National hypocrisy, Part 2

To finish my previous entry on my nationality and the (lack of) rights coming with it.

The reason I wanted to give up my nationality is that I don't do anything with it. I don't need it and usually we throw stuff away we don't need, right?
Of course my actions were also triggered by the discussion in the Netherlands concerning the dual nationality of the (junior) cabinet-member Ahmed Aboutaleb (about whom I blogged here)
Rightist politicians are questioning his loyalty. Is he loyal to the Queen of the Netherlands or to the King of Morocco? Of course this whole discussion was based on fear for the Other. It was surrounded with hatred and distrust of everything thats not 100% Dutch.
Ahmed Aboutaleb already proved himself to be a loyal Dutch politician.
Some people who initially complained about the dual nationality of Aboutaleb backed down when it came out that our future queen Maxima, an Argentinian, has a dual nationality herself. She can't give up her Argentinian nationality as well, just like the 315.000 Moroccans in the Netherlands

But nonetheless, I kind of understood where the rightist politicians were coming from. It is weird to have a politician in your government who has two nationalities.
It ís different than a politician with only 1 nationality.
But this discussion wasn't my main motive to give up my nationality. Something else motivated me. A discriminating law from the Moroccan state.


Just to clarify things, the Moroccan state won't let you give up your nationality. Even if you took your Moroccan passport to your local embassy and whiped your tuches with it in public, you would just get a new one.
So all the Moroccans living, and probably born, outside Morocco are still Moroccan nationals.

Some people would say where the harm is in all this? In one of the comments in the previous post somebody asked if it bothers me in my day-to-day life.
My answer would be that it doesn't bother my day-to-day life. But it does bother me on ideological, personal and political level.
The thing is that although I have my Moroccan nationality, I'm not allowed to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Morocco.

I see this as unfair. There are around 4 million Moroccans living outside of Morocco, approximately 12% of the population. Most of those Moroccans work their asses of to send money back to Morocco. They keep the country floating. We invest in the country, we spend our holiday-money there.
Every year the Moroccan state receives between 3-4 billion dollars from the Moroccan immigrants., thats around 10% of the national GDP.
And yet, the Moroccan state doesn't allow us to vote. We have no right whatsoever to have a say in how the money is being spend. Or how the country should be run.
We are Morocco's "greatest resource" but we are kept silent.
In a way, we're second class citizens.

If I'm forced to be Moroccan, why not let me vote? And if I'm not allowed to vote, why not let me give up my nationality?
Isn't this profiting from your own citizens? I know Morocco does that all the time (and to some extent, all states do that) but at least the citizens ín Morocco get to vote in half-rigged elections.

If we are the "greatest resource" of Morocco, shouldn't you take our opinion in consideration? We're not money-making machines. We are your citizens. Most of the Moroccans living outside Morocco care about their country. The first-generation suffered a lot so that they can build up their country and the lives of their relatives in Morocco. Is this how you repay them? By telling them to shut up, be Moroccan and send money back home? Is this your gratitude?

I just don't get it! Why are you afraid of letting us vote or letting us give up our nationality?
Taking away a piece of paper doesn't take away the sense of cultural and financial loyalty most Moroccans have towards the country.
Letting us vote doesn't turn us into beasts trying to manipulate the country.

If Morocco pretends and tries to be a civilized, reforming country then it should let us vote or let us give up our nationality.
But don't tie us down.

14 Comments:

  1. xoussef said...
    i remeber that the king in a spitch in 2005 instructed the governement to include dispositions in the electoral law in order to permit moroccans of the diaspora to vote. Unfortunatly, they were too busy trying to prepare the announced PJD tsunami, that they sacrified not only the diaspora but also the women quota.
    all the parties don't know anything about you, they never considered you as a potential elector. your vote is unpredectibleand they expect you not to elect them because they never did anything to you.
    anyway, going to the embassy and doing what you did is not the right thing to do because it is useless. you need to do the same but backed with an organisation. they just looked at you and said nothing, right? imagine now if you were 10, 100, 500 poeple to do that at the same time, invite journalists... make much more noise, then they will be forced to here you.
    BO18 said...
    Thank you for the explanation.

    It is just a dirty game they're playing.
    Instead of actively promoting themselves among the diaspora and convince them to vote for them, they just play games to block the PJD (something I understand a little bit)

    I dont think that the current political parties really understood the concept of voting, campaigns and elections.

    But I will certainly do something about it. In London its just a bit more difficult since the Moroccan community here is pretty small compared to the communities in other European countries.
    xoussef said...
    don't expect anything from them. i live here and i've never been approached by a millitant, invited to a political meeting or given a tract. i live near the local offices of two major partis, and i studied in the university. if they failed to contact me, i doubt that they will bother to contact and promote themselves among moroccans in europe, north america, the gof and israel!
    the PJD is the only one to do efforts. but all of them have no programme, no economic vision, nothing.
    I received months ago a mail from this NGO: congress mondial MRE. they are europe based but they were preparing some meeting in the US, they might have some activity in UK too.
    tsedek said...
    Maybe a dumb question, but what is PJD?
    Can you vote elsewhere, BO18? (England, the Netherlands)
    xoussef said...
    @ tsedek: PJD
    BO18 said...
    @ Xoussef

    Thanks for the link! I didn't know about them.

    @ Tsedek
    Yep, I'm allowed to vote in the Netherlands. Its something that comes along with my dutch passport.
    But why?
    Hannibal said...
    I hesitated alot before I submit this comment, I've been reading your blog on a quiet regular basis now and honestly I found your posts all in all interesting and enriching.Nonetheless your recent post on "revoking your moroccan nationality" just triggered my attention and honestly I found it intriguing and puzzling. I couldn't understand your vacillating between your love and devotion to your country Morocco on the one hand and your now disapproval and maybe despise of your country on the other hand to an extent that you would like to revoke your nationality!. A simple look back at what you wrote recently, is but an example (your post dated Feb. 4, 2007 on How Morocco Makes You proud). Another post when you compared between Morocco and Tunisia and you indirectly were hinting at Tunisia's record in human rights and freedoms compared to Morocco's record, well my friend I am not going to delve in that issue since history is but a witness on which country is heading on the right track but just one observation, you explained your wish to give up your moroccan nationality because as you said" moroccans living abroad aren't allowed to vote" which I personally find it shameful, I would like to inform you that tunisians living abroad are even urged to vote and participate in the political life of the country. Recently I read and interview in Taqrir Washington (taqrir.org), with your Ambassador in Washington, DC and he was asked if Morocco will ask moroccans living in the USA ( more than 150.000) to vote so he said "not yet, but that they were trying".Hope you'll finally reach that goal next september, 2007!

    Please do not take my comment as a personal attack.I will be looking forward to reading your future posts and BTW I commend your openness and your enlightened mind.Good Luck!
    tsedek said...
    Thank you for the link, Xoussef ;)
    BO18, because I think everybody should be allowed to vote for one country only. Not to be mean, but because I think that's only fair to people not possessing double nationalities. I don't know why that is either, just it seems more fair to me.
    eatbees said...
    I agree with you that it's unfair and hypocritical to call MREs Morocco's "greatest resource" and not allow you to vote to help determine the future of your country! (Though in your case you've lost your Moroccan identity but that's another story....) And I agree that if it happened, it would help shake up Moroccan politics in a positive way. Mexico allows and encourages its nationals living abroad to vote, and this has helped speed democratization there -- though in fairness it's a recent development that has only affected the last two presidential elections. Finally, I love Xoussef's idea of showing up at the consulate with a delegation of 500 fellow MREs and the media! If I were a political consultant for one of Morocco's political parties and Morocco had citizen outreach campaigns, I would hire him right away as a strategist to stir up the youth vote ;)
    BO18 said...
    @ Hannibal

    Thank you for reading & commenting.
    Let me explain one thing though. I never ever will despise Morocco. It would be like despising my parents and a part of my heritage.
    But I do feel anger towards Morocco sometimes. Something I feel towards the Netherlands as well. In my eyes, its healthy anger.
    Revoking my nationality has nothing do with my feelings towards the country. I don't think a piece of paper can diminish my feelings for Morocco.
    I want to revoke my nationality for the simple reason that I don't think its acceptable for myself to have more than one. (but I do understand and accept if others want both)
    And since the Dutch nationality does give me all my rights and I feel more allegiance towards the Netherlands, I decided that I wanted to revoke my Moroccan one.
    My desire to revoke it isn't based on hatred.
    I think that even if I had the right to vote, I would still long for a rule/law that would let me revoke my nationality since I regard it as my civil right to do so.
    And I hope that one day Morocco will grant all its citizens the right to vote ánd the right to revoke their nationality.
    I do understand that some will find this a bit harsh and unfair towards Morocco, but I don't see it that way.
    BO18 said...
    @ Tsedek

    Hmmm I never looked at it that way. As in unfair towards people without a dual nationality.
    But I think I agree with you. I wouldn't accept it, for instance, as Ahmed Aboutaleb would vote for the Moroccan elections while holding a cabinet-position. That would be indeed unfair.
    But I think that you maybe misread my post (correct me if I;m wrong here)
    I don't want to vote per se during the Moroccan elections. I just wanted to point at a flaw in the way of thinking of the Moroccan state.

    @ Eatbees
    Oh I didn't know about the Mexicans. And to be honest, I didn't think of how it would speed up democratiization. But now I think of it, its kind of a logical step since most MRE's have experienced living and participating in fucntioning democracies.
    And Xoussef should indeed have a job as a strategist! I was kind of perplexed by what he said.
    As a matter of fact, he might have a job as a strategist already. You never know ;)
    tsedek said...
    BO18

    I think it's make it impossible for someone to give up his nationality. That's dictatorship first class. But that 'flaw' you mention would practically mean that some people can vote in two countries and others cannot.

    I suppose you read this:

    http://www.parool.nl/nieuws/2007/FEB/26/p1.html
    tsedek said...
    hmmm nice typo error where i forget whole words to add :(

    "I think it's wrong to make it impossible... etc."

    should be written in my previous msg.
    BO18 said...
    @ Tsedek

    Yep, thats a direct consequence of the flaw I mentioned.
    But in my opinion, I think that people should decide themselves where they vote.
    I mean for instance, I'm allowed to vote here in the municipal elections of London and the ones in Amsterdam. (if you're still registered)
    Thats how its arranged according to EU law.
    But Londoners in London aren't allowed to vote for the municipal elections of Amsterdam.

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