An Overview of Professor Omar Bendjelloun’s “State of Moroccan Political Landscape”
Morocco’s political sphere can be boiled down to two essential components: structures and actors. Within the former category, there exist two major entities. The first entity is the supply structure, which references the development of the nation’s manufacturing infrastructure. The second entity is the industrial platform, which refers to the laws and institutions that normalize constitutional procedure. The latter category—the actors—are then those political parties that develop these structures. They are the intellectuals who make institutions work with the aim of breathing life into the nation in order to cement communal values.
These two functions together form the basic brushstrokes of the political landscape. However, the finer strokes are derived from three additional functions. The first function defines citizens’ references—universal and human rights; the second function defines the institutional mechanisms of the state, but also forms the separations of powers, institutions, and the regulation of the “téchnostructure”; finally, the third function defines territorial regulations vis-à-vis both national and international challenges that pertain to identity.
This is how they have functioned. However, in recent years the political parties have united to offer the Moroccan people nothing more than a disorganized spectacle, the result of their disenfranchisement with previous political discourse. The political sector no longer aligns itself with the organic intellect it was previously characterized by: parliamentary parties are no longer populated by lawyers and professors, bur are instead constituted by selfish individuals attempting to push their own agendas to the detriment of the voters. This begs two questions: (1) Why have intellectuals been forced outside the political sphere; and (2) Why is it that 70% of the Moroccan population is outside the political sphere simply because of absenteeism?
The key to answering these questions lies in analyzing parties’ metamorphoses in the last few years. Where there used to be a multi-party system, the political landscape is now enumerated by larger parties composed of myriad branches. This offers the Moroccan youth the illusion of unity, while the reality is entirely different. As a result, independent administrative authorities—the intellectuals—have been marginalized from the state. With the main actors outside the political sphere, Morocco now sees a melting pot that will only grow with each election, engendering a greater divide between collectivist, youth, and electoral cultures.
Simple election does not necessarily perpetuate democracy: democracy is merely an institutional structure. While the new limited-number party system permits some structure, what do they produce, if they do so at all? What do we see when we look at the state of the Moroccan political landscape other than a collective failure? And most importantly: what can change?