A Problem with the Law Itself?

By: Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Wed 27 July / Jul 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

In spite of the evident effort by the Independent Elections Commission (IEC), a scalable part of the electoral charts and the list of candidates has yet to be readied, with quite some difficulty as well at hand; also, the people’s view of the upcoming elections is still governed by their experiences with previous ones. Which is why we stumble upon talks on tribal nominations and individual candidacies in utter dismissal of the idea of forming lists; let alone the difficulty of forming these lists in the very first place.

Additionally, it is safe to assume that the social culture standing has yet to digest the new elections law; not because of shortcomings in elaboration and illustrative campaigns, as there seems to be huge effort put into the explanation of the new system in the simplest of ways, and across a multitude of media; but contrarily, because according to surveys and opinion polls, there is limited popular interest in the law and its detail, to begin with. And second, because simply speaking; the heat of the election battle has yet to rise, and in general, it is a driving factor in the formation and aggregation of electorate enthusiasm to actually deliberate and learn the law. The third reason is comprised in the fact that a wide segment of society has familiarised with the old single vote law, which has dominated the Representative House elections scene for nearly 23 years.

The only party that has so far been rapidly capable of adapting to the new law, even though it is not easy for such a large party, is the Islamic Action Front party, which is almost done with the lists and is currently building alliances, while other parties are still confused and inefficiently trying to find their way into the helm of the stampede, most of whom are engaged, barely, their respective circuits, resolving to quota charts, as the easiest way into parliament.

Necessarily, such difficulties, with the obsession of the Brotherhood’s capacities, have pushed the conservatives and the olds guard lot to raise alarms of the pending results of the upcoming elections; playing the same old tune to restate the single vote law the only suitable law for the country, placing the blame on Dr Khaled Kalaldeh, as the political architect of the current law, for the expected outcomes of the elections.

This view is highly selective and conclusive of very important details in that; foremost, we today are paying quite the price for the single vote law itself, notwithstanding the negative performance and image of the House of Representatives, but also socially; the single vote law, through its individual circuits, has facilitated the rise of sub-identities and the triumphs of personal and narrow social interests over the public and greater welfare of the Country, which is an issue that has reflected on universities and government institutions, and has incurred so much damage to our country as a whole.

Their choice, to continue in the single vote system, were it up to them of course; would be catastrophic. We have been drinking off the same glass for over two decades. The only alternative is the governorate-scale chart, or list, only this would be numerical not relative. And this would, first overinflate the power of Islamises, and reinforce this fear within the decision halls. Second, this alternative incurs injustice in regards to vote-counts versus representation. Contrarily, the relative system ensures a vaster and fairer representation, while in the numerical system, the tail votes go for loss, even if they were to count for hundreds of thousands.

 The real problem, in the heart of the matter, lies in two parts:

First: that we are to face a new, unfamiliar relative electoral system that people don’t yet know how to deal with, and is more complicated than the previous systems. Which, on the other hand, is a problem that could be overcome with time, conditioning, and “training”. However, the successful transformation, from a numerical to a relative election system, would serve well both spheres of the elections and political cultures.

Second: neither the social, nor party status for that matter, are qualified to engage in the relative system, for the leap. Which is entirely true, but; what other choice do we have? Go back to the single vote problem? The old system, and its enhancement —two votes— will not at all solve the problem.

So let’s work towards overcoming these problems with the new law, not in the way that is anticipated by many; that this is to be the only election to be conducted accordingly!