I don’t know if there is a more appropriate word which could describe how I feel about what I hear and read regarding the elections, or rather, the stupid inane posturing by the government on one hand, and some of the candidates on the other. Each desperately digs holes for the other to fall in, and once again, we – the normal people of these islands – are left to pick up the pieces.
May I remind everyone that there WILL be life after these elections have come and gone?
Everyone should keep that fact in the forefront of their minds when doing or evaluating any action in their desperation to get into parliament, or even with the seemingly very transparent and unorthodox attempts of the government to keep some of them out!
So we have the “he said, she said” scenarios all over the place, add to that a dash of “he started it first” and this summarises what’s going on at the moment. Absolutely childish and tiring.
So, to the government: if you don’t want this democracy thing which by definition shares your power with the people, then just come out and say it. What is anyone in this country going to do? Object? So what, that didn’t stop you from ruling for almost three centuries! But having those alleged 8,000 mobile, ready and willing illegally registered voters (we’re told that they can vote in any constituency they like) to push into any constituency to ensure your selected candidate win is a bit gauche. That of course and your play of insisting on having the “general” voting centres which are conveniently placed in areas where your naturalized citizens don’t have to drive too far from Saudi to cast their directed votes, or use them to receive some or all of those 8,000 mobile voting task force, or even the newly naturalized citizens who probably feel a bit insecure about going to the regular voting centres to cast their ballot, completely ignoring the constitutional requirement of banning all recently naturalized citizens from doing so for at least 10 years, are of course all very transparent actions in biased and gerrymandered elections.
Not to forget that the black cloud of Bandargate is still smothering us so completely that we have no choice whatsoever – as proud citizens – but to consider the possibility that all the allegations it contained are actual facts. Else, why are people named and shamed in that world famous report still holding their positions in government and – if the papers are to be believed – still have a hand in diverting the course of the elections? And even more damning, why isn’t there even a simple statement from government negating the facts or telling us that they actually are doing something about the situation? This indifference by the authorities is the most damaging thing both the the morale of the people of Bahrain, and to the reputation of the government internationally.
All of these cannot be interpreted in any way other than the realisation of the complete and utter breakdown of trust between the rulers and the ruled.
As to the candidates: may I remind you ladies and gentlemen that as you have chosen to enter the fray, you can no longer enter it with a pure “opposition” mindset? You cannot continue to just assume the very worse of the government (yes, I know it is extremely difficult and I did do it above and stand by it, however you are representatives of the people are supposed to be the creme de la creme and should be much better than yours truly.)
What you need to do is to think that you are partners and should get into parliament wanting and demanding to be treated as partners to develop this country and ensure that its resources are justly distributed.
Sure, there are a lot of things to fix, and yes, the constitution we are lumbered with is not the best in the world, but you need to prioritise your goals and concentrate on development, not on sectarian differences and completely maligning your competitors and calling their loyalties into question. It has turned to a dirty campaign, and the dirtiest surely can’t win.
Look at what our esteemed BD500-a-month-for-sale ex-MP Dr. Salah Ali and what he’s doing in the Central District’s constituency 4: allegedly sending sectarian, disloyal, seditious text messages to the people of that constituency against his opposition, who are known for their loyalty to the people of Bahrain and have rendered countless services to them. Telling them that they are non-believers, and that they will shut down mosques immediately they get into parliament, and the various other underhanded methods of trying to re-win the seat that he would never have dreamt of occupying had the boycotting societies decided to enter the game in 2002.
He’s so desperate now that I am told that he personally is going out in the neighbourhoods knocking on door after door begging for votes, and allegedly writing cheques to buy votes, this is the “scandal” that we have woken up to this morning, with one Ahmed Al-Mutairi (whose personality is also surrounded by infamy, it is alleged) receiving a BD100 cheque in lieu of him changing his address into Dr. Salah Ali’s constituency and promising to vote for him… from Dr. Salah Ali, ALLEGEDLY, of course. Well, it seems that even the good doc didn’t learn from Bandargate and just use cash, the stupid twat. I wonder how many of these cheques the twerp wrote so far, if he is – most probably – being financed to try to get him into parliament again by the likes of, ehm, Voldermort, then he’s got to keep receipts!
And then, Salah Ali, you’re not worth even Munira‘s discarded cut toe nails! Give up already.
The story is repeated of course everywhere else in Bahrain that has a candidate running against the Islamist Asala and Minbar blocs (Wahabi and Muslim Brotherhood respectively), and they are the only blocs in this campaign who are actively sectarian and completely pro-government (though my interpretation of being pro-anything is to constructively criticise to make better, rather than just lapping whatever juices emanating from the body of government and saying can I have some more please.)
What they should do, whoever gains our votes to get into parliament this time, a time where all political forces are participating hence the boys will be separated from the men (barring the 8k mobile task force and other electronic shenanigans), is to concentrate on ways to shadow the cabinet and really take the government to task regarding its management of the country.
So technocrats should most certainly be fielded – and they are this time – so that a bloc contains all it needs from talent and knowledge to really do their job; they need an economist to look at the economic policies and suggest laws to encourage business and investment, they need a financial analyst so that he can decipher the budgets and find the hidden nooks and crannies and expose them, they need an education specialist to enable ways to correct the huge disparity in education in our public schooling system, and lawyers to formulate these laws and of course media specialists so that they can destroy the Ministry of disInformation and its apparatus so we can get to information unhindered, repeal the heinous press and publications law and task those people in these disciplines and others to concentrate on their areas of specialty and never let the government to get away with it ever again.
And above all, restore our robbed freedoms by the previous parliament.
9 more days to go… I can hardly wait!