Two years ago, I wrote a post about the 8 May 1945 massacres perpetrated by the French in Algeria. Unlike the traditional trend in Algeria, my post wasn’t just about the past and a way to say how ugly the coloniser was and how brave we were. My post intended to look into the past in order to improve our present and create a better future.
My previous post needs an update.
The so-called “Arab Spring” was (I use the past tense already) yet another missed opportunity. Riots and protests in Algeria started way before the uprising in Tunisia and they are still occurring very regularly. There were already many suicides among Algerian youths and, since Bouazizi, more and more of these youths do set themselves on fire. But so far the Algerian people hasn’t decided to revolt for real.
And this fact should have pushed the Algerian rulers to consider the situation seriously and make the necessary changes before it’s too late. Instead, Bouteflika and his friends used some amounts of the Algerian huge reserves in order to calm the people down, by giving temporary underpaid jobs to unemployed university graduates, and salary rises to whichever professional categories that protest. They also paid compensations to the self-murderers’ families so that they shut up. I heard that the brother of the guy who died in Jijel received money to open a shop, his sister got an emploi jeune job and his family a new flat.
But the system’s biggest decision was to declare the next legislative elections as key to the change long sought by the people. So the state is spending some big moneys in a useless campaign for useless candidates to become useless members of a useless parliament. It spams the people with text messages asking them to vote and floods the national TV with ads for the same purpose.
But are these elections really different?
We have newer parties and we see some new faces on TV. But candidates still pay to be in the lists and their biggest objective is not to work for the people but rather get the benefits which come with the elections including the pay and more importantly the penal immunity.
The FFS takes part in these elections but it’s more a way for them so that they do not disappear after too many years of boycott than a real hope the elections would bring a change.
As usual, many artists decided to benefit from the event by calling the people to vote. There is Mazouni, Takfarinas but also the former opponent Baaziz with a new song we can see these days on TV. I say former because he made a song on Algeria for Bouteflika’s third term elections so he already became a system pawn 3 years ago. Lotfi Double Kanon, the singer of the youths, said everyone should do what they think is best but his song gives away his opinion.
The only problem is the people do not believe in these things any more, and the candidates are not even good. I mean you say these elections are important and all but then select decent candidates who are at least able to speak instead of the ignorants we see on TV. America sometimes organises trainings for Algerian deputies. I can imagine the poor trainers’ feelings when they will face those great deputies of ours.
These past days, PM Ouyahia declared the Arab revolts were the work of Zionism and the NATO, and police director General Hamel said suicides were a new practice within our Algerian and Islamic traditions and came from neighbouring countries. Does he not know our neighbouring countries are Muslim too?!
So yes, I believe the Algerian rulers have missed another opportunity and are playing with fire. The people are not all gullible and will not keep silent and disorganised forever. How many more opportunities the rulers will have? I do not know but not too many I would say.
I’ve already received calls to vote from some Twitter followers, but most Algerian tweeples do not seem like going to vote. Two hashtags (#10MaiToz and
#طرائف_انتخابات_الجزائر) have been created to follow these elections.
Here are some videos Ikseer posted on his blog. I used to laugh at similar videos but I do not find them funny any more.