Lebanon and democracy

Democracy is an essential part of a political system that respects the will of its people, it is a mechanism that injects life into the political system and gives it the chance for renewal and periodic reconstitution based on accountability, in order to reward what is good by keeping it and to replace the bad, or to put who is best in a place where he/she can make a difference. And the goal of all that is to put the wheel of the civilization in motion and to advance while time passes by.

But it’s not true that democracy can be applied everywhere, there are too many cases where democracy cannot be applied, imagine three wolves and two lambs voting for what to eat for dinner, how much democratic is that? Democracy cannot be applied on enemies; it should be applied in a place where members of a same nation are honestly competing for doing what’s best for that particular nation as a whole not what’s best for any of the competing members.

Democracy cannot be applied in Lebanon if it remains the way it is today, not only enemies are competing with each other so that each one achieves its own interests, but the Lebanese people who is the key for democracy, the side that operates the democratic system through voting is not eligible of operating the democratic machine.

The constitutive element of the Lebanese society is not the individual who is free and mature to evaluate, to choose and to vote, it is the religious sect. Masses of people are mobilized by sectarian fanaticism, each mass acts as a single block and tries to do whatever is best to serve its sectarian pride and to acquire and gain as a mass as much as possible. And that’s the only criterion that governs the voting procedure for members of those masses; it is not the concern about the nation as a whole or the concern that if the nation falls down every single individual will fall down with it.

So in this case democracy fails as a mechanism to reconstitute, correct and restore the political system, it is only another mean with which brainwashed sectarian masses fight each other, leading to no result other than more conflicts and a total halt of the advancement of the nation.

Sectarian democracy, even though they try to mask it by the beautiful name of consensual democracy doesn’t have anything to do with democracy. And the name “consensual democracy” by itself is a big mockery because democracy and voting are applied when it is impossible to reach a consensus.

We’ve been applying a so called democracy for more than 60 years now, but my personal opinion is that democracy and voting shouldn’t be applied in Lebanon before the Lebanese as individuals know how to make a difference between what’s right and wrong and before they are mature enough so that they can be given the responsibility of voting to elect. I’m not asking for a dictatorship, but for anything that can educate the Lebanese people and make them wake up from their emotions and sectarian pride, anything that can teach them to stop acting and behaving like sectarian or political herds. They must learn how to break the organic link they have with politico-sectarian leaders, and how to stop reflecting their own image in that kind of leaders and gain back some of their own self confidence and individual national pride, so that when they go to elect they choose what’s best for Lebanon not anything else.


frenchy said…
On the constitutional weaknesses

You have 2 basic parts:
One is due to this constitution itself based on the one of the third republic. No country including france was having a political stability with that system that was also used in the African countries, however the secterian democracy as you are calling it challenged from 1958 our democracy.
The main problem came when we started to change our electoral laws, passing from a unique circonscription by deputy to the caza, mohafaza etc... It allowed to the secterian parameter to express again. Moreover, it allowed a sort of political feodalism to be created and therefore to the religious, secterian and communautarism parameters to pourish our political system.

As you say as we have a problem to reform, we need to come to a point to make it working in a more efficient way till we would be able to change it.

On the presidential issue, we can enlarge the electoral college as I answered on my blog. It s a solution I was talking from long time now.
Rany said…
As you say the constitution itself based on the constitution of the french third republic has weaknesses in it, but i have a different opinion about the main problem.

Electoral ward for a unique member( circonscription uninominale) is good to ensure the appropriate representation of people and to remove what is called here bosta and ma7daleh where people elect the deputies of other people, it will make the representation correct, but it will not solve the problem you'll be electing a single member based on his sect or he will be elected by the largest sect present in that electoral ward and he will represent a sect in the first place not the population of a certain geographical region.

Political feudalism and sectarianism were inherited from previous periods (ottoman period..maybe before) and it's them who affected the electoral laws and imposed their change not the contrary.
The problem is in the sectarian structure of the lebanese society which was linked to the political system and portraid in it with the formation of "le grand Liban" and during the french mandate and after the independence. This sectarian structure is the one feeding political problems and those problems are feeding more momentum back to the sectarian structure a vicious circle that is gaining strength in an exponential manner.

The change of the electoral laws was due to this structure, there was a need for compromise to avoid civil war an example of that was what happened in 1958, compromises to satisfy sects and political sides having sectarian dimensions who say that they are marginalized or feel outcast and need to share more political power and the same disc is still played today.

Sectarian structure will always lead to compromises that will make anything shallow or unoperational in an effective way whether the constitution or the electoral law or other things.

As you have previously said the problem is in the notion of the nation that is nonexistant in Lebanon at least if we're talking about Lebanon as a nation. The nation is the sect and the political party that has sectarian dimensions.
The sectarian structure implies that the sect of the lebanese is his civil identity. It's is an identity with which he differentiates himself from other lebanese and feels a certain superiority over them and a difference radical enough to make him feel a certain hostility to other lebanese or at least see them as total strangers and not as fellow lebanese, it forbids him from having any sense of belonging to them eventhough they are lebanese like him.

The lebanese doesn't perceive that he lives with other lebanese and has the same fate as them, and that only working for lebanon will have a positive impact on him because lebanon is the legal, natural and politic container that contains us all in reality and practice and not the sect.

The reform should start from the social level, the sectarian identity should be a religious and spiritual identity, a language of faith it has no place in being a civil identity, no politician holds sunday masses or friday prayers in any place in the political institutions why should we care what is his sect.

Lebanese have to start to learn to trust each other and see the huge similarities between them, they should learn that if someone in power reflects their own political views and works for their ambitions for lebanon he will represent them and they will not be marginalized if he is from a different sect. When people will start thinking this way you can make a national workshop for reform and you will have a healthy political system, and this system will naturally and blindly distribute executive powers among sects without imposing them in quotas because all sects have competencies and capabilities to serve Lebanon.

Enlarging the electoral college is a nice idea, but it requires a constitutional amendment and i don't think if you include municipal boards in the election it will solve the problem, those boards are a smaller picture of the bigger picture happening in the political scene in government and parliament, the same political parties and the same sects and same mentalities, but I think that it will brake the balance present in the parliament where 50% of it are christians and the other 50 are muslims and that will cause a big headache.

The problem is in the way the lebanese think which is nothing less than sectarian racism and political fanaticism, so the change should start at the social level.

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