2012-07-15

A good Lebanese citizen must not vote

Boycott elections! (credit libcom.org)
In the "democratic" political life, elections, is the process by which politicians are chosen by the mass of eligible voters to hold a public office. This process assumes transparency and honesty in the process, additionally the possibility to accountability to the candidate in future elections based on the amount of responsibility manifested during office.
A democratic life is based on principles and values and require a long process of education and awareness and not —unlike preached by the modern-age colonizers— on practices mimicking the democratic practices in old democratized countries.

In fact, a democracy is a by-product of a stable governance regime, social and economic equity, and not the opposite as merely advertised.

For all this, democracy is just an illusion in most of the "third world countries", advertised by global imperialist neo-colonial resource-driven political forces, to create a sort of controlled chaos in various regions of the world to keep dominance over much sought, and fought upon natural resources (not to mention the capitalist imperialism, spreading the wings of its greed everywhere a potential capital might be sucked).

And Lebanon (the current political Lebanon as opposed to the historical Lebanon) is no stranger to those facts. It has been the playground of a multitude of global and regional forces for around a century, it's divided into sectarian forces which can be in harmony at one point or ultimate foes in another circumstance.
Lebanese have been, for a long time, celebrating the sense of freedom they enjoy, unlike many of the surrounding neighbors. But in fact, this is just an illusion. People do have the right to elect their representatives, but in fact don't have the choice but to vote for the same old rotten class of politicians who have demonstrated year after year their loyalty and tight bounds with exterior forces and political agendas, or the ones who have been the most lucky in climbing the sectarian ladder and setting themselves a sort of de facto candidates for their confessions.
Add to that the manipulation of the voters by depriving them from a lot of their basic needs, to then be bribed cheaply for their votes on election day.
Election results may vary based on the actual cast votes, but in fact, the disease is always the same, rotten, corrupt, unprincipled politicians whose only purpose is to keep power, rather then creating a social national dynamism of change and progress.
Not to mention, the tailored sectarian confessional electoral law, which, regardless of any modernization added to it (proportional representation, fair media laws, independent monitoring NGOs...) remains a failure of a system and deepens the crack in our fragile pseudo-democracy.

The fundamentals of a nation are, as a matter of fact, missing.

Hence, voting in elections held under the same conditions is nothing but another stab to the back of potential progress. Let's face it, change is not gonna happen from within, simply because the system established doesn't allow it. We have witnessed many holders of the Reform slogan, being halted and altering a lot of their attitudes to maintain certain political gains they managed to acquire (to be excluded the electoral period).
Not even a blank vote (aka protest vote/white vote) is enough. All it does is refusing the choices given, but on the other hands is taking part of this corrupted environment, thus leaving the system unshaken.

Only abstaining from taking part of this elaborate joke, and protesting by raising the voice and creating massive gatherings will be the drive for such change. People give legitimacy to the corrupt system. Without the masses of people, the system is rendered illegitimate and hence more vulnerable to the public that refused to give it its blessing.

The chance to manifest this is nearer than possible. The 2013 electoral cycle should be the target of those protests. It's not early. In fact politicians start planning their electoral scenarios as of now, and protests should do that as well.

So until we have an agreement on the nature of our nation (a non confessional secular country, with powerful state organizations and equitable socio-politico-economic system), boycotting the silly joke of elections and acting upon our citizen duty to protest, are the weapons to be used to cure this political disease.

Joseph.

5 comments:

  1. Well said, and good luck.

    Perhaps you could go one further and encourage voting with your feet.

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  2. I respectfully disagree. Not voting suggests apathy, nothing more. Going to vote and then voting blank demonstrates political engagement AND dissatisfaction with the current political status quo. It is a much more powerful message to the ruling clans than not voting. Do you really think anyone will notice your absence? They hardly even register your presence!

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    1. I agree that white votes could convey a message. But, the issue is more fundamental. A white vote only refuses the choices but establishes the wrong system. What we seek is a better nation, not an improved electoral process. Hence the need for a revolution.

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  3. In 1992, most christians refused to vote; and deputees were elected anyway with sometimes 23 votes only ;)

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    1. That's actually a good example for the argument. Those same 23-vote-deputies where just imposed. They were refused by the community, although later on and due to complicated situations, it had to deal with the established system. The flaw with this case is that it was still within the sectarian system. The difference with this argument is that it is a cross-sectarian call, and it's refusing the sectarian system overall.

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