Governments have the right to celebrate Parliaments; why not? They’ve been passing their demands without resentment through Parliaments that never once derailed from the government’s plan!
Governments also have the right to pride themselves of achievements in sorts of formulating and administrating consecutive Parliaments alike, having placed the 1993 elections law, which guarantees the placement of Parliaments in accords with other state institutions, regardless of the people’s choices.
It is by far no secret that most Jordanians do not trust the outcomes of the elections process; elections have so often been rigged, that fixing results became a criterion for the formation of the House of Representatives. More so, governments over the years have been capable of controlling Parliament from a distance, and this is not speculation. Undoubtedly, this has been known for years.
Accordingly, State institutions may think the continuation of Parliamentary houses of the same ilk is better for their own sustenance, as well as a source of comfort. Why not? These institutions did, on the other hand, execute everything the majority of the Houses wanted, except for the retirement law entailing special benefits MPs thought were rights for their claim, as remuneration for their services to State and Country.
Alas, all these why nots and what nots have only scored limited, short-termed gains on the account of our Country as a whole! The House of Representative lost its reputation; the dome is no longer known as a place of democratic process, but rather a centre for personal gains, ambitions, and individual greed. Everything efforted to change this dim view of Parliament among the people has failed.
Gains are not measured by the passing of a law, or the folding and dismissal of a corruption file, no! Neither is it measured by extinguishing the fires of public opinion every once in a while! This premises nothing, and prefaces no interest in the building of institutions, if not the other way around; in fact, it may give way for a catastrophic distrust in the legislative institution, pulling further more on the already widened gap between people and State!
Ruining the Representatives’ image was caused by several factors, and therefore several parties involved in leading the institution unto where it lies today. Aside to that, society has also played an influential role in the intensification of the situation, voting for MPs measured up to worthless criteria irrelevant to the spheres of monitory and legislative operation. Added to that, the popular acceptance of political money, buying votes; citizens began looking for the higher bids for their votes! The last elections saw a lot of talk about runners being locked up for using “black money” to aggregate votes, only later to arrive at the Dome, legislating hereon for the nation, the Country, and our future!
Phrases like “free transparent elections” were showered unto the people many a season in the past, and are being poured once more by the Independent Elections Commission right now unto the ears of the people who no longer believe in the benefits of elections! These phrases do not suffice any more to convince people.
Even though it does not serve the interests of Jordan, upcoming to face grave domestic and regional circumstance, weathering an unpredictable Arab scene of unknown variables, short and long term; it seems we may have it again, rested and assured that the outcomes of these elections will not vary from the ones before.
Still, the question remains: why can we not have an unrigged, transparent, real elections that would produce a strong House of Representatives, capable of protecting our Country? To deepen the roots of a strong standing institution that hold the line before the threats to come? In other words, we really need a national, patriotic Parliamentary institution that is thoroughly aware of its real tasks and responsibilities.
Restoring faith in the electoral process and Parliament is a pressing necessity that begins with cornering dirty election money, and the suspension of facilitations granted to runners for Parliament here and there. Maybe then, when the people see a State actively engaged in countering corruption, thoroughly, people will be encouraged to go to the polls and vote.