An All-New Jordan!

By Mohammad Abrumman

تم نشره في Sun 13 August / Aug 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

The Centre for Strategic Studies published a report, some months ago, on policy making under uncertainty, highlighting the reality of Jordan’s domestic and regional situation.

Interestingly enough, the report goes beyond the attempt to explain the many challenges Jordan is facing, internally and externally, to actually suggesting solutions.

Towards the end of the report, the Centre suggests a bundle of recommendations and actionable policies to tackle domestic, foreign, economic, and social issues.

Soon, the Municipal and Decentralised Elections will be over.

Once it is, we will have a vast base of representatives, speaking for the people, be it in parliament or in the local and municipal councils. Not to mention labour groups and professional associations, who also represent a significant part of the public!

The question is, will all this reflect or make a difference, as my colleague and friend Fahed Khitan, would want it to?

Will we soon know where our country’s heading, as opposed to the overwhelming sense of uncertainty which encompasses Jordanians?

Unfortunately, I do not share my friend’s optimism for the upcoming phase.

I do not share his hopes for certainty to be the defining aspect of the days to come.

Personally, I think the issue is far more complicated than it is made to seem.

It is evident from the general atmosphere. The public is showing the same symptoms of the same mass psyche which prevailed in the previous Parliamentary Representative elections; indifference, mostly, and confusion.

The same goes for the government and the political elites.

No one knows really what the councils are supposed to do, and how they affect the public sphere or parliament, for that matter. Many fear the integration of a foreign, unknown body to the conventional mechanism may result in negative outcomes.

Right before the Representative elections were held, we were full of hope that perhaps our House will be different; modern perhaps, as the law which made it.

We had hoped the parliament would combine pluralism and proportionism, and that the age of the Single-Vote was over.

Reality, however, does not necessarily conform to the hopes of the intellect; the results of it all were disappointing for so many Jordanians. The aspirations of a parliamentary government were far from attained, and now, no one speaks of it anymore!

Are the regional circumstances responsible for this negative political atmosphere? Have political reforms become secondary or limited to the boundaries of today in the minds of some?! Are the economic pressures endured by the vaster segment of society responsible for the prioritisation of economy over politics? This includes unemployment, prices, and income erosion, which have become real threats to Jordanians households.

Is it the absence of alternatives? Neither the opposition nor parties have the means to build a critical, substitutive vision for a comprehensive reformist agenda?

Needless to say, the solution to our economic and financial predicaments will not come from abroad; this much the decision halls know for sure.

The only Jordanian option would be to reform the very foundations and constructs of the system. What does that mean?!

It means we need a politically reformist government, with the expertise, skill, knowledge, innovation, and courage to address our challenges openly, without fear or hesitation.

Such a government may have the ability to outline a path; a roadmap to the future, for an All-new Jordan.

The current political lot, including some of those in office, is bankrupt. All they have is their usual, pointless jibber-jabber and gossips.

Meanwhile, the reformist, capable politicians are scattered and lost. Those who do end up in office, also end up working alone. And should we maintain this course, nothing will change!

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