Saturday, April 02, 2005

An illustration of 'cultural' persistence on the current political scene

I see that for the while beeing, the discussion has strayed from current Lebanese politics. I recently watched a debate on lbc (kalam al nas, with Marcel Ghanem) which sort of reconciles the current discussion on our system of values with the debate going on at the political level.

The two guests were Pierre Jmayel (son of Amine Jmayel) and a druze minister whose name I have forgotten. The argument went nowhere. The discussion only went as far as the druze minister saying the opposition should stop criticising the government and take part in it. He accused them of avoiding their responsibilities, and argued that the government is fulfilling the three main demands of the opposition. To that, Pierre Jmayel responded that the opposition does not wish to take part in a government that it holds responsible for much of the ills of the last decade, in particular the events of the last couple of months. The rest of the two-hour debate could be described as a competition, the winner beeing the loudest one on air.

The main exchange I wanted to relate, and which I think illustrates well the discussion we have been having so far on this blog, is the following: The minister openly accused Pierre Jmayel of having inherited his voice and political clout, thanks to his name. By contrast, he said, himself had won his position through the votes of 12,000 people, and by defeating the likes of Jmayel. Jmayel defended himself by saying that his name had not always been a positive thing. He had also had to detach himself from some of the political legacy his name carried. He then tried to dismiss the discussion as straying from what the audience expected from the TV debate. Anyway, the rest is not important. This exchange, live on TV, simply shows how far most of our political actors still need to go in terms of understanding merit and accountability.

The ironic thing is that the minister touched on the issue of 'inheriting political power', but presented it in a way that weakened his argument completely, because he came accross as bragging. Pierre Jmayel said something deeply relevant: at this crucial time when all Lebanese should be looking toward the future, and making essential decisions that will shape Lebanon's political landscape for years to come, all the two guests managed to do is bicker and talk about the past...


Mustapha said...

did you really forget the name of the ex druze minister or are your fingers too disgusted to type 'We'am Wahhab'? who, along with Assem kanso and Nasser Andil constitute the Lebanese axis of evil?

The Beirut Spring

reem said...


Yes you're right. That was the man...apparently a former advisor to Rustom Ghazale.