By Mazin Ramadan.
Tripoli, 6 April 2013:
In everyday modelling of political positions people use a simple left-right axis. It . . .[restrict]originated from the seating arrangements of the French parliament after the revolution where the liberals and radicals sat in the left wing and the conservatives in the right wing. Political scientists use additional axes to model additional political dimensions with respect to cultural issues and economic issues.
To model political positions in Libya all you need is a single point, you will have to place this point at the centre of the page and pile all the parties and independents on top of each other right on that point. You may ask yourself can you really define the centre without having a right and a left? Can you define it without having any proper research, with the exception of the pre-election focus groups done by international NGOs? Well in Libya that’s not important. What is important, is where they are on the issues. Lets break it down:
No one is secular, but they all want civil government institutions
Everyone supports the political isolation law as long it does not happen.
Everyone uses the strongest language for Sharia in our upcoming constitution.
Everyone has formulated or adopted an aggressive economic development plan without any plans for its execution.
Everyone calls to disband armed militias and build a national police and army, yet they are each embedded with a militia.
Everyone has adopted the Amazigh demands for a constitution that recognises their language, yet no one can recognise letters of its alphabet including some Amazigh people.
Everyone supports national reconciliation and transitional justice, as long as its someone else doing it… because who needs that heat right?
Everyone wants to rush the Constitution, yet they support the long drawn-out process of an elected ‘Committee of 60’.
Everyone is for national dialogue but they’re not talking to each other.
Bizarrely some of the political elites see room for a new political entity. They’re calling to position it, yes you guessed it, at the centre of this centre point.
So our problem is not the positioning of political groups, its more the cult of personality. All our parties are built around one person. Mahmoud Jebril even pulled a rabbit out of the hat and managed to build a whole coalition around one person, himself. So impressive that he now even talks about himself in the third person.
The Brotherhood is not an exception. They may not be a one-man organisation, only Bashir Kubti is identifiably MB, all the others claim to be ex-members “I’m not Ikhwan but I love them”.
NFL maybe the exception for legacy reasons, as there is more than one player associated with the party, but it is top heavy and most of them are looking for retirement packages in the form of ambassadorships.
I now believe that in order to build a sustainable coalition, we should have a true roundtable for a large group of recognisable thought leaders. Chairmanship of this coalition should be based on a coin toss and rotation.
As for political positioning, there is always room at the centre, of the centre of the centre.
Opinion articles do not necessarily represent the views of the Libya Herald