Why so Dim?!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Mon 14 August / Aug 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

In spite of the Islamists’ participation in the Municipal and Decentralised Elections, as well as the Leftists’, it is losing political momentum.

It is also obvious that the political parties’ participation is more of an attempt to improve their positions in the power scale, rather than to actually do something.

Most have no thorough view or insight into the role of the Municipal and Local councils in serving their communities and better the lives of Jordanians.

It is important that we remain on the lookout for this, especially since it reflects the gap between the ideological narratives of the political parties, and the local communities’ goals and needs.

This negativity surfaced clearly in the absence of the parties’ role in raising awareness on the importance of these elections and the change that is attainable through such councils.

As partial as it may be, still, these councils can mediate for tangible changes in the reality of the citizen’s everyday life.

It is ironic that, in many countries of the world, the Municipal Elections centre the focus of citizens, especially those not engaged or interested in politics or ideology.

Here, most of the Jordanians are not directly concerned with it; most do not find themselves related to it, even though development and services are the main issues of municipalities.

Nonetheless, parties in Jordan paid very little attention to this, as they charged forth unto the elections, blurred and confused as to what their real task is.

The second negativity is that of the political elite and intellectuals, the government included.

Most are disinterested in explaining to the people the aspects of these election and the hoped outcomes of it. Some even avoid discussing the centremost details of the new decentralisation law.

Turnout, as a former prime minister said, will be disappointing. So many people care very little for the elections, and this isn’t exclusive to the typical Jordanian citizen. This is also evident among the political elite.

He, the former premier, said that even his own sons and daughters, who are politically involved and themselves legal experts, found it difficult to understand the law. Let alone its technicalities!

The government had turned to national television and lectures to explain the law and the councils.

If anything, this only explains that the government really has little knowledge of the scale of social and cultural shifts.

In turn, this shows that the state suffers a massive miscommunication, and a shortage in the state-citizen communication dynamic.

Unfortunately, the official bet is on the tribal factor to raise the turnout rate in the elections today, as usual, which is the third cause of negativity.

This, of course, will bring about a large voting turnout in the governorates.

Along these lines, the government is also hoping the same masses who will vote for the municipal elections will vote for the local councils, since they’re already there.

In Amman, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there is a general abstention and reluctance among Ammanis.

The same goes for Irbid and Zarqa, to an extent.

Naturally, it is safe to assume this isn’t just a passing gloom.

It is neither temporary nor exclusive to the Parliamentary Elections, as many have claimed the Jordanians were just disinterested in the aspects of politics.

The same negativity endured the previous Representative Elections, to this very day, here, as we are about to launch the Municipal and Local elections. Even though these elections may help better the public’s lives, to a huge extent, the people are still disaffected by its promise.

Why? This question should be seriously, objectively asked and answered!

Is the issue really about laziness; particularly among Ammanis and West Ammanis? That they do not want to wake up so early in the morning?!

No, highly doubtful!

So, is it then a problem with the state’s media message and communication mechanism?! Or is it just that the people seem to be disillusioned, somehow, by it all, as Taher Odwan put it in his latest book?!

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