I think that the biggest omission in the development of Kazakhstan is the lack of opposition.

         Not underground, not radical, not oppressed by the authorities, but real, in the traditional sense of the word for civilized countries.

         The absence of opposition negatively affects the development of the country as a whole.

         When those who make fateful decisions for the country, do not have opponents, the risk of making wrong decisions increases many times. No matter how wise the President was, no matter how smart the ministers, united by corporate ties, owed each other appointments, members of the same team, they can not be completely objective in their views on many things.

         Looking from the outside. Disconnected, not obscure.

         To do this, the country must have an opposition.

         It must have its own opinion on all phenomena in society, on any trends, on every event. It is desirable to be different from the government one. What is it for? It is necessary for the President and the people to have a complete picture of reality. Without listening to the second side, sometimes it is even difficult to understand which pitfalls hide in one direction or another, what negative consequences this or that action may cause.

         Ideally, any major decision at the state level should be run in the arena of public battles.

         For example, British Prime Minister David Cameron believes that his country should remain in the European Union, but he hears the opposition’s calls for withdrawal. What does Mr. Cameron do as the head of the government of a democratic country? He announces a referendum on this issue. Before that, public debates are held all over the country, where the ruling and opposition parties in the public eye are exchanging arguments for and against, and convince the people of their rightness.

         Or another example. US President Obama believes that it is necessary to reform health insurance. What did he do, as the president of a democratic country? He held public discussions on this issue throughout the country and even starred in a commercial video that agitates for reform. The people listen to him and his opponents, and then express their sympathies.

         How decisions were taken in our country about joining the Eurasian Economic Union, abolishing private pension funds, holding olympiads, building high-mountain complexes and so on, I will not tell. We all know very well. I do not even now state that these decisions were wrong. Maybe the right ones. But I’m not sure of either. Because before my eyes there was not really open discussion of these issues. There was no conflict of opinion. I did not hear all the arguments “for” and “against” during the discussions.

          We all need the opposition in the country.

          What do I need to do?

          First of all, we all need to change consciousness. We need to get rid of radicalism in thinking. We must move away from the slogan “Who is not with us, he is against us!”. We must understand that people with a different opinion are not necessarily traitors and “enemies of the people.” They should not be hated, imprisoned, forbidden to register parties, burn their print shops and so on. The word “oppositionist” should not be abusive. Officials should not shy away from oppositionists, as from plague, and be afraid to shake their hand in public. They are the same citizens as all of us. They have the right to express their point of view, even if it is different from the official position of the government. From their arguments, we all will not lose, but only enrich. We will know one more opinion, one more look from a different angle. This will help the government and us in order to make a more correct decision.

          The opposition needs not to be oppressed, but, on the contrary, it needs to be supported and developed. Materially and morally.

          In the UK, for example, the “shadow cabinet of ministers” consists entirely of members of Parliament and receives additional funding from the state budget. In France, the opposition party is headed by the former President of this republic, Nicolas Sarkozy (he is not deposed and not in exile). In the US, the opposition is represented in the country’s Parliament, regularly criticizes President Obama and even threatens to sue him.

           All these oppositionists live in safety, in respect and honor, do not hide in other countries, do not languish in prison, and do not hide their views.

          Not only they take benefit from this, but the whole country as a whole, the whole nation, because nothing develops any society like competition. Only competition is capable to choose the best from many ideas, decisions, views and give them the opportunity to move society forward.

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