The Week That Was in Bahrain

More than 300,000 Bahrainis went to the polls on Saturday to elect 40 Municipal Councillors and another 40 Members of Parliament. This is the second time Bahrainis vote in their modern history, after sweeping reforms initiated in 2002. According to official records, seventy-two per cent of the eligible voters took part in the process. Needless to say, the elections kept Bahrain's bloggers busy over the weekend.

Mahmood Al Yousuf
calls election day D-day and explains how optimistic he is about his country's future.

The elections this time around are vastly different from 2002 as this time all but one political society have decided to participate, and as those societies contesting are the largest in Bahrain and their programs and agendas are non-sectarian, well thought out and achievable, we can rest assured that the new parliament when it is finally declared by Dec 3rd will be much more representative of the people and it will elevate the quality of life of Bahrainis and residents alike.

I really hope and pray for a better Bahrain for all Bahrainis, and hope that the new parliament will be the nucleus of change for the better, one that will put paid to the dangerous sectarian rifts in this country, and one that will work to make us proud, once again, to be Bahraini.

Chanad Bahraini
flags his announcment of the elections, with a story on a rally held in Bahrain the day before.

The rally, elections and swarming journalists milling around the country did little to hide the underlying bitterness of slow and cosmetic reforms in the country, as Bahrania points.

The elections in Bahrain have received relatively good coverage and overall noted the skepticism and distrust over the whole process due largely to the recent Bandargate scandal. “Playing by unfair rules”as the Economist aptly describes the elections. Nevertheless, you are left to wonder at times whether reporters have accidently used an Iraq or Lebanon quick template, not just for their nauseating emphasis on sectarianism where every other word is Shia or Sunni, but we also had reports of “civil war”, “Muqtada al-Sadr” appearances, harbingers of potential “Shia uprising” and even plots of ethnic “cleansing”. Certainly the regional situation isn't a bunch of roses, and you realise how tension can spillover indirectly from your unruly neighbours. Lebanon – Bahrain is not, however much the media would like to play up Saudi or Iranian influence on the country. It is American influence on the ruling family which determines our political course more than anything, the story ad nauseum repeats itself across the ME.

Desert Island Boy also reflects on the ‘good’ coverage the elections have brought Bahrain.

Three months or so following the events surrounding the controversial Dr. Saleh Al Bandar, Bahrain's second parliamentary elections hit the front page. Of course, it gained that spot on the Washington Post online edition for pretty much the wrong reasons. The WP aired out all the salient points that Bahrainis themselves are disallowed from discussing. Of course, it did cover its bases by giving much maligned Information Minister Mohammed Abdul Gaffar, a platform to tell us that the sky is polka-dot green with pink sparkles.

Following the vote, comes the results, which Silly Bahraini Girl didn't take in stride.

What?? Not a single woman?? What is wrong with you, you morons??

It is OK for women to be mothers, sisters, girlfriends, housewives, mistresses, teachers, engineers, journalists, prostitutes, shop keepers, cashiers and bar tenders – but not policy makers and parliamentarians???

What the hell! And you tell me that 72 per cent of the population eligible to vote had cast their vote.. and not a single woman has made it so far, with the exception of Ms Al Gauod who won the seat uncontested?

Does it take a beard to be an MP? Is this the only criteria? Well, let's see what the Parliament of Hair (PoH) will do in our modern robust thriving deMOCKracy! Well done mountain goats…hard luck the rest of you hopefuls.

Mahmood is more calculating in his assessment.

From the liberals points of view, it’s good news. At least all of the Wa’ad candidates have gone into a run-off with an opponent, so there is a good chance for a few of them to actually reach parliament, now that the vote is concentrated just between two people.

The liberals now have to work extra hard to convince people that they are the right choice.

Away from politics, MKButch has found what he was looking for.

Finally after couple of months of searching on ebay i found it.

The same model was given to my grandfather and passed to my father, and now to me. Sadly i lost it. I looked everywhere, it took me months to find a replacement. I am just hopping that the Croatian seller i bought it from wont con me.

Hope it is what you want!

Meanwhile, Serendipity has had a rough day with the opthalmologist, who insisted he had high pressure … in his eyes.

Next thing I know, she pushes my head back, the nurse puts a finger out on top of me and instructs me to keep staring at it. How? My eyes burn now, thanks to you, and you want me to stare at your finger when there's a BRIGHT LIGHT behind it!

Then the doctor starts moving this black object towards my eyes. I didn't even see what it was nor where it came from! Obviously, I looked away. She tells me not to blink. Yeah! Right! She asks me to continue looking at the nurse's finger. How am I supposed to do that when you've got what looks like a hole puncher coming at my pupil?!?!

Brilliant! Reminds me of my adventures at the dentist's but that's another story altogether!

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