Friday, May 11, 2007

The political ding-dong

As usual, we quabble over peanuts whilst the powers that be enjoy the meat and potatoes. Those who chose to participate in the government-scripted political production, demonstrate naiivety at best, stupidity at worst, claiming at the outset that it is better to have peanuts than nothing at all. Must we always go through this arduous political ding-dong? We just keep waiting for the next blunder, make a little hoo-haa, pundits spew the same articles, and the people continue to live in stagnation.

This parliament, as fellow blogger Nido put it, is a like a coat hanger, we hang all our problems on it without seeing their causes. In fact it is doing more harm then good; frankly it's a distraction, a mass deception, resource-sucking game of ping-pong (picture alwefaq holding the bat from the mouth and hands tied). I don't say this nihilistically, I say it realistically. George Orwell said in 1984, "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two equals four. If that is granted then all else follows". Well, lets see what Alwefaq will get if it keeps saying it equals five.

Unfortunately, part of the problem is a communal political elite that has become an exclusive gentleman's club (a.k.a. Alwefaq). Many an insider has talked about the defeatist and compromising attitude that seems to have overshadowed this group. Well the question is, has this reflected on Alwefaq's political strategy? Lets look at the list of decisions that have effectively lead to the gradual neutralisation of the opposition through a series of concessions to the governemt:

This is just a basic list that springs to my mind. I am told that Alwefaq never expected to face the full force of the state machine in parliament; that a nicey-nicey give-and-ake approach would lead to gradual change. I agree, this approach might get you some peanuts (maybe a few extra pavements, an increase in a measly budget etc), but when it steps into the realm of 'accountability', a basic democratic tenet, the 'democratic' carpet is pulled from right under their feet. What Bandargate gave Alwefaq, was one key GOLDEN opportunity, just one; he gave them the evidence; the documents, the cheques, the signatures, the names. Not in a million years would anyone have thought incriminating evidence would fall into the opposition's lap. We see and hear corruption, but until now, the black-box of the state machine was heavily guarded. It as if you have always suspected your husband was having an affair and then suddenly u find the red lipstick on his collar. Albandar's kiss-and-tell pointed out the household names (journalists, MPs, officials) yet they walk-around arrogantly in the comfort-zone carved nicely by their protectors. It's no surprise Alwefaq was halted in its tracks the minute they raised the issue, albeit with completely silly timing at the end of the parliamentary session before the curtain was closed.

Talks of a new 'resistance' movement, or 'lines of prevention' (خط الممانعة) seems to be forming by a disconnected grassroots movement that is taking the tentative steps to reassert itself. As of late, this seems to have begun with sporadic bouts of violence in areas as a response to the frustration with the political players lack of advancement in any particular field. What is interesting is that it seems to be a clear dissent from the religious line that supports engagement in the given political channels. وهذه عادة ضعفاء العقول يعرفون الحق بالرجال، لا الرجال بالحق
Is this just another part of the cycle and as my generation comes to maturity, will this ding-dong continue for much longer?

Posted by BB @ 5/11/2007 01:36:00 PM

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Great insight and I totally agree.. Al Wefaq is in a dilemma right now. The latest (good) but ill-timed effort to address the Bandar scandal was probably the last straw it held on to (at least in this session) to regain some of its lost creadibility.. unfortunately, it backfired and they ended up going ahead and accepting the parliament's rejection, this time without storming out of the room. I suppose it will be a learning curve for Wefaq to be able to maneuver its way around the politics of parliament. Personally, I believe they should stop trying to please everyone in parliament (who will never be pleased by them) and at least try to push an agenda that will save their popularity, even if it doesn't prove successful.

Posted by Blogger LuLu @ 5/16/2007 10:59:00 AM #
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