Congratulations are in order to the Lebanese people, most of them anyway. For the first time in history, they have shown that they can change their minds and do what is right for their country. However, this article will be asking more questions than giving answers because, for the first time as well, the future is not as certain as it used to be.
Let’s start with the first question: will the results of this election be admitted? Or will there be doubts and legal battles from the current ruling class to cancel it? Don’t get me wrong, I had my doubts that it would come this far after what I’ve seen being done during the expat voting. However, will these mistakes come back to bite the election?
The second question is this, and it’s a philosophical one: will the yang in the yin be better than the yang we had been dealing with for the past few decades? In layman terms, I have always blamed the corruption of politics on the corruption of the people, so are the newly elected figures better than what we already had or are they born from the same corruption? Dozens of unknown entities have made their way into parliament, so there is bound to be some change. When I ask this question, many ask me ironically if it can get any worse; my answer has always been that they’ll take that as a challenge.
Question number three assumes that the answer to question number two is yes, the newly elected representatives are better than those we had before. In that case, will they be able to work together? This is probably the biggest problem we are facing now. One of the most prevalent issues that the Lebanese people suffer from is big heads and small brains (not that there aren’t big brains, but they rarely last long or shine in that environment). Many Lebanese individuals suffer from huge egos which, in many cases, prevent them from mastering the art of negotiation and politics. Unless the new blood in parliament can flow together in the same direction, nothing can change. The old re-elected representatives have been working together for decades, so they form a solid obstacle that can only be overcome if the new people work together and have one voice. Otherwise, it will be an easy “divide and conquer”.
Last question is more of an observation and a warning: the current election has shown that the Lebanese people have the power to change their representatives if they vote. We can assume that in four years, more independents would be elected, thereby tipping the balance even more; however, I highly doubt that the country can survive for four more years in its current state. Change must happen now; otherwise, it may be way too late to bring it back from the abyss.
In the end, to the new parliament I ask this: the whole world is watching you; will you show the world the Lebanon that should be? The Lebanon of beauty, of intellect, of brilliance? Or will you prove to the world, once and for all, that Lebanon will never evolve and that they should look elsewhere.