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The elections: A short lived drive ....

Disclaimer: I'm paraphrasing and making generalizations.

"Voting is not a right, it is a duty!" I sign out with a slogan, to later realize that I missed the registration deadline and therefore can't vote, neither 'present' in Jordan nor 'absentee' in the US. My political naz3ah came too late. "Nonetheless," I told myself "I'll still follow up on the local campaigns, to learn about the political games." But overnight, and as the landscape of the city changed, I was completely turned off. My political naz3ah did not last too long.

At first, I was entertained by the ludicrous slogans, photoshopped pictures and contrived smiles. It made traffic bearable, and even amusing at times. Some confirming the unspoken divides and others playing the religious card; slogans with questionable connotations, and my favorite, "nothing to say". I take my hat off. The woman jabat-ha min il-akher. After all, it's all B.S., so might as well abstain from the beginning.

Thing like "justice and equality," what do they really mean? Let's get real. Can someone please tackle tangible issues? Can we talk "poverty, women's rights, inheritance, water conservation, education, government spending, taxes." All the brown nosing makes one wonder, who's really running....

"I wish one of them would say something about passing a law to stop diesel emissions from vehicles." a young Ammani said. " Mind you, the first culprits have a red license plate or are city buses... The fact is, the fumes aren't just bad for your health, they're bad for tourism, and subsequently the economy. (pause) I blame Ameen Amman, amongst others"

No comment.

I wonder how much each candidate spent on printed material alone. All put together, the money would feed several families for a substantial amount of time. The amount of wood and paper, plastic and laser printing is an ecological nightmare. Aesthetically speaking, it is simply hideous. And no offense, but Amman's beauty is not really 'in your face.' I admit, there are worthwhile buildings in the old part of the city, with green patches and true craftsmanship. However, the city- at large is one big housing project, conceptualized with lots of greed, little imagination, and an aesthetic retardation. People responsible for deforming the city this way should be sued. Candidates with their ads defacing the city should be too: Their posters hung on light poles with glue, on building walls and even on ancient columns! This is not to mention posters and banners obstructing vision of drivers, intruding on the streets. With our excellent world record, we must need more traffic accidents-just to stay on top.

"If you don't believe in any of the candidates, should you still vote!" A friend asked.
"You can leave a blank ballot to make a statement." someone responded. "But" he added, "the system is imdaw-wid and won't acknowledge the stance, so why bother."

I don't know much about politics and the people in it, but what I do know is that whatever the system is (nepotism and tribalism, for example), it is dysfunctional. I probably should read up more on the local political charade, but I cant be bothered. I tried to endure Seven Stars' elections coverage, I could only handle half an hour. Am I a hypocrite, calling for you to vote when I am not even registered!? Come to think of it, I might just have the credentials to run for the next parliament, or go into government ...

There is probably more to say (and edit), but in half an hour is a play, and I hear it's worth watching .... To get there in time with the traffic will be a miracle. The key is, always avoid Garden's Street, wil-ba'i 3ala allah.

L:-

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