Abdullah's Promised Reforms
"King Abdullah II yesterday promised reforms leading to parliamentary government and a tougher fight against anti-corruption, at the same time warning against 'chaos' and the media creating a climate of 'hatred'.
"In his first televised address since pro-reform protests began in Jordan in January, the king pledged a new electoral law that would result in 'a parliament with active political party representation' that 'allows the formation of governments based on parliamentary majority … in the future'. He said: 'The practical approach to this meets the constitutional review now being undertaken by the royal committee I recently tasked to explore possible amendments appropriate for Jordan's present and future...'
"The king's speech comes in the wake of political reform recommendations made June 4 by the 47-member national dialogue committee, comprised of a cross-section of society, created in March.
"The proposed reforms would increase the number of parliamentary seats to 130 from 120 and cut the number of people needed to form a political party to 250 from 500, with women making up at least 10 per cent."
I wonder what's in that ellipsis between "parliamentary majority" and "in the future." Whatever the case, it's one thing to make a speech, and quite another to deliver meaningful change. The king is maintaining a paternalistic attitude that does not bode well, and I don't see where the specific reforms get the problem of gerrymandering that is one of the pillars of royal domination.