Yesterday, I witnessed a rarity in Lebanese political discourse - the effective utilization of numbers. The Maronite clergy announced in their statement that only 15 out of 65 Maronite MPs are accountable to their constituencies. The rest of them have to answer to political honchos like Jumblatt, Berri, Hizballah and Hariri.
15 out of 65!!! Wow! I've heard over and over again that Lebanese Maronites were underrepresented in the post-taef era, but nothing I ever heard was as dramatic or powerful as 15 out of 65.
Thus far, in Lebanese Bloggers, I have dedicated my posts to challenging the sectarian status quo and advocating for a secular, and ultimately more prosperous Lebanon. Today, however, after hearing what I heard, I've decided to take a few steps back and say that in today's Lebanon, such a statistic is scandalous. It is unacceptable because it completely demolishes the notion of a Lebanon that is composed of Christians and Muslims who deal with each other on an equal footing (i.e. 50-50). It is also unacceptable on the grounds of Democratic principle. The remaining 50 MPs are not accountable to modern political parties with national agendas that encompass their regions, but rather to parochial leaders who care first and foremost for their "own people" in their own regions!
The electoral law must be changed! As long as politics remains sectarian, and the notion of 50-50 remains valid, the 15 out of 65 situation is simply unacceptable.