The Left in Parliament?

By: Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Sun 8 May / May 2016. 11:52 PM
  • Fahed Khitan

With the Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party announcing their participation in the next parliamentary elections, the spectrum of left parties in Jordan would be fully present in the race, as the Communist and the Jordanian Democratic People's parties had previously declared joining in. The two Baathi parties; progressive and socialist, however, remain undecided on participation, while expected to partake.

Save for the “Popular Unity” party, having boycotted the previous elections, remaining left and pan-Arab Nationalist parties did partake in the elections, symbolically, but did not get any seats in Parliament.

The new elections law is more lenient towards parties; granting them more space to manoeuvre in wider electoral circles, with the chance to form alliances across these circles, and propose electoral agendas with programmes that articulate the electors concerns, while tending to the issues of National interest.

This, with all the importance it bears, does not suffice. Parties need to, first, march out of their ideological fortresses and into the complexities of reality; form vast alliances with the various components of society and the political sphere, without condescendence, given they are not in a situation to enforce their terms on others.

Symbolic participation, for show, is meaningless; the electoral battle is to be engaged with the largest number of possible electors. And in the circles that do not carry a chance for party candidates to succeed, parties must not hesitate to announce support for the best possible runners in these circles, whether or not they are party members.

It is not true also that election campaigns are costly and can only be endured by the well-off. There are innovative methods to communicate with the electoral populace besides the traditional ways; most influential of those today is social media. Through Facebook or Twitter, runners can get through to any elector, and communicate with them on a personal level, even converse with them; have a one-on-one video conference with the elector and brainstorm.

Up until this day, on social media platforms, not once have I come across the profile of the Secretary General of a leftist or pan-nationalist party; nor any party page. Should there be a page for any of those parties, on social media, it must be inactive and useless; both in content and form.

More so, should these parties be serious about getting into Parliament, they should ley out their candidates and options now, enrol them in crash electronic communication courses, and incorporate modern communicative components into their election campaigns, as well as ways to draw electors to poll boxes and slogans that would mobilise the hesitant groups of electors, breaking poll monopolisation, utilising innovative means to abbreviate the expertise of other nations, preceding us in this field.

Demonstrative, protest-tone speech will not entice electoral masses to partake. There is a pressing need to develop a constructive discourse of speech, projecting applicable successful solutions to people’s problems, detached from ideological dogma and historic obsolete storytelling approaches.

This simply means that these parties need to engage in the elections game with as much new faces as possible, to break the inherent tradition and bring the leadership forward.

The economic and social reality of Jordan is glutted with difficulties that preface opportunity for the progress of parties willing to land in parliament to utilise these challenges.