Monday, July 6, 2009

Duplicitous Lebanese Opposition

The admonition , by Socrates, to always beware those who opine about that which they do not know is as perfect of a description as one is likely to get of the demands by the Lebanese opposition. They claim to be democratic but act as authoritarians, they speak of plurality but seek to impose their narrow vision of political reality, they preach the need to establish institutions but scheme to destroy them and they take every opportunity to promote the need to respect rights, law and order when in practice they act as transgressors. It is not the self described label that counts, individuals and organizations are to be judged by their deeds. Let’s not forget that the most ruthless dictators on the planet dispense injustice and promote misery under the guise of Democratic republics.
Any political minority is free to make any kind of demands, no matter how onerous or irrational these demands might be , but no minority is ever entitled to impose its conditions on a popularly elected majority. Once the demands set by a minority-political group are not met then the group in question should simply decline the opportunity to join the government and should work through the established institutions and processes to affect legislation, appeal to more voters and hopefully gain more parliamentary seats in the next election.
In Lebanon, unfortunately, such common sense and logical thinking appear to have been hijacked by those that have already hijacked the Chamber of Deputies, the Constitution, citizen’s rights, sovereignty and law and order. A demand, any demand, during political negotiations is no more than the “price” that one group is attempting to exact from the other for agreeing to support the overall policies of the larger group. If for any reason the price is deemed to be high then the offer is rejected and the transaction is not executed. Only an undemocratic organization, an underground group mentality , will adopt the view that the buyer has no choice but to pay the price that it is demanding and that the search for a substitute is prohibited. The lack of logic is furthermore compounded in the case of the Lebanese opposition. As if it is not enough that they want to force themselves on the ruling party they also demand that the ruling party offers them the right to veto any legislation. And unless their demands are totally met they will prevent the ruling party from carrying forward its constitutional responsibility to do the peoples business. Such behavior is simply tantamount to extortion and must be totally rejected on political as well as rational grounds. At what level of representation does a minority earn the veto power? Is it at 25%, is it at 35% or is it always entitled to the veto power irrespective of its popular support? What are the bench marks that need to be met in order for a minority to earn the right to impose itself? Would the above conditions be operable if the roles were to be reversed, say in two years time and if that is so then what is to be accomplished by holding elections? It is clear that the current opposition in Lebanon has no interest in the Lebanese project but is merely setting up conditions and obstacles in an effort to destroy that which it claims it wants to preserve.

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