The Lebanese government decided to hold by–elections on August 5. These elections are to fill the parliamentary seats that became vacant due to the despicable assassinations of the past months. This decision, the nominees and the campaigns are the subject of discussions of many blogs in the Lebanese blogosphere. Other topics also discussed this week include: the Lebanese middle–class, Lebanese architecture, language and social consciousness, and why dictatorship may be the best solution for Lebanon. In addition to these, there are posts about activities taking place during summer, the border town of Ayta Shaab a year after the July war and about blogging and netizens. This week’s weblog include the aforementioned and posts that request and discuss aid given to the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Enjoy:
Jamal’s Propaganda tackles the issue of the by–election by discussing the curricula–vitae of the candidates in a very sarcastic post that he begins by saying:
An election is the process through which the people hire a parliamentary representative to work for them. It is imperative in any hiring process to thoroughly evaluate the candidates for the job. A one on one interview with the candidates would be ideal. Some might argue that it would be exhausting for the candidates to answer to thousands of citizens, but isn’t that the job description of the Member of Parliament? Anyways, in a more practical world a town hall meeting style debate should be the minimum required interaction between the candidates and the decision makers, but even that is absent in our democracy since that might be considered a form of accountability which is officially a sin in all 18 religions of Lebanon. This leaves the people only one way of judging the candidates which is by looking at their curricula vitae.
Lebanon Update contends that it is very difficult to stay neutral in Lebanon. He explains his position and goes on to discuss the elections:
these days you have to have an opinion in Lebanon. It seems that these are not the times for neutrality: you are either with March 8 or March 14. In that sense, Lebanon starts to resemble a two party state, similar to the USA. There is one huge difference, though: in America, the winner takes it all, the loser’s standing small…and the losers are OK with that. Not so in Lebanon. In a suffocating way, the Lebanese political scene does not allow the winner to take anything unless all losers agree.
Jeha’s Nail also discusses the elections and introduces his analysis by saying:
We Lebanese wear our emotions on our sleeves, and we often tend to overreact with passion. Doing so, we can greedily focus far too much on the potential Rewards, and forget about the Risks associated with our actions. The Elections in Metn and Beirut 2nd District are a case in point.
Middle class, language difference, Ayta Shaab, dictatorship etc.
Remarkz posted some socio–political analysis of some aspects of the Lebanese society. In one of these articles he states that difference of the language of broadcast in the local Lebanese radio stations is a symptom of the difference in the social consciousness of the Lebanese and he gives examples to explain:
Let’s take the events of Nahr el Bared and the political deadlock as an initial environment from which media derive statements about modes of conduct. One conclusion of all this is that there are no French media outlet (written, spoken, visualized), none whatsoever, that dedicates its program to real social issues. So no wonder that you have a francophone population that is mainly unaware or oblivious of such issues but very much vociferous about hazy concepts of “independence” and “rule of law” tainted sometimes by mild racism.. Social and economic issues are indeed debated in Lebanon but mostly in Arabic. To some extent, you can find some voiced in English. This is why I would argue that the English-speaking community is already more aware of things. So some English-French speakers but most importantly readers, may be more in touch with what’s going on (Daily Star has some good stuff being written from time to time, although this hits a very narrow portion of English speakers, not those who don’t read obviously). There is no fully fledged English language radio station. I think radio is a very important media outlet especially among the average working class.