Dr Marwan Mouasher wrote an outstanding article, Wednesday, titled “A Ministerial Statement I’d Dream of…”, in Arabic, articulating how he would like a government’s Ministerial Statement for Confidence to sound like; realistic in its addressing of economic and political issues, open and transparent to the public, and entailing a real agenda and action plan to lead the Country out of its suffocating financial crisis, with a proposition to resolving the main economic predicaments of poverty and unemployment.
Of course, the Ministerial Statement came in pale and passive, like all previous Statements, in this sense; which does not indicate we are anywhere on the verges of a new historic moment, nor on that of a new phase of government, featuring an innovative approach that sets it apart from any former Cabinets for that matter.
Similarly, the same goes for MP speeches in response to the Ministerial Statement for Confidence; the 18th House of Representatives is merely echoing the same statements we had seen and heard in previous Houses over and over again. Attempted escalations and parades of personal and individual thoughts, atop much of the time wasted on literary compositions and metaphorics beyond response or translatable points. Meanwhile, there may not be a need for anything to be done differently; the Vote of Confidence is guaranteed, as MP Mohammad Noah Qudah put it!
But can we really blame the MPs for this kind of performance? Were we really expecting a different Representative dialect or discourse?!
MPs want to prove their oratory and linguistic skills first, then flirtatiously sweep the hearts of their constituents, albeit political demands made, like those of the Islamists; whose focus were on the Natural Gas accord and the School Curriculums, or services and favours, merely, on a provincial level, more or less, such as the electorates of many MPs in the House now, whose deliberations on the sidelines with the government have been on this kind of basis!
Let’s be frank; there is a fundamental problem with the MPs comprehension of their duties in the first place, and of their constitutional roles, because the very political structure is different. Parliamentary Houses are for parties and organised political forces with clear stances on issues of public interest and political weight, based on ideology, prefacing the overview unto the formation of government policy, by whether or not to extend the Vote of Confidence.
So far as the current House lacks this fundamental premise, and for as long as parties are weak and aggregate to a limited mass in society and the populace, then failingly, the aim of the current election law to bring MPs under the Dome to coalitions and agendas has not been attained; the very spirit of the law itself is not yet reflective on the in House dynamic, as opposed to the predominant individual and personal interests of MPs!
Even the amendments to the Internal House System, enlarging the role of the Representative Bloc and prioritising its contribution to the House, have not led to any qualitative shifts in the performance or mechanisms of the institution; most MPs delivered their speeches outside the contexts of their own blocs, devoid of translatable and realisable value!
Parallel to that, another problem lies in that the populace itself, in many situations, demand there be a show; they demand ground shaking speeches by the MPs, and they evaluate the latter on this basis, turning the competition away from applicable agendas to mere rhetoric! Why? Well, because people do not expect much of their MPs, nor do they expect them to actively engage in policy making or in the evaluation of alternatives.
That said, within the humble givens and our standing limitations, what is the kind of MP speech we dream of? Even if it were within the limits of this House?! To answer that; simply, the kind of speech and rhetoric that respects the citizens minds, represents the concerns and aspirations of the vast middle class, to either grant or withdraw Confidence, without all the jibber-jabber!
A dialect that is clear on economic demands, with a stance on aid, indebtedness, and how to address these questions in figures and information, as well as an approach on issues of labour, employment, and how to restructure the labour market, a position on foreign policy and internal reforms, particularly in regards to public and freedoms, issues of Human Rights, administrative reforms, in addition to clear stands on bribery and official corruption.
So far, the government’s statement and the MPs performance do not omen the breakage of the typical withered Government-House dynamic!