Will we have a debate?
One of the things I hoped to see in this year's election is a presidential debate between the leading candidates. It would've really tickeld my fancy to see Mubarak up there actually defending his record, altough i knew that any kind of objective debate would've been impossible. Still, I wanted one for one reason: To bring down the view of the president from Demi-god to public servant. Let me explain Egyptians have a habit of making Gods out of their rulers: They are never questioned and never held accountable and Mubarak plays that same tune. He is Mubarak, the man of war and hero of peace, the leader, the hope for the future, the larger than life President whom we are most fortunate to have and who can never be replaced by any other mere mortal. This wouldn't be the case in a debate: He would be just a man, standing next 2 men who do not agree with him and who think they can do a better job than he has been doing. It's hard to explain this to any reader who lives in a democracy and who is used to such a debate, but over here, the psychological impact of such an image would be huge. Egyptians would never look at the President of Egypt that same way again. It would've been great. But , of course, it's not going to happen, because Mubarak's campaign manager wunderkid Mohamed Kamal said that a debate is out of the question: "It's very complicated to have a debate among 10 candidates. We haven't seen that anywhere in the world," he said. Really? Someone missed the democratic primaries in 2003/04 it seems. But hey, who said all 10 candidates? How about just Mubarak, Ayman Nour and Nouman Gomaa, the Wafd Party candidtae. Those are the top 3 candidates anyway. It's not very complicated to have a 3-parties debate, now is it? I think it's very telling that they refuse to debate, even more telling then their desire not to have international observers. But what do I know?