Rabat - The core frame that rules the upcoming elections (September 4, 2015) is the August 20, 2015 King's speech in which he reminded everyone of the respective responsibilities of each institution and warned against the irresponsibility of elected individuals and bodies. For many observers, it was the harshest and most straightforward evaluation of the performance of the political community the Kings has ever done. The failure to satisfy the needs of the citizens is diagnosed as a failure of commitment of those involved in running and providing the various services to the population. Time has come that changed. The tone is sober but firm and determined.
Rabat – The core frame that rules the upcoming elections (September 4, 2015) is the August 20, 2015 King’s speech in which he reminded everyone of the respective responsibilities of each institution and warned against the irresponsibility of elected individuals and bodies. For many observers, it was the harshest and most straightforward evaluation of the performance of the political community the Kings has ever done. The failure to satisfy the needs of the citizens is diagnosed as a failure of commitment of those involved in running and providing the various services to the population. Time has come that changed. The tone is sober but firm and determined.
In fact, noticing that pedagogy and accuracy have been missing in the political and electoral discourse especially after the prerogatives which the new constitution has granted the local and regional elected institutions, the King set to call attention to the confusion resulting from this anomaly. The situation is such that the government and the parliament are criticized for failures in which they have no responsibility while the local representatives are expected to undertake actions not among their prerogatives. This confusion of missions is due to the lack of knowledge of citizens of their constitution and of their institutions and has resulted in low turn outs and loss of interest and credibility in the democratic process.
In addition to focusing on dissipating this confusion, the speech of the King aimed also at highlighting the critical link between competence, responsibility and accountability which call for the honesty, probity and total dedication to public service of all those entering the electoral race and intending to have a career in the management of public institutions. Hammering that serving the nation should be the priority of representatives suggests rather openly that they might have had other ones.
The people should be clear about who is responsible for what and how they can control who gets to which authority. They, for one, are responsible for those who will run their cities and their daily living environments as they are the ones who will elect them. Should they elect incompetent or dishonest people, they will be responsible for the poor management and quality of services of their cities, neither the government nor the parliament nor anyone else.
The speech also addressed the profile of the representatives and explains that the lack of interest in the elections is partly because of the shortcomings of the performance, quality of services and availability of representatives who speak louder during the campaigns, make too many promises, have no idea who has voted for them, disappear from their constituencies right after being elected and who, at times, may have bought the votes.
The speech states it explicitly and in the most straightforward manner, everyone’s vote makes a difference in whether the status quo will be maintained or changed. It is everyone’s responsibility to make a difference.
Among the urgent priorities of the country stand out defense of the safety and stability – physical, intellectual and ideological – of the citizens and the security of the nation which calls for the mobilization of all the institutions and individuals to protect the nation from the threats that have been jeopardizing peace in the region. Despite this rather strong recommendation for Moroccans to stay with their own cultural and religious traditions, at least one party, is running with a list that includes a woman with a total Niqab which is a symbol of an ideology not only alien to Morocco but which is trying hard to compete with local traditions and which many are saying is introducing instability factors to the country.
While the concepts presiding over these guidelines underlie the discourse of the campaign of the quasi totality of the parties which have entered the electoral race, they are also used to justify the boycott decisions of those few who have found no sense taking part in the elections. In fact, the few groups boycotting the elections claim that the conditions are not met for a true transparent and democratic process that would entitle elected bodies of real competencies and prerogatives that would allow them to assume real responsibility and authentic accountability. These are opposed to the elections as well as to all its manifestations and paraphernalia including the campaign and the administrative preparations that precede it claiming that these are but dilapidation of public funds that would be better spent on social services. They claim as a pre-requirement to any credible democratic process the withdrawal from the public service and their trial all corrupt figures as well as those they refer to as rent economy profiteers, brokers in the political sphere, etc. they also condition any talk about democracy by the adjournment of the government and of all elected institutions which they consider to be fake, fabricated and lacking legitimacy as well as the constitution of a national constitutional body to redraft the nation’s constitution.
One argument that a few recalcitrants have been using to discredit the democratic process is the recent decorations with which the King has honored a number of artists and sportspeople claiming that the honor should have gone to scholars, scientists, street sweepers and not to immodest, lecherous individuals and sluts with no shame and no respect for traditions, local culture and religion. One can imagine which background these people are speaking from and which values underlie their political choices. Considering artists as these do, one can but remember the destruction and blowing up campaigns of historical and arts heritage conducted in some parts of the world and the recent slaughter of a scholar specialized in archeology and the protection of historical heritage. These, by the way, omit to remember that all members form the categories they have mentioned have been, and are, regularly celebrated and honored on other occasions.
The campaign is revealing new aspects of the political, cultural and ideological scene of the country. It is revealing that while a prominent political figure may be booed and chased from one meeting he may be cheered and acclaimed as a hero the following day not very far from where he had been humiliated. It is also revealing that major political parties may have difficulties competing with lists of independent runners in some cities and regions critical for the economic and cultural development of the nation. It is also revealing that politicians are waking up more and more to the political virtues and powers of social media and the might of the Internet.
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