Integrity Is All That Matters For Now

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Wed 17 August / Aug 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

Because the new elections law is a little complicated, added the general difficulty in constructing agreements and alliances in regards to formulating lists and manifests, a new tune now resounds on how badly constructed the law is, to the point that some say the single-vote law is better.

Does it make sense to you? This? That after all the disadvantages we endured of the old law and its “virtual circuits”; all the catastrophic percussions of these laws on our society? Tearing us apart and shredding us, for some to say “wish we had kept the old law”?

Honestly, and most unfortunately, this only indicates the overwhelming concern over partial, narrow personal individual interests and gains off tight, even narrower —perhaps— circuits. This only shows how dispersed we’ve become, that our shredding now bases a measure of what is considered a good elections law; one that serves only the agendas of a limited few, given the new law has vastly enlarged the circuits beyond their capacities to win the elections.

Typically, some of the Singl-Vote proponents justify their position saying they’re challenged by the new law’s complexities, which may be true, to an extent. But this just as true for the old law. The people didn’t understand it any more than they do this until they headed out to polls.

The elites seem to be dismissive, when discussing the elections law, of how according to several public surveys; these law are ranked so low on the people’s ladder of priorities; eventually, their actual priorities are governed by their economic, lively needs, and the desire to root out corruption.

More so, the continued absence of a real political party life in Jordan is simply most fitting of the old law. But the absence of parties, or their actual presence; all deformities in mind, does not mean the law should not be developed. That is besides the fact that narrow gains should not justify the call to retain the old Single-Vote law.

Now, after the electoral manifests and lists have been finalised and declared, we enter a new phase, with the possible continuation of the debate on the current law and its potential outcomes; some will continue to deny that it is better than the previous one. However, its desired results will take time, until all other factors of its success align and converge, inclusive of the deepening of party dynamics and organisation, to reinforce their effectiveness, and restore the youth’s conviction, and society’s as a whole, in their benefits and use, when it comes to inducing change.

Additionally, while the current law is not it its entirely what is demanded and needed, but this does not —at all— devalues the fact that it is indeed a step forward; at least we’re rid of the Single-Vote law once and for all!

Moreover, the real challenge today is not comprised in the essence of the law itself, but into 2 main issues: the rate of participation in the elections; and more importantly, the integrity and transparency of the election process in whole, which is instrumental to restoring public faith, after years of catastrophic practices have been popularised throughout the many previous elections.

As for the participation rate, as important as that is, it is not a duty of the Independent Elections Commission (IEC). Convincing voters to head to the polls is among the primary duties of parties and candidates in general, and the rate is largely related to their ability to retain votes. Notably, one third of the Country’s electorate are overseas, which only means the rate is going to be lower than expected; so, do not raise the ceilings so high.

Contrarily, the IEC’s role, primarily, is to conduct and hold a clear and transparent elections, free of intervention, forgery, or rigging, and communicate the transparency of the process to the people; that the final results were indeed decided by the people who went to the polls. And with that, a new stage will be prefaced to regain the people’s trust in the electoral process, even if it needed more than one elections to reinforce.