We’ve all been making jokes about the US presidential elections and how Trump got elected but somehow we don’t find anything wrong with the way our current government is being formed. All sides have been arguing for almost a month now on which religion gets which ministry yet no one is pointed out how wrong that is, at least when it comes to the local media.
I see all these articles on how Christians are entitled to this ministry, or how Shiites are insisting on getting two specific ministries, or how a couple of ministries have to be assigned to Sunnites and I can’t but laugh. It’s like applying for an IT job and getting asked questions such as: How many times do you pray per day? Is any family member married to someone from another religion? Did you sin in the past 4 years?
What is this load of nonsense? And why isn’t the media bashing all sides for turning this government formation into a joke? How is an Education Minister supposed to take over the Defense Minister? How does one person who barely has a degree get to choose between two ministries that are totally unrelated (Social Affairs & Health)? Why is the Ministry of Energy & Water being treated as a consolation prize? Why don’t we isolate the Ministry of Finance and other sensitive ministries and hand them to a technocrat? Why can’t we hire the right people who are right for the job?
I’m not asking for the perfect government with the cleanest and most competent people but it’s quite absurd that competence is not even being taken into account when it comes to crucial ministries that have suffered for years from corruption and mismanagement. Steal all you want but assign someone who knows how to get things done for God’s sake!
Quoting Foreign Policy, “Lebanese are trapped in a corrupt, vicious system that keeps them at the mercy of leaders who have no interest in improving their lives”, and the system is designed in a way that “no leader or party can govern alone, and all major factions hold a veto on policy. The result, when the various groups can’t agree on a compromise, is paralysis”.
Some may argue that times have changed but even if they did, don’t expect much when governments are formed that way and when local media and most of the Lebanese don’t realize how wrong that is.