September 29 2022 8:38 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Critical elements of political reform

Amer sabaileh
Amer Al-Sabaileh is a Jordanian university professor and geopolitical expert. He is a leading columnist in national, regional, and international media, offers consultancies to think tanks and speaks at international conferences on Middle East politics and developments.(Photo: Jordan News)
For any process of change, it is fundamental to consider and understand how to ensure its success. Preparation and planning are critical, hence the saying: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” اضافة اعلان

When it comes to political reform, it is important to engage with public opinion positively, as the end goal of reform is to improve people’s lives and restore hope, confidence, and trust in the system. This is not an easy mission, particularly after years of negativity that dominated relations between governments and people.

To create a positive perception amongst people and put an end to the feeling of alienation caused by marginalization and exclusion, reform cannot be limited to drafting laws or constitutional amendments; it must also include a comprehensive process that paves the way to reform and fosters a sense of political inclusion.

Decisions makers should always keep in mind that creating a pro-reform atmosphere is as important as making any decisions or amendments.

One of the major challenges that political systems are facing across the globe is restoring the confidence of people in their governments. This requires making people believe that serious changes are taking place, not through slogans, but through actions.

In this context, it is essential to concentrate on the issues of liberties and freedom of speech, as well to allow political activism and union work, which demonstrates the seriousness and sincerity of the intention to deliver real reforms.

It is difficult to argue against the fact that lack of trust in political systems, low credibility, and accusations of bad governance and corruption shape the conviction of the younger generations. This has been particularly so for the last decade, as younger people came of age with the concept of fragile, inefficient governments that are often blamed for and accused of these kinds of failures.

One of the main challenges is to promote a pro-state atmosphere, through direct and demonstrable changes. This should not be limited to improving of communication tools or new methods of communication, but should include actions that speak louder than words.

It is important to counter trends that foster anti-government sentiment amongst the youth. These generations have matured into adulthood at a critical stage in the relation between governments and citizens, and as people become skeptical about public policies, they begin to have an “us versus them” mentality.

Encouraging the establishment of political parties and electoral reform is important for the whole political reform process, but while this can be part of a mid- or long-term strategy, in the short term we must invest widely in the development of a political culture that fosters and supports free thought and expression.

To guarantee the success of such initiative, it is also important to have the goals and roadmap clear from the start, ensure that political determination exists, and then deliver with prompt decisive intervention and continuous evaluation.

Amer Al-Sabaileh is a Jordanian university professor and geopolitical expert. He is a leading columnist in national, regional, and international media, offers consultancies to think tanks and speaks at international conferences on Middle East politics and developments.

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