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A new democracy

27/10/2019|Chadi Okaiss

As we turn the page on 30 years of political inefficiency, useless bureaucracy and unequalled levels of corruption, let us dream of a beautiful future and lay the ground for a new nation.

A nation that will be green, innovative and fair. A nation that no longer only aims to catch up with other democracies but sets the new rules of governance that push the world towards a sustainable planet and shows that it is possible to erase poverty by nurturing those who create and helping those who most need it.

A new democracy

Our political system has showed over the years that it was outdated and inefficient. It favours nepotism, bureaucracy, corruption and stagnation. It was completely unadapted to the changes that affected our society and the world in general in last decades.

Today, we do not need a new set of people to replace our current ministers and deputies. Technocrats or new politicians will make no difference and do not bring the radical change that can impulse hope, ideals and values to a country that has been crippled by a lack of long term vision for too long.

Let us seize this historical moment to rethink our democracy so that it returns to its purest form, giving back the power and the responsibilities that go with it to the people, to the millions of citizens of all age, gender, religion and culture.

Let us appoint a commission of political experts, law makers, philosophers, religious leaders and thinkers in general whose mission will be to define the new constitution that will support our new democracy. A fresh and pure democracy that harnesses the technologies of our time and promotes long term vision, creative thoughts and higher morals.

A green country

The cedar is the emblem of Lebanon. We have been drawing its green branches between two red stripes on a white sheet of paper since we started to hold a pen at school. It flaps in the sky on the flag that is held by every protester on the street.
And yet, we have been burning forests, cutting trees, killing the birds that nest or rest in its shade and drenching every acre of our land and every river in our garbage.

Let us change this.
By producing our energy from renewable sources, investing in the development of green energy and making every investment made by our country eco-responsible.
By reducing the amount of waste we produce.
By creating a green service where our teenagers can explore their country discover its nature and help maintain it for future generations.

Social Equality and Civil rights

For most people, hard work has not been synonymous with financial success which has rather proved to be associated with embezzlement and corruption.
Lots of families have had their business ventures wrecked because of the local political uncertainties or because of unfair situations.
It is time to give an equal chance to everyone and to provide a safety net for all those who need it. This is why in addition to improving our healthcare protection, we should become pioneers in social welfare by implementing a minimum universal revenue. This will guarantee that everyone can cover his or her basic needs and act as an additional income to their work revenues.
There are many possible ways to finance the creation of such a social fund. A potential source of seed money could come from the stolen billions of dollars that will be recovered. Starting a social fund with these billions is a fair way to spread it evenly across the population.


Innovation and research

The Lebanese people are known worldwide for their adaptiveness, their resourcefulness and creativity. Our universities provide global companies with some of their best talent but we struggle to produce any meaningful research. We should put research and innovation on top of our priorities. By providing a free and fast internet access across all the territory, we can connect Lebanon to the world and offer a great tool for all those who wish to contribute and be part of the global developments in robotics, artificial intelligence, data science and many fields where a computer and a brain can make a difference.

Let us also encourage the development of hubs in medical research, biotechnology, organic architecture, smart material and be part of the evolution of sciences that will be at the core of future technologies.

More importantly, and while connecting our country to the rest of the Lebanon, we should connect its areas and people together. We have more cars per inhabitant than any country in the world and yet it takes over 3 hours to travel from the South to the North of our littoral.
Making commuting quick and easy should be a priority. Not only by building more roads for cars but also by creating alternative transportation.
An affordable and sustainable transport network will contribute to reducing inequalities and help unite the people of our country.

Peace

A majority of our population is young and was born after the war. They deserve better than living with the hatred and vendettas of other generations. Those of us who have were born earlier know how devastating and cruel a war can be.

This is why for the sake of peace and as an example to every nation in the world, we should decide to forgive the neighbouring countries for all past offenses and consider ourselves at peace with them as long as no further aggression is recorded on our borders or inside our frontiers.
We should also grant amnesty and forgive our politicians for all their wrongdoings as long as every Lebanese pound that was ever stolen from our people is returned within 6 months from now.

This revolution should not be about blaming others for our problems it should not be about catching up or copying other democracies, it should not be about claiming basic utilities such as water or electricity.
This Revolution is about transforming Lebanon so that our people become again a model of unity, tolerance, creativity and respect for our nature and for our planet.


 

Photo © Mario Kanaan
 

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