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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The NDP's next move

The election is over, the casualties have been counted and the dust settled. The Parliament is now convened with 88 MB parliamentarians, which means they have more then enough votes to back an independent nominee in the next presidential elections, while none of the actual opposition parties have enough to back one of their own. The trend in the elections shows that the majority of people who vote for the MB aren't MB sympathizers as much as they are NDP haters, who wanted to vote against the NDP and therefore backed its biggest opposition group. It's like our own version of the ABB movement. This isn't good news for the NDP, because the moment the next presidential election comes, they will have a 2 man race between their nominee (Mubarak Jr.) and the MB's nominee, and they can't want that. Gamal Mubarak is hated to the degree that people will vote for the MB candidate just so he wouldn't become our next President, and the NDP knows this. They know that in order for Jimmy to have a chance in hell the MB need to be neutralized and not have a candidate, which we all know is improbable as a Christian becoming the next President of Egypt. Even dissolving the parliament and having new elections won't guarantee that the MB won't get enough seats again, especially that the Egyptian people showed that they will brave anything to vote, and the Judges are showing that they won't just do what the government tells them anymore, which means that voter fraud won't go smoothly at all. There needs to be a solution that allows people to vote, but would prevent the MB from fielding candidates and would get rid of them and their influence in this parliament. And no, arresting the MB head figures won't do, because the MB could field nobodies and those nobodies would win just because they are the MB candidates. This has to be legal and fair solution that would gain wide-ranged support from our intelligentsia. Luckily for them, such a solution does exist after all: Voting by candidate lists. For those of you unfamiliar with such a process, this is how it goes: Every party fields a list of candidates equal to the number of the seats in the Parliament, with usually the most prominent or important names placed at the top of the list. The Egyptian voters will go and vote for the list that has names that they approve off, and based on the percentages each list gets of the vote, an equal percentage of the seats in the parliament gets distributed to the respective parties and handed out in ascending order: i.e. if they get 22 seats, the first 22 names get those seats, if they get 100 seats, the first 100 names get seats and so on. Basically you vote for the party you believe in instead of the representative you like. I believe this is the way that Iraq and Israel run their elections as well. Anyway... Well, you may ask, how will that limit the MB exactly? Well... They don't have a party, therefore they can't have their own list of candidates. There maybe an independent list, but who is going to manage it? Who will decide which name goes first? In parties the election committee would decide that, but there is no such a thing for an independent list. Unless the MB forms a party (which the government won't allow) or joins an existing party (which is unlikely because there isn't a party that likes their ideology or are ready to be taken over by the MB. Not to mention the government can then freeze the party from political activity), they won't be able to play at all. And it would be all legal and would have the support of the opposition parties, because now, that the MB is neutralized, they have a shot of getting more seats and having more Power, and maybe even get a shot at the presidential elections again. The NDP would like that too, because most of those parties are out of touch with the Egyptian voter and have very little street presence, unlike the MB. So how would that happen exactly? Well, the process already started. First of all, you have one of your stooges-preferably not an NDP MP- start a motion for something the MB would have to support but didn't intend to bring it up now for their own political interests of seeming moderate, like Al Ghad defecter MP Ragab Hellal Hemaydah's recent proposal to ban the sale of alcohol in Egypt since "it is against the Sharia and the sharia is the basis of the constitution". This is something the MB would not be able to weasel out of, because they are supposedly the protectors of the Sharia and if they don't support it you could call them Hypocrites for it; And, on the other hand, if they do support it, you can then claim: "Hey, look, the moment they have power they show their true colors, and it looks like the Taliban". Their choice would either be looking like extremists or looking like Hypocrites and either way it's a lose-lose situation for the MB and their image will be tarnished one way or another. After tarnishing their image, you move to proposing a law that would change the electoral system in Egypt from an elected representative one to that of a candidate list one. The opposition parties would hail the decision as the greatest breakthrough in Egyptian politics and another move towards democracy, the MB would of course object, but since the NDP has a 2/3 majority the MB would be helpless to stop it. After the law passes, the President would dissolve the parliament and call for a new parliamentary election, this time without MB candidates. Since the majority of the other parties are disorganized and lack funding, the NDP list would probably win most seats, and give the Egyptian people a multi-party presidential elections that will look like a circus once again. The NDP and Gamal win, the impotent Opposition parties win, and the secularists and the Christians would finally breathe a temporary sigh of relief since the Big Bad Brotherhood is now out of the picture, again. The losers, of course, would be the MB and the Egyptian people, who may end up feeling that the only way to change the system would have to be a violent one and we are back to the days of the early 90's once again and the emergency laws will never ever get revoked. So, basically, Egypt and democracy will end up being the greatest losers after all. But that doesn't matter, since the NDP and Gamal will win, and a victory for Gamal is a victory for Democracy, right? Riiight! Sigh...


At 12/21/2005 04:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't mean to be inconsiderate as this isn't related to your post - but do you have an email that people can contact you with?

For what it's worth, discovered your blog through the Croc publication - cute and interesting book - and thought I'd check it out.


At 12/21/2005 04:47:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

The e-mail is on the sidebar. But here it is anyway: sandmonkey@gmail.com

At 12/21/2005 06:48:00 AM, Blogger Shamoussa said...

Man, I just love the way you analyse things! I agree with you, but the picture is too dark, isn't it?

At 12/21/2005 06:49:00 AM, Anonymous Alaa said...

that is one possible scenario, but it isn't nessecarily that gloomy.

you see the courts are still somewhat independant, and they could rule in favor of new parties (al wasat, al karama and al a3amal are expected to be legal anytime soon). thats one possible way out, and it has the added benefit of forcing the ikhwan to enter aliances and work with others.

on the other hand they might not need all that, the ikhwan still need the support of members of shoura and local councils and stuff in order to field a presedential candidate.

shoura is half appointed and the country is split into even larger districts which makes the possibility of fraud even higher, and the violence proved effective enough to reduce the ikhwan wins in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of magles elections, they can just use more violence.

but then again that is not a sure path either.

isn't it exciting to be not so sure of the outcome of any acts they might come up with?

anyways predicting what the ikhwan or the NDP will do is impossible, both organizations follow their own logical system, predicting the formal opposition is always easy, whatever is the most stupid thing to do they'll do.

At 12/21/2005 10:44:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"The Parliament is now convened with 88 MB parliamentarians, which means they have more then enough votes to back an independent nominee in the next presidential elections"

According to big P, this is not the only condition that they have to meet.

At 12/21/2005 11:22:00 AM, Blogger Egypeter said...

Excellent post. I have always lamented the fact that the Egyptian people don't have any viable political parties or individuals to rally behind. It definitely isn't for lack of political will or intelligence it's just that Muburak has made it nearly impossible for free political thought to grow...

This seems like an excellent way to foster accountability and give a fair chance for the formation of political thought in a country where it has been too stagnant too long.

At 12/21/2005 01:31:00 PM, Anonymous Mohamed said...

I still don't believe that the MB are going to take power in Egypt, maybe that's just wishful thinking or an underestimation of how dumb we could be,
because believe me, once
they're in they won't be out for at least the next 100 years, SM's logic that the people are going to get fed up with them and vote them out doesn't stand a chance, of course they're going to fake a facade of moderation, for the first year or two, until they run out of slogans and superficial
issues (trust me they'll be calling
it reform), and start seeing the massive brick wall they're approaching at full speed, then
they'll use the oldest trick in the book, start a series of demagogic and gradual provokations,
(be it political or verbal, internal or international, just as long it generates enough outcries)

that'll guarantee their isolation
from the rest of the world, giving them their
prepackaged excuse for their failure (hey, the whole world's against us)
Free from international restraints, they'll raise the
bar a little bit, and embark on a new enterprise to give them absolute rule, start talking about liberating Jerusalem and throw 5 million ill equipped men on the Sinai sands, in a conflict with the results already predetemined. By this time,anyone bamboozeled into voting them in, is going to really have second thoughts, too late fools, there's no more elections,
the country's now at war, and anyone speaking aginst them is a traitor, summary executions, vanishings,
are now part of our daily life.
It'll be so gloomy and miserable
that people
will start to reminisce about the Mubarak days with such a
yearning ( the same way
we currently remember pre 1952 Egypt now, me at least).
That's why I don't think they'll come to power, because this means the public execution of the people in power right now, my best guess of the most probable scenario, is Algeria all over again.

At 12/21/2005 02:28:00 PM, Anonymous jokerman said...

regardless of all that mumbo jumbo, I actually do not mind Gamal becoming president, infact, i would prefer him. Why?
1- the guy isn't a military persona.
2- He is well educated & speaks very well, understands what's he saying.
3- Isn't in the politics to order around people or to fill his pockets.
4- Would have been groomed by experienced politicians.
Now many will not agree but over the years, i think he would make a good president & i trust my simplistic analysis.
I favour him over the MB mahdi akef or any of the opposition leaders as they lack many traits needed to be president, & please don't mention ayman noor, he would mud wrestle his mother to get anywhere near the throne of power.
anyone else out there eligible for the position would please direct my attention toward them??

At 12/21/2005 03:25:00 PM, Blogger Memz said...

SM, excellent post and some very good comments. I would have to say that many have put some good analysis to reach that stage of thinking!

But here is the thing that most people forgot; in Egypt presidential elections happen every 6 years while the parliment's elections happen every 5.

That means that this parliment is useless in terms of presidential nominations. This parliment probably will continue to be a rubber stamp for approving cosmetic reforms, that will close any loopholes where the MB can join the parlimant in 2010 (for example introducing the lists you speak of SM). The next 5 years will probably wittness some major negative PR and scandals for the MB.

With all three there will be assurances that the MB wont be elected. From there i would guess we will have a NDP clone party in another name, that will play the role of the secular opposition. This NDP clone Party will proabably win 80 or so seats in 2010 elections and will field a week candidate or a puppet against Jimmy. Jimmy will be legaly elected without serious opposition and without "fraud".

This is what i see as the future!


PS: I think the question we are facing now is Jimmy or the MB? which could be rephrased to Dictatorship vs. Islamists! i know my choice!

At 12/22/2005 01:46:00 AM, Anonymous Don Cox said...

Candidate lists are a very bad idea. Members of Parliament should each repesent the people of a particular locality. They are the voice those people have in the state. When there is a local problem, such as pollution, the local MP is the person who can complain to the government. The solution to your MB problem is to have more candidates from other parties. These candidates need to get themselves known in the constituency well before the election - they will not get votes if they arrive from a Party Head Office two weeks before voting. A good route is to be in local politics first.

At 12/22/2005 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Egypeter said...

After reading SM's post I thought it was an excellent idea so I decided to do a little further investigating...after reading Yousef Sidhom's post I confirmed that it was an exellent idea....


Check it out...


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