In what has almost become a national sport, Parliament played its part in blocking roads over the last two days, meeting to pass a confidence vote on the new Cabinet’s policy statement, an outcome no one was surprised by.
Whether for a wedding, a funeral, workers’ disputes or outbreaks of violence, roads are closed, somewhere in Lebanon, on what must now be a daily basis. And while the security forces and authorities continue to denounce such closures, anyone who works in Downtown Beirut, or who has the misfortune to have to transit through the area, saw over the last two days that the needs of politicians themselves are the exception to the rule.
And for what? Every party with members in the Cabinet had already made their position on the policy statement abundantly clear. We have been inundated, over recent days, with MPs from every bloc speaking on the issue, when really we needed just one statement from each group. It was clear that for many the talking point served as little more than an opportunity to remind the electorate that they still exist, in the absence of any tangible political or legislative developments.
While many of the members of the new government may have the best intentions, the contents of the policy statement are unnecessarily and characteristically grandiose. Some articles have been floating around in policy statements for the last 60-plus years, with little to show on the ground. All the Lebanese really seek, at this moment in time, is some sense of security and normalcy.
Now that the theatrics of the last few days are over, perhaps the government can get to work on these issues.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 21, 2014, on page 7.