A Lebanese Abroad

Opinions from an opinionated Lebanese abroad about Lebanon's politics, business and the future of a United Lebanon.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Government: Consensus or Bad Compromise?

There is a subtle, but important difference between reaching consensus and retreating to compromise. Because this new government includes some figures from the just-departing old government, it shows this was probably one of the compromises that the opposition had to concede to. But why include bad apples in a new basket? This is not a personal critique on the returning ministers, but couldn’t they find other qualified individuals with no association to the recent government? Murr personifies the embodiment of Lahoud-led corruption. And Hammoud was a disgrace by the way he handled the UN and by his closeness to Syrian foreign policy. This shows that Syrian influence is still in-there, and they have their men in-there ready to pollute and contaminate Lebanese politics when they want to. Maybe I missed something in the back-alley deal-making that preceeded this hoopla, but what happened to having a really neutral government? Was it just talk?

In hindsight, I am not sure if the opposition was tricked or if this was part of the deal-making, i.e. you pick the prime minister, but we get to bring back a couple of our own men. This shows that Lebanon has a (bad) habit of stooping down to compromise by finding the lowest common denominator, instead of rising-up to the challenge of reaching out towards a new consensus.

Bad compromise is the result of finding creative solutions that are not necessarily the best ones for the country, but they are what the politicians are willing to accept. So, this shows that the game is still about dirty politics, and not about Lebanon’s future.

10 Comments:

Blogger Raja said...

TM,

I was impressed by Mikati, but I remain cautious. the only reason I have hope is my belief that it will take some time for the syrian grip on Lebanese politics to be loosened.

logic stipulates that now that they've departed the Syrians will do their best to push for an electoral law that ensures their stooges remain in power. Let us see how the next round of this excruciating political battle turns out!

the syrians & their loyalists are hoping to "ride the storm". the opposition is trying to topple them. It appears that both Jumblatt and Aoun think that Hizballah is the key. I guess we're gonna have to watch and "learn".

6:32 PM  
Anonymous TFFOU!!! said...

We seem to have switched from syrians' instructions to the loyalists to now Syro-saudi-french-american instructions to the opposition. Is this the democracy and sovereignty that 1.2million Lebanese have marched for?

Shame on the opposition to have agreed to take instructions and blindly appoint Bachar's corrupt best friend Mikati prime minister.

Shame on them to have agreed to allow this other syrian made corrupt bully Elias Murr to become minister of Defense.

Shame on them to have relied so much on foreigners.

Shame on them to have missed the historic opportunity to solve our own problems, maybe not perfectly, by striking our own deal as opposed to have one imposed on us by foreigners.

Shame on them to have missed another historic opportunity of having elections based on the Qada'

We have come to expect this type of behavior from the loyalists, after all most of them are yes men to the syrians, corrupt and with no legitimacy......What is the opposition's excuse? Elections at any cost because Bush needs to look good on CNN.....

If we have agreed once to instructions on the choice of a prime minister, whats to prevent instructions on a new electoral law or even candidates for parliament, sounds familiar.... I guess history does repeat itself. To borrow from Mr. Asseily's article: "Unfortunately, it seems that as of today, our only choice is to replace one traditional faction by another. It reminds of the old classic by The Who where they sang: “Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss”. And by the way, the name of the song is: “We won’t get fooled again”."

7:39 PM  
Anonymous TFFOU!!! said...

Lets just hope now, that the SYRO-SAUDI-FRENCH-AMERICAN deal doesnt undermine or threaten our national interests or the future of our beloved Lebanon.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Brian H said...

tffool;
Give your paranoia gland a rest. There are no "instructions"; everyone just wants Syria to bug out and stay out. And that includes Iranian/Syrian cat's-paw Hezbollah.

T-man;
don't get too enthused about "consensus". That means unanimity, which means everybody gets a veto. That's a deadly slow way to do business.

11:25 PM  
Blogger ThinkingMan said...

Hi Brian- Good to hear from you again.
What I meant by consensus is that it's a "stretch objective" way of agreeing; i.e. both parties extend themselves further. With compromise, they retreat back to mediocre goals, so the "good consensus" is better than "bad compromise".
Isn't most U.S. politics done by consensus, - they stretch themselves to agree and it's a beneficial for the country.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

Stretching occurs sometimes, to the accompaniment of screams of pain. But usually you get one side's version or adjustment of the other side's previous version, etc., etc. The point is, there's a lot of swinging around the center line in what gets passed and implemented. Democracy is MESSY!

2:41 PM  
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