Green Party of Jordan, Why Parties in Jordan cease to exist

I was reading with great interest the news about the formation of "The Green Party of Jordan," and I was really tempted to contact those in charge and sign up. However, the effectivity of parties in Jordan is usually dismissed as feeble and at best luxuria.

Let's start this post by admitting the obvious, people are partly to blame for most of the spiral decline in Jordan. There is adamant general complacency that lets people look at the situation from afar without ever thinking how they should change it.

There is a general culture that is prevalent which discourages young people from being involved in politics, there is an instilled fear of talking about public policy, even if it severely affects the people involved. Granted, this fear has fallen to record lows recently, but try to let someone sign a petition that asks the parliament to withdraw confidence from the Prime Minister, then you will realize how rampant it still is. This caused people to follow the general march to "safer" choices in a fledgling democracy, independents and people with public service backgrounds are the main components of the parliament, closely followed, or maybe even preceded by the tribal choices.   

The tribal alignment of the populace causes great mayhem in Jordan, whether in university "wars" or in public resistance to a government that has people from the "wrong regions" or not enough from the "right regions." This is also true in elections, people generally vote for someone from their tribe, region, area or even governorate.

Parties are also to blame, few -if any- of the parties have mature political programs, none of them propose budgets, or even have a decent following. With the notable exception of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), no party can amass more than a few hundreds in any of their events. The IAF which is the Muslim Brotherhood's (MB) political wing proved once and again that it can arouse the marching sentiments of a few thousands on any given friday, preferably after a prayer.

Jordanian parties are mainly one of two kinds, first there is the one-man-show institutions, created solely for the perpetuation of the ideology or popularity of a single person, usually an ex-government individual. Second comes the extension of a regional phenomena or ideology, such as the IAF being an extension of the Egyptian-started MB and supported ideologically by it, or the various reiterations of the Ba'ath Party whether supported by their counterparts in Syria or Iraq in their peaks. I personally know people who were educated in Syria or Iraq on scholarships because one of their immediate relatives was a member of the Ba'ath.

Jordanians have long doubted the fairness and transparency of elections, but polls also show that Jordanians doubt parties' motivation and usually support the party only as an extension of their support of it's leader. People also simply refuse to believe that a party can grow to such a level that it will hold the power to form a government or the higher leadership will allow them to do that.

I believe the Green Party of Jordan is a step in the right direction, environment is a very important issue, so is the need for fresh blood on the political arena. I am looking forward to talk to their leadership.

Peace, Out

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