Wednesday, August 24, 2005

what did i say i'd do? oh. here's what i meant.

it's been a long time since i posted, largely because i recognize work is not an appropriate place to be posting from. and i live in chinoistown, so i have no internet access. however, this is the list of reforms proposed by the hoz, and i couldn't resist going through them.

ya misr... forsa sayida... oy.

-Constitutional amendments that enshrine the liberites of the citizen, reinvigorate political parties, develop the institutional framework of our policies and the decision making process, and place restrictions on executive authority.

-Amendments to enhance parliament’s oversight, allowing it to hold the government accountable, empowering it to be involved in the budget process.

if they pass, of course. and if they don't? why then, it's democracy at work. at least they were proposed.

-Reforms to guarantee fair representation of women in parliament
fair representation... of women? of women's issues? or actual, physical seats for women in parliament?


-Adopting an electoral system that guarantees the greatest chance for multi-party representation.

of course, these are chances that are being increased. this does not make any provisions for reducing the obstacles to establishing political parties or keeping them from being banned.


-Revising the Judicial Authority Law to reinforce the judiciary’s independence.

which wouldn't be necessary if they hadn't been stripped of power in the first place in the 90's


-Decentralize decision making, giving more authority to local government.

or local large landowners


-Legislation to guarantee all citizens the right to basic due process and a fair and speedy trial.

unless they are a threat to the state- see below (if america does it...!)


-An anti-terror law to replace the emergency law.

modeled on the patriot act, a piece of legislation itself a source of great controversy and often cited as the main threat to personal freedoms in the US today


-Revise system of administrative detention to reinforce the rule of law.

i'm not sure what this is supposed to mean. administrative detention? isn't that already... a grey area?


-Legislation that will guarantee citizens’ rights to the free flow of information.

unless again, it is considered harmful to the government. or not vetted by the MoI


-Further enhance the performance of public newspapers.

in their coverage of the president's daily constitutional. or we could perhaps privatize them, and reduce state expenditures?


-Create over 4 million job opportunities in the next six years, through the largest investment program Egypt has ever witnessed.

because now that the hoz has reformed, the US and EU will be more than willing to invest. oh, i'm sorry, you expect this to come from private investors? and you expect they will trust you when you point to your courts and legislation as the defenders of private interest? mmmm.


-Increase availability of micro financing.

if banks want to come in and do it on their own. and are willing to partner with my associates. say it with me now- partnership.


-Empower private sector to build 1000 factories in the next six years, and to provide 250,000 job opportunities.

really? only 250 people per factory? that's a lot more like a sweatshop's employee roster.


-Reclaim one million feddans of desert land, thus providing an additional 70,000 jobs.

because toshka's been an unqualified success


-Increase hotel capacity, creating an additional 200,000 jobs.

and when bombs stop going off, maybe tourists will come back too.


-Extend health insurance coverage to every citizen.

i've got a 3" long, 1/2" deep scar in my side from the egyptian health care industry. but i guess it's better than being dead.


-3,500 new schools over next six years.

i can't argue with the benefit of this. i can say that we might want to look beyond teaching kids that being a mohandis is the route to success.


-80,000 government subsidized new homes per year.

as stacey says, and with whose money? not to mention, what happens when subsidies are cut? memory might serve to remind us that people don't react well. this is not sound fiscal policy.


-Provide squatter settlements water, electricity, sewage, and access to schools.

this would be good. the zabaleen deserve as much. except when modern innovations, like refuse carting, replace traditional jobs and increase unemployment, while actually implementing a less efficient system.


-Establish private mass transportation companies to develop road networks in Upper and Lower Egypt.

yes... public companies have proven their efficiency and transparancy time and time again.


-Ease traffic in the capital by completing third metro line.

yeah. this one would be nice. but you think that you are the only candidate cut out for the job?


-Raise wage of low-income civil servants by 100%.

with what government revenue? and does this mean i'll get to stop paying baksheesh at the mugamma?


-Increase remaining civil servants’ wages by 75%.

what defines a low-income civil servant? is omar sulaiman a civil servant? and will he get a 75% wage increase?


-Guaranteed job contracts, health insurance, and social security to those working in the informal sector.

that would actually mean formalizing the informal sector. and if janet abu lughod has taught us anything, this is generally an idea that proves more wasteful than beneficial. if they can really give a job contract to that young man who sells me the garland of jasmine when i'm in standing traffic...


-Raise pensions.

this is from now on the stacey clause.


-Child care for working mothers

as long as they're muhaggabas.

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