Comment on "Ethiopia: Challenges of Democracy
and Andinet Party May 2014"
I am a still a strong supporter of EPRDF though they have made a couple of VERY
serious missteps on economic policy execution(not policy) since PM Meles passed
away that really needs to be corrected urgently. I will get back to this
important issue in the future; I will email you in detail about it at
future date. But for today I want to comment on your comment on Andinet Party
demonstration. I believe your comment is very wrongheaded and counterproductive
for Ethiopia's development whether politically or economically. You should
fully know Engineer Gizachew is trying to turn Andinet Party into a responsible
party devoid of hate since you posted his radio interview on your own website
few weeks ago.
you remember, he clearly said we should stop hate politics and focus on issue
politics. And this responsible, lawful demonstration is a good proof of that.
As strong supporters of EPRDF and Ethiopia we should jump up and down with joy
when we see such significant step forward towards responsible politics by any
opposition political party. Such responsible opposition political activities or
parties should be STRONGLY encouraged and given adequate media space not be
labeled as hopeless old dogs who can't learn new tricks!! Such unfair response
to a responsible political action will likely drive all opposition parties who
try to be responsible to extremism; it will also likely drive reasonable
Ethiopians towards them due sympathies they will garner because of unfair or
false labeling. If we knee jerkily and grotesquely mis-label oppositions as the
same "old" hate politicians("up to no good" politicians,
criminals, etc) even when they earnestly try to change into responsible,
issue politicians, it will only result in encouraging them to revert back to
the same old hate politics or criminal activities out of sheer frustration. And
that is NOT good for the country in any way.
main reason the "new" Andinet Party and all the other responsible
opposition parties who do NOT have Andinet Party's baggage are not getting big
support from the Ethiopian people is not because Ethiopians believe they are
same old "hate" politicians, or as you put it: same "old
dog[s] who can't be [thought] new trick!" Nope, that is NOT!
The main reason is because they all put forward the same economic governance
ideology -- a neo-liberal ideology which prescribes no government involvement
in the economy! The Ethiopian people are fully aware of this flawed position of
theirs and have rejected it thoroughly and wisely as it's a disastrous for a
developing country with relatively weak private sector! Plainly speaking they
have rejected the idea the government should not build sugar factories and such
to fill the vacuum of the private sector.
is the main reason and they will never get huge support from the Ethiopian
people as long they stick this position or EPRDF does not seriously falter on
economic performance. Their lack of significant support is not because
Ethiopians still believe they are all "hate" politicians. Some never
where and Andinet is trying to transform into a responsible issue party! We
should not try to win support of the people by mislabeling them as hate
politicians when they are not carrying themselves in that manner. That will
neither garner EPRDF support nor encourage opposition parties to become
responsible, loyal opposition. We should instead give them credit on one hand
for running responsible, issue oriented politics, but on the other hand point
out their great folly in their economic policies. That is how we will
effectively win the support of the Ethiopian people as well as encourage
responsible opposition politics that greatly contributes to the stability and
prosperity of our beloved country! So I strongly urge you to drop the mantra
"you can't teach an old dog a new trick." That is neither true not
helpful to Ethiopia's case. Give all credit who are trying to run responsible
politics while pointing out their shortcomings on the issues.