Even though I am on the other end of the earth from Lebanon, I still feel like the elections and their prior period are haunting me. You would think that being thousands of miles away would heal you from the Lebanese elections fever, but that is only possible if you do not stay in contact with any Lebanese person.
Everywhere I go, they ask me how long are you staying in the US and when are you going be in Lebanon, and as soon as I say June 3rd, I get the: "Oh so you will be there in time to vote!", my immediate response is: "No, I will not vote!", "But why?" they ask in a curious manner, "because I do not want to.", some agree and then say "yeah you're right, less headache", as we say in Lebanese "bala waj3et ras", and some actually take the time to give me a sermon, and the cutest thing is when they tell me, "put a white paper", and this is when I take the time to tell them:
-"It is not because there are no candidates I like that I am not voting, I am not voting because I do not approve of the whole system, and when I do not approve of the whole system, by voting with a white paper, it means I am saying I like your system and I just don't like any of your candidates. see the difference?"
Whatever their response I have set my mind, I do wonder though, right now it's 14 March who is ruling, what if the government falls in the hands of the opposition. I personally think 14 March could've or should've done things better, but we all know that we are afraid of what we don't know, they call it change. But change for what exactly? What can they guarantee?
The way I see it, when 14 March were ruling, we had a war with Israel, we had a violent demonstration which included beating each other up, shooting at some, burning tires, creating a polluted day etc.., we had a mini war in Beirut for 3 days that brought back the memory of another civil war in May 2008 (can you tell me not one Lebanese sat on TV and watched it like it was a game of counter strike?), we had no president for almost 6 months, in summer 2007 the Army was in war in Nahr el Bared and we lost a lot of soldiers...
I mean, could it be worse? 14 March did a lot of mistakes and boy do we need new leaders, but seriously, would you want to be ruled by a group that their sole purpose in life is to vanquish Israel, their "zionist" ennemy? Hezbollah believes in a cause, no one denies this, but would you want to be ruled by such a group? Nasrallah said on so many occasions that Hezbollah is something and the resistance is something else, he said if they go in power, they will use this power to bring more weapons to the Lebanese Army.
We all want to see our Army stronger and more powerful, but honestly I do not want to see it in action. So sometimes I wonder, should I vote? Should I be pretty and go vote? I don't know. It's only a 1% whisper in my ear that I tend to ignore.
Funny thing I heard Jumblat a couple of days ago say he's pro optional civil marriage now. I don't know if he backed Hrawi up in the nineties or not. But it's the first time I hear Jumblat being pro secular activities.
What change do I want to see? I do not want to see one party win and another lose, I do not want to see hatred towards another party which most probably you might end up being in alliance with after a year. Think before you offend another party or sect, because you never know when your leader might join them.
I am a sunni/armenian orthodox/maronite person. And I don't mind being ruled by red monkeys if those red monkeys care enough to end corruption, help create more jobs, improve our education even more and more, work on enhancing tourism, ending violence, raising our children not to hate the other because the granpa of the granpa of his granpa killed the granpa of the granpa of his granpa! I would like them to find a solution for traffic, and not just build bridges that take 5 years that don't make a difference. I would like to see them clean this country, have optional civil marriage, have 2 or 3 days per week that is non-smoking, educate people on how to drive and respect the other la2anno ktir bala zo2 sayrin bil swe2a. But I won't vote.