Les noms des fous se trouvent partout

Writing about politics is like paying a visit to the dentist. Well actually this is not a totally fair analogy. Some good eventually comes out of painful but necessary dental work. I’d rather talk about women, those who wouldn’t consider this type of introductions chauvinistic in the least. I’d rather talk about food and wine as well. But alas, “les fous” are everywhere. Their pictures smiling down at us from suspended banners, blocking our view of the congested alleys, streets and avenues, on every corner, every wall, every lamp-post and soon enough, popping up from between our legs, causing us to stumble further into our misery. They are playing a game of musical chairs. Hundreds upon hundreds of them, each and every one assing a chair in our venerated parliament (assing a chair means that an ass is itching and eager to sit). I present you with our distinguished candidates for the People’s Assembly.

Politics is a dirty game even in vintage democracies. The system itself suffers from an inherited fallacy and promotes scoundrels and assholes. I’ll pick a country with a reputable history of democracy, umh, Sweden for instance. I can’t speak for the Swedes but it’s my understanding that their opinions about the majority of their politicians is in line of what I’m suggesting. The world’s parliaments, assemblies and congresses are mainly filled with rogues of little or no substantial intellectual capacity. They are after something for sure; however, I have my doubts that they are losing any sleep over the interests of their constituents.

Back to the local scene, what is it that makes these people tick? Do they really represent anyone but themselves? What about their supporters? What are these idiotic slogans?
What sonsofbitches came up with phrases like:

Together We Build Our Country
We Chose Him Because We Had Known Him
The Youth Candidate
Together We Fight Corruption
The Test is in the Choice
We Trust This Man

What about the titles that precede their names? Industrialist, Artist, Media Personality, Business Man, Ex-Football Player, Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Haj. Isn’t anybody a nobody anymore? They are all dressed in suits and look fat and comfortable. It’s no longer in vogue to be a simple farmer or worker to run for the parliamentary elections. The majority are “appointed’ parrots from the “Front” and most of the rest are a bunch of fat cats. What about me? Of the dozens of ugly faces polluting my vision, who ever asked me what I want or what I need? Who dare say, he or she represents me?

With no political, social or economic agendas, campaigning for votes has turned into a circus (with actual tents). Truckloads of provisions and monetary staples are distributed among the populace a couple of weeks before Election Day. Then voters are brought in busloads, free lunch included, to cast their votes. The winners are our “independent” representatives.

Fashro! I represent myself. And I love my country and defend it with my own life in spite of them. I am sure there are some who have willingly entered this diversion with honorable intentions all along. I am also certain that may be a very few might actually get in. For these exceptions I have all the respect in the world. They believe that they might be able to positively contribute to the welfare of society through this mutated democratic process. I salute their courage and their efforts. For the rest, buzz off and get back to sleep.


Maysaloon said…
I have an Uncle who once tried applying for one of these chairs. I was very young back then and didn't think much of it. I do remember that most of the excitement and talk was about how he would be part of the officialdom and would have perks such as flashy cars, status, money, etc.

I've never really thought about it till I read your article, but now that I do, I don't recall any single time he talked about trying to do something meaningful in the role, either that says something about my where my attention was focused, or perhaps something else... Whichever way, it says something about how we used to see politics. Nice post.
The Syrian Brit said…
My dear Abu Fares,
The picture you paint about politics and politicians applies, in some degree or another, even to those communities that are steep in democracy, as you point out yourself..
However, the main difference remains that politicians in Countries like Sweden or the UK, still have to answer to the rule of the Law.. The media in Arab Countries often gloat about Western politicians who have fallen from grace when they had done something wrong.. My answer has always been: At least, the Press, the People, or the Law had their say, and managed to force the asses of such people off their chairs.. The ones we have in our Countries have their asses firmly glued to the chairs!!..
I agree with you entirely that those dimwits who are trying to get 'elected' (elected??.. using THAT term in itself is a joke!..) represent nothing but themselves and their greedy interests..
Dubai Jazz said…
Being away from home at these times is a blissing in disguise.
The problem has deepened its roots in Aleppo, our independent MPs are very ill-reputed. You keep hearing of their implication in scuzzy businesses and corrupted affairs... it really is sickening...
I don't know if you've noticed this Abu Fares, but it seems that one candidate from Aleppo has decided (for the first time in the Syrian history as far as I can tell) to flash his chunky face on the Internet.(with a blog and discussions and the whole nine yards):
The funny thing is that he failed to attach his resume to the blog for couple of days, so the commenters in the mean times were taking the liberty in exposing all kind of stories about him, specially the one that leave a negative impression...so when he did actually attach his pathetic resume, it was too late to impress...
He had also conducted some polls, it's interesting to observe the results..
'la fous' are indeed everywhere....
Unknown said…
No matter how ridiculous these candidates can get, there will be morons and idiots who would go and vote for them, why? Have no clue.
I wanted to vote for someone who can actually serve the community, I searched, read speeches, researched their resumes and I can say with a very satisfied conscious that I WOULD make a better candidate than anyone of them.

And the representation issue Abu Fares, I will tell you whom they represent. They represent their COMPANIES and Factories, their interest and bank accounts, their rotten canned food deals, their Drugs Trafficking and Weapons Promoting business, etc..

They are bunch of losers and hypocrites.

Abufares said…
Hi Wassim
Thank you for dropping in.
No candidate has anything to talk about really (in the here and now). It is my opinion that many are after the Wajaha derived out of this office. For some, those who are already very rich and classify themselves as "industrialists" they are after the title as it helps them out in their dealings with Europe. Apparantly a Syrian businessman, dealing with Italians for example, carry some prestige with the added title of MP. Only if the Italians knew how much admiration WE have for such a person.
Abufares said…
I know Syrian Brit that you are right about accountability in the rest of the world and the absence of it in ours (the Arab World in general).
These "elected dimwits" are paying millions to get that damn chair. I still wonder really what drives a successful businessperson to get involved. These people only see the world in $$$. There must be plenty of it in in these chairs (remember 7amam al Hana - Dureid wa Nohad).
You know what, you just inspired my next post:-)
Abufares said…
Dubai Jazz
Pardon me for saying so, but long time ago, we, the naive people of the coast used to think that we should count our fingers after shaking hands with the whales of Damascus and Aleppo. Little did we know, our waters are now infested with white sharks... the most viscious of them all.
Big business in Syria is not just dirty, it's filthy. Everyday we hear of new scandals committed by new villains.
The godfathers safely remain in the shades pulling strings here and "triggers" there.
Abufares said…
Hey RnD
Some of the voters are after the Tanket Al-Samneh and/or Tanket Al-Zeit these candidates are offering.

You can't vote for anyone who will come to any good RnD. It simply is impossible in the system.
Everything you said in the last section of your comment is absolutley true.
We have a saying in Tartous, of course in Arabic and here it is, do excuse the language everyone:

كس اخت هالزمان ياي خلا المنايك تركب فلايك
وخلا الأباضايات متلي ومتلك يرجعوا
من أرواد لطرطوس بين الخرى سباحة

I hope I made my point with this eloquent Tartoussi eternal truth.
Omar said…
10 or 12 years ago, Aref Dalila ran for the assembly.. and although I still a college student, I felt obliged to go and participate in the elections.. just because I wanted my voice to be put to something useful.. a young adult's dream of democracy..
everyone I knew elected Aref Dalila.. everyone.. adults, old men and women, college students.. you name it.. we wanted a clean and honest man to reach the decision making level.. and I remember that all he had was one flag (Yafta) next to the Economics College in Baramkeh as he was the old dean of the college.

days went by and his name wasn't even mentioned in the results.. and that was years before the Damascus Spring days....

This sharade they call elections is nothing but a big fat sewer hole where money gets thrown in instead of being put to use.

it's a shame to see this happen in a country that once knew what real democracy was..
Abufares said…
"For these exceptions I have all the respect in the world."

For the rest, I repeat the eloquent Tartoussi saying above.
Anonymous said…
Ya salam ya Abu Fares, even when you write about something you dislike it ends up making sense to everyone, and we enjoy it! I've been away for a while, with a lot to catch up, but it's nice to see you're up to speed.

As I read - and agreed with - your post, I thought of the time Aref Dalila ran, and I was happy to read Omar mention it. I was privileged to hear from Dr. Dalila himself the whole story behind his experience, how he challenged, rightly, the vote counting and how it came to nothing. Of course, he was merely proving a point at that stage, but even he knew it was a futile exercise. I hope he comes out safe and sound, soon.

For once I'm glad I'm not in Syria right now, to be spared the sorry sight of the desecration of our streets with vulgar banners and the other ugly "campaigning."

Yedrab hal kersi ... what is it doing to our country?
Abufares said…
Hi Rime
Welcome back, not just to comment on my blog but to get back to writing interesting and enlightening articles on your Mosaics.
Unlike you my friend, I always run the risk of generalizations since I'm not fully aware of the specifics of the political game. I would like to keep it this way and leave intricate matters in your safe hands.
Thank you for dropping by and again, looking forward reading your informative posts.
Anonymous said…
Keeping to the political team....I tag you!
Karin said…
I'll get back later on ... for the meantime you MAY want to check my blog - there's something for you!! :-)
Abufares said…
I took the test, twice, a short version and another longer one. It came out that I have multi-personalities.
You'll read all about it very soon.
Thanks for your tag.
Abufares said…
I can't ever thank you enough, not just for this award but for simply being you.
I have started on a post last night but will not publish it until 24/04/2007 (it'll be obvious why then).
Just wait for it my friend.
Well politics is a dirty game, even in Sweden. Although I suppose everything is relative.
GraY FoX said…
you are totally right as usual :)
and one word represents your post
( Fashro! ) with a big F :P
but one major point to discuss here , which is , would it really matter who is going to win ? would i be benefited of these guys in anyway ?? :)
Abufares said…
You're right Shaykhspeara Sha'ira, the further away we stay from this dirty game the better we are.

Gray Fox
Fashro indeed my friend. As you've suggested, it really doesn't matter.

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