9.11.06

My Deal

As the solution to the country crisis seems to without a end I propose to give our esteemed leaders a helping hand. The official stated problem is the extension of the council of Ministers to include Aoun, and at the same time give a blocking third to Hezbollah and its allies (Nabih Berri, Emile Lahoud and Aoun) of course there is a simple solution that consists of changing th president now and then the 14th of march will accept the expansion of the council of ministers. But HA and its allies refuse to even discuss the issue of the president.

Therefore I think we should tickle our neurons and come up with a solution that will be acceptable to both parties. Of course here I am assuming that there are no hidden cause to the problem and no foreign intervention that have their own agenda.

Before starting let me point out each parties declared conditions and warn you that this will be a very long post, sorry in advance:

The 14th of March coalition:
1-Holding to a two third majority, or in other words they will not accept HA and its allies to hold more than one third.
2-Holding to the justice and Internal security Ministries, either directly or indirectly (as it the case currently –Charles Rizek holding the Justice ministry)

Meanwhile HA and its allies:
1-Acquiring a third plus one stake in the government
2-Aoun wants four ministers and a important ministry

Although the conditions seem to contradict each others, I believe that there is always room for a deal.

The same problem arose in forming the current council of ministers, and HA, Amal and the President wanted to have a third plus one stakes. The solution was to appoint a neutral minster to hold the balance between the two factions. In other words HA held eight ministers and the 14th of March held 15 and the last position was given to a neutral minister (Tarek Metri)

However that was the solution on paper, in practice two of the President’s three ministers (Charles Rizk and Elias Murr) switched sides and became close to the 14th of March coalition. But an important caveats must be drawn here these ministers are close but not allied with the 14th of March.

So my deal to solve the problem:
1-Expanding the council to 30 members (adding six new ministers)
2-Aoun gets his four ministers and the finance ministry
3-The two remaining ministers go to persons close the 14th of March 4-So the balance in the council of ministers becomes thus: five ministers to HA and Berri; four to Aoun; and One to the President; 15 to the 14th of march; two ministers that are considered neutral but close to 14th of March; Elias Murr and Charles Rizk holding the same ministry they have now; and finally Tarek Metry holding the crucial position that he held before.

Before jumping to conclusion try to ponder these points. Aoun gets his four ministers and the finance ministry. HA and Berri have the same portion and the foreign ministry. While the crusil middle ground is held by Tarek Metry and the two ministers who were close to the president but no longer are. I believe that Elias Murr and Charles Rizk proved that they truly care about Lebanon and the country interests and not following a faction blindly…

Anyways this is the best I came out with and could be acceptable to both camps, let us hear your comments on my deal and what other solution you can think of…

PS: Please try to be as constructive as possible and leave controversy, endless discussions, empty rethorics and hot air, blind defense of each one’s faction to yourself. Thx!


6 Comments:

At Thursday, November 09, 2006 6:46:00 PM, Blogger bodhisattva said...

Bob,

What makes you think Aoun wants Four Ministers without the 1/3 Blocking?

What makes you think that HA will be satisfied with less than 1/3?

How will this work to include the signature of the president? :) i.E wat will he get?

and Lastly, i wouldnt call this a solution, id call this a bandaid like all the rest of the crap theyre trying to do

the Problem is in the system itself, new system, new constition and throw this pattern in the garbage, regds

 
At Thursday, November 09, 2006 6:51:00 PM, Blogger BOB said...

I totaly agree with you. however the last time we changed our constitution it cost lebaon a 15 years civil war and 150000 death, you want to try it again???

I would certainly not advice it, especially in the current situtation...

 
At Thursday, November 09, 2006 7:02:00 PM, Blogger N10452 said...

I dont think any solution is possible because any change in the current government requires the president's signature.

We reached a point where any change can be questioned for its legitimacy and Ghassan Tueni pointed that out in his Editorial.

 
At Thursday, November 09, 2006 11:31:00 PM, Blogger bodhisattva said...

Bob,

we didnt really change the consitution! :) we were just a silent audience, like the 1st constitution too.

Saudi Arabia, Syria, USA, among others and some private Party ppl ;) wanted it that way, and they got it that way (TAEF), they didnt ask me anything, did they ask you?

So to blame the war on CHANGING the consitution doesnt hold, however, you can make the argument of blaming the war directly and indirectly at the discriminating (AGAINST ALL) anti-thesis of a National Consitition weve had from 43.

You cant expect National Loyalty with a constitution that stipulates and feeds irrelevent differences on people, nor can you expect fraternity.

1=1 a la france, egalite, liberty et fraternity is the way to go, we'll do with the sectarian war killers on the way too because we'll be less afraid from the other ;), thus we'll clean our own houses individually,

its time to start thinking structurally and not symptomatically..


regds

 
At Friday, November 10, 2006 9:14:00 AM, Blogger Charles Malik said...

Hezbollah and Amal only want 1/3 control. Although they claim they care about Aoun's representation, all they really care about is being able to veto and block 14 March actions.

Hezbollah is irrate that they had to give in and allow the UN presence. They're angry that they haven't come out on top after the war, and they are trying to force the issue, ie they want more power.

Berri wants more money and power, and perhaps more Syrian influence.

Aoun wants power. More importantly, he wants the power to use the government against the political class (the reason why he'd love Justice).

Do ministries give them power? No way. They already tried a walk out. It didn't work. Hezbollah controlling electricity means they actually have to do their job and can't grab any more influence through the ministry without alienating the country.

Hezbollah would probably drop the 1/3 issue if they got Interior or Defense. But that would be disastrous for everyone, but them, Syria, and Iran. Even Berri would have a problem with that.

Aoun wants Justice, but he'd waste time making political statements and probably try to block the tribunal.

Giving Aoun Finance would mean kicking out the cabinet's best and most brilliant minister.

14 March is in a tough position because Nayla, Pierre, Nehmeh, and Safadi don't want to lose out, yet their positions are the ones easiest to turn over to the opposition.

Your proposition is an interesting one, but I don't think it solves the problem.

(I hope this doesn't count as rhetoric or hot air).

 
At Saturday, November 11, 2006 4:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One solution to the problem might be for the March 14th party to concede the needs of those groups represented by Aoun (government accountability) and Nasrallah (greater recognition and fairness towards the Shia) with new socio/economic policies without extending any new powers to Auon and Nasrallah's parties.

Abrupt change in policies to correct regulations that are stifling certain groups would ease support over time for their power hungry leaders.

Another observation from afar is that you guys do way too much "group think." If your political parties were made up more of people coming together based on common ideas than common ethnic/religious similarities, your overall democratic process would be going a lot smoother.

As far as Nasrallah being the best bet for democracy in Lebanon. I don't think his pay masters in Iran would like that very much. Employees that receive $100+ million annually, rarely go against their bosses' whims. Especially when they can't help but go on and on about wiping out Israel. Weapons smuggled via the Syrian route and into Lebanon under Hezbollah cover would be a lot easier to successfully launch and hit their targets in Israel than those shot off all the way from Iran given Israel's Arrow-2 missile defense system.

Say what you want about Israel and other democracies like the US under scrutiny for their involvement in civilian deaths. Syria and Iran seem to have no problem brutalizing their own people.

I grew up with Syrian and Persian friends who were originally from those countries. A lot of them had to flee regime crackdowns that involved systematic murders of selected groups of people. The way they told it, you'd think the Syrian and Iranian people were the Palestinians and the Syrian and Iranian governments were Israel.

Also, from the documentaries, articles, etc. I've seen and read on Palestinian suicide bombers, instead of taking their twenty something youths that have high level educations in electrical & mechanical engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics, etc., why not keep your human capital (insteaed of sending them off to explode in some heavily trafficked plaza), build up the Palestinian economy with support from neighbors like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, etc., turn Palestine into an economic powerhouse and start buying back Israel (Jews are supposed to be greedy , right?).

Japan almost pulled this one off during the 80's with it's campaign to buy America, bit by bit. If they had a much larger population, and more market friendly economic policies, they just might have pulled it off.

 

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