Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Count Me Out For Now!

While some argue that elections give transitional countries experience with organizing parties and civil society in addition to improving the protection of civil liberties, others argue that well-functioning rule of law must precede elections. The importance of a vibrant middle class and a functioning state apparatus are also stressed on as prerequisites of meaningful elections.

In the absence of many of these prerequisites, the question that remains in my head: why should I vote on Tuesday (our Tuesday that is November 9, 2010)? I am fully aware that this is a “chicken and egg" question? Ooops this riddle has been recently resolved, it’s the chicken. Well, you get the gist of what I am trying to say. I hope!

If the process of campaigning is any indication, then I am definitely turned off. If the track record of the candidates is any indication, then common sense tells me that the majority of them did not get to finish their last term because they were simply fired (I have no better way to describe it). So seeing them back again would be equivalent to Yogi Berra’s “It's déjà vu all over again". A nightmare scenario if you ask me. If the firing of many of the likely lucky future MPs, ok ok term dissolution, was unfair (as some might argue), then the independence of this entire crucial branch is more of a reason not to vote. To tell you the truth, when the last session was dissolved I got the feeling that the message was “you either do it the executive way, or I will show you the way”, out that is!!!

Sounds negative. I know. Well let me look at it from a more positive angle. I will start with letting bygones be bygones. Let me now look at the campaign program of the candidates I am supposed to cast my vote of confidence for. Program? What’s that? Some have declared superficial and skeleton ones through slogans that make elections sound more like martyrdom, while others have simply and “condescendingly” declared “no messages” but we are still supposed to take them seriously and vote for them. Others have graciously reminded us that Jordan is for Jordanians...how about the “non-Jordanians” (as defined by these very Jordanians) who will be voting?

I am extremely annoyed by the fact that I won’t be voting. But frankly speaking, I would be more annoyed to vote for a candidate simply because I have to. I’d rather delay this part of being a good citizen and concentrate on the many other parts that are real and can hopefully make a meaningful difference. Sorry...