Can we Trust Them with Free Elections?

One of the most common arguments among the Egyptian elite, whenever the “idea” of free elections comes up is: can we trust the people (often said with a disgusted look) with free elections? What do they know? They’re ignorant at best, Islamist at worst, and often both.

One can present many counter arguments: despite the prevailing illiteracy, Egyptians are politically savvy and have a nag for understanding politicians and their true intentions; a free political process is extremely effective in showing the differences between the candidates, even for the masses; the accountability that comes with elections is the most effective means of checks and balances.

However, none of these arguments comes close to this video clip of a young woman in a demonstration that took place last week in front of the Egyptian Parliament. In simple colloquial Arabic, with fellow workers chanting behind her, she sums up each and every popular demand that Egyptians, especially in the labor class, are asking for.

Amin Elmasry. 31 May 2010.

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