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Adept at Self-Sabotage

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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 24 November 2014 - 12:48 PM

Adept at Self-Sabotage

Keghart.com Report, 22 November 2014

North American communities where Armenian voters have asignificant
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. Theirmodus 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-Iles. 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-Iles,
LiberalVicken 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

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?


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#2 MosJan


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Posted 24 November 2014 - 12:50 PM

nuyn el mez mot e . ..  tsavali sakayn irakanutyun..

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#3 onjig



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Posted 26 November 2014 - 01:51 PM

It is a shame. Years ago,while talking to an Armenian priest, I was lamenting why we act so often in cross purpose where as the Huria were more likely to work together. He said " Where the Armenian has honesty the Huria has unity."

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