Editorial: A Message to Every Bahraini on Eve of the 2018 Elections
2018-11-24 - 1:19 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): A citizen may not have the ability to change a corrupt reality in his country, but he has the ability to reject. Change begins by refusing to surrender to what you are going through: the refusal to continue in a bad to an even worse situation, rejecting to be involved in this corruption in any way, objecting to be part of its continuation, refusing to be a toy and tool in the hands of corrupters. Rejection has a power beyond the authority of imposition, because it stems from the reality of urgent need, not from the purpose of gain.
In South Africa, the Landless People's movement led a massive campaign to boycott the 2004 elections under the slogan "No land, No house, No vote". Despite the repression of the authorities practiced against campaigners, people refused to give their votes to any of the parties involved in the political system, since they found that they do not actually represent the poor.
On November 24, the Bahraini citizen is being told to put his/her name on a paper inside the ballot box. The Bahraini is required to participate in a game where there's nothing to gain, but everything to lose, as it's all in favor of the regime. You cast your vote to give this regime the power to take away your freedom, restrict your livelihood and rob you even more. You cast your vote to make the regime say to the world proudly: Look, I have legislative, constitutional and regulatory institutions that have the confidence and respect of my people, so all we do is democratic and constitutional.
Sixteen years since this sham parliament was founded, the government continues to say "With your vote, you can", and you go every year to cast your vote, but you find that your vote is against you. What have you gained, O Bahraini, in the last 16 years? Does anyone have a answer other than: nothing? The answer will come: Ask what Bahrainis have lost in the past 16 years? Here the list goes on:
Do you want to talk about how the living conditions were 16 years ago and how they are now and where the situation is going with the blessing of parliament?
Do you want to talk about the status of freedom of opinion and political liberties? How it was 16 years ago and how it is now through legislations passed by the Parliament?]
Do you want to talk about the social situation, the relationship between different social groups, and the emergence of hate speech and Takfir, which were cooked up by the Parliament before and after 2011?
Do you want to talk about the budget of the state, over half of which goes to armament, bringing in thousands of mercenaries, naturalizing them and giving them priority over citizens in services?
Do you want to talk about the naturalization that has taken place in the past 16 years, and the replacement of the Bahrainis with other peoples from all parts of the world? Or about the inflation resulting from hundreds of thousands of naturalized people who have been pumped in the country at random and without supervision or accountability? Or about the overcrowding that exceeds the size of the country and which is making Bahrain suffer in its public places, streets and in every space?
Do you want us to talk to you about the deterioration of the country's economy and the collapse and deficit of the state budget amid the silence of the parliament? What about financial and administrative corruption? What about the land grabs and the theft of the country's resources? What about the huge rise in public debt? What about the state's disgraceful bankruptcy?
Do you want to talk about how foreigners get the best positions, jobs and investments, or the decline in per capita income, bonuses and incentives? What about the high prices, the frantic rise in taxation? What about the privatization of state services sectors?
Do you want to talk about the dissolution of political parties and opposition organizations, the imprisonment of every opposition voice, the suppression of every opposing pen, the prevention of any independent media, and the displacement of thousands of competent Bahrainis? Or the revocation of the nationalities of thousands of Bahrainis? Or about the high number of political prisoners locked in prison?
This is some of what the Bahraini people have gained in the past 16 years of parliamentary experience. This is what the authorities did with the votes of the voters when they said to them, "With your vote, you can."
With every new election, we witness an increasing number of weak and clueless candidates, asking you to give them your vote to grant you prestige, high ranks, money and influence. Everyone is thirsty for your vote to climb over you. The corrupt government wants your vote to give itself legitimacy before the world, and the candidates want your vote so that they could gain the prestige of becoming a MP. No one wants your vote to accomplish change and reform.
And you, Bahraini, on November 24, you either participate in this black comedy that takes advantage of your vote, or stand in the face of this mockery by blocking your vote: to declare that without real participation, there is no vote.
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