In describing the need for an American Bill of Rights, George Mason Professor Walter Williams once wrote, “The Bill of Rights should serve as a constant reminder of the deep distrust that our founders had of government. They knew that some government was necessary, but they rightfully saw government as the enemy of the people, and they sought to limit government and provide us with protections.” The Americans are not alone in wanting to restrict the power of their government. Bills of Rights have been passed in Britain, France, Greece, Finland, Italy, China, South Africa, India, the European Union, Venezuela, Czech Republic, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
In this regard, the Lebanese are not much different. After years of political, socio-economic and judicial abuse and injustice, the Lebanese have also become deeply suspicious of their government. A faulty constitution full of contradictions has been unable to curb the influence of a select few oligarchs who have monopolized all state power and resources.
A Lebanese Citizen’s Bill of Rights is the proper instrument capable of bringing real and everlasting change. It provides well-needed structure and clarity when it comes to the rights that the citizens are demanding and reasserts the people as the sole source of power in the nation.