Elections, Lebanon, Reform

Daily Star: Lebanon’s Political Woes Are a National Pain in the Ass

This Daily Star editorial means well, it really does. But who could resist pointing out the little Freudian slip…

“The only long-term solution to Lebanon’s perineal political woes is to completely overhaul the system. That means drafting a new electoral law that provides a basis for genuine representation in the government and creating mechanisms for actually implementing the long-ignored clauses of the Taif Accord.”

I do like an editorial with gumption, one that calls a spade a spade and a perineum a perineum. Here’s the Daily Star’s solution to the crisis:

“President Michel Sleiman can spare us the agony of watching this freak-show of attempted governance any longer by proposing a three-month unity cabinet that takes on the challenge of building a functional political system. Such a temporary government could then work on the urgent tasks of implementing the Taif Accord and drafting a new electoral law before being disbanded in preparation for the creation of a new cabinet. After this exercise, any newly created cabinet would be equipped with tools for actually governing the country, as opposed to merely embarrassing its citizens.”

While he’s at it, I think that President Sleiman should also task the three-month unity cabinet with coming up with a cure for cancer, building a nuclear fusion plant, and solving the Arab-Israeli crisis. You know, just to keep them busy. Implementing the Ta’if Accord isn’t going to take them a whole three months! They’ll have plenty of time to work on other projects too.

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13 thoughts on “Daily Star: Lebanon’s Political Woes Are a National Pain in the Ass

  1. Tayeb 6 months. The writer is absolutely correct in that this is a friggin freak show of the highest caliber and an embarrassment to all Lebanese communities. And we all know it takes A LOT to embarrass our humble communities.

    Posted by SL | September 9, 2009, 9:34 pm
  2. A thousand mile journey starts with one step:-)

    It is not rocket science to conclude that the Lebanese political system is broken beyond repair. Many writers and bloggers have concluded that a long time ago. What is wrong though, with the DS editorial is the assumption that the politicians are the problem in Lebanon when in reality it is the electorate. They keep reelecting the same clowns over and over again. Unless the electorate takes the bull by the horn and implements a complete revolution ( a velvety one) then all efforts will be for note. And you know what, a grass roots movement might not require even 3 months ( Wishful thinking heh).

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 9, 2009, 10:46 pm
  3. I think perineal is actually pretty descriptive. For most of the country, this stuff is just a big pain in the choad, but for that select few who know how to apply just the right amount of pressure in just the right place, it can result in a lot of pleasure and profit.

    Posted by sean | September 10, 2009, 1:44 am
  4. and all this time wasted…all we needed was a gynecologist, maybe bring a urologist as well and of course a plastic surgeon, it is Lebanon after all.

    Posted by sheila | September 10, 2009, 2:31 am
  5. Fuck it guys.
    Divide this country in cantons/Federal States and to each his own.
    Why waste time trying to work together when we are only following the orders of outside powers anyway… Since we don’t control our own fates anyway… Why hate one another for the sake an illusive unity which we’re never going to be comfortable with anyway…

    Khallas, let’s declare independence from each other and continue the way we wish to continue to live. The constituency I am part of is WESTERN oriented. I have no shame to declare myself aligned with Europe and N. America. I am not going to impose on anyone my views and alignment. If you don’t agree with my worldview, by all means do what you will within your Canton/State. Let’s just stop hating, let’s just stop arguing, Let’s just concentrate on making sure the citizens of each canton are taken care of with lasting security and a promise for a fair opportunity for prosperity. If hassouna want’s to ARM himself/Clan to counter Israeli treats until kingdom come, with Iran’s backing, by all means let him go for it. I don’t want any part of it. I want to sign a peace deal with Israel within my own Canton/State. That’s my prerogative. I am for Palestinian rights, but NOT at my expense. Don’t force your views on me. Let me make my own mistakes if I have to and let me learn & correct it myself. Allow me to take responsibility of My State/Canton without lording over me with your views/ideologies which I despise.

    Let’s all share Beirut and everyone else take your piece of the pie/canton/Federal State and run your affairs accordingly. Tax me if I need to enter your canton for work or leisure while we do the same in my Canton or something along those lines.

    In the past I Was all for UNITY, but unity is NOT in the cards for us. Why force ourselves to something we are NOT meant to have. There is NO shame in this. Let’s create/craft our own Democracy.

    FOR A BETTER LEBANON: I want my own canton to do as I please. Sign treaties with whomever I want and adopt any worldviews I feel comfortable with. You don’t have to join me. I certainly don’t want to join you.

    Posted by SL | September 10, 2009, 3:22 am
  6. SL,

    and what happens when the people in your own canton disagree over new foreign policies? will you divide it into smaller districts then street blocks? how about you start dividing homes, I’ll take the living room and you take the hall? 😉

    I dont want to sound patronizing but your view is not only short-sighted but selfish. It’s as if Lebanon only existed for this generation and their current views and preference. You think Lebanon in the 50’s is the same as the one exists right now? or the one that will be around in another 50 years? give me a break.

    Posted by Innocent Criminal | September 10, 2009, 4:35 am
  7. SL why don’t you do as you please in your own home, in N. America or France? Western orientation. LOL. Habibi do you think the West wants you and your orientation? They don’t give a damn.

    BTW one very big practical issue – how in the hell do these cantons work as viable states? will they be able to generate enough income to serve the Lebanese people in this better way of life that you imagine? Also are people expected to move out of areas into their respective cantons? I don’t know about you, but if I had a pad in a certain part of Beirut (namely overlooking the sea) I wouldn’t be going inland for anyone. last point: there will be cross-canton bickering and war. Mark my words. Borders are the stuff of contest and violence.

    Posted by the Sydneysider | September 10, 2009, 4:44 am
  8. To The Angst Editorial Writer of the Daily Star:

    Ya ammeh, don’t worry, be happy.

    1. Lebanon’s economy is currently expanding at a rate about double the average of the rest of the developing world, and about 90 per cent faster than the most developed economies.

    2. Yes it is possible that Hiz might be silly enough to be inticed into a very big, wrong step and see eastern and southern Lebanon utterly obliterated in a pincer movement between Israel and the Lebanese Forces, but it is unlikely given that on the whole the Hizbi have quite a good record of being strategic and not suicidal.

    3. Aoun is old and irrelvant, and the FPM does have a long-term agenda to be the party of the “Maronites and other Christians”. They are playing a part – this is theatre, contrived anger.

    4. There is every chance that Syria and Israel will do a deal soon. America really really really needs this for economic, strategic and Federal fiscal reasons – it will happen (the losers, of course, will be the Palestinians, but the deal is clearly nearly done).

    We have a government and hopefully the Democratic Gathering and AMAL will join it – but even if they don’t, the fact is that both AMAL and DG have given support on confidence and budget matters.

    While it is understandable to be upset with the sheer ruthlessness and wrecklessness of the degree to which brinkmanship is taken toward the cliff that the General and Hizb are prepared to go, we have to assume that they are rational in terms of their own self interests.

    Maybe I am missing something big. But honestly I don’t think so.

    And no I am not “anti” FPM or Hizbullah per see. They legitimately claim to reprsent between 50 and 80 per cent of their respective constituencies, and that is fair enough that they take their public stances – it is just that we should know this is theatre – Syria has abandoned both of them.

    But it all looks fine to me. Far superior to what is happening in Iraq, in Syria domestically (it is, after all, a state that favours one ethnic group at the expense of the other five significant ethnic/religious communities, a racist state through and through); and Lebanon is superior too to Saudi Arabia, to Cyprus (Apartheid Wall Island), Jordan and Egypt (totalitarian goverance systems) and superior to the Land of Israel – where human rights in the binational State entail full rights for one and subhuman limited rights for the other.


    I look at it all and, seriously, I’m not saying this to upset anyone, I seriously see Lebanon as in a very reasonable position in the context of the geographic region in which it is!

    Posted by Sofia al Riachy | September 10, 2009, 5:07 am
  9. Sean

    I knew someone was going to bring up the flip side argument. Should have known it would be you. 🙂

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | September 10, 2009, 7:44 am
  10. SL, let’s blow Lebanon up while we’re at it.

    The writer is right in one thing, which is think a little bit outside the box and try to solve things differently than what we are used to and that led no where so far.

    Nevertheless I do agree with you QN about the timing, 3 months? more like 3 decades… Lebanese problems cannot be solved within this generation and this way of thinking, we need to start from the lowest level.

    Posted by Liliane | September 10, 2009, 8:54 am
  11. oh and @sean, lol

    Posted by Liliane | September 10, 2009, 8:57 am
  12. SL,

    Concerning comment number 5, dividing Lebanon is easy, but would make us boring, It’ll make each of us very insignificant. We need others to know who and what we are. (you’ll know what I mean: http://theinnercircle.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/i-am-i-because-you-are-you/)
    Federalism on the other hand sounds a little better. Canada has its form of a federalism, and I don’t think Quebec particularly objects to it.

    Lebanon, in a way is federal, in spite the fact we deny it. Who’s responsible of your area?

    Posted by Jester theFool | September 12, 2009, 7:14 pm

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