JUST after one of them registered his name on the list of election nominees, we started hearing waves of campaign promises, starting from organizing traffic movement to reducing traffic fines, increasing subsidized foodstuff, continuation of grants and allowances, and perhaps, lifting subsidies.
The campaign promises went to the extent of opening floodgates of overseas treatment tour, reducing prices of fuel and many others that indicate the candidate has secured a parliamentary seat and the government will submit to his will. In fact, the government will endorse any proposal he presents without discussion.
This kind of overstatement in campaign slogans and promises has become monotonous and the voters no longer fall for it. With this kind of zeal and high-pitched voice of the nominee, voters understand that such a person is experiencing political and legislative bankruptcy, and even lack of services.
Voters understand that once this person enters the Parliament, he will be occupied with amassing wealth and serving his electoral constituents, or executing agendas of his bloc and sect. He will never cure the corruption plague. We have been hearing fight against corruption through resonant slogans for the last three decades.
Throughout that period, there were parliamentary blocs which organized chants for fighting corruption by using the most effective means on one hand, while working towards cementing corruption on a daily basis on the other hand so it spread wildly.
Some parliamentarians turned every stone of corruption to achieve their goals by reserving employment positions for their clique and prevented competent people from occupying suitable positions. This is in addition to imposing their will on ministries by threatening to use interpellation which sparked chills among their prey in the ministries, making the latter submit to their will horrifically.
Although we felt tangible changes in parliamentary practices recently, especially since the issue of choosing people’s representatives depended on standards that differ from those used in the past three decades; some are still betting on old campaign tactics.
They are forgetting that Kuwaitis no longer allow anyone to make them a fool or insult their integrity through the campaign methods of candidates who appear to be living in the past and believe that votes can still be bought through services, money, kinship or coalitions. This means they did not read the outcome of the last two parliamentary terms properly.
Undoubtedly, some previous governments submitted to the will of parliamentary blocs through organized intimidations in a bid to maneuver the political course, especially when these blocs went overboard in the accusation trade and threatened to defame anyone who took a ministerial position. Also, those governments had no strength to stand firm due to slackness in executing their programs, so they resorted to pleasing parliamentarians to avoid accountability.
Today, everyone is convinced that laxity of the government in confronting such parliamentary practices will lead to its weakness and inability to execute its policies. In fact, the government will cater to the demands of Parliament. This entails increasing the electoral gains of parliamentarians at the expense of public funds and national welfare.
To prevent this from happening, the government should decisively fight against such politics and avoid loosening its rope due to fear of interpellations or inquiries. The government must ensure that its hands are clean so it will not be shaken by parliamentary heckles on combating corruption and bribery which they raise to throw dust into the eyes while practicing every form of corruption and destruction.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah – Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times