Fez - Moroccan MPs’ use of colorful language reaches new heights— or lows — as president of February 9 Parliamentary meeting suspends discussion after debate grows intense and unprofessional.
Fez – Moroccan MPs’ use of colorful language reaches new heights— or lows — as president of February 9 Parliamentary meeting suspends discussion after debate grows intense and unprofessional.
Watching parliamentary debates on Moroccan national television has become a source of entertainment for Moroccan viewers. On February 9, the President of the Parliamentary meeting, Mohammed Yatim, suspended the meeting after an intense argument broke out between MPs from different parties.
The noise died down after the PJD party’s Abdellah Bouanou objected to an Istiqlal MP’s question about the Rabat stadium scandal, claiming that he was not a “real” MP during the event, because the elections had been redone in his constituency of Moulay Yaacoub near Fez. It was only in the new elections, in which Istiqlal defeated the PJD, that the MP had won his parliamentary seat.
Regardless of these political frictions, the people’s representatives in this notorious constitutional house appear to be more obsessed with their political ideologies and elections than with finding answers to the most important issues of the day for the average Moroccan citizen.
The representative’s question regarding the “Mondialito” sport’s scandal, a scandal which degraded the image of Morocco in global public opinion, failed to elicit an answer after all the shouting and havoc in the house of representatives, and simply diverted attention from the purpose of the meeting.
Interestingly, the language politicians used in the twenty–minute argument demonstrates their pretentious outward show of formalities. MPs have been using informal language to subtly or explicitly devalue each other just in the same manner that uneducated people quarrel in public.
The first question you might ask while watching parliament is not whether policies will improve after each round of questions, as the case in other countries, where governments take into consideration the opposition’s remarks and criticism. Rather, you might ask what are the main objectives behind the hollow and fruitless discussions, since the language that politicians use is more wooden than wood itself.
Mutual respect and concern about the common good are primary values citizens should see demonstrated in their representatives’ behavior. During elections, representatives ask for the people’s support, promising prosperity and the eradication of corruption, and spouting other glittering electoral mottos. Yet, the drama in Parliament reveals a veritable disgrace in the Moroccan political arena.
Taunts such as “You are using slang,” “you don’t believe in democracy,” “mine is bigger than yours”, “don’t wink at me, and nor will I wink at you’” are but a sample of phrases that contemporary Moroccan politicians have employed to distort the seriousness of politics while attacking each other in front of the impoverished Moroccans whose hopes are “gone with the wind” right after “donating” their voices.
Humans have been granted language as a holy gift to facilitate their integration and to exchange fruitful ideas and benefits for prosperity. In the developed world, politicians use language to thank, apologize, criticize, guide, debate, and so forth. However, Moroccan politicians have made an art form out of employing new functions for language to argue, fight, and offend.
Islam says you should either say something good or keep silent. Philosophy says that opinion is to be respected and ideas are to be discussed. Moroccan representatives have not yet learned that opposing ideas should be discussed, regardless of who they come from. They have not yet learned that Moroccans are fed up with their pointless arguments and ad hominem attacks. They have not learned that national challenges and the people’s concerns and aspirations go beyond their representatives’ political trivialities.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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