"It is a brave "new world" since Bouazizi ignited Tunisia - and literally the
Arab world - two years ago. In his footsteps has emerged a new breed of
vendor-like politician that hawks all kinds of creeds, ideas, myths and even
hope in the political "street".
In one sense, Tunisia's political peddlers have put the cart before the
horse, selling "wares" and "goods" in the absence of an overarching climate of
compromise, power-sharing, and professionalism.
The missing link in all of this is the consensual culture within which
politics has traditionally emerged and has been embedded. Today, the travails of
transition are more concrete than any verifiable outcomes, adding to popular
disillusionment across the board.
Three aspects manifest the trials and error of a still-promising transition
process, though with little or no correction of course yet in sight......
With increased misery, aimlessness, and higher youth unemployment, in parts
as high as 30 percent and maybe above, the vendors of Tunisia will have hard
time buying loyalty, following and trust.
Like street peddlers, politicians across the political spectrum will need
more than verbal and rhetorical inducements and ornaments to embellish their
parties and convince Tunisians, namely the have-nots, to participate. For, so
far the return from the October 23 vote is minimal if not inexistent."