الأحد، أغسطس 24، 2008

Name a Good Parliamentarian

How Many

Good Parliamentarians

can you Name?



A friend, Dr. Nadia Tawfik, asked me this question ...
How Many Good Parliamentarians can you name?

Well, I have to admit that I found this to be a tough question. How can I not be able to remember a single outstanding parliamentarian in Egypt? There must be someone.


But then I discovered the reason why I can not name a single "good parliamentarian" in Egypt. It is not because there are no good parliamentarians. But rather because there is no "Parliament" in the technical sense of the word to speak of.


To have Parliamentarians, good or bad, first you have to have a parliament and a political process, with parties, a constitution, free media, free and fair elections, independent judiciary, and a system designed in such a way whereby power is rotated peacefully and periodically, etc.


I do not believe we have that ... we do not really have a political process to speak of. No one intended for power to be rotated. Power is intended to stay exactly where it is. In the hands of the President who may temporarily delegate bits and pieces of that power to other trusted officials appointed and fired by him.


Rotation of power? Are you kidding me?


Rotation amongst whom if I may ask? There are no political parties. There is a single party, the ASU or the NDP, whatever you want to call it; and a bunch of other crippled entities, sometimes referred to as parties when the regime wishes to show off its "theatrical democracy" before foreign media. But apart from those rare occasions, those parties are either domesticated cheer leaders who sing the praises for the the regime, or hunted opposition "groups" which are denied every possible ingredient necessary to have a real active political party.


So, we do not really have a Parliament, in the technical sense of the word, and consquently we can not have "good" or even "bad" parliamentarians.


And we do not have a political process, so, we can not have "politicians" either, neither good or bad.


Well. It is good to know where we stand.



Now, what's next?

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