I didn't really feel like writing about politics today, but it's impossible to avoid. We're a distorted generation -- we go to cafes and meet up in parks, but it only takes a few seconds before we are immersed in our favorite topics: the Communists, the opposition, is there a coalition or isn't there? You go to a club on a Saturday night and the first thing you hear is: Who did you vote for?
Why couldn't everything be simple, like it is for typical young people in Europe -- sex, money, celebrity? What more could you want? But no, we need forums for free discussion, democracy, and middle-of-the-night conversations about whether Moldova should align with Russia or the European Union. There's just something wrong with us.
Natalia Morari blogs for RFE/RL's Moldovan Service
That was the impression that some of the foreign journalists who came to Moldova last week to cover the elections seemed to come away with. They used to think that our country was pretty apolitical. If they heard anything about us, it was just from jokes about Moldovan girls and construction workers. And it's possible that nine years ago, that's about all there was. But not now.
I'm not talking about all young people, of course. But I am talking about a pretty important, if small, segment of the country's youth. I call them "not indifferents." And there are more of them now.
I remember when I enrolled at Moscow State University in 2002. None of the people my age that I knew could care less about what was happening in the country or what would become of it. Now, most of them still want to go abroad, but some of them -- OK, only a few -- are thinking that they won't leave for good. (They're basically thinking they'll try to earn some money abroad and then return.) But the main thing is that now they care about who wins elections; they care about the country and its future.
It may sound stupid to say, but the defeat of the Communists in the last elections (with all the well-known qualifications) was a necessary, fundamental event. Not least in the process of forming this newborn class of "not indifferents" and active youths whose childhood came after Moldova had already become independent and who are familiar with the Soviet mentality only through the stories of their grandparents.
The system has begun to change -- whether for better or worse, we'll find out soon enough. But it's begun to change, and that's the main thing.
Now we're entering a very difficult, but pivotal, time. This new class (in the future it will undoubtedly become the basis of an ordinary middle class, which hardly exists now) is forming the demand for a new political elite and new, effective policies. They are the demand for new, albeit harsh, reforms and decisions.
Yes, this is a difficult period. But we have begun moving in the right direction. Yes we can!
P.S. I was talking to some people I know who read this blog and I decided that in upcoming posts I will begin a discussion of the initial steps that need to be taken so that the words "developed Moldova" stopped just being empty sounds and a subject for jokes. I hope you'll join in. Who knows? Maybe someone will read us and find some of our ideas useful.