A couple of recent op-eds by Arab journalists in large Western newspapers ask America not to interfere in the upcoming Lebanese election. Omayma Abdel-Latif, writing in The New York Times, asks Obama to “stay out of our elections”, arguing that his administration’s decision to send Vice President Joe Biden for a morale-boosting visit last week was “a huge blunder”.
Meanwhile, Roula Khalaf writes in FT that “it would be a mistake to punish voters for making what the US considered to be wrong choice,” adding that America should not give the opposition an excuse — if it wins — “to blame its failings in government on someone else.”
I have no quibble with the simple request that outsiders respect the political choices of Lebanese voters, but I’d also like to humbly request that any Lebanese voters among the readership respect their own political choices by knowing something about the parties they are voting for, and what these parties are promising to enact in the way of legislation and reform.
Fortunately, most of the major parties have electoral platforms, which you can access here: Free Patriotic Movement | Future Movement (parts one and two, in pdf) | Hizbullah | Kata’eb | Lebanese Forces (pdf) | (feel free to direct me to others that I may have missed, and I’ll add them).
Four years from now, if your party has done absolutely nothing but is asking for your vote again — in exchange for a Third Independence or a Fourth Republic — don’t complain about how awful our politicians are. You, after all, are voting for them.