have been thinking over it for a long time. In particular I addressed this subject in my book about the coefficient of representation. The approach here is the following. If a citizen trusts his elected representative to represent him for a few years, in the long run he can trust the elected representative to delegate his vote. Certainly, there might be discrepancies because a voter can differ in opinions even with his own direct representative who makes his way to the parliament. That is, voters mainly vote for the principal approach of a particular candidate. I did not invent something new. The delegation of power of attorney assigned by a person is stipulated in civil law. The principle of voting in the parliament suggested by me is a principle incorporated from economic law, and in particular voting in joint stock companies when a shareholder votes not once but as many times as the number of shares he has. In this case voting will be done through the number of power of attorney. We should not exclude that one day there will be an option with the use of modern technology when elections will be done through an electronic system. But if we say that citizens whose elected representatives lost at the elections have the right to vote again, we will breach the privacy and confidentiality of voting. That is why we have to make use of the delegation of votes. As for the second question, yes indeed, the minority will lose during voting. But in this case we do not touch this subject because the main thing is that the minority who lost should be indeed a minority. I want to show it by the example of the US congress. There is an electoral district from where one candidate should be elected. Someone gets 200,000 votes, and two other candidates get 150,000 votes each. The one who gets 200,000 makes it. What if it is a two-mandate district, for example? In this case two persons who get 200,000 and 180,000 accordingly will make it. In total they will get 380,000 votes whereas an average of 600,000 voters participated in the elections. If we consider that 380,000 votes are divided between two candidates, then it appears that the decision is made with the participation of not 980,000 but 380,000 voters. The matter here is not that the majority won and the minority lost, but rather that this majority was indeed a majority. The majority rules is a common rule. By the constitution all citizens agreed that at some point the majority will rule the state and losers have to accept calmly that at this point they are in minority and that they lost, but maybe in the next elections they will be lucky. But I think it unacceptable that the majority be a relative or false majority. In the system suggested by me this is excluded. That the minority should lose is a law of democracy. But we have to guarantee such a representative system where the minority is a minority indeed. Thank you for the questions.

Moderator suggests the audience ask questions from the Plaintiff.
Malkhaz Chemia, "Infra+", expert on conflict: Mister Paruyr, your analysis was very interesting. But only at the last moment you touched the problem of multi-mandate systems whereby there are districts with 4-5 mandates. How close to democracy are these systems?

Zurab Bendianishvili, Georgian-Ossetian forum:
The election system in Georgia is about majority one-mandate districts. That is, if we have five candidates, one of them wins, the remaining four lose. According to your system, these four candidates should automatically delegate their votes to the candidate who won? And my second question is about voting procedure in the parliament. You presented the model of the American congress. But let's suppose that we have a mixed system in Georgia. That is, we have members of parliament elected on both majority and proportional systems. There are also two-tier parliaments. How do you think it is possible to incorporate this new scheme of voting in these systems?

Rusudan Marshania, Georgia-Abkhazian union "Face to Face": Your formula is revolutionary for the countries of the South Caucasus. How do you evaluate the chances for all three countries to use this formula in their democratic reformation?

Moderator passes the floor to the Plaintiff to answer the questions.

Plaintiff:
I have already noted that one-mandate election districts that are widely used in the cradles of democracy - the USA, Great Britain, France - should be excluded because in one-mandate majority election districts parliament turns into a representative body of citizens who won. In parliaments such as the lower tier of the US congress only those citizens have representatives who won at the elections and who won relatively because one of the candidates could get 20% and the other five candidates could get 18% each. But the one who gets 20% wins. In such a case a parliament which should be, as Americans say, the "house of representatives" turns into a house of representatives of the winners. It is easily proved that it is undemocratic. That is why at least two majority districts should have joined. Of course, it is obvious from this point of view that the proportional system is more representative, but if there are people, nations who, after these clarifications and after this formula, prefer thinking that they should have a majority system, then they need to switch to two, three, or four-mandate majority system. As for the argument about the delegation of votes by candidates who lost to the candidate who won under the majority system it is not the case. This should not be the case, because we exclude it, it is illegal, unconstitutional and against human rights to have a majority system. Politicians do not want to think about it. A majority system is a system that violates human rights. A majority system is unconstitutional in every country as it does not provide for equality. If no shorter way can be found, this issue should be put on the agenda of the Constitutional Court.

As for parliaments with two tiers, there is an original way out here. The highest tier of the parliament - the Senate - let's take the example from the USA where every senate has one vote. Two candidates from Alaska with a two-million population vote with their own votes, each by one vote, and a candidate from California or New York with a 30-40 million population also has one vote. What to do with the highest tier? There is a very simple solution here. During voting every candidate votes according to the votes they received which is calculated as a percentage against the total number of voters participating in the election. That is, a Senator who received 200,000 votes and a Senator who received 1 million votes each has one equal vote. And this is how it should be. From now on the unit of voting will be a percentage of gathered votes, i.e. one Senator will have, for example 35% and as many units, while the other senator will have 65. Thus, a Senator will represent not a virtual state, but those real citizens who give the senator votes in correlation to the percentage. The Senate is a representative body of States, not citizens. Nevertheless, the representative of the State should vote in accordance with the percentage share of support they received from the citizens.

And the last question about the possibility of applying this idea in our region. The thing is that it may seem strange but American specialists have suggested that I not give away my idea for free, and that I register it as a patent and sell it. I registered it as a patent in the USA and Armenia. As an exclusive author I made a final decision. Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, Israel and Greece have the right to make use of this idea by paying 100 times less than the actual price paid, say, by the French calculated per citizen. I chose these countries because of special considerations. Firstly, these are the countries neighboring with Armenia which should be democratic and I want them to have good relations with each other. Secondly, my personal friendly contacts also mattered here. Countries which were managed by a dictator regime and were colonies will pay 100 times less than the French. I suggested this idea through embassies to many countries, but I knew in advance and presently know that no politician is interested in human rights. Although French revolutionaries would say that the gist of political activity and political parties is respect for human rights. No politician is interested in human rights. Politicians are interested in how to successfully and comfortably manage the country. If during this management process human rights are violated, politicians have a standard answer. They will say stability is most important and for the sake of stability there is a systematic violation of human rights. The best case scenario is ignoring human rights. That is, I did not have special hopes. I had a direct opportunity to work with the Armenian government when I suggested using this formula and turning Armenia into the most democratic country in the world. It would give more benefit than oil or gold. Another six parties joined me and we initiated a joint idea. Our president asked in a direct conversation: has this idea been applied in any other country? I understood there was no point in continuing this. But during a parliamentary hearing everyone spoke about this idea. The Speaker of Parliament said: it is interesting, when you were talking about independence by way of referendum we thought that you were fantasizing and now you again say something new... And everything stopped there. When there were discussions on the electoral code a few months ago everyone forgot about this project. So, what are the perspectives for this idea in our region? I do not want my Georgian friends to get offended. I passed this idea on to Mikhail Saakahshvili, President of Georgia, through different channels. There was no feedback because Saakashvili is a politician too. Politicians are not interested in human rights. They are interested in everything but human rights although they speak about human rights more than anything else. So, there are no special hopes that this idea will be realized in our region. But on the other hand... sorry for a little distraction. In the 1970s when we, I mean the Armenian National Movement, realized that the best way was a referendum and we would need to fight for creating a pre-referendum situation and we did work in this direction, I had no success in Armenia. The referendum in Armenia happened last of all. The law on referendums in the USSR was adopted due to my direct pressure on Gorbachev. He could not stand it and decided to deport me from the country. When Brezhnev adopted the Constitution they indicated that there was need to adopt a law on referendum which was nowhere in place in the USSR. And when Gorbachev started talking about democratization, I gathered foreign correspondents and said: if he is for democracy let him first adopt a law on referendums which was stipulated in Brezhnev's Constitution. There was a special decree which laws should be changed in accordance with the new constitution and which laws should be adopted. This had been already done after my deportation. That is, I have experience. We should not be guided by how society and politicians will react. I know it is the shortest way to establish real democracy, as Americans say, complete democracy. I will probably work on this in a few American states, because if something cannot be achieved in your country even if you are quite selfish and there is nothing higher than your own nation, even in this case you can realize it somewhere else. Maybe from that somewhere else it will go to your own people. Thanks.

Moderator passes the floor to Zardusht Alizade for counter-speech.
Zardusht Alizade, Defendant: Dear Court! Dear ladies and gentlemen! It is an honour to be present in this Court and compete with the such a social activist of the South Caucasus genuinely devoted to the idea of democracy as Paruyr Hayrikyan.

I hope the dissemination of materials of this court hearing will assist to the genuine efforts of strengthening democracy in our region. In his claim the Plaintiff notes a number of indisputable facts of the socio-political sphere nowadays. He brings attention to the bitter irrefutable truth: "Democracy is in crisis".

I fully agree with him. The crisis of democracy is global and encompasses a wide spectrum-from moral issues to economics.
Can the ancient and wise people of the South Caucasus combine the ideals of democracy with their fascist fantasies about ethnic exclusiveness and ethnically homogenous countries?
But what is the cure suggested by Mr Hayrikyan? The gist of his idea is to ensure the real equality of all citizens not only during elections but also throughout the tenure of the elected body thus providing every voter the right to be represented in the parliament by delegating their vote to another member of parliament who is closer to the voter in their views. In this case their vote will be taken into consideration during voting even if the candidate supported by a particular voter fails to make it through elections to the parliament.

The defendant has no grounds to claim that this suggestion will not yield results in the environment of established and sophisticated democracies which exist, for example, in Scandinavian countries. But the defendant is sure that this suggestion, alas, cannot be rationally applied in the environment of a dominant majority of even existing developed democracies such as American or British democracies let alone the CIS and Eastern European countries. There is no mature and stable society in these countries which is ready to understand and accept such subtle concepts as the mechanism of the consideration of the minorities' equal rights with the majority or the meaning of a voter's will who delegated their vote to the candidate who lost in the elections.

The plaintiff thinks that the imperfection of existing democracies comes from the fact that they are far from the system which is calculated by the coefficient of citizens' representation and which matters most when it is close to one. Based on this coefficient the plaintiff suggests an equation which determines the level (or the percentage) of democracy in countries. In this equation some categorically important, systemic and procedural factors such as the number of voters who gained a representative in the parliament, the frequency of elections, the coefficient of the appointment of head of the executive power by election, the manner of formation of judicial power, and local authorities are taken into consideration. The defendant thinks that the formula of assessing the level of democracy suggested can become an effective and universal tool when evaluating the situation in different countries. It can become a good and simple indicator of democracy.

In order to repair imperfections imperfection in the election systems of existing democracies the plaintiff suggests using the system which is able to guarantee citizens an equal right of representation in the decision-making process and managing the country. In an ideal democratic system it is necessary for voters who lost in elections to delegate their votes to parliamentarians which they consider as worthy. Voting in the parliament should be held in accordance with the votes of voters but not parliamentarians. Only in this case decisions will be made by the genuine majority of votes of all voters and be legitimately equal to the decisions made by referendums. That is, as a citizen, voter, or a representative of a candidate, I think that it is a rational and pragmatic system, but I will repeat the question I asked. How about the voters who lost in the voting in parliament? If the measurement of the effectiveness of a democratic system is "participation" and "representation" then where is their consideration during voting in parliament?

The defendant thinks that in order to improve existing systems of democracy it is important to improve the building material which democracy is made of. Without a democratic citizen it is impossible to build a democratic country. If a voter is ignorant or does not have property, is poor and dependent or lacks a sense of responsibility, the ability to think logically, or foresee the consequences of decisions made, if a voter has the dominant instinct of snakefish or an animal herd, then no ideal system of voting can strengthen democracy even a little.
Democracy is a bird with two wings - left and right. European two-winged birds with the left wing formed by hired labour in trade unions and parties and guilds, and with the right wing formed in the parties and class of entrepreneurs, soar freely in the sky of democracy gaining new heights from election to election. One-wing birds of sovereign democratic CIS countries miserably flutter in the dust of roads over which birds of developed democracies proudly fly.
The system of voting cannot itself change the political culture of imperialistic countries who use international law as a disguise for their violent actions aimed at providing privileges and gains for transnational companies. No ideal system of voting can change the logic of officials in the democratic world who justify the peril of civilians during armed actions on establishing democracies in countries where there is no democratic citizen, democratic traditions, or democratic institutions, but there are natural resources and strategically important roads.

What democratic system of voting can help to establish democracy in tribal Afghanistan whose mishaps started when Zakhir shakh was dethroned? What are the chances of democracy in Iraq where people nostalgically remember the relatively stable years of rule under the bestial Saddam? How ready will the people of Somalia be to accept democracy even if all of the US army is transferred to this important country? Would not the dictatorship of the brother-leader Al Gaddafi be favourable for the people of Libya compared to civil war and bombing by NATO countries? Can the ancient and wise people of the South Caucasus combine the ideals of democracy with their fascist fantasies about ethnic exclusiveness and ethnically homogenous countries? Is it possible to integrate the invincible dream of Russian imperialists about "the Third Rome" into a sophisticated election system?

I could refer to the opinion of such a competent person for me as Vardan Harutyunyan about Armenian elections and Armenian voters but I will refer to my personal experience as a direct participant in all election campaigns in Azerbaijan since 1989. As an analyst of such a powerful and competent body of Azerbaijani civil society on monitoring the election process as part of the coalition of half a hundred NGOs " For transparent and fair elections", your humble servant together with his colleagues studied the protocols of a thousand election districts and a hundred district commissions during election campaigns in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Without exception the common feature (!) of all election campaigns in my country was that the results of all these elections were rigged by the will of executive power. All elections - presidential, parliamentary, municipal, judicial, in the Academy of Sciences, in any executive body - are rigged. How can we hope in this situation for the improvement of the system to take into consideration the votes of the voters who lost when the votes of those voters who won are thrown away?

Democracy is a bird with two wings - left and right. European two-winged birds with the left wing formed by hired labour in trade unions and parties and guilds, and with the right wing formed in the parties and class of entrepreneurs, soar freely in the sky of democracy gaining new heights from election to election. One-wing birds of sovereign democratic CIS countries miserably flutter in the dust of roads over which birds of developed democracies proudly fly. Can a very sophisticatedly exact system which takes the opinions of illiterate and dumb voters into consideration change the situation with democracy for the better in countries with no rule of law, where judges are guided by a phone call law and personal benefit, but not law, and where public office is a synonym of material gain and impunity?

The imperfection of the applied systems of voting is not a secret for experienced people. Recently the people of the UK have rejected a reform project which was quite imperfect and a very harmful election system for the House of Commons. But! It was a democratic referendum without the national games particular for the nations of the South Caucasus. By this I mean rigging.

The defendant thinks that the imperfection of the existing election systems has to do with the defects in the system and structure of democracy which can be eliminated only if democracy is also eliminated as a system of management. I would say that this imperfection correlates with the imperfection of human beings as upright mammals. The ideal cannot be achieved because it does not exist. There is no ideal in a human, in a community of people. We can only state that the ideal is in God to whose perfection a human should always strive. But alas... Thanks for attention.

The moderator announces the session of questions and answers and passes the floor to the Plaintiff to ask questions.
Plaintiff: In fact, it is not a question but a proposal to separate criminal actions from the system. Because in any system any falsification of elections is a criminal offence and when we focus on criminal offences then we are right, the reason being that this is a problem and not only a criminal offence. This is sometimes the lack of a democratic culture because we are witnesses of how nations with undemocratic systems, but democratic traditions, live better than, for example, nations with no culture of tolerance for their opponents. I did not want to speak about violations under various systems, it is not included in my subject. I focused on the systems being ideal at least. Do you agree that it is the first question, that well-thought out and articulated notions about democracy play a large educational role and have this meaning more than anything else? And the second question - do you agree that the world needs a universal declaration of democracy based on human rights... the rights of citizens?
Defendant: Mr Hayrikyan, I have already noted the significant usefulness of your suggestion in my answer to your speech. Indeed, I think it is the ideal of democracy that nations should strive for. It envisages a very strong method of preparing conditions for democracy such as education. I suppose that the ruling elite will do everything to prevent the realization of your proposal but if we imagine an ideal system then your proposal will be accepted. I think that education about this ideal should start from schools where it will be taught each year as a compulsory subject. The ideal should be incorporated and repeated in practice - during the establishment of selective bodies at school, class etc., so that school students leave with clear notions of how an elective machine should work deeply rooted in their conscience and mind and what the meaning of the elective mechanism is. Yes, in this case, when grown-up, this student will struggle against deviations, violations of what they studied when they sees them, they will defend this idea. So I answer to your question positively. Yes, it will have a great meaning.

As for the declaration, you know there is a declaration and all countries approved of it and that democracy is a universal human value. You can duplicate it in the form of a declaration of citizen rights, the right to a democratic vote. But I noted in my speech that no paper, no declaration is not a panacea in itself. You need real conditions, you need a society that will understand it. There is the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Does it work? No. A declaration of democracy will be adopted, but it will only be a declaration. The obligations of people who believe in democracy, in the triumph of democracy, mean that they raise a citizen every day, every hour, and incessantly, who is able to fight for their rights and set an example for others.

The moderator suggests that the audience gather their questions and address them to the Defendant.


Voskan Sargsyan, editor of newspaper "Tesankyun":
I was listening very carefully to you, Mr Alizadeh, and I have a question. You said our citizens are not mature enough for a democratic system, the realization of which was suggested by Mr Hayrikyan. I want to know your opinion about the level of democracy in all three countries of the South Caucasus separately. You were speaking about them as a whole but I think there are differences. I would like to know your personal opinion on this question. Thank you.

Michail Aghakhanyan, representative of Armenian union of Georgia "Nor Seround", coordinator of the Tolerance Club:
I thank both of you for your great speeches. Mr Zardusht, I have a question. You said that it is necessary to raise future citizens from school and at the same time you think that even if a declaration on voters' rights or something similar is adopted it will remain on paper. Do you not think that if children are prepared for this when they are still in school then when they are grown ups they will be guided by this declaration? Thanks.

Alessandr Avsandjanishvili, independent publisher: My question is purely regional. Of all the three Caucasus countries which one is ready to adopt this system? In which of the three republics is there a favourable climate for it?

Nidjat Samedoglu, newspaper "Zerkalo": I have a question to both the plaintiff and defendant. As I understood from the general debate, the formula suggested by Mr Hayrikyan is meant not only for countries experiencing a vacuum in terms of democracy, but also for countries with firm democratic principles and sets. It seemed to me that the system presented by you can be efficient for establishing a certain public conscience. But at the same time there are peculiarities in the system of political power and the configuration of the state that should not be excluded. Don't you think that it is necessary to figure out the political structure of the power first and then work out a universal model of state configuration?

Defendant: Thank you for your questions. As an answer to the second question I will say yes. In your question there is a statement too. You should strive for a purpose through changing a person. If we bring up the younger generation with a firm belief in democratic ideals, procedures and mechanisms then some time in a few years, maybe decades, we will be able to come to the realization of the democratic mechanism Mr Hayrikyan invented. As for the first question, I think level of democracy in all three republics is the same despite seeming externally different. In the Middle Ages up until the presence of Tsarist Russia in the South Caucasus we were in the same space of Eastern despotism - Osman, Kadjar despotism. I want to ask you a question. Was there democracy in Kadjar Persia, or Iran or the Osman empire? Was there democracy, were there democratic traditions? I think no. Was there democracy after the arrival of Tsarism, Russian Tsarism and until the Bolshevik revolution in Russian Empire? Were there democratic traditions? We can confidently say that at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century some basis of democratic civil society emerged in the South Caucasus: parties, charitable organizations, art groups or whatever. That it there was a start to democratic development in a bourgeois way. But then Bolsheviks came, they nipped it, cut it in the next stage in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. Could there be democracy then? What democratic traditions could there be? The chaiman of kolkhoz in the village said something - law, secretary of the district committee in the district said something - law, the first secretary in the republic said something - law. One party adopted a decision - law. What democracy? What democratic traditions do we have? We say we are ancient, cultural nations. There is a musical culture, literary culture, a culture of cuisine, but there is no democratic culture. After perestroika started the nations who didn't have democratic traditions thought to themselves that they could build democracy and they started building this democracy and got what they built. In addition to that conflict emerged, imposed on us falsely, but skilfully. And under the conditions of, I would say, an orgy of nationalism and xenophobia, war, the triumph of battle commanders - what democracy can there be in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in this situation? Yes, Georgia now has an authoritarian system, a police government which states that it is democratic because it declared a policy of integration with the European Union and NATO, and based on this hung out European flags. It means they have democracy. But I observe Georgia and often say - social-Darwinism rules there. Survival for those who survive. Armenia is a corrupt country which widely and frequently uses violence against its citizens. A very poor population. In Azerbaijan it is the same - a very wealthy elite and a very poor population. No respect for the Constitution. Neither in Armenia or Azerbaijan. We are symmetrically opposite societies. You do not like Turks, we do not like Armenians. There is a common disease - xenophobia - and this is also implanted by our societies. That is why I think that maybe in the Caucasus we have to work hard to understand what democracy is and to start fighting genuinely for democracy. There are such people, such citizens. Such circles, societies, civil societies. They are in the minority, but they need to be supported. More and more people should be involved in them. Examples should be set that yes, it is possible. We can fight for democracy, we can fight for human rights, and we can fight for the genuine national interest. Thanks.

Plaintiff:
I want to say that even if universally accepted documents do not play a constant role they still serve as guide and have a favourable impact on our everyday life and perspectives. Which of the three Caucasus republics do I think is not that more worthwhile... but more ready to accept this idea? I want to start bt saying that Armenia and Azerbaijan are in a obvious and drawn-out conflict and I always thought we would be able to find an effective method of mutual understanding only when our nations will have their own government truly representing them. For this we and the Azeris would need democracy. We would need to know that Serj Sargsyan is a truly elected representative, and so is Ilham Aliyev, and when they meet, that they do it on behalf of the people. The same goes for members of parliament. But I thought that Georgia is more ready for it. This is why I emailed documents and then through counsels sent documents to Michail Saakashvili. But I was apparently mistaken. None of these republics is ready. There was the very weird answer that the Armenian and Georgian authorities cooperate not only on a state level but also on personal level. This is why the Georgian government would take some proposal from Armenia if the Armenian government gave positive feedback to it or if someone passed me a sophisticated comment. As for the second question, I thank you for this. It will help me say more about this formula. I have been working on it for 30 years and I have considered most of the points impossible. For example, a 100 % representative body is something impossible I think. In one of my articles I unfortunately wrote that the idea of a 100% representative body is unfortunately utopian. But then I found this mechanism and two years later I wrote that sadly this formula is applicable only to unitary countries. I said that this ideal system of democracy is not applicable to federal countries and then I found a way and explained it. You were talking about such an important detail as a universal model of a democratic state. Today I focused my speech on parliamentary systems. But this formula displays an attitude to country-wide democratic systems. And what does this mean? I do not suggest clear borders and clear construction. But this formula is for those who want to have 100% democracy. When American specialists made their calculations according to this formula, the results turned out to be that the level of democracy in the USA was 70%, in Argentina for some reason 75 %, and in Armenia 12%. It is important that anyone can calculate level of democracy according to this formula in their country and as a result you will know you have a lower level of democracy than in Argentina, for example, and the reason for that is that you have an executive body not elected by people, but appointed by parliament. If you want a real democracy then automatically you will be thinking about an executive body taking the people as its source of power. For example, let's take the coefficient H. It shows how frequently the executive body is elected. In the USA it is every four years and makes 0.9. If elections are held every three years, then it makes 1 which means close to a 100% democracy. Or, let's take the judicial system as an example. It is the J coefficient. If it is formed by people, i.e. there is a second level or panel of jury in the court- then it makes 1. Let's name local elections L. If local elections are held every three years then the coefficient equals 1. Every four years the coefficient is 0.8. Every two years the coefficient is 1.2. Thus, the formula smoothly, invisibly, hints the way to a perfect state system. Only one extract of coefficient R/V*F has to do with the parliamentary system. The rest has to do with the state system. This is a standard formula. It may not be the best formula, but it is a standard formula for everyone. You can add the coefficient U here which will stand for a second tier of the parliament like the French Senate or the House of Lords. It is important that this formula is standard for all so political scientists and specialists on constitutional law can understand why the level of democracy is lower in their countries and what should be done to raise the level of democracy and even achieve a 100% or higher level of democracy. It sounds absurd, but it is possible. I did not take courage, but I know exactly that the ideal state is one with no head of state. The constitution is the head of state. When I was leading constitutional reforms in Armenia I had to delve deeply in all systems while having many qualified assistants. I know exactly now that a person appointed as a head of state cannot be a guarantor. A mortal who will die tomorrow cannot be a guarantor. For example, a president is a guarantor of state according to the Armenian constitution. A person who was yelled at by two other people and ran into the bushes now wants to be back again. He turns out to be my guarantor, the guarantor of my independence and Constitution. (Remark from the audience: not two, but three). Thank you for your questions.

The moderator gives the last word to the defendant and plaintiff.
Defendant: Dear moderator, plaintiff and participants of our hearing process! I want to remind you of one thing and the subject matter of this hearing. As a defendant I did not oppose the model of Mr Hayrikyan, I opposed the idea that we can change imperfect societies unready for democracy with the help of this model. And when you will vote - and this is a necessary procedure - I urge you to vote for the very useful model of Mr Hayrikyan. I will vote for it myself. Thank you.

Plaintiff:
The mechanism of voting is not quite clear to me, but please do not position us against each other because the values we are guided by are not just human values, but also our own values and I ask you to give the votes you are going to give to me to my opponent.

Moderator:
Now it is time for comments by the participants of the hearing. I ask you not to focus on the forthcoming, confused election and I assure you your votes will be used properly no matter how you vote. That is why I ask you to comment on the subject and share your impressions.

Georgi Vanyan:
The formula is quite simple. After seeing it every sensible person asks why didn't we think about it until now? I thank you, Mr Hayrikyan for this find in the area of human rights protection. You were talking about our speaker, and even our speaker thinks that you are a step ahead. He is mistaken in one thing - Hayrikyan is 500 steps ahead. But Mr Hayrikyan, I would ask you to make 500 steps back. Why? Because you have spent two decades in jail, in camps, for the sake of the independence of Armenia and now we are kind of independent, but we are in a worse condition. We are now kind of an independent country, but it turns out we are kind of a dependent NGO. This is Armenia. The idea of independence is on the agenda. Yes, we have a passport and all attributes of independence, but in reality it is not an independent free country. As for the formula, I applaud and bow. But given the conflict, but not touching on the lack of readiness of our societies as Mr Zardusht Alizade did... When there is a conflict and we say that national values are higher than the Constitution and law ... in Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict - where two countries turned into a ghetto for gladiators. I thank you for all you do. But I would ask you to make 500 steps back.

Rusudan Marshania :
Many thanks for your very interesting, informative discussion. It seems to me that the know-how of Mr Hayrikyan purports to destroy separatism. If this approach was applied before the Georgia-Abkhazia and Georgia-Ossetia conflicts, these conflicts would not exist. The equal representation of all the branches of power would exclude conflict. I think in the future this formula should and will work effectively in federal states with national formations as a method to destroy the root of separatism.

Zurab Bendianishvili: Firstly, I thank both speakers for very interesting speeches. Indeed, I had another picture of how electoral systems looked and it is very hard for me to figure out because if I am asked how much I like the model suggested by Mr Paruyr, I would say very much. If I am asked how real it is to put this model into our system, I would say it is not real. There is a choice between idealistic and realistic approaches, as if between ideal and real politics. The approach suggested by Mr Hayrikyan is idealistic, even idealistic-commercial. This is very interesting. Yes, it is a very interesting and beautiful model for me. Also I can relate to the pathos based on real politics and expressed by Mr Zardusht. That is, we are not only at a higher ideal, but we also are not ready for the mere demands of democracy. The responsibility that lies on us as representatives of civil society obliges us to strive for ideals because our activities are aimed at ideals rather than realistic steps. That is why I think we should support this idea so that it can become real in the near future.

Alessandr Avsandjashvili:
I did not see any faults in the outline and remarks of Mr Hayrikyan. It is an ideal democratic system which embraces the will of people. I will personally support Mr Hayrikyan.

Michail Agakhanyan:
I would not want to touch on the positive or negative aspects of this formula because there are more positive ones, I think. I would like to see whether the implementation of this formula is real or not and for that turn to the example of Georgia. If we consider the past years and the reforms carried out within a very short time then I think the implementation of this formula may be real. The most important thing is to have the will and the rest will be fine. Thank you.

Kote Kandelaki, International Center for Civic Culture:
First of all, thank you for the speeches and I want to ask a question about the formula although it is already late. Do you not think that there is the need to include another coefficient - the coefficient of the decentralisation of the state? It is a very important aspect of a democratic society and local elections alone do not allow us to evaluate how decentralised the country is. As you know, we had and now have discussions about the electoral system and for now we have a mixed electoral system - proportional and majority - and the pubic and opposition demanded to change this system so that the representation in parliament was equal and as you said they did have their own formula how to achieve this.

Nidjat Samedoglu:
Thank you for answering my first question, but nevertheless, considering this construction we see a very ideal form, but there is a dialectic difference between form and content. In order to see ideal content in this construction, as you said, certainly it will improve, there will be already new suggestions with regards to new coefficients, something will appear in the future... Someone just mentioned decentralisation of power. I meant there is a need to consider precisely the content of the political formation of this structure. That is, I have yet to see the content. You have said that as a whole it is not a universal formula and each peculiarity in each country should be taken into account. So maybe the formation of this political structure can also be a coefficient which can be added to this formula? As for remarks about politicians never defending human rights, Machiavelli said that it is already politics when politicians say they will fight for power in the first place. My favourite French philosopher, Albert Camus, said that if politicians are not armed with humanistic values even after World War I and II then politics can be excluded. Today there is much talk about a self-regulating society. Maybe your formula will become the formula of that self-regulating society? Thanks.

Yusif Ismailov, Foundation of Civil Integration: Firstly, thank you for today, for the discussions, and a big thank you to Mr Hayrikyan. I would like to add it is a wonderful formula. Thirty years of work. All these coefficients, percentages, diagrams. I can guess how many hours, how much time you spent on these. But there is one issue you said at the beginning - politicians never defend, never think about human rights. And secondly you said that an analogous equivalent can be found in commercial law, in joint stock companies. When I am a shareholder I have the right to vote. I should get dividends for this share in fact. There are many intelligent people who can adapt the same scheme to the election system and the same component we have been talking about - two, or three-mandate district or even a one-mandate district, there is no point. The delegation of votes can practically turn this system into a business. To sell shares. To sell votes. That is, we strive for a democratic society but at the same time we dig ourselves a hole. This is a somewhat bad approach, as I understand it. But we can also think that someone may make use of it from a bad angle. The delegation of votes in this commercial sense, and considering the political realities, can lead to an internal system of vote trading. What will happen to our formula then? Sorry for criticizing. This is not even a remark from my side, but more some thoughts...

Michail Agakhaniyan:
I have a small remark about the politicians and presidents and, say, about how they do not protect human rights. Recently, one Ukrainian politician said that we, voters and citizens, hire politicians and presidents. If they don't protect our rights we can simply fire them. That is it.

Remark from moderator:
Can we?

Plaintiff:
Thank you for all your remarks. I have to react. I have already said that all details have been taken into account and my obligation is to answer. As for the proposal to include the coefficient of decentralisation, this whole formula is about decentralisation. The gist of this formula is in the idea of decentralisation of power. Secondly, when I was saying that there might be some changes I meant not changes in the formula, but in people who will use this formula. That is, the formula will not change, but the approaches will change thanks to this formula. The formula will not change, the attitude to democracy will. I do not say that formula is ultimate. Someone may create something else. This is normal. Various standards may have been invented. But we have to adopt a single standard. In its capacity I suggest this formula for now. And naturally I could not say that it is perfect and all that. But it is a mechanism which helps us understand the situation in our countries.

What Camus said is good and I like him too as a writer. But most people do not understand that politics is science about a state. Political sciences - is the art of managing a state. You can exclude a state but then you should create another mechanism, another system of management.

As for the trading of votes, here we should remember what Mr Alizadeh was talking about. About culture. The idea is that this system made elections more frequent. Voters delegated their vote to me, I could not make it at the elections, I sold my votes to you. Next time the voter will not vote for me. With this trade I irreversibly spoiled it in a moral sense. The trading of votes is undertaken without this system too. So, the fact that someone can speculate with this opportunity does not give us the right to avoid and evade the principal approach - not to lose votes. At the beginning the consideration about how unreal this idea was put me on guard, but I liked it at the end very much. We should not be guided by impulsive interests. We should be guided by high principles. As a conclusion I would like to say, and Elena Bonner deemed it her obligation to pass this on to those who are engaged in human rights protection movement, the most rational is the irrational, as Sakharov said in his last testament. Let all of you think on your own what that means. Thank you.

The moderator asks to expel uninvited guests - wolfhounds from the venue who came to rest close by after a hard work day and scared the audience. The dogs leave the venue. The moderator announces open voting by way of raising hands.


The Result of the voting:
Plaintiff 26 votes, Defendant 17 votes.
Georgi Vanyan: Dear friends! By coincidence today is the International Day of Nelson Mandela. I congratulate you all on this day! I want to remind you of another coincidence too. Paruyr Hayrikyan and Zardhusht Alizade used to publish newspapers in Armenia and Azerbaijan by the same name - "Ankakhutyun" and "Istiglal" which means "Damoikidedloba." Thanks to this house!
Photo: Onnik Krikorian, Epress.am, NewCaucasus.com, APA, RegionMedia.net, Alessandr Avsandjanishvili
WHAT APPROACH TO ISSUES OF DEMOCRACY IS BETTER?



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