Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Where's Waldo??


These past days, I've been thinking a lot about the true meaning of democracy. The right of the people to have a say in the way that they wish to be governed. The freedom to create laws and legislation which bring our society closer to our moral and ethical inclinations….

I've also been thinking of the consolidation of votes that is to say being part of a created voting block with the hopes of being recognized as a group rather than an individual. Here's my problem with it: In the US, voting blocks are not so much created as they are natural. They occur on the basis of ethnic background at times (Latinos), age group (Senior Citizens) and common beliefs. The reason these people unite is so that where they have common ground, politicians will be obliged to move forward an agenda which is beneficial to the block.

Over here, we have a similar concept but different basis. There are areas in which the tribes are very strong (4th and 5th electoral districts) and they happen to vote as a block. The basis is that they belong to the same branch of the same tribe, and a higher council consisting of leadership figures tells them to give their vote to one person or another. The other type of voting blocks we have in Kuwait is religiously based. If you subscribe to the Salafy view of Islam and how a state should function, you will actively support those who represent the Salaf. Same goes for the Muslim Brotherhood (although with the hopes of moving away from such association, they preffer you don't call them that anymore).

Here is my dilemma. I'm not sure I can find anything wrong with this system. I mean, besides being a small country in which the ramifications of these processes are felt more severely, people have the right to vote in a block which they feel represents them. That's just a fact. Now where does that put me? I'm not tribal, at least not in the sense we use tribal today, and I don't subscribe to Political Islam. The other groups that represent me slightly better (because I still feel that there is no group that fully represent my views) are disorganized, and at times, unimpressive.

The only solution I could think of was consolidating as many votes as possible on the basis of my family. The more votes, the more influence we can have on how we are to be governed, meaning the closer we get to the true purpose of democracy. So let us ask ourselves: Is this the future of Kuwait? Will that married man who's Dad made the mistake of only having three kids as opposed to seven, or that one non-tribal house in a tribal area be forever doomed into futility and non-representation?

Yeah…pretty much….and their ain't nothing you or me can do about it, Waldo ;-)

11 comments:

eshda3wa said...

ok heres the thing

its not HOW we vote
but WHO we vote for

ya3ni sure i understand u feel a person that comes from ur tribe or shares the same religious beliefs as u will better represent u

bas int shoof mino ga3d y6la3 to represent

the other day i was watching an interview with an MP hopeful, who belongs to a huge tribe and is part of the salafi sect (two birds one stone, smart man)

OH MY GOD... china shawe! belthab6 ra3i ghanam. He couldn't form one proper sentence, couldn't answer a single question. NOTHING.

ya3ni out of this huge tribe ma legaitaw ela hatha?!

as my friend says y6al3oon 6ar6oor so ymashoona 3ala kaifhum..

hes the dog and the tribe holds the leash.

and that is just pathetic.

Q80 Saracen said...

Eshda3wa: LOL...yeah, I saw an interview last night on scope tv with another MP hopeful. See, you would think that the problem is with the uneducated people...take it from me, some of the educated MP's with those affiliations are scary. They say a lot of untrue things in a convincing way as if it's God's truth, and people who have less awareness will go for it.

Nonetheless, the message is this: everyone is organizing, everyone is consolidating, and everyone is working together in order to push their political agenda, whether we agree with it or not. What side do you want to be on? What side do I want to be on? Are we willing to be Waldo here, unattached, unaffiliated and therefore, unimportant?

Lone Ranger'ess said...

Im still trying to find the relevance between ur post and waldo.. is it that waldo is ur ideal figure, the figure that u bileev shud represent u at the parliament, but duzint really exist? Hmm… beats me!

Ok.. so ur rite, Kuwait is indeed divided into various sects, sum of which hold opposing beliefs and views. And unfortunately, many of those "views" aren't even valid! Y3ni for example, the extremely religious fella's that are 100% opposing segregation, yet still sending their kids to study abroad in the states? Y3ni, can they contradict themselves even more?

Wht im trying to say is that before u hold a view in life and defend it with all u've got, u have to thoroughly study it and take all of the consequences that may arise into account. Here, the parliament members, ministers, and government as a whole.. either they move in groups, act for the group, or they'll just be rambling a bunch of nonsense that is corrupting our country, nevertheless.

But this year-round, there are a couple of candidates out there that aren't affiliated to a specific party. They r working on their own, and holding their own beliefs. And their main goal/aim is doing the best for this country. Especially bildaa2ira ithanya. and it is our duty to find those rare candidates that are truly genuine in their actions, we must stand up and support them.. even if our family is willing to vote for the same person they have always voted for, fearing a positive change.

Some dawa2ir are doing the impossible to win.. it's very shameful to even talk about it. and whts even more shameful is that they actually do win.

On a side note, that according to u is very relevant(;p): im a huge fan of "where's waldo"!! although I don’t always find him;/…

eshda3wa said...

never underestimate waldo
ppl spend a good amount of time looking for him!

Q80 Saracen said...

Lone Ranger'ess: The reason I went with Waldo is because Waldo is always lost. There is always a marching band, a family moving together, students on a field trip....and there is Waldo, unattached and almost unimportant. LOL...sorry, in retrospect, I think it was clearer in my head than I made it to the reader.

I like what you said about defending what your view with all you've got. I just think that in addition, people have to play it smart and realize that their vote may be more powerful as a part of a group. Now is that right? Is that what democracy is supposed be? I'm not sure, and I think that's a question bigger than me. I just know that even in the States, that's how it works, so if you and I don't get organized and if good MP hopefuls don't make the right alliances, we will remain unrepresented.

eshda3wa: LOL...Amen to that (Dr. Seuss rocks too but I haven't figured out how to introduce him into my political ramblings)

Hamad said...

Actually, that can be worked on. We can gather many people who have no one to vote for, simply because there's no one worthy of their vote!

negdar en7e6 el features of the MP we want, el awlaweyat, and then we can make a survey enshoof el qawa'em el mawjoda sheno tarteeb their priorities. and obviously those with no priorities will fall of the list.

chethe enkon saffaina el list and achieved two goals:
1) better exposure for better candidates
2) direct the votes of those indifferent to a group of candidates that matches a set of standards.

this is more important in the 4th and 5th districts, where tribal influence is so great. lobbies need to be formed as both awareness and energy are needed to lead the candidates.

Lone Ranger'ess said...

exactly the chord i wished to have striked.. 1 vote duz indeed make a HUGE difference. not all are aware of this fact, and so many back away assuming their voice won't be heard.

Q80 Saracen said...

Hamad: I like the optimism in what you said, but today and for this election, it is definitely optimistic. As we discussed before, I'm a big believer in agenda setting. I think it shows the proper respect to the constituents. Everyone has their own set of priorities whether it is religious reform, economic restructuring or better health care. That's why I liked what you said about people imposing those priorities on the candidates. I just have doubts in the ability of the candidates to react. As for the 4th and 5th district, ma7sooma ow khalsa...there's nothing I can add to that, lol.

Lone Ranger'ess: I am a big believer in the act of voting. In all honesty, my respect for a person who choses not to vote goes down. Its automatic, uncontrollable, and a personal perspective, but I feel its cowardice not to pick someone they feel will best serve Kuwait, even if he isn't the perfect star. In some Eurpoean capitals, if you don't show up to vote, you are heavily fined. The justification for that is the First and Second World War. Their view is that since so many died in order to preserve this essential freedom, it is the duty and the obligation of every nationalist to exercise that freedom to honor their fallen. We had our own war...and we all know today how much of a privilege voting is. Having said that, it is a numbers game and tribal/religious groups are better at organizing numbers among the two genders. So how much the diversely directed voting will have is questionable.

Lone Ranger'ess said...

europe did good by placing a fine, i never knew that.. thnx for the insight;)

and true, some 8awa2im excel at guaranteeing a number of votes, although in reality, they do not contribute towards the betterment of this nation;/..

intlxpatr said...

Yeh, democracy is inconvenient when the people who outnumber you don't see things your way. There has to be some way for minority interests to be represented, too.

Q80 Saracen said...

Lone Ranger'ess: I couldn't agree with you more. Inshallah as Kuwait advances, the democracy will improve. At least no one can say that the spirit of democracy is not present which is evident that you and I are able to enjoy a discussion such as this.

Intlxpatr: Very well put, and while the majority has their position which must be respected, it is important to allow minorities their chance to be heard so as to avoid an air of resentment and contempt. Welcome :-)