Everything Joumblatt does, and I mean everything, revolves around his desire to remain politically relevant. Above all else, that desire is what guides his politics .
Arguably, a leader of the Maronite, Shi'a or Sunni community is automatically relevant, whatever he or she does. The mere fact that that particular person is in control of such a large community is in and of itself politically significant. Of course, such a reality is very far from the truth for a leader of the Druze, a community, which as we all know, is one of the smallest minorities in the country.
What irritates me so much about Jumblatt's drive for political relevance is the fact that his politics is extremely volatile. For example, today he's allied with the Future bloc. If, for some reason, he feels that they are "taking him for granted" and following their own agenda without consulting with him, he'll give a speech tomorrow that would confound everybody, and beg the question of what in the world the man is thinking. Although this tactic may be politically shrewd, it is the cause of one of Jumblatts most annoying traits: the man appears to have no political principles. The only things that are nonnegotiable for him are his personal significance and the security of his community (i.e. he is even willing to sacrifice on certain political demands of the Druze community if they stand in the way of his own quest for political significance).
This apparent "lack of political principles" has a good side that very few people acknowledge (well, there was that one Michael Young article a couple of months ago that did a very good job at analyzing Jumby). Jumblatt appears to be the most effective conduit between the political heavyweights in the country. Every once in a while he states his position with regards to where he thinks the country should go, or what he believes certain individuals should do, but of course nothing happens if it contradicts the interests of those heavyweights. In other words, Jumblatt simply has no power to enforce what he thinks are good ideas. However, his worth in Lebanese politics is exactly the consequence of his political impotence. He can be an advisor, a mediator, a visionary, a manipulator of the heavy weights, but he cannot publicly proclaim and seek his own position and be taken seriously by anybody. Jumblatt's proclamations are always some weird combination (i.e. compromise) of two or more heavyweights in the country, or some idea of how these heavyweights should work together to arrive at a destination that is close to their original desire.
Of course, this is where Jumblatt's selfish desire to remain relevant benefits the country. If the heavyweights are not talking, he is worthless. People may say that he will also be irrelevant if the parties merely talk to each other rather than through a go-between. My response is that in most cases, conflict resolution requires a third party that is (ideally, uninterested in the outcome of the negotiations - very far from the case with Jumby, of course). However, when it comes down to it, no matter how annoying Jumblatt may be, his worth in Lebanese politics should never be discounted.
In other words, I would never follow the man as a leader because I have no desire to be "relevant." Jumblatt perpetually seeks political relevance, and the Druze who follow him seek relevance through him - that's the way it works, there's no principle or "End" that is being sought after. Rather, I would feel much more comfortable with leaders who are comfortable enough to have certain fixed political objectives or ends; and who are working to achieve them - whatever the cost.