The dominate topic in the Jordanian blogosphere as of late is the newly appointed Jordanian cabinet. It was discussed here, here, here and here. I really don’t have that much to add to what my fellow bloggers have already said. But I do want to highlight the fact that, sadly enough, I’m losing interest in cabinet-related news. Since I left Jordan in October of 2003, three new cabinets have been appointed. That is three changes in two years, which means an average Jordanian cabinet life span is down to about eight months.
Since my exodus, the changes went as follows: First, Faysal Al Fayez’s and his cabinet followed by Adnan Badran and now Ma’rouf Bakhit. When I first left, any minor cabinet change would grab my attention immediately, prompting me to religiously follow the story and all the developments. But three in two years is wearing me down. I’m starting to view cabinet reshuffles as more of the "same old, same old" in terms of Jordanian political development.
It does seem, however, that reform is the name of the game this time around as everyone is talking about it. The new government is promising real change while a major think-tank urges the kingdom to adopt quick reforms before it is all too late. Will it actually happen this time? Will the terrorist attacks of Jordan’s 9/11 wake officials up to the urgent need for reform? Only time will tell, but frankly there is a jaded skeptic in me that is not that hopeful.
One change that is really notable is the reduction in the number of women in the current government to a lonely one. That’s a disturbing drop from previous governments such as the days of Al-Fayez, when there was a record four female ministers. Why this drop? Is this part of the promised reforms? I wonder.