Monday, May 07, 2007

Presidential Debate: Second Draft

Thanks again to everyone who has been contributing in the comment sections. In accordance with your comments and suggestions the format I've set up in this draft is tilted towards writing up a list of general questions which we can tailor to each candidate (if thats what we want) and which are divided up into categories (constitutional and institutional reform and outlook, including Taef implementation and questions surrounding a new electoral law; foregin and defense policies, most notable vis-a-vis Israel and Shebaa; and finally, Economic and Development policy).

There are obviously still a number of questions missing, most notably regarding the country's policy towards Syria, Israel, and Shebaa; Hizballah's weapons; policy with resepct to Palestinian refugees in the country; the augmentation of the country's armed forces; and a new election law. So if anybody can lend a hand in filling in some of the gaps and writing up some questions to that regard please feel free to do so in this post's comments section. Otherwise, I'd like to thank everyone for all their enthusiasm in this pursuit, keep those suggestions rolling!!

Questions:
  1. The Lebanon of today currently finds itself facing deep running divides which run across both sectarian and party lines. These divisions have resulted in numerous vacancies across the country's institutions, from the Constitutional Council to the country's diplomatic postings oversees. If you are elected President what measures would you take to try and bridge this divide and unite the country under a unified interpretation of the Constitution and its implementation throughout the country's political and administrative systems?

  2. The Taif Agreement characterises the abolishment of political sectarianism as a "fundamental national objective". The Accord also calls on the formation of a Senate representative of all "spiritual families", and charged with addressing "crucial isses", in the aftermath of the election of the first non-sectarian Chamber of Deputies (Parliament). How committed are you to the pursuit of this avenue of political reform, and what time frame do you envision for the implementation of these clause?

  3. In your opinion, will the Taef Accords suffice as a legal reference in the augmentation and reform of Lebanon's institutions or will there be a need for the pursuit of an 'alternative' or 'complementary' legal reference and accord among the Lebanese in the charting of a new era for the state? What issues would such an accord address and what changes might it entail for the way in which the country is governed and administered?

  4. Despite rapid post-war growth and monetary stability, Lebanon today finds itself ladened with massive debt and pervasive discrepancies in wealth and income. Do you support a policy of privatization of state assets as a solution to the country's economic woes?

  5. What policies will you support in the administration and reform of the country's welfare, health care, and educational policies? What role do you envision for the state in the provision these services?

  6. Will you adhere to an urban-centric developmental policy or will you seek to endorse a policy of rural development? What steps will you take to support governmental policies in this regard?

  7. Governmental and administrative corruption has continuously ranked as a top concern for everyday Lebanese. In the past any attempts at tackling the issue have resulted in highly partisan drives that seem to have only exacerbated the problem. What steps will you take to address this situation; to ensure that any progressive steps taken with this respect are institutionalised within the government's administrative framework and are applied in an unbiased, non-partisan method?

3 comments:

  1. Looks like you are on your way. The key here is non-partisanship in order to be effective and to advance political awareness. I suggest you take a look at a USA group that has been very successful with this - The American League of Women Voters

    Our Mission Statement

    The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

    This group is now in all 50 states and in they always do a questionnaire of issues like this for the Candidates to reply to. This is published (with replies) in major newspapers before elections. There have also been public debates run by this organization. They have great credibility. There is no reason that an initiative live the LWV cannot begin in the blog-o-sphere and translate to hard media. Grassroots is the same, wherever it begins.

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  2. OK, seeing as nobody has really rushed in to help finish the questions I'll try to do that this weekend.

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  3. Hi Guys,

    The most recent assault on Lebanon by the Assad regime (via the terrorists in Nahr el Bared and the ones carrying out bombing attacks throughout the country) has kind of taken time away from this, very important, endeavour.

    I have been working on an updated version of it though that I will post online soon.

    Thanks for following up.

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