Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Sleepless pre-electoral night (much ado…)

Posted by worriedlebanese on 07/06/2009

elections north akkar 1 -  Lebanese voters hold up their voting list at a polling station in AkkarI couldn’t sleep tonight. All the hate spawned by all sides, and the misinformation reported by the press, all the caricatural warning on the outcome of the elections caught up with me. And so I became extremely worried. The only way I could go back to my sens was to shut myself in my room, empty my heads from those meaningless slogans and accusations and go back to the simple truths of these elections:

– Lebanese Muslims are deprived of true elections. The Sunni, Shiite and the Druze will be represented by the same parties that have monopolised their representation for almost two decades.

– This monopoly in representation will limit the possibilities of change within the government because no side within the quadripartite oligarchy can be excluded from government due to the absence of a parliamentary alternative within each community. So whatever the outcome of the elections is, there will be PSP, Amal, Hezbollah and Mustaqbal representatives within the government… unless the president garners the support to form a non-partisan government, which is not only unlikely but politically absurd (knowing the communal mobilisation behind the quadripartite oligarchy).

–  Lebanese Christians have the following choice: vote for Aoun and his allies (who are allied with half of the quadripartite oligarchy) or vote for a coalition of  rival Christian parties (that are  allied to the other half of the quadripartite oligarchy). Whatever the outcome of the elections, we know that the FPL is assured to remain the country’s largest christian party in parliament (competing with Mustaqbal for the position of largest partisan bloc in parliament). We also know that ideologically, the overwhelming majority of Christian parties are similar (if not identical). They share the same core beliefs (they are conservative when it comes to moral issues, center left when it comes to economical issues) and most importantly the same fears (of Muslims in general, and Palestinians in particular). They are all promising reform and change (increase the role of the President who is Christian, and the participation of Christians within the State in general). And the only real points of dispute are geopolitical (even if they don’t have a say or a sway in this…)

In a couple of minutes, my compatriots will start voting (I decided not to vote this year). Knowing the outcome of the elections, why should I care? I just hope all parties get a little slap on the face. A dose of humility is never bad… but it remains rather unlikely.

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