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Virginijus Savukynas
© LRT / Vytenis Radžiūnas

Many are asking why politics in Lithuania has become only scandals and settling of scores between politicians, shamelessly employing power structures.

Even more, businessmen, journalists and public figures are drawn into politicians' disputes.

By reacting to scandals so acutely, politicians show nowhere near the same energy when talk turns to a vision for Lithuania, about what needs to be done today, so that living in Lithuania would be better in five, ten or thirty years.

You can even sense a sort of contempt for such discussions, take it that these are children's games, not worthy of the attention of serious men and women.

Why has the settling of scores superseded everything else? Why are most politicians akin to teenagers, who wish to establish, who is the "coolest" in the yard. After all that's not what matters the most to the Lithuanian people. They care about how they live today, how they will live in a decade and how their children will live.

You can't say there are no strategies or visions. They exist. There are sufficiently many, but they have a common trait – they don't work. Why?

Prior to answering, let me digress. There if a US aluminium production company Alcoa. When matters deteriorated in the 9th decade of the XX century, they invited a new general manager Paul O'Neil. What goals did he raise?

Perhaps he said it was necessary to increase efficiency and profits? That's what the company owners expected. No. He said that the main goal is to ensure that there would be no cases of injury at work. After this declaration, a number of stockholders sold their stocks because it sounded illogical to them.

And this was the greatest mistake they ever made because very soon the company's profits and value rose greatly.

What did this security requirement change? Turns out, quite a bit. Work efficiency and quality increased and prices could be decreased.

How is this linked to the raised goal? It simply changed other habits of the organisation because by ensuring security it was uncovered that production processes were incorrect and improvements were discovered to remedy this.

I am convinced that this applies to societies. If we want positive change, we must focus on changing one habit. Then man things in society and the state can change. Thus perhaps instead of all-encompassing strategies and visions, we should focus on changing a single habit of society.

The "Farmers" seriously desire to accomplish one of their proposals. Prior to the elections, they declared it and have been pursuing it despite acute opposition. However, Aurelijus Veryga is not one to give up easily.

His goal is a society which consumes alcohol in moderation (well, he would likely want an abstinent society) and a healthy society.

Would establishing such a habit not impact other areas of life? Research shows that this is how changes happen.

Of course, the question arises, should specifically such a goal be set? Perhaps we need to change some other public habit? Perhaps. Politicians, analysts and journalists should discuss this. Where are the Conservatives' ideas?

What are the Liberals, Social Democrats proposing? Where are those simple and clear ideas, which should change society? Let us discuss. Unfortunately, there's none of that. There are no other ideas of the sort. Or they are gathering dust on a shelf somewhere.

When there is no content, only endless bickering, nothing good comes about, bar an entrenched habit of destruction. Now that's no good.

In such a case, we need no external enemies – we could destroy the country with our own hands. The Sąjūdis' 30th anniversary is nearing.

How we have distanced ourselves from its ideals and hopes. After all it was primarily not "against" something, but "for". For a free, independent and thriving Lithuania. It raised up millions of people, granted them hope. For now, though people are being assembled only "against someone." It's time to stop and think