Why Are These Elections Important!

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Tue 1 August / Aug 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

The same question is as redundant in every elections season as the elections themselves: “Where’d all those candidates come from?”

There is a reason why Jordanians don’t care much about the elections; they’re bored of the same vacant promises, mostly, and disappointed with the winners’ performance.

It is no secret than so many candidates are running for their own personal gains.

Citizens have very little confidence in the feasibility or promise of elected committees, and feel greatly that their work rarely ever reflects on their quality of life and cervices provided.

I, on the other hand, do not share the entirety of these impressions.

If we were to take a deeper look into the performance of the House of Representatives, for example, we will see the scale of their influence in legislation; the Parliament.

These influences, via legislations, reflect directly on people’s lives, not to mention the direct services MPs facilitate for the public via the government.

This is an extended, varying debate, and I will not go into it here.

Here, in this article, the aim is to discuss the public’s impressions on the municipal and governorate council elections and the candidates, whose pictures and banners fill the streets and public squares.

So many young blood is pumping into the system, alongside the familiar faces we’re used to seeing.

If anything, this is a healthy sign on society’s livelihood, despite the general impression on the place and role of councils and elected committees when it comes to decision making.

The municipal and governorate elections are fairly new to Jordan, but they are the societal units which produce the middle leadership, so to speak. It also preps them for advances political work later on.

In other words, these elections produce leaderships. They pump the blood streaming through the political vessels and the body of public administration; both in the cities and governorates.

For so long, the people have complained about the dominion of the few over the centres of the decision making dynamic. Not to mention the customary fuss about there being no new qualified faces in the government, to address the citizens’ aspirations for reform and progress. Trust too, is a thing of its own.

The most dominant diagnosis of our problems internally has been the retraction of the elite and the capable, Jordanian popular leaderships.

More so, we have always complained about the activists disinterest in public work and elections, and subsequently, the dominion of the same old, traditional faces.

The only thing that can move stagnant water, and revive public work, breathe life back into the political midst, is pumping new young blood into its body.

That said, the only way to do so is through elections; parliament, municipality, labour societies and associations, notwithstanding commerce and industry chambers, among other bodies if the public sector.

Many times before, our municipalities have given us various respectable leaders whom have served our cities with dedication. Then, they either moved up top or went back to partaking in social and political movements, as active and effective members.

Municipality councils are a new thing, and despite all my fears, I am certain that in time, it will bring forth a lot of young leaders who will have a place in the near future, as MPs.

They will also have their own expertise as an advantage over those who did not go through the decentralisation experience.

We are in dire need for change; we keep crawling out one hole and falling into another.

The entirety of the state institution, the conventional bureaucracy is no longer capable of renewing itself. And the state itself now requires a different kind of leaders.

Mindfully, there is no other way to compensate for this culminating impotence without relying on elected committees and institutions to bring about a new generation of leaders.

All across the city and its streets, you see dozens of young candidates, pushing into the elections, strong and confident; this is the best part of it all.

They may not all win. But the thing about the elections is that you do not have to win to become a member of the leading few.

It is enough to get involved in the public work sector to cultivate expertise which will enable one to be an active and effective leader and decision maker.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.