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Why we should vote

Oct 03,2020 - Last updated at Oct 03,2020

Parliamentary elections are fast approaching, and a lot of people are debating whether or not to vote on the appointed day.

Should I, or should I not, cast the ballot? The question for many people I know, in fact, is: Why should I bother?

A feeling of apathy and absurdity has formed over the years due to the realisation by many that over the past experiences with several parliaments not much has changed: Be it at the level of the governorate or that of the nation as a whole. Many are convinced that the role of parliamentarians, both individually and collectively, has failed to bring about the desired outcomes. People are saying: Much is said “under the dome” but most of it is pure noise; words, words and more words.

They are sick and tired of emotional speeches, show-off, and loud voices, and want results on the ground: Effective solutions to many chronic problems and implementation of so many promises. Unlike what some may think, people in our society are following up closely on issues which they care about, and they want their parliamentarians to succeed and deliver.

Unlike what some may think also, people in our society are reasonable in their expectations of what parliamentarians can and cannot achieve, fair in their judgement, and are able to appreciate outcomes when they materialise. But people are also disappointed with the conduct of several parliamentarians which they see as unbecoming, as well as with many parliamentarians either being involved in negative and subversive acts of sorts or being entirely absent from the scene.

They win the votes and forget about their constituents.

Having said that, however, there is a need for people to still be actively involved in the process, and to cast their votes.

We should never give up.

Almost all agree that political development in the country is a necessity. This has become crystal clear especially since the events of January 2011 in several Arab countries, which came to be known as the “Arab Spring”. In fact, we have had in Jordan a ministry for political

developments for several years now. At the heart of political development is parliamentary life. In other words, it is near impossible to conceive of vibrant political life, without vibrant parliamentary life.

We realise of course that the picture will be far from complete if we do not have viable, strong political parties that give people the appropriate venues through which to organise themselves politically and act in order to make a difference. Having such political parties will take time, of course. Nevertheless, we have a reason to be actively involved in parliamentary life, the more reason to be involved one should say, because if we stop it means we give up on political development, and give up on  a more developed, more pertinent democracy.

And there, are we should remember, in fact there has always been, good MPs who live to our expectations. One should not be so negative and dismissive.

The main point to stress here, however, is this: if we do not get involved for the sake of the increasing good number of parliamentarians who are still carrying the torch, doing their best to bring about what we all aspire for, we should be involved for the sake of the viable parliamentary life we want, and the democracy we cherish.

This is why we should vote.


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