- Kuwait Times Extra
After youth activists ended their pressure on lawmakers who claimed commitment to achieving reform as being their top priority, and MPs were left without motivation to achieve these demands or at least attempt to, this led to the majority position MPs obtained in parliament to be exploited for their electoral benefits.
During the months in which the 2012 parliament was in session, the majority opposition did nothing more than infighting, as well as submit a number of ‘embarrassing’ proposals that hurt the block’s position and reputation. Moreover, controlling the majority number of seats led some Majority Bloc members to count on the numbers game by giving priority to personal aspects, ahead of public demands. Unfortunately, such actions were not stopped or even criticized by the Majority Bloc, which became more concerned about keeping their numerical advantage than to realizing priorities that, if achieved, might benefit all. Said attitude also resulted in strange appeasements with the Cabinet of Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, which brought nothing new to the table and did not even have a timetable for work.
All of the above led the Majority Bloc to implode. The pressure that youth activists put on the opposition to give top priority to achieving public demands was the glue that kept members of the Majority Bloc together.
Of course, there are other factors that prevented the Majority Bloc from achieving public demands, including the short life of the 2012 parliament, as well as the Cabinet’s ability to create obstacles while mastering the art of ‘playing by the book’. However, this doesn’t give the opposition any excuses for failing to create a proper way to manage the process of presenting public demands, as well as exerting all efforts to achieve them, instead of wasting time on increasing their popularity among voters. The Majority Bloc had a golden opportunity to accomplish achievements that would change the image people have about lawmakers; that they give priority to their personal interests before that of the public good.
The Majority Bloc failed to predict the public’s reaction after the Constitutional Court made its ruling that annulled the dissolution of the 2009 parliament. They then pushed this verdict into the headlines in an attempt to take people’s attention away from their breakdown, and put the blame for the political crisis entirely on the government. While I do not try to defend the Cabinet, I believe that the Majority Bloc’s failures are not better than the governments’. Exploiting people’s enthusiasm to achieve personal gains is a crime that is equal to corruption.
The Majority Bloc should have come up with a timetable for achieving priorities, and then follow it strictly through productive work, instead of being motivated by vengeance. They ought to avoid presenting draft laws that damage national unity, such as certain constitutional amendments, as well as respect the different opinions expressed inside the parliament building. They were supposed to focus more on internal problems, as a struggling country cannot help solve other countries’ problems. Members of the Majority Bloc should have done away with ‘campaigning’ once elections were over, and instead adopted a political speech that points to the framework of dealing with the present issues. Most importantly, the opposition should have maintained a decent level of dialogue.
When people defended the Majority Bloc during their tenure in the 2012 parliament, they were actually defending their demands, which they hoped MPs would realize. This is exactly why the same people are criticizing the bloc now; because they are defending their demands. Therefore, the opposition should never think that they could use the people as a tool to fight the government whenever they like. On the contrary, the opposition is the tool by which the people can outline their blueprint for a better future. — Al-Rai
By Omar Al-Tabtabaei
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