Monday, June 20, 2005

A few thoughts on the election results

A few quick thoughts:

1. Future is the BIG winner in this round of elections. The numbers speak for themselves! Considering the nature of the movement and its broad objectives, I'm actually quite happy for them and for the country - especially when I take into consideration the MPs they replaced.

2. FPM is the other big winner. It won in Kesrwan and Jbeil despite the efforts of almost every other political player in Lebanon. FPM has to realize this reality and think about the best strategy to move their agenda forward given their current situation. Jumblatt should also tone down his rhetoric because he's beginning to sound like Aoun. My point is that the only two political "groupings" that have a vision for a better future for Lebanon are Future and FPM. These visions are not similar but they complement each other. The best thing for Lebanon is for these two groups to work together. As I mentioned in a previous post, I fear that politics, vendettas and personality clashes may get in the way.

3. Electorally, Amal and Hizballah are in the same situation they were before the elections. It doesn't seem like they've improved or gotten worse off. In fact, it seemed like the South was (electorally) a whole different country that was isolated from all the turbulence and excitement that took place in the rest of Lebanon. One of things I'd like to see soon is increased fluidity in the South. Amal and Hizballah have completely suffocated the region politically.

4. I'm glad to see the LF back in the game. I know some people might be hesitant. But, I'm really happy that an entity that once represented the majority of the Maronites has reentered the political landscape, and will shape it as time passes.

5. Ahmad Fatfat rules! The guy is so cool! Going to LF rallies, talking about Gaegae in Akkar with all confidence. He is outspoken, smart and witty. In my opinion, he is one of those politicians who is PM or even Presidency material. However, the rules of the game probably dictate that he'll never occupy those seats in his lifetime. In my opinion, that is Lebanon's loss. The guy definitely has my vote.

6. I'm glad Elias Atallah made it to parliament. He's no Einstein, but he is passionate and does manage to connect with the shabeb. I'm sure he'll make at least some of the parliamentary sessions more interesting.

7. And finally, I've realized that the one political persona who represents Lebanon's complexity and even its political impotence is Walid Jumblatt - Michael Young articulated that point best in one of his better Op Ed pieces which was published prior to the elections. For all his outspokenness, and gusto, I've also realized that Jumblatt has very little power on the ground. He wanted to get rid of Lahoud, but he was vetoed. He didn't want to deal with Berri in the beginning of the whole "intifada," but it seems like political realities drove him to do otherwise. He wanted desperately for his buddies in Qornet Shehwan to make it, but that didn't fall through. He didn't want Aoun to become a political player, but it happened nonetheless.

With all these thoughts and facts laid out, I have to add that I agree with Doha on one major point: Lebanon is now independent. I think all of us should take a deep breath and look back to see what we've accomplished - it's a whole lot. We should all pat ourselves on our backs and thank God all of this happened during a time when we were not only alive, but old enough to appreciate its significance! I never could have imagined that history would take place during my life time.

I'm definitely happy, and much more hopeful for Lebanon than I was a year ago.


Doha said...

I couldn't but agree with you Raja. By the way, Ahmad Fatfat's name was proposed as a possible PM candidate to take over Omar Karami last April. So his chances are not bleak. And yes, as I once mentioned before, he has put Dinnieh back on the map. What I like about him, is that he votes his mind, which at times is against the Future bloc. He did that when he voted against Lahoud's presidency extension. And last time when asked who would take over the position of the Speaker of Parliament, he said that depends on the Parliament's votes. He did not promise anything, citing that his ally in the north, Nayla Moawwad said beforehand that she will not vote for Berri.

Anonymous said...

Disagree with you on Atallah. Passion is not enough. You have to be passionate about the right ideas. Atallah is a communist, not exactly the wave of the future to say the very least.

Anonymous said...

> The best thing for Lebanon is for these two groups to work together. (FPM and Future)

Saad has shown the willingness to cooperate but Aoun seems m3annad (as usual) because Hariri did not play the North game as fairly as Aoun had hoped.
I don't have anything against the stone headedness of Aoun per se but I think if he could accept Murr's mistakes and ally with him he should accept Hariri's "mistakes" and work with him for the best of the country.

> I'm definitely happy, and much more hopeful for Lebanon than I was a year ago.
Raja, I think it is a shame people have gotten so envolved with the day to day election uglyness and forgotten how better things have gotten and how far we have come!

Syrians out, real investigation about Hariri's murder, real willingness to get Jeajea out, christians back into political game, possibility of some real reform, many real election battles (regardless of the unfaireness of the law and the dirtiness of the electoral battles themselves) ...

I think you have all the reasons to be happy and hopefull.


Anonymous said...

Great blog Raja! Very well said...

Anonymous said...

atallah is not communist. he is rather social democrat if you like classification. Therefore, i think he is passionate about the right ideas.