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The upcoming elections

Aug 06,2020 - Last updated at Aug 06,2020

 

By merely announcing the date of the upcoming parliamentary elections and opening the opportunity for the registration of candidates, political campaigning activity has commenced in political salons across Jordan, albeit to a limited degree, due in part to the Corona Virus Pandemic.

 

What will be the nature of the upcoming elections within the current political, economic, and social context? Will they be a tough democratic contest between the Muslim Brotherhood and other political parties? Will the Teachers’ Union nominate candidates to represent them and their political objectives? Will the next parliament be comprised of fresh and youthful new members, or will the composition of the next parliament be from incumbent parliamentarians?

The current economic situation in Jordan will most certainly present itself as one of the most important issues, in addition to Israel's unilateral annexation decision and the US-brokered so-called "Deal of the Century", despite their scant coverage by the global press and international media. These contemporary issues are pivotal in the minds of Jordanians.

The timing of the upcoming Jordanian elections will be very closely in sync with the upcoming Israeli elections, and equally as important, the presidential and congressional elections in the United States. The Israeli elections are very likely to center around Israel's efforts to obtain support in achieving its objectives of upending and flipping the demographic and democratic foundations in the region.

Along with other planned elections around the world, the looming elections in Jordan, the US and in Israel, seem to enjoy similar attributes with respect to the impact political financing, which is often the determining factor of successful candidacies in this day and age.

While political candidates in Jordan and around the world are typically elected based on their political platform, their accomplishments, and other factors such as public perception, political financing today seems to be the key for successful candidacies.
We may not know to what degree political financing will influence the upcoming elections, nor the extent of its intersection with public interests, especially economic interests.

A simple assessment of the elections in the United States compared to elections in Jordan reveals that the impact of political financing in both countries is not too dissimilar, despite the United States being the wealthiest country in the world, and despite its unrivalled economic and military security. Whereas, in a country like Jordan, where the capabilities are modest, we see political financing in both countries having a similar degree of influence on the electoral process with one notable difference.

Civil society in the United State is run by businesses and corporate interests, whereas in Jordan, it is run by the tribal and familial ties. The middle and working classes are generally the target audience, and they often find themselves torn between making reasonable ideological choices and self-interest, which in turn has a substantial impact on electoral results.

Undoubtedly, global and national civic institutions are often absent from their true role, despite the breadth of their programmes in democratic empowerment. They are often absent from political salons and platforms that are designed to create or support independent thought, and they rarely, if ever, provide individual candidates with more ideological space for their candidacy, election, or creation of ideas.
No one has the proper framework or formula for effective elections. Electoral laws ultimately determine the election mechanism, not social, cultural, intellectual or economic systems.

In light of the lack of optimism expressed by Jordanian citizens with respect to the upcoming elections, I believe that what we need are realistic organisational activities that may contribute to creating a democratic system that the world seeks and not just us, free from any undue pressure or influences.

 

 

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