By Majid Morceli
By Majid Morceli
San Francisco – If you ask any Moroccan citizen their opinion regarding the recent elections, the swift answer would be that they “are useless and will not change their quality of life. The poor will continue to be poor and the rich will get even richer.” However, if you ask any Moroccan politician the same question, their response would be: “we are making progress.”
Oddly enough, both responses are correct. One important point the majority of Morocco’s voters fail to grasp is that the electoral process is not a magic wand that will make one’s life easier, or even better. The electoral process is simply a tool for people’s voices to be heard and to choose the right candidate to represent and advocate for them.
Nevertheless, candidates do not want people to know this. And for that, they frequently resort to powerful but empty slogans and false promises to lure people to the ballot box to vote for them.
We all know that even those with good intentions will eventually fail to deliver on the promises they made prior to the elections. Instead, why not be honest to their constituency and inform them that getting out to vote is the right thing to do? Why not tell them that they need to vote in order for the next generation of Moroccans to live in a democracy, free from bribery and corruption, and under the rule of law where everyone is treated equally and with dignity?
Moroccan voters’ perception of elections needs to be corrected. They need to understand that their vote will have more weight to improve the lives of future generations. If they really care about their children and grandchildren, then they should not sell their vote, and instead make the candidates they vote for earn it. Many of us have left our homeland to live in democratic societies. Future generations will not have to follow this trend. They will remain in the country and help build a more free, prosperous, and democratic Morocco.
King Mohammed VI himself asked Moroccans not to sell their vote for a dirham or two, and vote for the sake of the country’s future. The King understands very well that the monarchy will only survive in a democracy in a similar capacity to the monarchies that still exist in Europe.
The voter, in turn, needs to understand that elections are the cornerstone of democracy and should not be a favor rendered for a few dirhams. Moroccans voters should be proud of what they have accomplished so far.
When Algeria flirted with democracy in 1990, 250,000 Algerians ended up dead when the military regime suspended the electoral process. Recently, the military regime in Egypt led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi did the same thing: and has not hesitated to kill thousands of his own people, imprison the elected president, Mohamed Morsi, and sentence hundreds to death.
We, in Morocco, did not have to resort to violence to make our voices heard. These elections were not without a few reported setbacks here and there, but overall, we can safely say that Morocco is on the right path.
It is no secret that the electoral system in Morocco, with 30 political parties, is conspicuously formed to generate no real winner. Still, Moroccans should start thinking about reforming this system, rather than thinking about which candidate will hand us more dirhams.
Elections are the right tool to hold those who make decisions on our behalf accountable for their actions (or inaction, for that matter).
In order for the people in Morocco to understand what’s at stake, a certain level of education needs to be present. Let’s hope that during the next elections, people will be educated enough to vote for the right candidate, the one who has the experience and the right intentions to speak on their behalf, and not the one who buys their vote.
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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