Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I hate repeating myself…

but sometimes, there is little choice. The latest public opinion poll again shows that people are little interested in “political development”, and are more interested in economic issues. The poll indicates that 33.4% view unemployment as the major problem that needs to be dealt with, 26% place poverty as the major issue, followed by inflation (25.5%), poverty (23.5%), poor living conditions (5.4%), and corruption (4.4%). Political development is not a concern for the average person. A parallel set of data for “opinion leaders” places political development at a whopping 7%.

As I said a year ago, when a previous poll was released, political parties have not been able to convince people that they have a viable alternative to current policies. Nothing has changed since then. While political parties have been jockeying for issues related to their own interests, they have done little to persuade people that there is a link between politics and economic policy or performance.

I wonder if I will have to write the same thing next December.



At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While political development is linked to economic development no doubt, a major gap still exists to the average citizen...the average citizen is interested in feeding his 4-6 kids dinner, so unemployment and poverty are going to be more of an immediate concern than what's on the 'political agenda' - say - 4 years down the line...

Is there a link to the actual survey questions?

At 12:35 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Iman: My point is that the "opposition" has not been able to develop a sensible economic alternative to the current policies, and so they and their issues continue to be irrelevant to the average person.

The website of the Center for Strategic Studies will probably post the entire report on their website soon.


At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with u Khalaf that the opposition has failed partly to have any strong economic plans or views. But they say for example they cant have any say in economic policies because they dont have political freedom. Take corruption for example they cant limit corruption if their isnt political devolopment. Corruption is one of the main obstacles for economic development. As for the poll i might interpret it in another way maybe the people have given up on all the smoke-screen talk about political development and they know it is meaningless, so they say they just want economic development its not that they dont want political development. Another reason is because the opposition's loudest of voice is about foreign policy and not about economic issues, but they also have many economic opposition to the policies the goverment is taking but its not being heard because either the media doesnt cover it or it is less contreversial than things like foreign policy. This whole question is wrong because they are two simpoltanious things that should occur at the same time you simply cant have economic development if the people are not represented politicaly in the parlimant or the goverment however aware the goverment might be of the people's problems

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"political parties have not been able to convince people..." Of course, you're totally right, but is there, by any chance, any role to the regime in this?!

At 12:31 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Anon: The opposition has every opportunity to express ideas about economic policy. Last year the IAF issued a "reform document" that added little to the debate on economic policy. I wrote about it at the time. In April, Nahid Hattar published a book with scathing criticism of current economic policies, but with little in the way of convincing alternatives. I wrote a four part review at the time.

Aside from these and other lesser statements, the political parties and activists in the country have done little to contribute to this issue.

Omar: No. The regime is responsible for many things, but not the fact that the opposition has no coherent economic vision.

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Khalaf,

I found this blog interesting. At the bottom of your profile ("About Me"), you note that you "write this blog to say what many people are thinking and saying, but don't bother to write down.... it will help to understand what many people in Jordan feel inside, in case anybody cares. "

I personally do care, and enjoy your post, but would be a much more avid reader if you would use the results of this survey to "say what many people are thinking and saying" and "help to understand what many people in Jordan feel inside". In other words, if you emphasise or elaborate more on the issues (poverty, uneployment, etc) that Jordanians have expressed as most important to them.

I would become a big, instead of a small, fan of yours - in case you care :)

In any case, I hope you will keep writing.


At 7:15 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Anon: I will keep your comments in mind. Thanks.


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