YE, personally and maybe for many others, the elections law which the parliament has just voted is very disappointing for several reasons. I believe that the Upper house of Parliament is the last chance to get us out of this law which will lead us to un-wanted places.
Let me first of all state what does Jordan want from the new elections law, what is our goal.
1) A Parliament that truly represents the people.
2) MPs who have political, economical, social etc agendas for their cities and for the whole country, and NOT MPs who are considered Services MPs, whose only goal is to get services to their constituencies in order to guarantee being elected again.
3) Jordan’s target, as HM said several times, to have Parliamentary governments. The next parliament will be the first step in achieving this target.
In order to achieve the goals stated above, we need to have a law which guarantees the following:
1) We want to elect agendas, clear agendas and practical ones. We don’t want to elect individuals without agendas. We have learnt from our previous experiences that individual MPs usually have no agendas or weak ones.
2) We want MPs winning with 100s of thousands of votes, to be truly representing people, and not MPs winning with 3 or 4 or 5 or even 10 thousand votes maximum.
3) We want to have three or maximum four MP blocs in parliament with well defined agendas which will help having parliamentary government.
Regardless whether this new law is called one-man one-vote, or some consider it two votes, will this law help us achieve our goals mentioned above? I don’t think it will. What will this law bring to us?
1) 123 MPs elected individually, exactly similar to 2010 and 2007. This means we will not have strong blocs in parliament with clear practical agendas.
2) The constituencies according to the law are the ones used in 2010. Which means small constituencies. This will lead to MPs winning with few thousand votes, and buying votes will be easier.
3) Parliaments which constitutes of individuals can not contribute in parliamentary governments, cause each individual MP has his/her own agenda and interests.
4) The list of 17 MPs out of 140 can not be effective compared to 123 MPs.
For the reasons above, me and many others think that this law will be catastrophic for the political reform and development in the country, and will take us to square one. We believe it is in your hands now, senates, to try to fix it. I hope our voice would be heard somewhere, and opinion taken into consideration.
I don’t only criticize, i think i have suggestions as well. We totally understand that our country doesnt have strong and mature parties, and we need to do a balance between electing a political party and a relative. But as i mentioned, to balance! The 123 – 17 formula is not a balance at all. There can be several options.
1) The suggestion by the National dialogue community, which i think it was:
1-a) 115 MPs for Provinces elected as list and on percentage basis. Where cities are one constituencies, except Amman and Irbid can be 2 or maximum 3 constituencies.
1-b) 15 MPs as list for the whole country.
2) Another suggestion to give the people the flexibility to vote for their relatives, and for political parties (which is more suitable) can be the following:
2-a) 60 MPs for Provinces elected as individuals, with big constituencies.
2-b) 45 MPs for Provinces elected as lists and percentage basis, with big constituencies. Closed or open list is a semi-detail which can be agreed on.
2-c) 15 MPs for the whole country as list and percentage basis.
This will make it 120 MPs. 50% individuals and 50% lists, which is fair enough for this period.
Your Excellency, I know what i just wrote and suggested here would never be considered among Decision makers and Power in our country, cause our voices is not and never heard. The only hope we still have in the elections law, is the Senates, and thats why we hope you will fix this catastrophic law.
Please do something about it.
That’s my opinion, and thank you in advance.