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Kuwait: Bloggers to Play Leading Role in Elections

It's already Summer in Kuwait, where temperatures peaked 42 degrees Celsius. But what's also heating up in the race to the Parliamentary elections, scheduled for May 17.

Dusty Kuwait

Intlxpatr explains the weather in the photo above and says:

106°F / 42°C and Hot and DUSTY. This is what it looks like at 3:30 PM:

The photo is not altered in any way. The orangey-yellow color is the real color of the sky. Totally weird. Big huge rolling waves coming in, good weekend to go shelling!

Q80 Saracen over at Kuwait The Panic Button explains how he thinks most Kuwaitis vote. He says:

For those few Kuwaitis out there who don't know how they're going to vote, there usually is a self-imposed criterion that one tries to follow. It differs from person to person, and the range that it stretches is in itself humorous.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti bloggers have joined hands in a new blog which aims to provide an unbiased view and news on the elections.

At the blog, 5-q8, Forzaq8 asks a valid question:

العديد من المرشحين يأتون و يطرحون البرامج تلو الاخر
فهذا سيقلب الكويت تحفه الزمان و الاخر سيقاتل من اجل الحريه و اخر من اجل الاسلام

و لكن السؤال الذى ينبغى طرحه ما الثمن ؟
عندما تنزل انتخابات و تصرف مبلغا يفوق الــ 30 ألف دينار
( هناك مصادر تتحدث عن ارقام بالملايين ) أليس من واجبنا ان نسأل لماذا هو مستعد ان يلقى بكل هذا المبلغ ؟

A lot of candidates come and present one election agenda after the other.
One says that he will make Kuwait the best, another will fight for freedom and a third will defend Islam.

But the question we should be asking is: “At what price ?”
When you enter the elections and spend over KD30,000 (there are other sources put this figure in millions), isn't it our duty to ask why is this candidate ready to spend all that money ?

مثلا فى الانتخابات الامريكبه صرف المرشح اوباما ما يقارب الـ 5 ملايين دولار للإعلانات فى احدى الولايات
و لكن مهلا ، نقود اوباما كانت من تبرعات من اشخاص يعتقدون بأنه قادر على اداء المهمه
ما العائد الذى يتوقعه المرشح عندما يصرف الالوف على ترشيحه ؟ و اذا كان حريص على مصلحه الكويت
و لديه نقود زائده فلم لا يتبرع بها لمشروع لمصلحه الكويت افضل من ان التنظير ؟
For example, in the US elections Obama spent over $5 million for TV advertisement in one of the states, but hold on, that money wasn't Obama's money. It was donations from people who believe that he is the man for the job.

What is the return that the candidate expects when he spends thousands on his campaign ? And if he is keen on ensuring Kuwait's interest and he has extra cash lying around, why doesn't he donate it for a project to help Kuwait better than just talk ?

EXzombie, also at 5-q8, talks about the role bloggers will play in the elections and writes:

في ظل التقنين و الحصارالاعلامي و الاعلاني المفروضين على المرشحين، تبرز اهمية الاعتماد على الوسائل الحديثة في السباق لاستقطاب اكبر عدد من الناخبين، و لذلك يتجه المرشحون الى الوسيط الاسهل و الاسرع انتشارا بين اوساط الشباب عبر المدونات. البلوغرز حاليا سيكونون تحت المجهر بعد ادراك وسائل الاعلام و المجتمع لدورهم و لأهميتهم خصوصا في هذه الفترات الحرجة من عمر اي مرشح، لذلك فان الجميع يأمل ان يحقق البلوغرز ما يصبو له اي مرشح و هو استقطاب و تجنيد العدد اللازم من الاصوات لإنجاحه و الاخذ بيده لكرسي البرلمان
و رغم ان بعض المرشحين قد اتجهوا لانشاء قنوات فضائية تدعم المرشح و توجهاته الا ان البلوغرز سيكونون العوامل المحركة للترويج عن مرشحين و عرض اهدافهم و برامجهم الانتخابية بين فئة عريضة من المتابعين لهم من الشباب و حتى كبار السن، هذا بالاضافة لدعوة عدد من البلوغرز للمشاركة في بعض من هذه القنوات كمقدمي برامج او حتى كمراسلين، و قد رصدت مدونة الدوائر الخمس بالفعل قبول بعض البلوغرز لذلك
Bloggers.. the power shifters in the Kuwaiti Elections 2008

In the light of the Press and advertising embargo imposed on the candidates, modern mass communications have become important to garner the votes of the largest number of constituents. This is why a number of candidates are relying on the easiest and fastest growing used by youth and that is blogs. Bloggers will now come under the radar after the media and community's realisation of their role and importance at such critical times in the lives of candidates. This is why everyone is hoping that the bloggers will fulfil what they want and recruit enough voters to guarantee them a seat in parliament. Although a few candidates have started their own satellite channels, which are solely dedicated to promote certain candidates and their agendas, I expect blogging to be the moving force in promoting candidates and their election programmes among a large segment of society, including youth and elderly people. In addition, a number of bloggers have been invited to take part in those channels as presenters and correspondents, and 5-q8 has noted that a few of them have indeed accepted positions.

الجدير بالذكر ان العديد من المرشحين يأمل بالاستفادة من امكانيات البلوغرز في حملته الانتخابية بعدة طرق مبتكرة ففي حين يعتزم مرشح الدائرة الثالثة محمد المنيفي اقامة حلقات نقاشية بمشاركة البلوغرز الذي وافق بالفعل بعض منهم، يقوم اكثر من مرشح لاغراء مقربيهم من البلوغرز كي يكون مراسله الاعلامي و بوقه الانتخابي في الوسط الالكتروني، و لذلك سنشاهد العديد من المدونات الي ستغطي عملية تسجيل ناخب و ندواته و زياراته و حتى تصريحاته
It is also worth noting that candidates are using new ways to make use of the potential of bloggers in innovative ways, like third district's candidate Muhammed Al-Munaifi, who will be sponsoring live debates with bloggers. Some candidates are now pressuring their relatives who blog to be their correspondents in the blogosphere, making way for blogs to cover every aspect of the election race from registering, their seminars, visits and even statements.

And while we're on the topic of the elections, Bint Alshamiya wrote this beautiful article in her blog about the right of women to vote – and make up their own minds.

عزيزتى المرأة……..من مشاهداتى فى الإنتخابات
السابقه الغالبية العظمى من النساء والشابات
كن ينتخبن بتأثير خارجى عليهن ولم يكن رأيها
الشخصى البحت أو من قناعاتها الذاتيه
فقد كنت أعفى السيده المسنه و المتوسطه التعليم
ولكن الصدمه الكبرى لى كانت فى فئة المتعلمات
والمثقفات كن يتبعن طوائفهن وأسرهن ونعراتهن الاجتماعي تبعيه عمياء ويقادون إلى
صناديق الإنتخابات وهن لايعرفن من المرشح
غير أسمه وشكله……أما فكره وتوجهه السياسي
لا شيئ عنه……؟؟؟؟؟؟
Dear Woman … Based on my observations during the last elections, I noticed that most women, young and old, based their vote on outside influences and not their own decisions.
I used to excuse old women and those with modest education for doing that but my biggest shock came from highly educated women, who blindly selected candidates based on their sects, family choice and class. They were herded to the voting booths without knowing anything about the candidate other than his name and the way he looked. As for his politics and thoughts, they knew nothing!!!
هل تناسيتن الكويت…..اين هى منكن..؟؟؟؟؟
لمجرد إنه أخوها او ولد عمها أو ريل إختها
أو أبوها وأخوها قال لها عليه لانهم يبخصونه عدل
أكثر منها ……وهذه هى الطامه الكبري
فيا إختى الناخبه …..إذا أردت التحرر وإنتصار لكل
قضاياك المستقبليه إنتصرى على من فى البيت أولا
فليكن اختيارك حرا بدون ضغوط من احد
مبنى على قناعاتك فلا رأى لاحد عليك لا أب
ولا زوج ولا أخ ولا ولى أمر…….الخ …الخ
ولا أحد يملى عليك رأيه السياسى حتى من الداخل
والدور الكبير على الشابات بإن يقفن مع إمهاتهن
فالكويت امانه بين أيديكن….وكذلك صوتك أمانه
Have you forgotten Kuwait ?
Where are your feelings toward it ?
Just because her brother, or cousin, or brother-in-law, or father or brother told her they know him better than her (doesn't mean she has to vote for him).
This is the greatest disaster.
My voting sister, if you want your freedom and if you want to champion for all your future causes, overcome those in your home. Let your choice be free without pressure from anyone, and built on your own convictions.
No one has a view that vetos yours – not a father, husband, brother, etc.
And no one can impose his political views on you – even from the inside.
Young women have the bigger role to stand with their mothers.
Kuwait is a trust in your hands and your votes are a responsibility.

Picture Credit Intlxpatr

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