Adept at Self-Sabotage

Keghart.com Report, 22 November 2014

North American communities where Armenian voters have a significant presence can be counted on the fingers of one hand. But rather than utilize this strength, sometimes these Armenian communities—or their leadership—inexplicably sabotage their potential clout by splitting the Armenian vote at election time. Their modus operandi is often fielding two competing Armenian candidates.

Keghart.com Report, 22 November 2014

North American communities where Armenian voters have a significant presence can be counted on the fingers of one hand. But rather than utilize this strength, sometimes these Armenian communities—or their leadership—inexplicably sabotage their potential clout by splitting the Armenian vote at election time. Their modus operandi is often fielding two competing Armenian candidates.

The ancient Greeks had a word for it: akrasia–acting against one's better judgment.

The latest drama in this suicidal tradition is being enacted in the Montreal suburbs of Ahuntsic-Cartierville and Laval-Les Îles.  Viken Attarian, a long-time Federal Liberal Party official, writer, scholar, public speaker, and community activist, is seeking nomination as the Liberal Party candidate in next year’s federal elections. [Disclosure: Keghart.com supports Attarian, a regular contributor to the site]. Running against him for the nomination is Norair Serengulian, former president of the local Liberal riding association and a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). In Laval-Les Îles, Liberal Vicken Darakjian is running against several non-Armenians. Ohannes (Hovig) Tufenkjian is campaigning in Vimy.

Some months ago, when Attarian launched his nomination campaign, he made a point to meet the ARF Committee Hertabah to explain his political and community priorities, and to solicit the backing of the organization. The ARF Hertabah received Attarian with great enthusiasm, told him he was the best candidate and that the ARF would support his nomination. Attarian has, for many years, been a leading light in the Quebec branch of the Liberal Party of Canada and is well known nationally as well where he sits on the federal electoral platform committee of the party. Of the several nomination candidates in his riding, Attarian is the only candidate that has to date put forward any concrete policy proposals, both for the riding and for the country.

Apparently, Serengulian had previously announced to the ARF that he wouldn’t be a candidate because the election campaign would be financially onerous. But shortly after, when Serengulian declared that he too was seeking the same nomination as Attarian, the ARF switched its support to him. Serengulian’s major experience is with Hye Tadd. It is not clear at this stage whether it is the ARF that pushed Serengulian to run or it is the candidate who dragged the organization behind him. But what is clear is the subsequent situation of two Armenian contenders in the same riding.

In Laval, rather than support Liberal Vicken Darakjian, the ARF is directly and indirectly backing some of the other non-Armenian contestants.  Interestingly, the ARF is also aiding a candidate of the New Democratic Party (NDP). Although in previous elections the ARF didn't demonstrate affinity to the NDP, it’s now raising money for that party’s candidate.

In Vimy, Tufenkjian, who also has ARF’s backing, is running against Eva Nassif, a long-time Liberal and close colleague of Attarian in the Policy Commission of the Liberal Party and a supporter of the Armenian community.  Tufenkjian is a newcomer with little chance of winning against the entrenched Nassif.

In recent years certain Armenian Diaspora communities have made tangible efforts to put aside their political differences and work together for the common good of their communities and of the Armenian Nation. This maturity and sophistication has been hard-earned, following decades of internecine battles. By playing party politics the Quebec ARF is taking a retrograde step. The organization’s decision is especially damaging on the eve of the Genocide Centennial when it’s imperative that Armenians become one voice.

It's worthwhile to consider the farce that was played out in a previous Quebec election when, because of vote-splitting, the Armenian candidate lost to a politician who was brazenly backed by the Turkish consul.  Will the current divisions precipitate further losses by Armenian hopefuls in Quebec?

What’s to explain the ARF strategy?

******

Nomination hopefuls in the upcoming Montreal-area elections appeared on "Hay Horizon" television.  The below video-clip was provided by nomination candidate Viken L. Attarian.
The presentations of the other candidates will be posted as they become available.

19 comments
  1. Divide to Rule

    Vakh! Vakh! Vakh! Vakh!

    Division! Division! Division!

    I wonder, maybe Turks have embedded in our genes the love for division. They must have known the notion of "divide and rule" or even better "divide to conquer". When are we going to become smarter, and unite at least for our national causes? 

  2. Clarification

    I am a reader of Keghart.com as it publishes very well structured columns and articles supported by facts but I am extremely disappointed that they fell in this trap. This articles is full of inaccuracies.

    I want to reply to all of them but not sure where to start. I would have expected from the admins of Keghart.com to check their facts and ask both sides of the story before publishing such damaging article. Unfortunately the inaccuracies in this article surpasses the misinformation barrier to go to damaging the reputation of some members and organizations.

    This is not the first article of such published in the last month and with those articles we are doing much more damage to the ties than the situation itself.

    1) Mr. Attarian contacted the chairman of the Montreal chapter of the ARF and the latter informed him that no one person in the party can take such decision and he should meet the Montreal chapter committee. Of course he received him with great enthusiasm as that is the first thing they teach in the party.

    2) Mr Attarian met with the committee which informed him that they are ready to listen to everything he has to say. At the end of the meeting Mr Attarian was informed that they will support Mr Serengulian.

    3) Mr Serengulian is a Canadian citizen with the exact same rights to run for elections as Mr Attarian. It is childish to play the "who put the candidacy first". Mr. Attarian is a party member and it is extremely normal for the party Montreal chapter to stand by his side. No one pushed him to put his candidacy. And anyone with minimal political experience would know that taking such a big step is not easy and the decision is not taken in a day or a week.

    4) The ARF did not raise any money for any NDP candidate. The Montreal Armenian Community Center was rented out to Mr Boulerice in order for him to organize a fundraiser. Other candidates were present and this was purely the NDP's decision. All the decision taken by the party is published in Horizon weekly and I would ask the writer of this article to verify all the info and point out where would it say that the party supports the NDP candidate in Laval.

    5) Mr Tufenkjian is an Armenian candidate running against non Armenians and it is extremely ironic for the writer of this article to criticize the ARF, for supporting candidates against Mr Darakjian (which is not true as pointed out in point 4) but s/he supports Eva against Hovig.

    6) Finally it is interesting to point out that the video posted at the end of the article is part of Hay Horizon TV show which is run by the same Montreal Chapter committee being criticized in this article all along. How would this committee do all of that and give 5 mins air time to all the candidates, equally.

    Mr Attarian during one of the meetings gave a word to run a clean election and not to discredit any of the candidates specially Mr Sernegulian and vice versa. I kindly ask the editor of this article to check all the articles published online and see who was the one who did not respect his word.

    Best Regards,
    A Keghart.com reader

    1. Correction
      *3) Mr. Serengulian is a party member and it is extremely normal for the party Montreal chapter to stand by his side.

      1. Quality Not Adaptability

        Being a party candidate doesn't imply that the person is qualified for the job.
        Backing the wrong person can harm the community.
        Mr. Attarian is the ideal candidate and even over-qualified for the job. Please take a moment to study his credentials and then make your decision.
        Viken can help the ARF and the community more than all of the other candidates combined.
    2. Clarifying the clarifications

      Dear "Anonymous",

      Since you have engaged me, I would like to openly respond to you in person and not anonymously.

      I also know where to start, since I was there.  You are not hearing this from a third party.

      I know to start from your arguments point by point.

      1) The issue is not whether I was received with enthusiasm.  Of course I was and he told me to see the Montreal Gomideh, he even told me to tell them exactly what I told him. The issue is that I was told that I would be supported because my proposals correspond to the concerns of the Montreal Gomideh, specifically in relation to the issues surrounding the Armenian Cause and that I was, in his view (and presumably that of the Gomideh as well), the best person to carry that torch.

      2) What you presented is not factually correct.  I met with the Montreal Gomideh, who, for the record, received me equally enthusiastically and asked a lot of questions about my background, my plans and my strategy, for which I am grateful.  They then informed me that this was NOT their decision to make but that they would defer the matter to the Getronagan Gomideh, as apparently all decisions to run candidates at the Federal level are their jurisdiction. Since I cannot claim to be privy to any of their internal processes, I will take that pronouncement at face value and assume that this has also always been the case in the past and that decisions to run or support candidates in local ridings has always been managed nationally.

      It took me three weeks (and not because of unavailability on my side) to meet with the Getronagan Gomideh, they also received me enthusiastically, agreed with my analyses and informed me that they would support Mr. Serengulian.

      3) There are thousands of Armenians who are Canadian citizens, and all have the right to run for office, this doesn’t mean that they should or that it is desirable for the community for them to do so, or should they decide to do so, that they should be endorsed by major organizations.  The reason for the "childish" argument as to “who put his candidacy first” is because there is an online email falsification campaign that is suggesting that I am shamefully ruining the chances of Mr. Serengulian and dividing the Armenian vote, and that it is I who has come forward after Mr. Serengulian.  I am simply responding to set the record straight, and to make the facts clear to the community.  I am of course glad that you have corrected your error in a subsequent comment.  For the record, I am not, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be a member of any Armenian Political Party.  I am only a member of the Federal Liberal Party of Canada. 

      Suggesting that a political party always stands behind its members (even if it actually believes that it would be strategically and politically wrong for itself or for the ideas it stands for) is frankly absurd.  ARF’s history is full of disagreements and purges within the party (including for example, Shahan Natalie from the ARF Bureau); how come the party did not stand then behind its members it disagreed with?  Standing behind a member is an endorsement of that member’s position and being in agreement with him/her.  Therefore, the ARF supports the decision for Mr. Serengulian to run against me.  And therefore, it disagrees that I am a better candidate and believes that Mr. Serengulian is the better one and that his running against me in the same riding actually serves a better purpose.  The onus is on them to explain their actions.  They could of course prefer that this be ignored.  That is also an acceptable position, but that assumes that no one will question them. It is obviously not the case.

      4) Dr. Dikran Abrahamian already responded in great detail using publicly available information about the NDP support.

      I will just add that now that it is clear Ms. Maria Murani, the incumbent MP, will be running under the NDP banner, if she also asks to "rent" the hall at the Armenian Community Center, would she be refused?  And if so, how could that even be justified that other NDP candidates were accepted and welcomed and she is not.  (technically, she could even actually plead discrimination and go to the human rights' tribunal, which could result in a fine or even revoking of the operating license of the hall).  If this has not been thought through, the question is why not?  If it has, then isn't it clear what it means?

      5) As someone who is very well-versed in the internal politics and structures of the Liberal Party of Canada (which I hope you are not challenging), I would expect that I would at least be consulted when any candidate is thinking of presenting himself/herself to sort of "pick out the terrain".  In fact, that is exactly what I did.  I consulted with my long-time friend and former candidate of that riding, Ms. Noushig Eloyan, in more than one lengthy meeting. My door has always been open to EVERYONE without distinction, and my coordinates are very public.  I would have given honest advice and helped make the best decision.

      Of all who are making any claims about Ms. Nassif, I am the only one who has actually worked with her closely in a political setting for over three years.  I can assure you that she would not be working against Armenian interests, quite the contrary, she would have been a great and loyal ally in Parliament, if she got there.  I am certain that Mr. Hovig Tufenkjian is an honorable person who wants to do the right thing, and he, or anyone supporting him, certainly do not owe me anything to seek my advice.  But that would have been the logical thing to do.  It was not done.  As such, it is extremely doubtful that Ms. Nassif would be taking pro-Armenian positions if she succeeds in beating Mr. Tufenkjian.

      Finally, I know for a fact that Mr. Darakjian has not endorsed Ms. Nassif, and had offered to cooperate personally with the Laval Gomideh, and specifically to Mr. Tufenkjian to co-campaign and ensure the success of both.  He was snubbed and rejected in both cases.  The only way this can be explained is in terms of specific alliances being forged for support that do not include him (and obviously not me).

      6) I would like to acknowledge the openness of the Hay Horizon TV program to allot air-time to all Armenian candidates.  And I acknowledge that I had mistakenly complained to them that time was allotted to Mr. Serengulian and not to me, although the Hye Tadd representatives were specifically interviewed on the topic and had mentioned him by name and had not mentioned that I was a candidate as well (the video of that program is also available on the Hay Horizon web site for the interested).  I would however like to add that the original airing date of the all-candidate program was scheduled for November the 26th, 2014.  It was only through my intervention reminding them that it would be after the investiture of Mr. Darakjian and hence, useless for him, that they graciously advanced the broadcast date to November the 19th.  In any case, since the membership campaign for his riding was closed in late October, the positive impact of his appearance on the program was likely minimal. Since Hay Horizon was very accommodating, I will of course assume the best case, i.e. that this situation was created due to the lack of knowledge of the program staff of the specific dates at issue.

      As to the clean campaign promise.  I am sticking with it.  When I was contacted by and complained to by Mr. Serengulian about the behaviour of one of my campaign volunteers, I put a stop to it immediately.  I am merely responding with an information campaign about the facts and to very anonymous negative online campaigns against me.

      The above however does not mean that, as a candidate, I should not put forward my strengths and show the weaknesses of my opponents (including those of Mr. Serengulian).  That is what all candidates do.  It also does not mean that anyone should not challenge any Armenian organization for their decisions.  Living with the consequences of our decisions and their results is the essence of maturity.  The conscious decision to support any candidate by any organization has long-term consequences for our community and by the way, for Canada as well.  We must be ready to face these consequences, assuming we have thought them through.  If we have not, then of course we deserve our "fate".

      I am of course willing to meet Mr. Serengulian and any or all of my opponents at any public forum of debate of ideas in any setting that they may choose, even for a specific audience of their sympathizers.  That offer still stands and will never be retracted.

      Paregamoren (meaning always pareen gametsogh)

      Viken L. Attarian

      Nomination Candidate for Ahuntsic-Cartierville
      Liberal Party of Canada

       

  3. Candidancy

    Just recently Souren Khanamirian passed away and in doing so he joined the cadre of the former Armenian members of Lebanese Parliament: Khatchig Babigian, Ara Yerevanian, Antranig Manougian, Melkon Eblighatian. All of them were elected to office thanks to the political machinery of the ARF. Other than Melkon Eblighation, the others were not party members.

    The ARF has not necessarily supported a candidate just because the candidate happens to be a member of the party. Qualification, electability, service to the Armenian community at large have been and are natural givens for a candidate to garnish the support of the ARF. It is also natural course of conduct that a candidate who receives the support of the Party and witnesses the efforts the Party vests to have him or her elected, establishes a good rapport with the Party as is evidenced by the close bonds these esteemed Armenians representing the Armenian community at large in Lebanon developed with the ARF  until their deaths.

    I understand Anonymous well that Mr. Serenquilian being an ARF member rallied the support of the Party. However, Anonymous would have accorded much credibility to the candidacy of Mr. Serenquilian and to the ARF Montréal chapter, had he dwelt on the qualifications and the electability of Mr. Serenquilian  instead of presenting him to the readers as the choice because he is a member of the Party.

    1. “Credibility to Candidacy”

      I am not a party member, but my social philosophy is close to ARF.

      Yes, "credibility to candidacy" is a must. A cursory search on Google reveals hundreds of entries for Mr. Attarian re: various political and community activities, lectures, panel discussions, moderating, blogs, interviews, articles, awards, etc… you name it. The guy comes across alive–his persona is revealed. You get the feeling that you know him and you can communicate with him.

      The same cannot be said about the other candidates for nomination. You may find a solitary entry perhaps here and there and in the 11th hour initiated Facebook. Where are they?

      Varant
       

  4. Re # 4 “Clarification” of Anonymous–NDP

    A poster and a video-clip speak volumes

    Is ANCC (ARF) leadership simultaneously supporting the Liberals and the NDP in the upcoming federal elections, and thus trying to dip in two different pockets? What happened to its long-time association with the Conservative Party? Suspecting the defeat of the Conservative Party, has ANCC (ARF) leadership switched allegiance? In politics this is called opportunism and adventurism, nothing more and nothing less. Goodbye principles.

    The above poster clearly states "Fund raising evening with (avec) the Armenian Community", and not at the "Armenian Community Center" as alleged by "Anonymous". It refers to the same riding where an Armenian hopeful, Vicken Darakjian tried to be nominated as a candidate. Obviously, the ANCC (ARF) leadership prefers NDP Francois Pilon in opposition to an Armenian. Note Armenia's flag at the right bottom corner of the poster. Watch the below video-clip starting at 20:00 minutes. Isn't the ANCC (ARF) leadership setting up the failure of all four Armenian candidates in Quebec? It already succeeded in the Laval-Les Îles riding. Will the Armenian community in Quebec continue to tolerate the attitude of the ANCC (ARF) leadership summed up as follows, "Either my way or the highway"?

    Check at 20:01 for the relevant section

    1. Online Debate

      Dear Dr. Dikran,

      The last thing I want is to engage in is an online debate. My aim was to present some clarifications on the article.

      I am very much aware that the poster you attached above is the one that created all the confusion. I kindly ask you to visit all the ACC Montreal Facebook pages and 'Horizon' weekly newspaper to see the official poster that was approved by the ACC. The event was a fundraiser for Mr. Boulerice and it was not organized by the ACC or the ANC or any other Armenian organization.

      The poster attached was published by Mr Pilon's office, and he is free to do so.

      As to the "opportunism" that you mentioned, it has been the principle of the ANC and all Armenian organization in the region to support individuals rather than parties. I kindly ask you to check the strategy used by all organizations, not only in Canada but North America in general. Armenians have friends in every single party and we should continue to do so.

      Regards,
      A Keghart.com reader
       

  5. Response to Anonymous

    Dear Anonymous,

    1. Keghart.com receives hundreds of spam "comments" every month. Whenever the source cannot be identified by our verification mechanism, or the person forwarding the message is unknown, the comment is not posted, per our policy. We have made an exception in this case since you have directly engaged Keghart.com and have accused it of misinformation.

    2. Over a period of three weeks (prior to publication) at least a dozen well-respected and well-connected Armenian community members in and around Montreal were contacted to confirm the veracity of the facts in the report.

    3. Will you also accuse "Abaka" of Montreal for misinformation regarding its article of October 27, 2014? A miniature copy of it appears here.

    4. Is not the "brawl" precipitated by Armenians at the Laval-Les Îles riding on November 23, 2014, which resulted in police involvement, vindication of the concerns raised in the report, despite the fact that there was only one Armenian candidate?

    This is a worrisome repetition of the arm-twisting by certain groups, during the Cold War, in various Armenian Diaspora communities, particularly in Lebanon. 
         
    5. Wasn't a well-known ANCC (ARF) member quoted as saying "We won!" at the nomination contest of Laval-Les Îles? It was not in reference to the Armenian candidate. Was it?

    Respectfully,
    Editor
    Keghart.com

  6. Liberal Nomination Contest

    LET'S PUT A STOP TO IT

    This past Sunday in Laval-Les Îles I witnessed Armenians harming themselves. We did exactly what our enemies want to see. There was only one Armenian candidate with a reasonable chance of being chosen as the future Liberal candidate in the riding: Vicken Darakjian worked hard towards achieving the goal of becoming an MP in Ottawa.

    One would assume that Mr Darakjian, being the only Armenian on the list of six candidates, would have the Armenians rally behind him. Unfortunately, this was not the case, because a group of Armenians worked for the campaign of Faysal El Khoury.

    This group of Armenians took advantage of the democratic process, and launched vendetta towards Vicken, joined by members of the ARF. The latter, non-supportive of Vicken, was bluntly visible and worked tirelessly to defeat the Armenian candidate.

    Some would argue that this is the democratic process and that people are free to act as they wish. I adhere to the idea of democracy …. but I condemn the disunity among us.

    The Genocide centennial is around the corner. We loudly applauded the unity calls during the Montreal centennial fund-raiser. One week after that historic event, we witnessed this humongous act of disunity.

    Turks couldn't have done any better…. There was no need for them; we did it ourselves. We stopped the possibility or the chance of sending an Armenian to Parliament in Ottawa .

    I want to congratulate all the Armenians who worked hard for Mr. El Khoury's election, because they:

    • Orchestrated a win for their candidate;
    • Divided the Armenian vote by convincing innocent Armenian members to vote against the Armenian candidate;
    • Created tense and dramatic moments during the nomination process (heated exchanges, insults and even fights between the two Armenian 'clans', followed by police intervention);
    • Brought their personal hatred towards Mr. Darakjian and punished him in the political arena, thus doing a big disservice to all Canadians of Armenian origin;
    • Opened a dark page in our community's history.

    We will all remember November 23, 2014 as a dark day for Canadian-Armenians. The actors are all known and should be publicly condemned. They could have had issues with Vicken, but their account settling should have been done in another way and not to our detriment.

    THE ENEMY IS WITHIN …. we simply do not need more Vasag Sunis. Please, save the community from such low and divisive acts.

    But let's be careful, because this is just a beginning. A more serious confrontation is cooking up for the Ahuntsic-Cartierville riding where we have two Armenian candidates running for the nomination. Mr Viken L. Attarian (supported by the ADL, AGBU and Tekeyan) and Mr Serengulian (supported by the ARF). This will be a dirty campaign within the community and with a similar outcome. AVAGH.

    But there is still time: the latecomer should withdraw his candidacy and all Armenians, as well as supporting organizations should rally behind the remaining candidate.
     

    1. Now more than ever is the time to talk

      Dear fellow Armenians,

      While I share the frustrations of Mr. Manoukian,  I would like to advise all parties that we are reaching a dangerous level of discourse.

      Without betraying confidence, but as a senior party member, I can tell you that the events that took place in Laval-Les-Iles are viewed extremely seriously by the Liberal Party of Canada as a manifestation of a troubling trend.  Our community is at the center of it.

      As I have already stated publicly, our enemies have a very clear plan and are executing it.  Meanwhile, we are destroying our only potential venue of possible strategic retaliation.

      This is a matter that impacts all Canadian-Armenians, not only those who live in Montreal or Laval.  I would even argue, that it is a matter that has consequences for Armenians worldwide.

      I am therefore asking PUBLICLY, CLEARLY and UNEQUIVOCALLY that all leaders in our Canadian-Armenian community immediately

      a) Take the necessary steps to meet within a week to discuss matters.  The centennial committee may be a good place to start.
      b) Converge upon a common strategy.
      c) Tone down the discussions and issue public statements for this.
      d) Clearly and publicly dissociate themselves from anyone who does not respect common decisions or is involved in any kind of potential activity which could seriously harm the image of our community.
      e) Demonstrate by public actions that they are working for the common cause.

      We still have time to give the most precious gift to ourselves for the centennial.  Our unity.  The memory of the millions of martyrs demands no less !!!

      I am committing hereby publicly and from the pages of Keghart.com to engage for that cause.  I am open to participate in and enable the above at any moments' notice.

      Mishd paregamoren towards all

      Viken L. Attarian

    2. Montreal isn’t the only place

      Baron Manoukian, Montreal isn't the only place where the ARF has had a negative impact on local politics in recent weeks. Just last week, when a group of Toronto Armenians got together to form the Armenian Canadian Conservative Association (ACCA) , the local ARF emailed a great many of its adherents and told them not to associate with the new group. I believe the organization's message said that whoever associated with the ACCA would be in the ARF bad books.

      It's strange, sad and dangerous that the ARF–or the people who sent the email–don't realize that what they did is against the Canadian Charter of Rights–of free speech and association.

      Are we in Bourj Hamoud 1958?

    3. LOL @ Mr. Manoukian and all those blaming the ARF

      Mr. Manoukian, I find it extremely funny and hilarious that because Mr. Darakjian lost, you're blaming it on the ARF… I watched the sad video of that event, and it was YOUR people that were cussing and swearing in FRONT of a priest!  Isn't it true, that members of the Laval Sourp Khatch church, were the ones working against Mr. Darakjian? Why? Because Mr. Darakjian was one of the key players in ousting Bishop Bagrat last year.

      The ARF has always been active in the Canadian Federal, Provincial and City elections. Who helped Harout Chitilian the most during his first and second election victory? The ANCC. Mr. Chitilian was never part of ARF, in fact he is a proud AGBU member. We had Noushig Eloyan, Mary Deros, Hagop Evereglian and Viken Afarian (school board), they have won and lost. No issues or fights broke out during these elections.

      I like Mr. Darakjian, I have no issues with him. I don't agree with most of his stands but no issues. But apparently, some of the Laval Sourp Khatch parish members (which is NOT associated with ARF) have avenged what happened 18 months ago to their Bishop.

      Baron Mesrob, voch Bourj hamoud chenk, Canada enk. Pari yegak 2014 tvaganin.

      Isn't it ironic Mr. Manoukian that you found an easy target to BLAME the tashnagtsagans and you do not say a word regarding the Ramgavars and Etchmiadznagans that CAUSED this embarrassment to the community?

      Mr. Attarian, isn't it ironic that you were always an outspoken person against the ARF for years and years and yet you ran to meet with the local gomideh and begged for their support. An Armenian bashing other Armenians on numerous public and private occasions and yet is upset when they decided to support one of their own instead of the anti guy… hmmmmmm that doesn't make sense at all. It's ridiculous they should decide to support the anti-ARFer… (I hope you got the sarcasm Baron Manoukian).

      Mr. Attarian, you're a very respected person, you have worked hard for this community, please wake up and don't fall for the BS anymore. Everybody knows the truth about the Laval elections. It was not the ARF at all. Stop with the lies Mr. Manoukian. Do you think in 2014 the community doesn't smell…? We got social media…

      1. Not fair

        Thank you Stepan. I am not privy to all the details, but I'd like to point out that your characterization of Viken Attarian misses the mark by a wide margin. It's almost akin to character assassination. The person that I know is not a beggar. Informing, consulting and requesting support is a common practice in any political campaign. You call him "An Armenian bashing other Armenians on numerous public and private occasions." Viken has critized priniciples and not characters. That's not "bashing", that's intellectual privilege that we should respect it, even if we do not agree with what's said.

        Be fair.

        1. No Intention to Belittle

          Shant,
          By no means were/are my intentions to belittle or show disrespect to Mr. Attarian. On the contrary, I did state in my comment that Mr. Attarian is well respected. His contribution to the community and within the AGBU is well recognized and is appreciated.

      2. Stepan, Re my comment

        Stepan,

        Re my comment that some Canadian-Armenians seem to think we are still in "Bourdj Hammoud 1958", please consider the melee at the Montreal nomination gathering and the Toronto ARF email to its adherents that they would be penalized if they associated with the newly-established Armenian-Canadian Conservative Association.

        Yes, "Welcome to Canadian Bourj Hammoud 2014".

        Mesrob

        1. I Understand

          Baron Mesrob, I understand your displeasure about the so-called email that was sent in Toronto. I would like you to read the below statements by Mr. Manoukian and I let you be the judge…

          What Mr. Manoukian wrote…

          But let's be careful, because this is just a beginning. A more serious confrontation is cooking up for the Ahuntsic-Cartierville riding where we have two Armenian candidates running for the nomination. Mr Viken L. Attarian (supported by the ADL, AGBU and Tekeyan) and Mr Serengulian (supported by the ARF). This will be a dirty campaign within the community and with a similar outcome. AVAGH.
          (FYI Mr. Serengulian is backed by not only the ARF, but also the ARS, Hamazkayin, HMEM, AYF Canada and more)

          Question: Why is it going to be dirty? Is Mr. Manoukian planning on making it dirty? What is the chef cooking? Yes it is weird that two prominent Armenian community members are running against each other. However it might be a healthy rivalry.  Mr. Manoukian

          Mr. Manoukian also wrote:
          But there is still time: the latecomer should withdraw his candidacy and all Armenians, as well as supporting organizations should rally behind the remaining candidate.

          Why should anyone withdraw his name? Isn't this supposed to be a democracy? Are you saying this is based on first-come first-serve basis? If that's the case, Mr. Attarian should withdraw his candidacy as well, since there was one candidate before him. It does not matter if he's Armenian or not.

          Baron Mesrob, no disrespect to your statement, I just wanted you to see what an ADL- Ramgavar leader is stating through his comments on this website.

          I am sure Mr. Attarian and Mr. Serengulian have spoken about this. Plus, isn't "Hye Horizon", the TV program in Montreal, that gave fair time to ALL candidates, financed and produced by the Tashnagtsagans? If the ARF is backing only Mr. Serengulian and is against the accomplishments of Mr. Attarian and Mr. Darakjian, why would they allow them time? Hmmm… I have not seen one single positive thing that was said by the "Abaka" newspaper regarding Mr. Serengulian or Mr. Tufenkjian. The only negative vibes towards any candidate is from the out-of date leaders of the ADL. 

          I would like to see the journalists at "Abaka" conduct an interview and post a positive article about ALL Armenian candidates instead of playing the blame game.

      3. The call still stands

        Dear Mr. Stepan,

        You are correct, I have criticized the ARF, but also the Ramgavars and the AGBU, and the Armenian government, and the Armenian church and all Armenian organizations.  I have criticized them in the name of democracy, in the name of transparency, in the name of advancement of our nation. Every single act of my criticism is the result of rational analysis based on historical evidence and arguments and is accompanied by concrete proposals of improvement.  I believe in and have always called for an open and critical analysis of ourselves and our history as the necessary condition for our self-improvement.

        My lectures and achievements are all public, people can make their own judgment. I stand behind everything I have done, written and said.

        I asked the Gomideh for their support, because I believe that was and is the right thing to do.  The concrete project that I am proposing for our cause cannot succeed without everyone's committed long-term contribution to the team effort.  It would be the real proof of our unity.

        My call for a united action with the necessary steps still stands.  It is up to the community leadership to decide their course.

        Mishd Paregamoren

        Viken L. Attarian

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