Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Application of the Law

I have just returned from a months long trip to the US. Whenever I am there someone invariably asks me this question: What do you think is the main difference between Jordan and America that affects your way of life? I think they usually expect me to say something about democracy, but we quickly move over that subject when I say that with democracy they got President Bush and I just as soon have King Abdullah ruling my country.

But pondering this question seriously, I think one of the main differences is in the application of the law. Jordan has all the necessary laws, rules and regulations but seems to be far behind in the manner in which they are applied. Jordan also has the added 'rule' of 'wasta' which means there are exceptions to every rule and a way around everything. Unfortunately this 'rule' is used by most people from the top on down and it affects everything in our lives from the traffic around us, to garbage disposal, our food and drugs, the schools we can attend, to the job we can get, to the way we are treated in the hospital or a government office etc., etc. Nothing is definite and everything can change. Worse still, many people seem to take pride in being able to break the law or get around it.

I think this system causes people to lose trust in their government and in their law makers, as well as to have little respect for law enforcers. It makes for a feeling of insecurity which causes frustration, anger and dissatisfaction resulting in the majority of people being less creative and less productive.

PS. As I was driving out of town this morning and thinking about all this I couldn't help but notice the jumble of road signs. I say jumble because there seems to be no law and order to these signs. Many of the road signs are half obscured by ads placed in front of them or alongside them. Now they are even harder to see due to the election campaign signs. Look at these pictures......and these are the responsible citizens we are expected to elect for our parliament. Can you imagine the uproar if say Barack Obama plastered his pictures on road signs along an American highway?!? ....z

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Blogger Jad said...

You live in Madaba?
All candidates in pictures are from the same family.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007  
Blogger joladies said...

No Jad.....just happened to by driving that way. But I'm sure this is the case all over Jordan.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007  
Blogger Dave said...

The government could make a killing by fining candidates for each flier that isn't removed within the week after the election.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

They should fine candidates for posting signs illegally. It can't be legal to obscure traffic signs and deface public property, can it? These things are not only an eye-sore but also a hazard. I've seen them hanging low over roads and obscuring traffic lights. It would be easy to fine them... they've all signed their names!

(That being said, I'll take these over American mud-sligning any day.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007  

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