Worthless words

Ministerial Council. 10/3/2012. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra/HO)

For the past few weeks all debate in the country has focused on the electoral law, so much so that it has overshadowed all other vital issues that affect the Lebanese.

Just a few months ago, for example, the country witnessed protests, including the burning of tires and the blocking of roads, against the constant power cuts. It also saw protests by teachers and other unionists, protesting against the cost of living and demanding an increase in pay to compensate.

These protests worked, to a certain extent. Cabinet eventually came up with a well-publicized solution to the electricity crisis in the form of power-generating barges. But it turned out that this plan, like so many others, was an attempted placebo. The government followed up its introduction by declaring that they would now need time to work on the plan, followed by the admission that finances would still need to be secured.

The salary scale issue was also addressed, with the premier apparently promising that wages would be increased. Those that relied on his honesty were to be sorely disappointed when they realized that such a policy would require overcoming several political and financial hurdles before it could become a reality.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture himself came out to say the wage hike would not pass, while businesses and economic institutions made it clear they would not apply it.

This seems to be a tactic of this government: to deceive people into submission. But it’s a fundamentally flawed tactic, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there will come a day when these lies will be found out.

Even if it is sincere in its intentions, it is an incompetent and dishonest government that makes plans and promises without being able to back them up.

Any government is duty-bound to keep its promises and to stick to its deadlines. The issue of electricity and public sector pay are only a small part of day-to-day suffering of the Lebanese people.

If the government cannot be effective in solving the problems of its citizens once it is in power its almost moot by which method they are elected.

Yet the debate continues, at the expense of so much else going on in the country that is being ignored by politicians more concerned with their own re-elections.

They seem to care so little about their own people they do not even credit them with the intelligence to notice when their lies fall apart. They have such levels of audacity that they do not even feel the need to explain when their lies become apparent.

Brushing problems under the carpet will only lead to a bigger problem down the road. By ignoring that fact, this government is contributing day after day to the impression that it might just be the worst administration the country has ever seen.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 04, 2012, on page 7.




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