An Answer For Lebanon

This proposal has been offered, but it is not a good idea, IMO.

Lebanon: A New Federal State?

Since the census of 1932 the political breakdown of Lebanese politics is thus:

President is a Maronite christian

Prime minister is Sunni

Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies is a Shi’a.

This is one of many problems in Lebanon. opponents say this formula is out-dated and should no longer apply. The cite the changing demographics of the country. There has been a move or at least the suggestion that Lebanon could benefitr from the Federal system. Not everyone agress. But many political analysts see federalism as a formula to effectively divide Lebanon into sectarian cantons, with ethnic divisions dislodging the unity of the country.

Nadim Shehadi, associate fellow for Chatham House’s Middle East Programme, said: “The question of federalism was brought up [during the civil war], at a very different time when divisions of the country were of a more sectarian nature. I think it’s come back because of the political deadlock, whereby the differences with Hezbollah are seen to be irreconcilable.

“But federalism wouldn’t work as the assumption of federalism is sectarian division and right now the division within the country is political and cuts through all confessions.”

Kamal Salibi, a Lebanese historian, says Lebanon is too small for federalism to be effective and advises the country to be patient. But many political analysts see federalism as a formula to effectively divide Lebanon into sectarian cantons, with ethnic divisions dislodging the unity of the country.

Nadim Shehadi, associate fellow for Chatham House’s Middle East Programme, said: “The question of federalism was brought up [during the civil war], at a very different time when divisions of the country were of a more sectarian nature. I think it’s come back because of the political deadlock, whereby the differences with Hezbollah are seen to be irreconcilable.

“But federalism wouldn’t work as the assumption of federalism is sectarian division and right now the division within the country is political and cuts through all confessions.”

Kamal Salibi, a Lebanese historian, says Lebanon is too small for federalism to be effective and advises the country to be patient.

If federalism will not because of sectarian divide, then what makes the world think it will work in Iraq? It is failing and no one wants to admit it. People are dying to test an experiment that will not work. Why not try a different tact? surely, well paid analysts can find a better way or here is a novel idea, why not ask the Iraqi people? Silly I know bu they may have a good idea.

CHUQ

26/06/07

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