Political reform and bowing before the storm

Maher Abu Tair (Photo: JNews)
The discussion of political reform should be just that. In Jordan, however, the discussion is influenced by various factors that stray from the core of reform as a principle.اضافة اعلان

Sometimes, talks of political reform express a desire to improve reputation, internally. But, at other times they are used as a tactic to get through an obstacle or are simply used to buy time.

There is no greater evidence of this than those who at one point stand against the core of reform while at the same time preach of its importance, depending on the variables at play. It is just an issue of offering lip service and a matter of fluctuation depending on circumstance. As such, reform becomes a card that gets played every once in a while.

We do not yet know why real reform has yet to take place or what harm it may bring, given that the shrill and cacophonous voices on the streets will find their natural platforms, because instead of the state conversing with groups representing certain sectors in a manner that is clear and legitimate, we find ourselves in the face of angry, headless groups on the streets expressing their concern about various issues. 

At this point, true political reform must not fall victim to mood swings and fluctuation, where at one point you oppose the teacher’s association but then seek its approval. You cannot support the fostering of political parties one second, then work for the creation of hollow political parties the next.

Today, we need to be frank. We are either a state that wants deep-rooted reform or we are not because time no longer lends itself to this duality. Political reform should be carried out for the sake of political reform as opposed to becoming a tool to solve other problems from within, or a message to those on the outside watching us every second.

A strong state does not fear political reform because reform can be the means to important ends, the first of which is playing an oversight role over everything, in addition to restoring people’s trust and representing them fairly. Therefore, properly accounting for their leanings across all institutions. Political reform cannot be a cause for a state’s demise or the instigation of its problems. Those who believe it could are looking for an excuse to keep us at a standstill while they protect their interests and jurisdiction. 

The reform process is being stalled, as evidenced by the time wasted through years of dialogue about the perfect elections law. This is not the first time we have wasted years. Some believe that political reform would destabilize the nation’s internal structure or reproduce the power equations in Jordan, which is why the hidden objective is always to restrict freedom of expression and foster mechanisms to control the outcomes of political reform, especially at the level of representation in parliament, associations, or in the face of imagined enemies produced and invested in to sustain this fear of the cost of reform, even though the absence of reform would be more costly.

Reform cannot be delayed at this difficult time as it is the gateway to socioeconomic reform and the only guarantee thereof because a unified decision divides the family and mitigates enmity between authorities the way we have seen some governments cross the line with lower houses and how those lower houses have succumbed to these governments for years.

It is time to reflect on our greatest questions, diagnose the problem, and find solutions in the name of keeping the country safe and stable. We need to stop giving into the storm, whether it be within Jordan or internationally; only to tactically and temporarily revisit the option of reform in hopes of getting through this storm without actually achieving reform.

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