Friday, April 29, 2005
Joshua Landis posts an article on plans to legalize political parties in Syria. I'm sure the Syrian government will tout this as an example of reform, and can easily picture President Bush including it in his next round-up of Arab reforms which have taken place on his watch, but let's not get too excited. It might allow the opposition to organize, but will the government put in restrictions on what sorts of things they can call for? Might questioning key tenets of Syria's current governing structure be enough to get you booted from the arena, meaning all the parties have to talk about is how high taxes should be? And even if I am too cynical and Syria starts developing a real civil society, Egypt has been chugging along under the NDP for quite awhile now despite the "competition" from other parties.