Political Apathy: Myth or Reality?

21 November 2013


….The second event on the Keghart.com-Toronto AGBU fall calendar was “Diaspora Armenian Political Apathy: Myth or Reality?” panel discussion on Oct. 27. Panelists Aren Bedrosyan, Edward Yaghledjian, Dr. Minas Kojayan and Viken Attarian agreed that there was “apparent” apathy, cited the reasons for it, and offered ideas on how to empower Diaspora Armenians to get involved in politics in the countries where they have settled.

Among the reasons cited for lack of engagement in politics was fear, especially among many Middle East Armenians, who have traditionally considered politics a dangerous arena. Lack of infrastructure, resources, and communal divisions were also considered crucial reasons for Diaspora Armenians’ political impotence locally and the absence of Armenian politicians at municipal or provincial and state levels. A single-minded focus on the Genocide has limited our horizons and “ghettoized” Diaspora communities, the audience was told.

Several of the panelists said yet another reason for the dearth of Armenians in the political sphere is parental insistence that their offspring pursue medicine, law, engineering, and accounting as their careers.

The four panelists agreed that Diaspora communities should focus on macro politics rather than be identified as a single-issue (the Genocide) community. To make a political impact and have Armenian presence in the political sphere, Armenians and their representatives should be engaged in the political, social, economic, and cultural affairs of the countries they reside in, the panelists concurred.

  1. Armenian Apathy to Politics

    Thank you Keghart for organizing such a wonderful and very important event.

  2. Encouraging Armenians towards local politics a necessity

    Kudos to Keghart's  initiative  in this respect, supporting participation in activities at local, provincial and state levels. It's time Armenians entered and advocated –aside from the perennial Genocide  issue-other  international  matters, such as  now the need for curbing inappropriate siding  with great Turkey. More attention to Iran ought to be in place. An old time, if not ally, a noble people´s country that has been lenient to Armenians  and their cause; a good neighbour  of Armenia  now. Looks like the tide  is changing. Hopefully rapprochement with Iran by U.S. and in extension its immediate allies will succeed  gradually, if  not at once.

    Thanks again for inviting-encouraging Armenians world-wide to immerse themselves  in local politics  in  the countries  they live  in. 

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