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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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Exposing Lebanon's Democracy: The Biggest Flaw Was Not the Election Law

While only a month ago, many were still claiming that the Election Law of 2000 was the main stumbling block to fair elections, judging by the way the elections have been conducted so far, it’s not the Law that would make the election more fair, but rather the election process itself.

Even a new Law would not have changed the habits of our existing politics which are to “nominate” rather than elect most officials. It’s really the dozen or so “leaders” that decide who they want on their lists and present it to the Lebanese people as a “fait accomplit”, almost a way to confirm their nomination. This has nothing to do with any law, districts or province subdivisions. And this shuts out or disadvantages most other candidates that may be more qualified than the ones that are “chosen”.

And it has become so obvious now that the greatest lie given to the Lebanese people was that it was a game of “Laws”. It simply was not. If the Law had a flaw, the process has an incurable virus.

The other farce is the staggered process over 4 weeks. It allows too much maneuvering and adjusting in response to the previous results, like a step-wise election that is not needed. Why can’t a country of 4 million vote in one day when most others with 100 million+ can do it in one single day?

The real truth is that- the Lebanese politicians can’t react in one day to events that may be counter to them. Sudden elections results would leave them scrambling and give them less control. It would be like a sudden ending to a real race, whereas they prefer the game of poker, where there’s always another round where they can sharpen their bluffs and backroom alliances.

The sad truth is that Lebanon's "democracy" has been exposed: these elections are for the politicians, not for the people.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Leb4Ever said...

I can't agree more.. Great post.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous nada b. said...

nice post. The question is which should we change first, the process or the law? And if we can't change the law and the process simultaneously, does this mean we're stuck forever?

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more, but I wonder if Lebanon has the means to hold elections in one day. These issues and many others should be addressed in the future. This new govrenment has alot on it's plate and we must be patient. Changes will come but they will not happen over night.

7:39 PM  

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