Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Self-criticism? not a Lebanese word (part 1)

Posted by worriedlebanese on 23/06/2009

autocriticaI stumbled on a short interview on el-Nashra with Charles Jazra. The article presents him as a leading figure in the FPM. His name reminded me of an unsuccessful “independent” candidate in the Metn (running for the Greek-Catholic seat) who was presented as close to the FPM and to the SNSP (Syrian national social party). I wonder if it’s the same person. Here are the interviewed Charles Jazra’s arguments:

اعتبر القيادي في “التيار الوطني الحر” شارل جزرا أن ما أسقط المعارضة في الانتخابات لم يكن خطأ في ماكيناتها الانتخابية أو حتى في اعلامها انما كانت الحملة الاعلامية المضادة التي شنّها الفريق الآخر والتي اعتمدت “التخوين، الدفاع عن رئيس الجمهورية وكأننا نريد اسقاطه، عناوين المثالثة والانقلاب على الطائف

He believes that the Opposition’s electoral conduct and its communication strategy are not to blame for its defeat. This was brought by its opponent’s campaign that focused on accusing the opposition of treason, defending the Presidency as if the opposition wanted to bring it down, and the slogan of the reduction of christian share to one third, and the overthrow of Taef.
This idea is shared by many FPM supporters and it shows an unwillingness to assess their political and electoral conduct. Instead of reflecting on their methods, strategy and capacity to respond to the opponent’s campaign, we find an insistance on the denunciation of the other. Not only such an approach is pointless, but it shows a lack of consideration for the electorate’s capacity of seeing through false-accusations, and also of hearing both parties and choosing the side that he finds more convincing.

Sure, the Kataeb (property of the Gemayel family), the Lebanese Forces, the National Liberal Party (property of the Chamoun family), the National Bloc (property of the Edde family), and Christian “independents” (semi-autonomous notables), focused on a smear campaign against the FPM, and this smear campaign was mostly ungrounded. But this says quite a lot about these parties and very little about the FPM.
But it begs the following question: Did the electorate believe in the smear campaign launched by the FPM opponents? Sure the FPM remains the largest christian party and retains the confidence of approximately half of the Lebanese Christian voters, but how can one explain the evaporation of  20% of its electorate in 4 years?

(to be continued)

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