As I stroll in downtown Algiers, amongst the haussmanian buildings, Moorish and art deco architecture, the confused identities and confused faces, the travellers, the office workers in their suits, the vagabonds and all the rest, this rest that makes our youth, our unemployed, our unrepresented and ignored future, amongst these people, stand side by side the electoral candidates's posters, in their best suits and in their best "advised" positions some chose a bruce lee stance (witness preposterous exhibit below) whilst others are content with looking their positively corrupt and untrustworthy selves.
As I look around and watch people, I can't help but feel their indifference to these electoral campaigns (if they even qualify as such), posters badly stuck on, completely uninviting, lacking in colour, aesthetics and message, you could almost feel their contempt for the people, these so called politicians who lost touch with the people, they're not capable of explaining to the masses why they should vote, their messages are so ambiguous and false, they're incapable of standing out as a real opposing party. They're all bought, and as Simon Cameron said" An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought".
As you walk around, you can feel people's total and utter distrust in these clowns in posters! The odd ones who stop to look at the posters for a fleeting second quickly walk away shaking their heads but promptly forget about them, it's a non issue. they're not going to vote.
Café des artistes and bohemian bars are unusually quiet, gone are the heated political debates, no body knows who these so called deputies are or what they stand for, they're an insult to our intelligence and to our country.
I thought to myself, so who's going to vote? and for whom? For the clowns who will sit in the parliament (where the rate of absenteeism is higher than that of a high school in Thénia(1)) raise their hands to vote "YAY" so they receive their enormously, ridiculously large salaries that are well above 30 times the average Algerian salary?
On one of the Algerian radios, I heard a message urging people to vote and to make their voices heard, my sister who was driving seemed to be immuned to it, didn't even hear it, she continued insulting the driver in front of her, she didn't even feel concerned or gave it a thought, I asked her if she was going to vote, she said "na3adine babak yal kavi"(2) to the guy driving the Audi Q something!
Then I thought back to the times when I was younger (and voted for the FLN party because everybody else said better the devil you know) and of all the people you see on TV casting their votes and voicing their opinions, the people who vote and will always vote, on whom the government count to vote, are the people who don't live in villas, the ones who don't travel to Paris for the weekend or visit le salon du Livre, the people who need to have their voting card stamped because Algeria needs their votes and their opinions, the people who are receiving countless SMS from their telephone providers urging them to vote, if they don't want to live another black decade or witness closely what happened in Tunisia and Lybia and the people who think that not voting will stop them from obtaining their 12S* and certificat de nationalité and the ones who count on God's will to prevail and say things like "acheda fi rabi" so they can sit back and wait for God to fight for them.
Free and just elections with international observers is the image they're trying to portray to the world because they care more about what the world thinks, whilst the youth is drawing cartoon characters like sponge Bob and Mickey Mouse on the electoral posters in reference to Bled Miki.
Free and just elections indeed, with one candidate running around escorted by 4 Gendarmerie Nationale land-rovers and an entourage to compete with that of P-Diddy and another one pitching up in his old Honda and can't afford a poster, one using the Government resources with unlimited access to newspapers and national TV, when others are denied 5 minutes on the NATIONAL television channel, leading the latter to accept international funding.
As for the handful of international observers, they're all guests of the Algerian government not of the people, they're here to protect the interest of their countries with Algeria and will not denounce fraud if it bit them in the ass.
If this is not proof of total and utter contempt for civil society, then I ask you, what is?
Yet it amazes me that people are still willing to vote and express an opinion that is invalid and pointless as tradition has it, Algerian elections are and will always be rigged.
Have the past elections not teach us anything?
As long as people voted, the situation will continue, only a boycott of this mascerade could save our dignity and perhaps bring a glimmer of hope, be the beginning of a change, a revolution....of something.
Where is this Algerian dignity we're so known for? How can we let a group of dinosaurs destroy our land, our present, our future and that of our children.
Maybe one day, the laws of physics will change and we'll be able to construct a solid base on sand and swamps but for now, it remains an impossibility.
We need to stand our ground and let our inactions speak as loud as our words. ABSTAIN.
Dz-chick…The jig is up Algeria!
(1) a town somewhere near Algiers
(2) A generic algerian insult, invoking the father, the religion etc
* Some kind of biometric birth certificate
See you are good at politics.ReplyDelete
Yeah so good, i might get picked up and disappear!ReplyDelete
I am shaking!
Djamel kheraya ellah yerahmouReplyDelete
disait tjrs :"el la3abe h'mida ou rrrrechame h'mida ou fi kahwette h'mida"
I am def voting for KaratékaReplyDelete
Yamen3ache c'est qui Kharaya? Est ce vraiment son nom?ReplyDelete
Anonymous lol A fine choice I am sure!
Whats the consequences for not voting though? to be honest i would tolerate an Algerian dinosaur any time of the day rather than a French frog, a british pig or an American fat McBurger!!ReplyDelete
i like you better with your positive views but i'll still vote for you, at least your biography will be interesting to read.
two hours drive to the nearest polling station but i'll make it, just to give my vote to nobody, blank it is.
taba3 al kadab l'bab addar!! never know, could be a new page for DZ.
by the way, did you think of settling in DZ one day?
Hey DZ-Chick, I lost track of the algerian slang : did your sister said "Kaki" or "Kavi"ReplyDelete
If it's the former, what does "Kaki" mean exactly?
To vote is to give legitimacy to the system/regime/pouvoirs/les servicesReplyDelete
Unfortunately some people in the mountains will still vote out of fear. We all remember when people voted Zeroual because they were afraid of being prosecuted or downright accused of supporting islamists and slaughtered all togather.
The trauma will not go away over night, even if you try to comfort and assure these people a thousand times, they will still vote, to get the nationality or whatever you mentioned above (a reminder that the record is there and will be referred to as necessary -mind games-)
Do you blame them though? not a bit. If I was in their place I will probably vote, who knows it can "Tekhellet" any time again. We know no one is going to give a damn about Algeria from history.
@Habiba : Did you add an a to your name, Habib?ReplyDelete
What what what? say Again?ReplyDelete
12S? just came across this:
Please tell me you are not sure that you need to have voted to get this 12s thing.
Ah..... Just read it. My mistake, I know you mean now.ReplyDelete
Skim reading not good :)
Khaled: The consequence? International attention, what comes next? Political engagement.ReplyDelete
What’s the point of a blank vote when not voting at all is better, the participation rate is expected to be less than 19%, you want to be part of this or the %81?
If you see a fit, vibrant and stunning candidate – it’ll be me and feel free to vote ;)
On your question re settling in DZ: I don’t know; only time will tell
Anonymous haha sorry for confusing you further, it’s Kavi not Kaki.
ATO: on your first statement - exactement.
You would vote out of fear that it will tetkhalat? That’s exactly what they want you to think and do! Are you that gullible?
Their mind games won’t work, our people are immolating themselves, living in poverty, unemployment and repression, whilst the “system” gets richer, fatter and more comfortable, voting will legitimise a corrupt government. ABSTAIN.
When you skim read, you’re missing the subtleties that I try to insert here and there even though it’s hard for me to be subtle….about anything! :)
I wish you saw the ridicule in British elections too, but I expect the inevitable it is rubbish BUT... no ifs no but(t)s :) we have film hendou they have hollywood braindead blockbuster, a mascarade nevertheless ! Ana je vote 007 he looks fit smart and happy unlike a posh smug twat you call prime minister, and a mophead buffoon you call mayor (both surprisingly privileged Eton c**ts) :)ReplyDelete
Expected participation rate is %19!!!! the last held election participation rate was %74. Algeria must be a big mountain & %74 of Algerians are farmers if we take the reasoning of Mr Anonymous seriously !!!!ReplyDelete
we always wonder how the FLN or RND wins, obvious coz they got supporters and they're the only ones voting, the rest is abstaining or the correct word is politically inactive.
for the consequence, thats a long subject, since you're in finance i'll tell you that Algeria is going to reach $213 billion of reserves by the end of this year, IMF already asked to borrow some! last time we asked for our money back we got 132 years of colonialism!! what's you reply to the IMF gonna be???
there is more opportunities in Algeria right now than in the UK, i remember when i graduated in 2000 the image wasn't clear for me, last year my sister graduated and got a £30k business loan! the situation is getting better is a fact!
ask how many poor & unemployed get up every morning at 8AM and go look for work? bet the answer is 11AM and the destination is the Coffee shop.
if i see a fit, vibrant stunner, i'll marry her ;-)
Malekolondon And the French too…all a bunch of ……what you said!ReplyDelete
Khaled The correct word for what I wanted to say was: Political engagement not political inactivity or passivity! As in it’s time for us to get involved if we want to see a change.
I am not gullible.. If shit hits the fan, I could see Algeria being siffoned off from the world and communications cut off again and massacres resuming.
The culprits are still there. They have bought more weapons than ever. The west priority is to secure energy supply and prevent an Iranian style government. The Algerian people can go and *** themselves. Not too long ago we had so called democratic governments giving a blind eye to the daily massacres committed in Algeria.
Are you seriously this guillible? do you think your arab ass matters much in the current recession?
And yes, a lot simple people used to vote in the mountains out of fear. Not a surprise since most of the violence was in remote towns.
The poster for number 7 is BRILLIANT! Love it! Why does David Cameron never assume Kung fu poses in his campaign. Clearly this is where the conservatives went wrong.ReplyDelete
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