The Path to Reform in the New Government

The latest appointment of Bakhiti as the new Prime Minister has drawn some rather interesting first impressions that range from the catious to the pessemstic. However, I did not want to dive into a detailed post earlier this morning about the Prime Minister and the direction the government will go in from here as I, and most people, know fairly little about the new Prime Minister and even if I did Jordanian politics and history has taught me that murphy’s law always applies.

The direction depends on Bakhiti’s formation of the new government. Who he picks will send the signals: to the people, investors, and terrorists. If Military men are chosen then this will turn into an emergancy-type government that will sweep down on security like a vulture on it’s prey. We will see beefed up security ranging from increased checkpoints in Amman, possible industrial area buffer zones, bus checks, and an increase in airport security amongst many other things. If this government should come to power in the coming days along side with any approved anti-terror laws then we’ll also see a whole lot of power shift towards security, with police taking a more hardline attitude.

In my opinion this is not a bad thing. It sounds strange on paper (or screen) but in all reality it does make a difference. I hardly doubt it will make any impact on a citizen’s day to day activity, if a person isn’t guilty then they don’t have anything to worry about. Now if the selected government goes in the other way then we’re going to see something quite different. We will see the hardest push for implenting reforms since the word first arrived in Jordan (by way of Mexico I think) Personally I think the situation might be a mix of both.

The King appears to be sick and tired of the lack of progress of any past government and especially, especially, the trite bickering and thespian politicians (you know who you are). And the truth is, while people talk about voting and democracy and all that, I don’t want to say we’re not ready for it but lets just say we suck at it.

Anyone whose ever tried to be democratic in Jordan has not had great results in the process. Jordanians are opinionated, selfish and arrogant when it comes to politics or anything of that nature. Democracy means you come into a room and by default ask people to participate in the process. Jordanians are used to someone coming into a room and telling them what they’re going to do: military style. If we’re not given orders then we start screwing up, and if you’ve lived in Jordan you’ve probably seen this on a much smaller scale.

That’s the society you’re dealing with here and the King I guess does not want to waste time on implementing democracy the political or the conventional way. This is not something I mind considering that most of the great democracies present in the 21st century came about through war, so I could do without the bloodshed. Bakhiti seems to be the guy you put in power who doesn’t mess around with the small talk, the straight to the point military ideals we might be needing right about now.

I remember reading over the summer I think Adnan Badran saying in Arabic "you know the national agenda isn’t the gospel", that would be the English version of what he said. Which goes to say that while many of us (including me) are putting a lot of hope and weight on the National Agenda the government isn’t taking it all that seriously, which is a real blow to credibility. Bakhiti seems to take reform a lot more seriously.

Once again, this all comes down to his picks for the new government

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