Our economy is in tatters, and we lack uninterrupted basic services like electricity, water and waste management. There is no acceptable explanation for why our country is near ruin. Fixing these problems is simple, and 2017 is our last chance to change course.
There are plenty of free minds in this country that understand how to create a Lebanon we can be proud of. A Lebanon where pro-growth economic policies are respected. Where the rule of law is respected. Where the environment is respected. There is no shortage of research penned by local authors with concrete, easy-to-implement solutions to this country’s myriad problems. It’s time to stop writing and start moving.
Webs of dependency created by the clientelist system in place seem finally to be weakening. The cost of struggling to survive in a broken country getting worse year by year clearly outweighs the benefits of low-wage jobs and the occasional table scraps. More people are seeing this at home. And those watching this final descent from abroad are at last getting angry enough to demand change as well.
Mismanagement is destroying this country. So many of us agree on this point and on the ways to move forward with creating a nation worth living in. Unity is our only option. As our corrupt politicians go about writing an electoral law aimed at keeping themselves in power, we must stand in opposition.
Those of us who have been calling for change – academics, NGOs, the media – have never succeeded in actually fulfilling our role of becoming pressure groups that force real change. That ends today. 2017 is our year. This election is our chance.