Lebanon Is Not A Democracy

Ostrich

Lebanese are like a big fat ostrich. Whenever they feel threatened – or realize that something isn’t right- they go and hide their heads in the ground. They act as if nothing’s wrong, and start imagining that  they live in a paradise. Lech Fi a7la Men Lebnen?

The sad part? While the head in the ground is happy creating the illusions, the  ostrich’s body is turning into yummy Machewe.

Guess what! Beirut isn’t among the world’s best cities and Tripoli isn’t the most peaceful city in the Middle East. I’m also very sorry to be the one that breaks the news but Lebanon – unless it’s the American town you’re searching for – is not a democracy.

Constitution? What Constitution?

I really don’t know what I’m talking about.  I mean really! We have a constitution?! But what does it actually say? It says that the Lebanese parliament shouldn’t be based on religious quotas (Article 95). It says that we should have a senate (article 22). It says that each year at the beginning of the October session, the general budget must be submitted to the chamber of deputies for a vote (article 83). In democracies, constitutions are respected. Lebanon is not a democracy.

Are Women Slaves?

You know what the constitution also says? it says that all citizens are equal before the law. But wait, Lebanese men are allowed to pass on their nationality while Lebanese women can’t. That means that Lebanese women and Lebanese men are not equal before the law. Hence women are not citizens, and are far from being equal to men. In democracies everyone is equal. Lebanon is not a democracy.

Electoral Waw

We have hundreds of electoral law drafts ( Have fun reading the blog’s reviews herehereherehereherehereherehereherehere ) but not one decent electoral law. Our electoral law is outdated, dates from the sixties, and was an indirect cause of the Lebanese civil war. The districts (and the whole electoral system in general) are shaped in a way that allows no one to win and destroys every chance of having a new opposition to the ruling class. And if you think that the drafts are any better, think again. In democracies they don’t have gerrymandered electoral laws. Lebanon is not a democracy.

Elections, anyone?

Here I am talking about an electoral law, as if we even had elections. The parliament, that spent 33% of its term trying to form 3 governments, did not even discuss one state budget, barely convened 4 times per year, hardly made any laws, and failed to pass an alternative electoral law, decided to reward itself with an (Unconstitutional) extension of its mandate of 17 months (Because 3 is too mainstream) by voting under no government in power, hence breaking that norm for the fourth time since 1943. Meaning the Lebanese would be paying an extra 16 Million Dollars from taxes to persons who were elected to stay 48 months, and 48 only. Enough said. In democracies they have elections. Lebanon is not a democracy.

Where are the Judges?

Don’t ask me. I’m not the one that didn’t convene in order to see if the parliament’s mandate extension was constitutional or not. I mean seriously now, half the constitutional council is appointed by the parliament, and the other half by the government (which is under the mercy of the parliament). Is that what the constitution meant  by separation of powers (Preamble, E)? In democracies they have a separation  of powers. Lebanon is not a democracy.

Censorship Everywhere

Wait, what? We Lebanese have freedom of press! Unless you know, you go beyond the limits of the law (Article 13, Constitution). In democracies, they have absolute freedom of speech. Lebanon is not a democracy.

Please, Take Your Time

Really, take all the time in the world. It’s OK, we can stay 7 months without a president, 6 months without a government, 14 months without elections. I mean who needs presidents and governments and elections anyway. We’re too cool to have such things here. You see, in democracies, forming governments is a matter of days. Not weeks, not months, not centuries. Lebanon is not a democracy.

The Lebanese Time Machine

Living in Lebanon is like using a time machine. No matter how old you grow up, the speaker of the parliament stays the same person year, after year, after year. Same applies for half of the members of the parliament. In democracies they have alternation of power and laws enforcing that process. Lebanon is not a democracy.

Nepotism and Neo-Nepotism.

Also known as the son-in-law who becomes minister, the wife that becomes parliamentarian, the son that becomes prime minister, the whole family that invades politics and sticks there for the next 8 decades, and the entire village that gets employed in some institution. In democracies, politicians who use their power (while in office) to provide favors for their entourage in an unfair way usually face charges. Lebanon is not a democracy.

The Last Bey

Welcome to the last bastion of the feudal lords. A land where the Beys, Sheikhs and Emirs still believe in their supremacy over the regular citizens and even treat them like they own them. Feel free to cry/laugh while watching the video. Like I said earlier, in democracies everyone is equal. Lebanon is not a democracy.

Look Who’s Talking About Ahmad Al-Assir

Here’s the logic in Lebanon. You kill thousands of Lebanese in a civil war, but instead of spending your days in a cell somewhere under ground, you spend them in the parliament. When Ahmad Al-Assir did whatever he did, everyone got mad. But why? Some of the leading politicians were/are militia leaders and were rewarded for their actions with political positions, and you ask why he tried to reach a higher political level by starting a militia, leading it and killing people? Just because they wear ties, dress sexier and shave their beards doesn’t mean they’re any better. In democracies there’s justice, not a pardon law. Lebanon is not a democracy.

Look! Another General!

 Lebanon’s president is a General. His predecessor was also a General. The interior minister is a General. The head of one of the biggest parliamentary blocs is a General. Few months ago, a General, the former head of the ISF, was on the verge of being a Prime Minister-Designate. I don’t have anything against generals, but they shouldn’t normally be in power because the consequences are usually disastrous. In democracies, generals might rarely and briefly take power. Lebanon is not a democracy.

Illusion.

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