What politicians say shows their level of political maturity and culture, expert

When politicians want to demonstrate maturity and high level of political culture, they should focus their speeches on policies and concrete issues, and not on certain circumstances that could earn them rating points, stated Sergiu Ostaf, director of the Human Rights Resource Center CReDO, at a public debates session organized by the news agency Info-Prim Neo. Sergiu Ostaf illustrated his point by giving examples of foreign politicians, who should serve as models for the Moldovan ones because they are more careful about what they say and are ready to apologize when they blunder. Ostaf in particular recalled the US President Barack Obama's inauguration speech in which he avoided to mention God. “We can understand that he did this in order not to hurt the feelings of those who have different religious beliefs and convictions or aren't religious at all. This indicates a great level of political culture”. He further gave the example of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who during one of his speeches was inattentive enough to use inappropriate language for overweight people. However he found the person in the crowd whose feelings were hurt and apologized. Several years ago, Romania's President Traian Basesescu also apologized after in a fit of temper he used racist words in a phone conversation. Even if he begged pardon, a prompt and firm action ensued from the Romanian Commission against Racism and Discrimination and the President was sanctioned. Ostaf noted in this respect that, compared to foreign politicians, some politicians in Moldova use more inappropriate words and aren't even sorry. “We know the case of Anatol Plugaru, who used a saying that disparages the Roma. There is a court decision that clearly found his statements as being racist. However Anatol Plugaru has failed to apologize and continues to use such sayings”, said the expert. Another offensive statement that targeted an African-born man was recently voiced by Communist leader Vladimir Voronin, who implied that the man “just came down off a tree”. Such a behavior, according to the expert, indicates a very low level of political culture. Sergiu Ostaf thinks that the Moldovan politicians should stop being political entrepreneurs, trying to obtain political gains at all costs, and grow to become responsible politicians that can take responsibility for their words and for the impact they may cause. The public debate on the theme of “What politicians think about us people when they throw eggs at each other and use offensive language?” were held as part of the project titled “Enhancing Political Culture by Public Debates”, funded by the German foundation Hanns Seidel.

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