28 January 2011

Now Jordan

Mass street protests against autocratic regimes have spread from Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen to Jordan, something that is notable because Jordan's monarchy is one of the most moderate in the region and is a monarchy rather than a dicatorship or one party state. Politically, Jordan vests executive power greater than that of an American President in the King, while having a parliament that still has some genuine power. The arrangement is rather comparable to that of Great Britain in 18th century, and provides more genuine democracy than many other nations in the region.

Protesters want the prime minister and department heads to be appointed by parliament rather than the king, and they want to resignation of the current government that is view as corrupt: "opposition activists from Jordan's main Islamist opposition group, trade unions and leftist organisations gathered in the capital, waving colourful banners reading: 'Send the corrupt guys to court.'"

They protesters do not appear to be calling for an end to the monarchy, simply to a diminution in his active role in the executive branch.

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