Jordan Elections: Poor knowledge of economics could hinder Kingdom
Many parliamentary candidates’ diagnoses of Jordan’s economic problems and their plans to fix them reflect a lack of knowledge about the issues at hand, according to a recently released report.
Conducted by the Phenix Centre for Economic and Informatics Studies, the report found that the slogans of many candidates running on national lists, particularly those unaffiliated with political parties, displayed no in-depth understanding of the country’s economic problems.
National lists formed by political parties or led by figures with long standing political experience tended to provide more detailed plans for fixing the economy, reflecting a greater understanding, according to the report, whose authors analysed the slogans and platforms of 32 out of the 61 lists running in the January 23 parliamentary elections.
The report, a copy of which was sent to The Jordan Times, also found that several of the candidates’ programmes and slogans were pure propaganda, containing no specific policies or plans to solve the economic challenges facing the country.
Some of them call for a review of economic polices in general, while others see a new state budget system as a solution, but offer no suggestion of what such a change would entail.
Popular slogans among national list candidates include: “Citizens’ pockets and the state’s sources of revenue are red lines,” “Jordan’s economy needs to be restructured,” and “Enhancing the competitiveness of Jordan’s economy”.
Others, such as “The minimum wage system needs to be reconsidered,” or “Revisiting the Social Security Law and the Landlords and Tenants Law are major priorities,” focus on more specific issues but do not say how they would change them.
While some lists see economic reforms as the path to prosperity, the report found that some lists conceive of these reforms as an inseparable component of a political reform process that guarantees social welfare.
Despite many general slogans, the report concluded that some lists do provide coherent plans to address economic challenges, such as enhancing the contribution of the agriculture sector to the national economy, cutting the sales tax and re-nationalising all formerly state-owned companies that have been privatised.