Paragons of Shame

By Garen Yegparian

This is a sad–bad true tale of arrogant–egotistical–and community-damaging behavior by some Armenia’s. It’s the tale of the Tuesday–April 5–2005 City of Glendale General Municipal Elections.

Let’s get a few facts and guiding assumptions out. At the time of writing–this piece is based on numbers as of the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Provisional ballots have not been counted–nor have late-receipt absentee ballots been completely counted as of this writing. Based on information from the Glendale City Clerk’s office–the relative positions have not changed with the additional votes counted since election day. So–the points raised here are not impacted. I also assume that an overwhelming proportion of Armenian voters–I would guess some 90%–voted exclusively for Armenian candidates–a sign of our political immaturity.

Of course the good news is that Ardashes Kassakhian got elected as Glendale’s new City Clerk. But even here there’s some bad news. Had the three other Armenian candidates not run–he would have been elected with half of the total votes cast instead of just over a quarter. That would have been much more of a mandate. The Armenian vote was scattered by Narineh Barzegar–Lorna Vartanian–and Paulette Mardikian. Particularly worthy of scorn is the last person named–whose claim of service to the Armenian community was that she served Armenia’s who needed language assistance–while doing her full-time city job. How ridiculous! How pathetic! Our community’s loudmouth–ill-informed–and deceitful talk show hosts also contributed to an aura of suspicion being created around Ardashes–which can’t but have hurt the results. They raised the issue that because the city clerk is a full time paid position–it is somehow different from the other elected offices. What a red herring! All elected officials receive payment–though some are nominal. Too bad. An excellent opportunity and result sullied and diminished by a bunch of electoral idiots (henceforth–"EIs").

In the City Council and School Board races–the EIs actually prevented some of the best candidates from getting elected. Taking the votes utterly wasted on EIs Naira Khachatrian and Hasmig Aslanian and allocating just half of those to Nayiri Nahabedian would have secured the latter’s victory. Similarly–Vrej Agajanian–Hovik Gabikian–Garry Sinanian garnered enough votes to seriously hurt Anahid Oshagan and Chahe Keuroghlian. Without those three EIs–there’s an excellent chance that both Anahid and Chahe would have been elected. Certainly–at least one of them would have.

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