Here are the results of the “government priorities” poll that I posted earlier this week. The response was good: almost one hundred unique users cast their votes. I’ve ranked them below, in order of descending priority.
But first, some observations and caveats. I’m under no illusion that the poll is a scientifically accurate reflection of Lebanese attitudes vis-à-vis reform. While I tried to prevent repeat voting using a blocking cookie and filtering by IP address, this wouldn’t stop someone from voting again on a different computer. Furthermore, I have no way of knowing how many votes were cast by Lebanese and how many were cast by the many employees of the U.S. State Department, House of Representatives, Senate, Central Intelligence Agency, and Armed Forces who regularly read this blog (yes, I mean you).
With that said, however, I think it was an interesting little exercise, and can’t help but note the preponderance of reforms bearing on governmental structure in the top ten or fifteen items.
The floor is open for your comments, observations, criticisms, etc.
1. Abolish political sectarianism and/or implement the Ta’ef Accord.
2. Fight corruption and improve efficiency in government.
3. Upgrade the electricity sector and promote clean energy.
4. Allow civil marriages in Lebanon.
5. Allow Lebanese women to pass on their citizenship.
6. Establish a new, fair, just electoral law.
7. Reform public schools and implement a unified national curriculum.
8. Improve water infrastructure to eliminate waste and leakage.
9. End the legal disenfranchisement of Palestinian refugees.
10. Improve road conditions and enforce traffic laws.
11. Privatize the telecom sector and promote competition.
12. Improve public health care and social security.
13. Better public transport (e.g., light rail, ferries, etc)
14. Hold a census.
15. Pay down the public debt.
16. Create a 5-year economic plan.
17. Make Lebanon an arms-free country.
18. Reform the industrial sector, stimulate job creation.
19. Nationalize the coastal beach areas.
20. Create more green space.
21. Designate more public land as protected reserves.
22. Introduce education on human rights, sex, drugs in schools.
23. Renovate and protect all historic buildings.
24. Reform the Internal Security Forces.
25. Legalize cannabis.
26. Enforce a no-smoking ban in all public areas.
27. Implement a sustainable agricultural policy.
28. Reform and enforce labor laws for foreign domestic workers.
29. Crack down on littering while promoting recycling.
30. Open public libraries in each neighborhood.
31. Quotas for employing more women in public offices.
32. Increase taxes on cars based on size and carbon emissions.
33. Pass legislation to protect gay rights.
34. Liberalize e-commerce.