Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Change(?) we CAN’T believe in… (2)

Posted by worriedlebanese on 23/05/2009

While the quadripartite oligarchy is denying Lebanese muslims the right to choose their representatives, they are allowing the Christian electorate to do so… “Allowing” is actually an understatement. They are “actively encouraging” the Christian electorate to vote. And what is the outcome of the electorate’s choice? The Christians will actually determine the balance of power within the ruling oligarchy.

This is for the policial side… But the politicians and the journalists are trying to tell us that it’s not about Politics but about Geopolitics… Well, in that case, theoretically, there would have been a possibility of Christian arbitration between two geopolitical choices. Why theoretically? Simple because the Christians electorate is so fragmented that it will invariably bring about a pluralistic representation, so it’s not about arbitration… it’s about sway: they will either tilt the balance towards one part of the oligarchy or the other.

Picture 2Picture 5Now let’s try to look beyond the “geopolitical debates” and into the electoral battle. But not too long because it would be depressing. The extreme polarisation of politics in Lebanon is affecting the Christian community quite deeply, even though there is very little in stake for it. Whatever the outcome of the election is, the quadripartite oligarchy will remain in place, and each side will feed its Christian allies as much as the other is willing to feed its own (the Doha effect’s basic principle).

It is true that the politicians and their journalist acolytes are trying to convince their political base that the elections are about geopolitics and the type of government we’re going to have (even though the quadripartite oligarchy will impose a “national unity government” whatever the outcome is)… But these arguments are quite secondary. The real polarisation is around Aoun. Are you with or against him?! This again is a trivial question because Lebanon already has a President, and it’s not even the coming parliament that’s going to elect the next President! Furthermore, Aoun does not have the power  to control (sociologically, economically, religiously or militarily) “his” MPs, unlike the quadripartite oligarchy. So it’s really for “his” party that one will be eventually voting for or against.

So basically, one can easily say that the debate within the Christian society is a trivial one, and the outcome of their choice will have very little results on them, unless one side is crushed (which is not only unlikely, but seems practically impossible).


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