Federalism: Pros and Cons

Lebanese-Nationalist

Well-Known Member
Good proposal! While Christians in North South may accept such federalism despite their marginalization, it also means that Druze will be marginalized by Christian majority in Mount Lebanon. This is an issue.

I think having cazas small districts as local governments are better representation for Lebanese. Or some sort of combination of powers between Mou7afaza and kada2.

This way, the governor of Mount Lebanon may have some powers, so does shouf "druze" Kaem makam. Same for the North for instance, the governor may be Sunni, but he may not have total control over Christian kada2 Bshareh Zgharta koura and Batroun.

Same for the south for example. You may have a Shiite governor, but Jezzine and Saida will have some self governance.

-
To guide our discussion about federalism/decentralization, we should ask ourselves: which powers should go to local governments?

How about something similar to the Canadian federal system?

There would be a constitution that cannot be violated by the different states. That would mean that Tripoli or the South can't institute Sharia Law.

The states should have some powers of taxation, responsibility over local infrastructure like roads and bridges, building/funding schools, and electricity.

The federal government would be responsible for defence, foreign policy, trade, currency, and federal infrastructure such as cross-country freeways.
 

Lebanese-Nationalist

Well-Known Member
Here is my proposal for a federal state:
- Sunnis go to Saudi Arabia
- Shias go to Iran
- Christians go to the USA
- politicians from all sects go to hell

We then plant trees and call it the country formerly known as Lebanon. in a million years, our descendants who survive the nuclear war and global warming, can come back and claim the land, now rich in petrol... All descendents if current politicians and assholes (you know who you are) are no longer eligible to come back

Roum go to Greece?
 

cedarheart

Legendary Member
Federalism.... how many threads have we had about this topic since the inception of this forum??
Yet a new one, and I guess we will have more and more over the coming years.

Federalism is usually a form to bring several states/nations together into 1 country, and almost never a form to split one country.

I strongly believe that the vast majority of the Christians who support federalism come from the area between achrafieh and batroun and have almost never realized that christians exist elswhere in Lebanon.
Geographical federalism will be disastrous to all, directly or indirectly it will force population displacement.
Non-geographical, will further deepen the current divisions and with time will force a new war and massacres.
Several members have already mentioned the pros and cons and we see that the effect of the cons is much larger of the pros. I won't go into that debate.

I think by now Lebanese should have learned that any political model copied from abroad, won't work. Lebanon is a special country and therefore requires a model that is made by its people, for its people.

IMHO, Lebanon needs a new form of government based on something like:

-Extreme decentralization where almost each municipality or group of small municipalities are responsible for their local matters, including the power to collect taxes.
-Abolition of Qada2, Muhafaza, and all the bureaucracy around that
-Non-confessional central government and separation of State and religious institutions
-Central Government responsible for: defense, foreign affairs, managing cooperation between the municipalities (middleman), national planning
-Charter of rights where all citizens are equal and have the right to worship or not worship any god they want
-Right to citizens to choose to follow a civil or religious law when it comes to personal matters
-Political parties split into 2 categories: National and Local where national parties should be secular, and are able to have candidates for 95% of the seats in parliament. Local parties are for local matters. In national elections, national parties take precedence over local ones: they only are allowed advertisement and media coverage, etc
-Parliament of 70 to 90 members elected on the basis of proportional and regional representation under 1 district only (Lebanon 1 district)
-Senate made of the presidents of each municipality of group of municipalities
-Senate and parliament elect a national president every 3 or 4 years. One person can be president twice only.
-Parliament chooses a PM.
-PM has 3 weeks to form government, one person can only be PM twice
-Parliament president post abolished and replaced by speaker
-Senate head changes every quarter from the eldest to the youngest (rotation)
-Parliament and local elections are held every 5 years and are 2.5 years apart from each other
-Mandatory civil service for all citizens man and women in any civil or national entity ( to be chosen by the person at age 18): example: 6 month in the army, or 10 month in civil defense, or 1 year local police, or 1 year in red cross/crescent, or 10 month in fire department (with the ability to split the length of the service over several years) [length of each service can vary yearly depending on the need]
-National pact that Lebanon will always remain neutral in all international matters

....will never happen for sure, but at least we are still allowed to dream
 

WiseCookie

Well-Known Member
IMHO, Lebanon needs a new form of government based on something like:

-Extreme decentralization where almost each municipality or group of small municipalities are responsible for their local matters, including the power to collect taxes.
-Abolition of Qada2, Muhafaza, and all the bureaucracy around that
-Non-confessional central government and separation of State and religious institutions
-Central Government responsible for: defense, foreign affairs, managing cooperation between the municipalities (middleman), national planning
-Charter of rights where all citizens are equal and have the right to worship or not worship any god they want
-Right to citizens to choose to follow a civil or religious law when it comes to personal matters
-Political parties split into 2 categories: National and Local where national parties should be secular, and are able to have candidates for 95% of the seats in parliament. Local parties are for local matters. In national elections, national parties take precedence over local ones: they only are allowed advertisement and media coverage, etc
-Parliament of 70 to 90 members elected on the basis of proportional and regional representation under 1 district only (Lebanon 1 district)
-Senate made of the presidents of each municipality of group of municipalities
-Senate and parliament elect a national president every 3 or 4 years. One person can be president twice only.
-

The subject is going to keep on coming up because it's a viable system that has been adopted elsewhere in the world, including in developing countries with different ethnicities, and has so far proved to be successful.

The only problem with this entire debate in this thread is that people do not seem to realize what Federalism is, including you @cedarheart . I honestly don't meant to attack you so please don't take this personally, but the highlighted part above summarizes what a federal system is. In other words, I'm not sure if you and a few other people in this thread understand it as a political system.

Furthermore, going back to what @Lebanese-Nationalist said, why is the first knee jerk reaction to the word federalism directly include states based on the sectarian majority? That's a recipe that is sure to fail, especially considering the the repetitive attempts by some members here to frame it into a confessional issue by saying that minorities will be persecuted.

A viable federal system is based on several factors that include the protection of minorities in every state. That starts with having a constitution that all states have to abide by. They cannot go legislating their own law that violates said constitution. In other words, if the constitution says no law shall abridge on the right of freedom of speech by an state then the the state of Saida cannot go ahead and prosecute someone for criticizing its governor. In a case of religious freedom, that would mean states cannot legislate to ban the cross (an extreme example I know).

In brief for the tl;dr folks. Everyone here is discussing confederalsim not federalism. If we need to review the differences between the two systems to have a constructive debate then lets' do it.
 

JB81

Legendary Member
-


How about something similar to the Canadian federal system?

There would be a constitution that cannot be violated by the different states. That would mean that Tripoli or the South can't institute Sharia Law.

The states should have some powers of taxation, responsibility over local infrastructure like roads and bridges, building/funding schools, and electricity.

The federal government would be responsible for defence, foreign policy, trade, currency, and federal infrastructure such as cross-country freeways.

Though Lebanon can be more complicated due to its religious communities, as for Canada it is a secular state.

Already as Lebanese, we are born in a religious tag and rituals until the day we die. Islamic or Christian law in a7wel shakhsiyeh are already implemented.

I think a strong constitution should be more based on civil rights such as non-discrimination laws, freedom of speech, press so on.
States can issue laws as long as doesn't condradict freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.
 

JB81

Legendary Member
So far my model of the federal state...

Lebanon is watan niha2i lal jami3. It is to be based on current Mou7afazat federal state.

Each Mou7afaza will be governed by mou7afez who is elected by the people. To have broader representation in the Mou7afaza, either create small parliaments in each Mou7afaza so each district would have a say, or, we can upgrade the ka2em makam position, who also shall be elected by the District. This way eben Batroun is represented in the Northern Mou7afaza per say, or Saida in the South.

The mou7afez shall have wide responsibilities, mainly economic, health and infrastructure development. Also, a qaem makam can have the same responsiblity.

Each state can issue laws concerning it's development. Lower taxes, safety net .... as long it doesn't violate freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.
 

Lebanese-Nationalist

Well-Known Member
Though Lebanon can be more complicated due to its religious communities, as for Canada it is a secular state.

Already as Lebanese, we are born in a religious tag and rituals until the day we die. Islamic or Christian law in a7wel shakhsiyeh are already implemented.

I think a strong constitution should be more based on civil rights such as non-discrimination laws, freedom of speech, press so on.
States can issue laws as long as doesn't condradict freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

If there are two levels of government with separate powers, do you feel a need for some sort of Supreme Court or higher body that can effectively mediate disputes?
 

Lebanese-Nationalist

Well-Known Member
The subject is going to keep on coming up because it's a viable system that has been adopted elsewhere in the world, including in developing countries with different ethnicities, and has so far proved to be successful.

The only problem with this entire debate in this thread is that people do not seem to realize what Federalism is, including you @cedarheart . I honestly don't meant to attack you so please don't take this personally, but the highlighted part above summarizes what a federal system is. In other words, I'm not sure if you and a few other people in this thread understand it as a political system.

Furthermore, going back to what @Lebanese-Nationalist said, why is the first knee jerk reaction to the word federalism directly include states based on the sectarian majority? That's a recipe that is sure to fail, especially considering the the repetitive attempts by some members here to frame it into a confessional issue by saying that minorities will be persecuted.

A viable federal system is based on several factors that include the protection of minorities in every state. That starts with having a constitution that all states have to abide by. They cannot go legislating their own law that violates said constitution. In other words, if the constitution says no law shall abridge on the right of freedom of speech by an state then the the state of Saida cannot go ahead and prosecute someone for criticizing its governor. In a case of religious freedom, that would mean states cannot legislate to ban the cross (an extreme example I know).

In brief for the tl;dr folks. Everyone here is discussing confederalsim not federalism. If we need to review the differences between the two systems to have a constructive debate then lets' do it.

That's why I'm saying that federalism should be based on geography. It isn't overtly sectarian but ensures, more or less, that the different sects are grouped together without separating them other sects.

For example, Jbeil would be a majority Christian area but with a sizable Shi'ite minority. Same goes for Jezzine. Sunnis would be predominant in Saida but a large Shi'ite majority would be there.

The federalism debate will always refer back to sects. This is Lebanon. I'm surprised that the whole Doueihy vs. Hallab thing didn't turn into a sectarian feud.
 

JB81

Legendary Member
If there are two levels of government with separate powers, do you feel a need for some sort of Supreme Court or higher body that can effectively mediate disputes?

Of course. But I would create 2 judicial bodies. A supreme Court of the land, and each state will have its supreme Court as in the US. If the case concerns state vs. Defendant, the state Supreme Court takes care of it, and if the case is Lebanon vs. Defendant, the Lebanon's Supreme Court will take care of it.

However, what I do differently from the US that the Supreme Court shall solely take care of cases. Here in the US, despite I like the many US SC decisions lately, the gay marriage per say, but it also imposed on Americans this marriage. I believe this is taking away from the lawmakers. It is the legislative body who should vote on issues, not the 9 unelected S.C. judges.

But, in Lebanon, we have another judicial body, the majless doustouri. I think this body job should be reviewing constitutionality of laws issued by the states.

So a majless destouri for vadility of laws under the Constitution , and a Supreme Court who rules within these laws in Court cases.
 
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cedarheart

Legendary Member
The only problem with this entire debate in this thread is that people do not seem to realize what Federalism is, including you @cedarheart . I honestly don't meant to attack you so please don't take this personally, but the highlighted part above summarizes what a federal system is. In other words, I'm not sure if you and a few other people in this thread understand it as a political system.
.

(it's sad that each time one member answers another we feel the obligation to clarify it's not an attack, and nothing personal is meant... it's sad that the forum became more of a place to humiliate each others than a place to discuss, learn from each others, and come together despite personal affiliations, believes, or views.
So don't worry, nothing is taken personally and i appreciate your reply to my post, and i believe you'd accept the following in the same manner)


I have read a lot about the subject, i live in a federate country and have partially lived in other federations or confederations; so I'm very well acquainted with the theory and the practice.

What i proposed might have a federal element in it as you thought (decentralization) , but it's far from federalism, there are no federal states/entities to be created. It transcends the classic Lebanese view of federalism where the country is split between religious groups (and which might result in federal states where each is very centralized too) to really give power to the people in there local city/town regardless of their religion.
My suggestion was not the decentralization part only, but a whole set of elements that have to be applied together to form the entire governance system. It also has elements that are far from federalism: central parliament elected as all Lebanon being 1 district (as opposed to each federal state being 1 or more districts).
 

JeanH

Well-Known Member
Orange Room Supporter
لأنّ عضو "كتلة المستقبل" النائب عمار حوري حريص جداً على نظافة البلد، جاءت مطالبته في حديث الى اذاعة "الفجر"، مجلس الوزراء "بعقد جلسة طارئة قبل يوم الخميس لبحث ملف النفايات" فيها الكثير من التساؤلات، وهدفه فقط كسر ارادة المسيحيين في مجلس الوزراء..

وقال حوري أن "صحة المواطنين أهم من أي تعيينات أو محاولة أي فريق تحقيق مكاسب خاصة.


وأوضح "أن نواب بيروت سيعقدون اجتماعا مع رئيس الحكومة تمام سلام بصفته نائبا أيضا عن العاصمة للضغط باتجاه إيجاد حل بأسرع وقت ممكن للملف"، مشددا على أن "أي حل يبقى بيد الحكومة مجتمعة تبعا لمعايير علمية وبعيدا عن أي اجتهادات أو وجهات نظر".

وأكد حوري أن "من المعيب استمرار المعطلين بتعطيل مجلس الوزراء من أجل وظيفة لهذا أو ذاك"، داعيا إلى "أخذ العبرة من عقد دول اتفاقات نووية فيما يمنع فريق في لبنان الجميع من الاتفاق على أمور بسيطة في ظل الشغور الرئاسي".

ورأى أن "المسؤولية مضاعفة من قبل هذا الفريق لإنجاح جلسة الخميس"، لافتا إلى أن "ما من شيء يمنع المجلس من بحث ملفات تعني المصلحة العامة من خارج جدول الأعمال ومن حق رئيس الحكومة طرحها".

وعن إمكانية تغيير آلية عمل الحكومة، شدد حوري على أن "المهم هو تغيير بعض العقليات التي تحاول أن تستأثر بالمواقع وتهدد بقلب الطاولة"، مشيرا إلى "أن مجلس الوزراء اتفق على الآلية ومن الممكن تطويرها في حال اتفاقه من جديد"، مؤكدا أن "الأهم تنفيذ مصالح الناس من خلال أي آلية مقترحة".

وأكد حوري "دعم رئيس الحكومة تمام سلام وتمسكه بصلاحياته وقواعد عمل مجلس الوزراء"، مشددا على أن "القضية ليست تجاوز أي فريق وإنما عدم تعطيل البلد لصالح طرف أو زعيم".

وهنا لا بدّ من الإشارة الى حوري أنّ ملف الزبالة، مسؤولة عنه الحريرية السياسية..

ما يهمّ الحريرية السياسية، يوم الخميس هو كسر ارادة المسيحيين..

- والأغرب أن أكلاف عقود «سوكلين» و«سوكومي» سدّدت من أموال صندوق البلديات بقرارات إدارية من دون موافقة البلديات ومن دون إطلاعها على الحسابات. وتقدّر الأموال المدفوعة من الصندوق لهذه الشركات بنحو 1.3 مليار دولار بين عامي 1997 و2009، أي بمعدّل 108 ملايين دولار سنوياً، منها 597 مليون دولار للفترة حتى 2005، و703 ملايين دولار للفترة اللاحقة.

- من الممكن على سبيل المثال، أن يتم تحديد الفرز بنحو 600 طن يومياً، وإلغاء عمليات التسبيخ والكبس: فالأولى تكلف بين 133 دولار 60

دولاراً للطن الواحد، ما يخفض الكلفة السنوية من 125 مليون دولار إلى 60 مليون دولار.



This should a "prova" for federalism, the christian community must find a way to counter this, creating new dumps as echo friendly as possible,collaborating with local authorities and municipalities, or as ne3mat frem suggested power plants out of trash, would love to see the look on their faces if it happens, a new dawn has arisen​
 

Placebo

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
This should a "prova" for federalism, the christian community must find a way to counter this, creating new dumps as echo friendly as possible,collaborating with local authorities and municipalities, or as ne3mat frem suggested power plants out of trash, would love to see the look on their faces if it happens, a new dawn has arisen​

Lol, you think the christian community is capable of achieving something like that? and let's say there's a consensus on the issue, if you want to create eco-friendly landfills and incinerators, they need time to be developed, designed and put in place.
 

JeanH

Well-Known Member
Orange Room Supporter
Lol, you think the christian community is capable of achieving something like that? and let's say there's a consensus on the issue, if you want to create eco-friendly landfills and incinerators, they need time to be developed, designed and put in place.
its not rocket science, have some self confidence
 
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Robin Hood

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
Why does this issue need the council of ministers to convene? Enno municipalities don't have good dumps? Where I live, it's the municipality that collects the garbage.
 

JeanH

Well-Known Member
Orange Room Supporter


المحامي عبدو إسطفان أبو جودة -

شركاؤنا في الوطن لا تقبلوا بالتقسيم،
نحن نحبكم ونريدكم فقد ولدنا معاً، وعشنا معاً، وسنموت معاً،
يبدو لنا أنكم ترفضوننا تريدون أن تولدوا وحدكم، أن تعيشوا وحدكم، وحتى أن تموتوا وحدكم.

نطالب بالشراكة فنتفاجئ أنكم تشكون من الظلم،

نطالب بالعلمنة فتتهموننا بالإلحاد،
نطالب بمقاعدنا في مجلس النواب فتدّعون أننا أقلية،
نطالب بقانون إعادة الجنسية للمغتربين اللبنانيين فتنسونها في أدراج مجلس النواب،
نطالب برئيس جمهورية قوي فتحكمون من دون رئيس ولا من يسأل،
نطالب بالتعيينات الأمنية فترسلون الأجهزة لضربنا،
نطالب بحصتنا في الدولة فتمنعوننا عن الكلام في مجلس الوزراء،
نطالب بمداخل ومخارج لبلداتنا فتوسعون مداخل ومخارج بيروت على حسابنا،
نطالب بإصلاح الكهرباء فتعطون الكهرباء لبيروت ونعيش نحن في الظلمة،
نطالب بإستصلاح مطمر برج حمود فتقيمون مهرجاناً في ال Biel (مطمر النورماندي سابقاً)،

نحن إخترناكم منذ اليوم الأول، منذ تأسيس دولة لبنان الكبير
وإستشهدنا في سبيل تحريركم العام 1988،
وتظاهرنا في 14 أذار من أجل العدالة وقدمنا أغلى ما لدينا لتحقيقها،
ساندنا ودعمنا المقاومة ونحن المؤمنون بها،

فليكن خياركم المشاركة لا التقسيم،
أما إذا أصريتم فإن أبغض الحلال عند الله هو الطلاق،
وليس من يطلب الطلاق مذنباً فمن يرفض الشراكة، عليه تقع المسؤولية.

بقاء لبنان خياركم وتقسيم لبنان خياركم،
أما نحن فأبواب الجحيم لن تقوى علينا.
 

Robin Hood

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter

المحامي عبدو إسطفان أبو جودة -

شركاؤنا في الوطن لا تقبلوا بالتقسيم،
نحن نحبكم ونريدكم فقد ولدنا معاً، وعشنا معاً، وسنموت معاً،
يبدو لنا أنكم ترفضوننا تريدون أن تولدوا وحدكم، أن تعيشوا وحدكم، وحتى أن تموتوا وحدكم.

نطالب بالشراكة فنتفاجئ أنكم تشكون من الظلم،

نطالب بالعلمنة فتتهموننا بالإلحاد،
نطالب بمقاعدنا في مجلس النواب فتدّعون أننا أقلية،
نطالب بقانون إعادة الجنسية للمغتربين اللبنانيين فتنسونها في أدراج مجلس النواب،
نطالب برئيس جمهورية قوي فتحكمون من دون رئيس ولا من يسأل،
نطالب بالتعيينات الأمنية فترسلون الأجهزة لضربنا،
نطالب بحصتنا في الدولة فتمنعوننا عن الكلام في مجلس الوزراء،
نطالب بمداخل ومخارج لبلداتنا فتوسعون مداخل ومخارج بيروت على حسابنا،
نطالب بإصلاح الكهرباء فتعطون الكهرباء لبيروت ونعيش نحن في الظلمة،
نطالب بإستصلاح مطمر برج حمود فتقيمون مهرجاناً في ال Biel (مطمر النورماندي سابقاً)،

نحن إخترناكم منذ اليوم الأول، منذ تأسيس دولة لبنان الكبير
وإستشهدنا في سبيل تحريركم العام 1988،
وتظاهرنا في 14 أذار من أجل العدالة وقدمنا أغلى ما لدينا لتحقيقها،
ساندنا ودعمنا المقاومة ونحن المؤمنون بها،

فليكن خياركم المشاركة لا التقسيم،
أما إذا أصريتم فإن أبغض الحلال عند الله هو الطلاق،
وليس من يطلب الطلاق مذنباً فمن يرفض الشراكة، عليه تقع المسؤولية.

بقاء لبنان خياركم وتقسيم لبنان خياركم،
أما نحن فأبواب الجحيم لن تقوى علينا.


Tell that to M14 Christians.
Even if you get your own state, they would work to undermine it because they only care about $$$.
 
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