Sunday, May 28, 2006

It may not be 5 yet..(and who's to say that 5 won't mean that only the very, very rich will be able to buy their seats)..but we can still do everything possible to fight corruption.The bad news is that we have a very strong and pervasive culture of corruption..
In every part of life from business to social interactions and family life to politics, it is a maze of lies, pretence, buying and selling favours and personal interests and pretending to be one thing while you are actually another...
It is so sad that you hear of women saying they are going to switch districts so that they can vote in district 3 for the man who will pay for their vote and give them know who that is, they said his name but I don't need to..ya3ni women have learnt well from their male predecessors in the vote-buying/selling scheme...
You hear people say "well that's the way it is, you vote for the one who will 'imashy mu3amalatna"...
You hear people say that they will vote for a family member, even though that family member is against everything they support, just because it will mean that they will have someone with the same name in parliament..
I even had the unfortunate experience of hearing someone say that even though a candidate from the same family is the polar opposite of all things he believes in, he will vote for him because he wants a street named after the family and having a family member in parialment might make that happen!!! ?
I guess to hell with rights and progress and justice and freedom and all the other good things under the planet..votes are going to street names!
And what is it that is the problem really? I mean everyone is waxing poetic about how we have a long tradition of the press is diwaniyas are a form of our age old democratic principles...makes it sound just peachy..why is this country sooo steeped in democratic history sooo corrupt? Maybe because our democracy has always been about who you know and how much you're asking...Civil society isn't quite up on it's feet here..I'd be surprised if it even knew where it's feet are...
When is our sense of dignity and self respect as voters and as voices going to show itself? How do we change a public that has been so used to corruption and 'wasta' in every part of life? So used to it that they all think it's the way things should be.
A major problem as well, that come out in every conversation I have had with people who are more than ready to vote against their conscience is that they have no faith in the government anyway...That we all have to be corrupt because that's the language the system knows how to speak. So how do we go about changing that? How do we convince people that they can 'be the change'..?
And we still want five...Enough is enough.
Always carry something you can use to tape and upload speeches and footage from campaign rallys and speeches and every maqar so everyone else can see...
It's imperative that we are polite and watch our anger and frustration so that it can't be used against us.
The Corruption Fighters' Tool Kit
From Transparency International
The Kuwait Politics Database
International institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance
The Constitution
After third day of registration, number of candidates hits 57
Brief profile on parliamentary nominess
Deciding Kuwait's Future
"Six more women yesterday registered to run in the general elections next month, raising the number of female candidates to 12"

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