Long before the authoritarian elections we have witnessed in 2010, the meaning of an election was determined by the Egyptian people rather than by the ruling party or the opposition. Elections were a time to stay at home in the hopes that nobody gets killed. It is a bloody race to power and those aiming to win will do anything. There is nothing to prevent theft or bribery but the good will of those trying to win and Egyptians are assured that no such will exists.
While government puts on charades of what elections are supposed to be, people are unmoved and determined in their view. Nothing changes because nothing has changed. Those in power are used bludgeoning the voters on such days. Election Day is a celebration of tyranny rather than democracy.
A wise Egyptian would stay at home to avoid harassment and possible injury. It is well known among Egyptians that going out to vote is either a source of income or a losing battle that they must fight anyway. No amount of ads nor press could convince them otherwise. I would go so far as to say that even if free elections were to ever take place in this country, no one would believe them to be so.
The rest becomes just a game between the ruling party and the opposition and the rest of the world. The Egyptian citizen is not involved in any way. There is however one aspect that does affect annoy an Egyptian citizen like myself despite complete surrender to the corruption and falsification of the elections. It’s those damn ads on television asking Egyptians to vote!!
These in my opinion are the most destructive and provoking force of all the events that take place during elections. The ads are the real expression of tyranny that we’re yet to get used to. There are several reasons that mark the advertisements as the worst thing about the elections.
The advertisements are shot in high definition, a sign of their fakeness and show Egypt in a completely false light. They ask an Egyptian to vote, which is now become code for asking him to come down there to get crushed and harassed. It’s like a special delivery for the police to exercise their usually bullying. So not only are they asking Egyptians to stay clear of trouble and harm’s way, they are asking Egyptians to go over there and either be beaten and defeated or to be utterly disappointed by the hopelessness of not being able to vote.
This is complete torture. It’s rubbing in the idea that your voice or your vote means nothing. It’s a message saying that no matter what the people say, we will do what we want. This is the extremity of injustice, to put on a farcical show of justice while serving injustice to millions.
There is also a blame game in some of the ads. It’s your fault that you’re not voting. They are going after that defense mechanism called nonchalance that Egyptians took years to perfect in order to turn a blind eye to their oppression. The ads say it’s your fault you’re leading a crappy life, get up and do something about it, only when you reach the polling stations, you find out that there’s nothing you can do about it. This is also another form of torture, when you’re blamed for the injustices inflicted upon you.
The most oppressive thing about all of this is that it invades television time. In a sort of Big Brother screen manner, you’re subjected to this form of torture every time you’re watching your favorite show. ‘We are able to oppress you at any time we please’, is the subliminal message associated with these ads. All of a sudden the beautifully filmed Egyptian flag turns uglier, and the well orchestrated national anthem becomes the anthem for subjugation.
On days like these I cannot stand the Egyptian flag nor the anthem. It’s not the same flag and it’s not the same anthem that people embraced during the African cup.
The NDP’s response to the rigged elections is that Egyptians are not used to losing. Even in their defense they got it wrong. On the contrary, Egyptians are used to nothing else but losing. They have been losing close to silently for ages. They are losing their country, not just inch by inch, but by chunks. They have been losing their voice, their vote. They have been losing their rights, their heads. They have been losing their children and their friends. No, the NDP got that one wrong too, much like they got everything else wrong except actions that serve their evil desire to dominate. Egyptians have lost one another when a group of them suppressed the other. Egyptians are used to the losing game and they are losing their humanity and much worse, losing their hope.