The world in movement

8 February 2011

The world in movement

Emile Roemer

Sometimes you just have to stop and look at these pictures on your television. We are watching a revolution in the Arab world, live. Wonderful, inspirational and, for the last few days, frightening. For more than thirty years a large section of the population of Egypt has lived in poverty and under oppression. Now we hear the cry of democracy, a cry for human rights and for the freedom to say whatever you wish.

The whole world is holding its breath. How will this turn out? I’m an optimist. On the basis of this optimism I believe that this mass uprising against oppression and poverty will eventually emerge into something finer, something better. The people deserve no less.

Our own elections for the provincial assemblies may seem rather trivial and unimportant compared to this news from the outside world. But don’t forget that these elections are precisely what the people in Egypt are fighting for. We can vote in freedom and speak out against the power whenever we want to. Free elections have become a good habit for us, one we should make use of on March 2nd.

The SP is in good shape for these elections, and amongst party members I sense an optimism which I share. If nothing else the SP is the party which has organised protest against this government, and I heartily hope that we succeed in bringing people to the polling booth. Because on 2nd March voting will really make sense. Because the Senate is an indirectly elected chamber, the composition of which depends on the relative strengths of the parties in the provincial assemblies, your protest in 2nd March in the provincial elections can enable a structural protest in the Senate which can at least slow down the cuts imposed by the right-wing coalition, and hopefully even halt it completely.

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