By Dana Al-Zyadat and Al-Ghad -Dec 20,2022
AMMAN — NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions (NAMA) and Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung on Sunday held a conference titled “The state of political participation and representation in Jordan 2022” to reveal the results of a survey they carried out to gauge the extent of political participation and representation in Jordan.
The study was conducted on a representative national sample, consisting of 1,256 people and 822 university students, in October 2022.
About half of the national sample and two-thirds of the university students said that they are able to publicly express freely their political opinions without fear of retribution, and that this is a significant change from the situation prevalent during the past two decades.
Despite this change, there has been no increase in Jordanians’ interest in politics.
As the study shows, the problems that most concern Jordanians are economic, specifically unemployment: 61.3 percent of the national sample and 56.6 percent of the university students said they were “not interested in politics at all”; only about 5 percent said they were “very interested in politics”.
The majority of respondents, it was found, are more interested in participating in social activities than in political activities. For example, 97 percent of the university students polled said they did not participate in any political activities during the past twelve months, 98.9 percent of those polled said that they did not belong to any political party, 64.7 percent of the national sample could not mention any political party, and 70.4 percent of the university students sampled could neither.
When asked which of the existing political parties comes close to representing their political, economic and social interests, 59.4 percent of the national sample and 67.3 percent of the university students said that no political party represents their interests.
The study results reflect the weak ties between Jordanians and the parties that are supposed to represent their issues and needs, and lack of political savvy, as 25.2 percent of the national sample and 24.2 percent of the university students polled were unsure of the ways in which parties contribute to political and economic reform.
Regarding the wish to vote for a political party or in the upcoming parliamentary and municipal elections, 65.4 percent of the national sample and 63 percent of university students said they would definitely not vote; only 23.1 percent of the national sample and 23.2 percent of the university students said they would vote.
The respondents — 39.6 percent of the national sample and 31.9 percent of the student sample — believe that political parties are unable to form a government in Jordan.
At the same time, 30.7 percent of the sample said that the best system for resolving issues facing Jordan is one governed by Islamic law, with no need for political parties, while 25.8 percent would prefer a parliamentary system in which nationalist, leftist, centrist, and Islamic parties compete in parliamentary elections.
Of the national sample, 37.4 percent said that they would vote for political parties calling for the greater inclusion of women in the political process; among students, the figure stood at 55.5 percent.
Jordanians’ interest in politics gives food for thought. Question is what should be done to have them more effectively involved in political work, to ensure the implementation of the political, economic and administrative reforms envisioned by King Abdullah.
Chairman of NAMA Fares Braizat told Jordan News that 25.2 percent of the national sample and 24.2 percent of the university students sample were “unsure of the ways in which political parties contribute to political and economic reform because the parties do not announce their programs”.
“This leads us to the conclusion that Jordanians do not trust their performance to contribute to the reform,” Braizat said, adding that “we must rethink how to make the role of the parties more effective and move forward with political reform”.
Other results of the study show that 50.3 percent of the surveyed sample believe that the clan represents their interests to a large extent, and is trusted more than the parties, parliament, trade unions, civil society organizations, and others.
This article was originally published in Jordan News on December 20, 2022. For the original article source, click here.