Democracy is widely acclaimed as the optimum system of governance, a way of life in a manner of speaking, and as such it is essential that it is constantly nurtured, emboldened and advocated for, not only during periods of smooth national sailing, but even when facing the most calamitous of hardships and the most precarious of circumstances. This is even more of an imperative if we are talking about pretense-democracy, that bastion of wolf-in-sheep's-clothing authoritarianism the world over.
It should therefore be no surprise to hear about the national presidential elections that are being planned in war-torn Syria or that Assad, as modestly confessed by the candidate himself, is only running out of overwhelming "popular demand". A friendly brawl here, a neighborly squabble over there, some stray shots fired over some heated discussion about some local football match or over diverging opinions on , a meager internal dispute in short, surely are no reason to postpone the sacrosanct electoral process. On the contrary, the already motivational sparks surging through the electorate will be fertile ground for erudite engagement with and productive debate of the issues at hand. The democratically-inclined Syrians have come out in droves to congratulate the government for exhibiting its staunch democratic credentials despite and because of the aforementioned brouhaha. They have literally come out in central Damascus, "crowds gathered to celebrate the coming election" as the State Media reported, all 100 of current (nation-wide) eligible voters. Still, Assad, a low-toned man and low-profile politician, has urged democracy enthusiasts to restrain their "demonstrations of joy" for this development, at least up until his actual victory.
The election commission is already busy vetting the registered candidates and has vowed to upheld its strident criteria of eligibility, including a maximum two degrees of separation from the al-Assad family, a minimum of 1000 points on their individual Ba'ath Party loyalty card and a certified home address not recently bombed. The disqualification target of 97% has been greeted by commentators as both commendable and pragmatic. It is common knowledge that a too long roster of candidates only serves to confuse voters, cloud the issues and foment gossip.
In an effort to equip all polling stations with the latest automations and rebrand their image in a more voter-friendly manner, the commission has embarked on an ambitious refurbishment program to demolish each and every one of them and rebuilt to the highest standards. The demolishing has been reported to be well underway and proceeding bombastically. Concurrently, to combat voter fraud an improved voter ID system is being configured that will withdraw voting rights from citizens who have recklessly abandoned their residences for the luxuries of refugee camps and/or those on the trending, but discredited, C.I.S diet (conflict induced starvation).
Apr.30, 2014 | ASSAD
Syrian Democracy: Election Blitz