Monday, November 19, 2007

Why I’m not worried about “political money”

A number of observers have been wringing their hands about vote buying. Being the way that I am, I really don’t see what the fuss is about. This is not the first election where there has been buying of votes, and money is translated to political influence all over the world. It is consistent with the trend towards market economy and privatization. Moreover, there are a number of benefits arising from this phenomenon. I will list them here.

1- Redistribution of wealth.

2- Increasing voter turnout and participation.

3- This will allow the breaking of monopolies of large tribes. There is no fundamental difference between somebody being elected because he has a large tribe that united in voting for him and somebody who buys votes. Neither is elected based on merit.

4- Deputies thus elected will be free of obligations towards constituents. By paying up front, the deputy will be able to do his job without having to compromise his position asking for favors for his constituents.

5- It will free us of the pretence of farcical political participation.

6- Rafig il misa’ad btisa’ad.

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9 Comments:

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Hala 3ammai said...

agree 100%

a sham election should at least benefit the poor in Jordan.

i say the first job of the new Jordanian parliament is to legalize vote buying. make the poor look forward to the elections.

then, we should establish a Votes Commodities Exchange so prices of votes can be tracked along with oil and camels.

A Voters for Sale can establish their own union to set the minimum vote-buying price per election zone in Jordan. I mean lets face it, a vote in rural areas should me worth more than a vote in Amman, were marginalized votes are plenty.

this way, our government can take credit for "fairly and freely traded elections".

 
At 5:04 PM, Anonymous ola said...

Redistribution of wealth
So when the dust settles, the wealthy can get wealthier and the poor poorer

Increasing voter turnout and participation.

What for? Let's say those eligible for voting in Jordan are 2 million people (1 million already running for the elections) and all of them showed up at the polling stations, yet they don't know why they are voting (except that they were paid to do so) what difference does it make if they vote or not? It's about political awareness, not the number of voters. We might as well legalize ballot stuffing so we can boast a bigger turnout

This will allow the breaking of monopolies of large tribes. There is no fundamental difference between somebody being elected because he has a large tribe that united in voting for him and somebody who buys votes. Neither is elected based on merit.

Facing corruption with corruption, interesting! And you never know where it will end… If

Deputies thus elected will be free of obligations towards constituents. By paying up front, the deputy will be able to do his job without having to compromise his position asking for favors for his constituents.

If I understand this well, I don't think MP's usually compromise their position to serve people who would need to sell their votes. But you're right, this will save everyone the guilt trip, but I don't think it will end nepotism for example, because those who benefit from it aren't paid to vote in the first place. However, it will save everyone the guilt trip, the voters and the "votee"

It will free us of the pretence of farcical political participation.
…And all of a sudden we all are living in Utopia

Rafig il misa’ad btisa’ad
Sa7 lsanak! (iza ma 7alaglak hal mis3ad)

 
At 6:12 PM, Anonymous faa3el o maf3ool said...

ola, why don't take your lectures and shove them. who are you to doll out words of wisdom? who are you to try to make us feel guilty about denouncing a farcical election? do you have a relative running for office? is that why are you defending this election? does your daddy work for the government? why else would you be so desperate for a good voter (aka idiot) turnout that will bestow legitimacy on a the humiliating joke called Jordanian elections. so your daddy or relative can claim to speak on our behalf? fuck the elections. it's an insult to every educated, decent, and patriotic Jordanian.

 
At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Abu Ganweh said...

Faa3el Afandi by reading your statement "ola, why don't take your lectures and shove them" I can be certain that the election are not an insult to you particularly!

 
At 1:11 AM, Anonymous Ola said...

Fa3el mabni lil majhool: I have no relative running for the election, and my dad spends most of his time workign for a PRIVATE company, just like I do, or playing pool. In fact, I'm not decided who I am voting for yet. But the point is: I'm determined on voting, not because I'm less patriotic than you are or because I fond of our political system... but let's call it a desperate attemp to chang the current situation you cynical you are ranting about. There's no guarantee this will do anything, but being passive and refraining from being involved is a gurantee that nothing will happen.

P.S: Cussing the election doesn't make you patriotic, there's more to it than that.

 
At 5:18 AM, Blogger Nadeem said...

Can't but back Ola here. Jordanian elections are far from perfect but taking this cynical stand is not helping with anything.

 
At 8:01 AM, Blogger Masalha1 said...

faa3el,
despite the many flaws in the election law, exercising your right to vote is much better than setting there and critisizing the law, Ola is right just try to choose to the best of your ability the most decent candidate and hope something will change, if you're waiting on the government to change things you will be waiting a long time.

 
At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Faragee3 said...

guys: do you realize how silly you sound when start parroting terms used by people living in true democracies. all this stuff about "making a difference" and "exercising your right" works in places when your votes count, like Sweden or France.

in jordan, the results will be rigged, like they were in the municipal elections. and even if they are not rigged on site, the whole system marginalizes the most populous regions in jordan, in favor of the tribes.

so by voting, you are not "making a difference" or "exercising your right" . you are legitimizing your loss of rights, and the only difference you are making is to give the corrupt regime and its inherently corrupt "elections" a free photo op to show its western sponsors that all is honky dory.

face it, all you want is to have a friend in the parliament you can invite to your socials and who can speed up your business and maybe hire you or some of your relatives.

when you participate in a farce, you are harming Jordan and Jordanians, and benefiting only the regime.

 
At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Ahmad Al-Sholi said...

Faragee3,
Still you are doing nothing.

 

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