Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some People Just Don't Learn

Al-Qabas today wrote a feature piece and on the release of Former MP Dhaifallah Buramia. I'm not gonna get into details about it, but for more information you can find the article and the source of this picture at the following link:

Suffice as to say, I'm a proponent of freedom of speech. I boast about it to all my foreign friends (from the Gulf and otherwise) claiming that Kuwait is the truest form of democracy in all the Arab world. I stand by that statement now, just as much as when I said it. Some will attempt to rebuff that argument by discussing the freedoms enjoyed in Lebanon, and how they are the first country to have more than 10 daily journals. While I agree with those facts, I would argue that Lebanese democracy as of late (and pretty much for my natural life) is closer to shooting down the other opinion with a gun rather than freedom of speech. In any case, as Kuwaitis we only wish on the Lebanese people stability, prosperity, and happiness.

Having discussed my high regard for Kuwaiti freedoms, I think we can dive in slightly deeper into this sticky Buramia topic. People, in the United States you can stand at the White House and say whatever you want. You can insult the President, call him a thief, a war-monger, Nazi what have you...and you will still spend the night in the saftey of your bed. HOWEVER, try just once, going to the White House, and mentioning an intention to change the leadership by "any means necessary". Not by "force" mind you, but by any means necessary. Suddenly, out of the bushes around you, secret service agents reveal themselves with the undeterrable goal of locking you up (in the most painful way possible I'm sure). Why is that? Its simple: the U.S. Constitution says that while you enjoy the freedom of speech, you cannot conspire against the Government.

We have a constitution in Kuwait. Although it looks very different than Americas, Kuwaitis are no less proud and see that document as the protector of our rights as human beings. A country's constitution is a reflection of their culture, their ambitions, and their will to be free. I've said all of this to reach one point, and one point alone:

When we trust the constitution to protect our rights as citizens, why are we not equally eager to protect the constitution from those who would do it harm?

The law is clear in Kuwait. You are innocent until you are proven guilty. Buramia has not been convicted. However, Kuwaiti citizens just like Buramia pulled him in because our Judiciary system believed that this man breached the constitution. Today he's released to a hero’s welcome, without of course knowing the verdict of the immense accusation he faces. If you want the Constitution to protect you, you have to be willing to protect it back. Celebrations do not a hero make.


Navy Girl said...

your sooo much into political issues aint you ?? in kuwait that would only drive you nuts lol !!!

i know its wrong and even the big fuss they made about " fr3iat" was extremely wrong .. i mean in kuwait people just dont take no for an answer .. they always pull some strings and find their way out of it .. so when they saw that it was all real and serious and big fat NO .. they just couldnt take it and tried so hard to fight it and when the government responded they said they that was not fair lol !! they seriously made me laugh saying things like " that shouldnt happen in kuwait and blah blah blah " !!!

falantan said...

I hate Bu Ramiya's guts because he feels he's Kuwait's Robin Hood, redistributing wealth to ilbadow by dropping their debt. I for one have a house loan (not from a bank though) and am fully against dropping debt. People who support Bu Ramiya are nothing but irresponsible leeches sucking Kuwait without giving back to the community.

But that aside, I think primary elections are rightful and shouldn't be banned. It's actually an elevated form of democracy.

Why shouldn't a bunch of like-minded candidates be allowed to decide which among them should represent them all? it protects that minority from dissipating their votes onto too many candidates where none of them win.

And there's no unfairness in it, because if a candidate doesn't like his odds with that primary, he can easily go solo. and if his constituency doesn't vote for him, then tough luck.

If a group of people want to vote based on tribesmanship, who's to tell them they shouldn't? if they feel a tribesman is more likely to protect their interests, who's to tell them they shouldn't vote for one?

I'm not a bdewi myself. and allowing far3iyat will reduce the kinds of PM's that I like to win, but that doesn't change the fact that banning primaries is stupid and backward.

Q80 Saracen said...

Navy Girl: Hehe...I do like my politics. I'll try to bring up a lighter topic in the coming days (its just this election keeps giving me material to write about!).

When people say "That shouldn't happen in Kuwait?"...what is it that they mean? Law enforcement happens in Switzerland and Singapore so why not Kuwait? Innocent until prove guilty, granted, but no ordinary citizen is immune from investigation. Next time someone tells you that, just say this: "Ukh, whatever..." (you seem like the "ukh" type, lol

Falantan: I'm not against primaries as a concept. In advanced democracies where parties exist, primaries are the only way to select the candidate to run for office. I think the far3eeyat do not represent that principal in any shape of form for many reasons...but the main one is this: can I walk up to the far3eeyat primary and vote if I'm not from the tribe?

Now your first insticnt will tell you: "Well a Republican can't vote in the Democrats primary either!"...but becoming a democrat or a republican in the first place is open to all citizens at any time. You simply cannot become tribal. That being said, those of us who do belong to that tribe but are known 7uthur aren't allowed to vote Far3eeyat is the furthest away from democratic principals and serves to further the already existing strain on the country's unity...

Even after all that, I'll say one thing: in the last Parliament, tribal members had a majority in power. Why did they not spend their time removing the far3eeyat law as opposed to breaking it today. You know?

falantan said...

umm.. but why would say a tribal primary prevent you from voting? they'd love your support no? I mean, if a non-tribal person suddenly decides he "found his calling" and that this tribe is SUREly the best one to produce leaders for Kuwait, so you go and register your vote with them, saying "Guys, I love flan ilflaany from your tribe, he's such a charismatic leader, and I want to register my vote under your tribe, even though I'm from a different lineage, but I think you guys rock! and you outnumber my small family 100-1"

Why would they reject your vote? they'd more probably serve you their best finyaal of coffee instead :)

And I do agree that they should have pursued the lawful path for removing the law banning primaries, but that doesn't change the fact that the law itself is a clear violation of a citizen's rights of assembly and expression.

There's this famous notion which says "If a law is impossible to implement, then it shouldn't be a law".

And in this case it's clearly VERY easy to do the primaries in a 1000 different ways where it would be virtually impossible to detect or prove.

Banning primaries "gags" people. plain and simple.

And in a democracy I have to accept the opinion of the majority, even if that opinion is "democracy is bad" for example.

We can't sing the songs of bleeding-heart libertarians one minute, then turn around and attempt to prevent badow from electing their shyoo5 or ameer because "I" happen to think that they're being "backwards".

It's just too hypocritical.

I'm voting for the longest beard there is. so there :)

Navy Girl said...

Oh yeah everyone is excited ! but this time most of my friends wont even bother !! and to be honest I don’t like the idea of “ I couldn’t care less about voting and all “ but they are kinda right I mean what the hell I travel and come back in the holiday to find out the “ mjls en7l “ I travel come back again and its all the same drama all over again which is kinda boring !!

If your soo much into it .. how about you write about the 4 best options in all the 5 districts ??? I’d love that post and even might have one like it ! :D

Oh and hell yeah I’m more of “ whateverrrrrr” person !! why would you think I’m an “Ukh” person thought ?? is it that obvious lol ??

Q80 Saracen said...

falantan: Looool. Go for it. I'm gonna vote for anyone who cross dresses and sings the Care Bears song. Between the both of us, we can have an even more productive Parliament than last time!

Ps. In Primary elections in Kuwait, the pre-requisite is that you give them your ID so that they can a)identify your address and b) identify your tribe. This is done in order to avoid sabotage from other tribes or individuals. Now...if we can only find a clown to vote for too...

Navy Girl: Hehe...I'm not saying its wrong to think "what's the point?" We all reached that level of disappointment, where we just don't even feel our voice makes a difference. The problem with that is the following: people who vote for religious factions will never feel that way because they feel religiously obliged to vote. People who vote tribally will never feel that way because the tribe obliges them to vote. So the people that don't vote are those who do not vote tribally or religiously. Ya3ni 7araam il waa7id my 9owitt la2ana il nateeja inna iyeena Barlamaan maa yimathil illa 20% min il sha3b. You know?

Also, I was struggling with whether or not to post something like you said (4 top choices in the 5 districts) but the truth is, I want to hear other peoples opinions. I'm not even sure I have my four yet for my own district. So I'll be listening closely these coming days...(hehe...ukh was obvious and most of the time, "whatever" is the best word to use).

Navy Girl said...

yeah you are so right ...

and about that topic .. no one is yet so sure even my dad was like i'm not sure this year !!! when you post about it .. people will talk about it and maybe they will tell you what they think ;P