The kind of slogan one might here in “V For Vendetta” or perhaps Orwell’s “1984”. But what is likely to be the most amazing part about the Rifai government’s recent win of a confidence vote in Parliament – a vote that has apparently set some sort of record (which is akin to a high score in a game of pacman when it comes to Jordanian politics – is that it has taken less than 8 weeks to co-opt the lower house, publicly that is. Out of a 120 deputies, only eight voted “nay” and one guy died, leaving 111 to vote for confidence – about 93.2%. If you’re thinking that’s the kind of number that would only show up when Mubarak runs for re-re-re-election, you would be right. When you have no opposition groups in the parliament, a complete absence of cohesive party politics, and an appointed government – the latter will not likely gain a confidence vote that is less than 80%. And with this parliament, the voices of dissent have disappeared only a few weeks after they were supposedly ushered in, and any “critical” stances some of them took in the past few weeks have been officially eroded. As Yasser Abu Hilala put it, Jordan has set a world precedent by producing a one-party parliament.
I could best sum up the entire process of the confidence vote in one word: theater. It’s like going to a Harlem Globetrotters game and expecting them to lose to the Washington Generals – it’s just not happening.
But I think this time around, local creative productions seem to have offered the best political commentary on the vote’s outcome. So sit back and watch the show.