Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Why is Kataeb using the stale "change" Tayyar slogan?

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly based on political material
Now that is interesting, it dawned on me that Kataeb is hijacking the "change" slogan previously appropriated by the Free Patriotic Movement (simply known as Tayyar - short for Tayyar Al Watani Al Hurr) which they used prominently in the 2009 elections.
I originally saw the slogan of "change" applied to Kataeb on their Kesserwan headquarters, thought it was nice pun but did not make much of it. However, when the slogan was applied prominently on one of their four posters which accompanied their election-revealer program which took place on February 4 I took notice.
Interestingly the Kataeb or phalangists has been in power since - well - forever. They - either the Gemayel family which controls the party - or via surrogate Members of the Parliament or Ministers have been in and out of governments for the most of the history of Lebanon. Which begs the question - what change?
When the Tayyar adopted the slogan "isla7 wal taghyir" (reshaping and change) it came from a party that was never ever in power (General Michel Aoun was interim head of state but as a party it was never represented anywhere in terms of government capacity) so "change" was a credible promise.
Kataeb did a series of miscalculations from which their arch-rivals Lebanese Forces (and who originally were founded by Bechir Gemayel - later to be assassinated president-elect but never sworn in) benefited enormously.
So again, what change?
Kataeb is portraying itself as a newbie that wants to shake the system when in reality it is a part of the status quo which is averse to any kind of "change" to the pseudo-feudal system that is the Lebanese political quagmire.
If they have a faint hope of winning previous "Tayyar" electorate by taking their slogans, rest assured, the electorate in Lebanon is very unmovable unless - in a George-Orwell-1984 turn of events - the bigwigs end up doing a moving-sands-but-currently-profitable-alliance which tells/orders the electorate for whom to vote.