AMMAN (JT) – A piece of legislation praising Jordanâ€™s July 31 municipal elections passed the US House of Representatives Wednesday, a statement by a US lawmakerâ€™s office said.
The resolution, introduced by Congressman Brian Baird (D-WA) and co-sponsored by Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commends the Kingdom for holding free and fair elections and broadening political participation of its people.
â€œJordan is doing an incredible job of working toward establishing a democracy and increasing political participation among its citizens, particularly women,â€ said Baird in the statement. [Jordan Times]
I remember us having elections, but I don’t remember them being ‘free and fair’. I mean, that’s a big leap. Our government is still working on making elections wheelchair accessible.
I actually read the resolution. Yes, that’s what I did during my weekend. And no where in this piece of legislation does it say “free and fair elections”. The exact title of House Resolution 575 was: “Commending the people and the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for their continued commitment to holding elections and broadening political participation, and for other purposes.”
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
(1) commends the people, the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , and His Majesty King Abdullah II for their commitment to conducting parliamentary and municipal elections in 2007;
(2) expresses its desire that Jordan’s progress toward democratization continue and flourish as a model for other Arab countries;
(3) commends His Majesty King Abdullah II and the Jordanian people for striving to uphold women’s rights and enhance women’s participation in the political process;
(4) reaffirms the special relationship that exists between the people of the United States and the people of Jordan ; and
(5) remains committed to assist Jordan , should it so desire, in promoting democratic reform. [Library of Congress]
This may seem insignificant to some, but there is a great deal invested in the language used to write legislation in the US Congress. Whole legislation has been held up, rejected or filibustered simply for the wrong choice of words or the exclusion of words, or having too many adjectives. Adjectives like “free” and “fair”.
It’s a shame the Jordan Times, the country’s main English-based newspaper, isn’t as nitpicky.