The ‘silent ma­jor­ity’: A trump card in elec­tions

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

KUWAIT: It is in­ter­est­ing to see with ev­ery par­lia­men­tary elec­tions that there are some peo­ple who are ‘silent’ and not in­ter­ested in vot­ing for can­di­dates, and if they do vote they would surely turn some ta­bles. Can­di­dates try their best to bring those silent peo­ple and lure them to vote and ex­er­cise their right for the up­com­ing par­lia­men­tary elec­tions of Novem­ber 26 in or­der to de­ter­mine the na­ture of the next par­lia­ment through adop­tion of nu­mer­ous re­al­is­tic pro­grams that cope with the cur­rent press­ing re­gional, do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional is­sues, be­sides meet­ing am­bi­tions of this seg­ment.

Such group of peo­ple are called dif­fer­ently in ev­ery coun­try, where some call them the ‘Silent Ma­jor­ity’, ‘Hes­i­tant or Neg­a­tive’ and in Egypt they are called the ‘Couch Party’. This cat­e­gory of silent peo­ple are es­ti­mated be­tween 10-50 per­cent ac­cord­ing to semi-of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics as their par­tic­i­pa­tion is linked to their mood, tim­ing of the elec­tions and to the na­ture of is­sues be­ing ad­dressed on the po­lit­i­cal and me­dia are­nas.

Nonex­is­tent

Po­lit­i­cal re­searcher and aca­demi­cian Dr Ayed Al-Man­naa said that the silent ma­jor­ity in its po­lit­i­cal ap­proach does not ex­ist in Kuwait, how­ever, there is a large num­ber of peo­ple who have no in­ter­est in pol­i­tics or in elec­tions, but can make a change in the elec­tions. He added that such group is also found in the rest of the world and is be­com­ing a tar­get for can­di­dates once they de­cided to break their si­lence and take part in pres­i­den­tial or par­lia­men­tary elec­tions’ process.

Manaa at­trib­uted their re­jec­tion to take part to psy­cho­log­i­cal, po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious mat­ters or to the fail­ure of politi­cians to reach out for them and lure them into par­tic­i­pat­ing. He said that such hes­i­tant or silent group could heav­ily im­pact the elec­tions and de­ter­mine the iden­tity of the next par­lia­ment should they de­cide to go ahead and vote. He pointed out that the sin­gle-vote sys­tem has given a big in­cen­tive for the voter, a mat­ter that prompted can­di­dates to se­ri­ously think of snatch­ing votes of all with no ex­cep­tion.

Neg­a­tive

Mean­while, Pro­fes­sor of Po­lit­i­cal So­ci­ol­ogy Dr Mo­ham­mad Al-Ru­maihi said that the con­cept of silent ma­jor­ity has a neg­a­tive con­se­quence on the en­tire so­ci­ety and on the po­lit­i­cal re­al­ity in par­tic­u­lar, say­ing such a group has no in­ter­est in pol­i­tics and does not want to con­trib­ute to it. He as­serted the role of the in­di­vid­ual to ac­tively take part in the devel­op­ment of the coun­try, chiefly in the po­lit­i­cal process, call­ing for se­lect­ing the best can­di­date.

Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti op­po­si­tion leader and can­di­date Ja­maan Al-Har­bash speaks dur­ing a cam­paign meet­ing in Kuwait City Tues­day evening. Kuwaiti op­po­si­tion groups are aim­ing for a come­back in par­lia­ment after a fouryear elec­tion boy­cott, seek­ing to re­verse what they see as the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in the Gulf state. —

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