A perennial problem in Lebanese political culture is that citizens make their electoral decisions based on confessional considerations rather than through a careful consideration of leaders’ stances on important policies. This project aims to take a first step towards improving this situation by tying politicians to their track record on policy decisions, rather than merely to their confessional association. While the confessional system of politics in Lebanon may not change anytime soon, increased accountability of leaders on their
decision making is a crucial component of improving overall governance in the country.
To increase public awareness on key government decision-making, this project, will publish articles on all 128 Lebanese legislators (MPs) on a biweekly basis in local media. The body of the article will consist of a background history of the politician being profiled; his /her stance on major political issues, and will finish with his/ her voting history in parliament. These articles will be published in local newspapers, as well as on our website in both English and Arabic, with a debate forum on the page. Upon completion of the project, all articles will be compiled together into a booklet, launched in a press conference and proactively distributed with focus groups to businesses, universities, and NGOs.
This project aims:
to promote political awareness in the Lebanese people by making neutral information about parliamentary officials and governmental acts assessable to Lebanese citizens,
through the increased awareness, facilitate good governance in Lebanon, which entails holding government officials accountable for their decisions,
supply citizens with objective information to facilitate their decisions while participating in political issues.
The project is comprised of three phases:
Phase one focuses on research and development. We will identify 20 major issues in Lebanon which have been proposed and voted upon in parliament during the last two terms (E.g. The electoral law, Solidaire, mobile phones, the Constitutional Council, and privatization) and obtain the voting records on these draft laws.
Phase two entails the publishing of the articles. Media will be contacted at this stage to increase awareness and publicize the project more. One or several newspapers will be publishing the articles bi-weekly, which will also be placed on our website along with a discussion forum accompanying each article.
Phase three entails the preparation and compilation of the project into a single booklet to ensure sustainability and to reach the maximum number of people. In addition to the 128 profiles, the booklet will also contain articles focusing solely on the 20 issues voted on in parliament as well as informative reading of democratic tools related to the concepts of accountability and good governance. 3000 copies of this compendium will be available to NGO’s, schools, businesses, and those individuals who wish to obtain a copy and will be launched in a press conference gathering representatives from public service and civil society organizations. Next we will create focus groups gather people from NGOs, universities, local businesses, political parties in order utilizing the compendium as a point of discussion.
As an awareness project, our goal is to reach the maximum number of Lebanese from all regions of Lebanon, as well as a broad international audience. Direct beneficiaries are those who have access to the internet, read newspapers, or obtain a copy of the compendium and read either Arabic or English.