Take Back Parliament: Tactical Brief
Happy New Year, folks.
It’s been 5 months since we launched the idea of Take Back Parliament and we have 5 months to go till the elections. So what have we been up to? Here’s a quick brief.
What is the plan?
We are going to nominate at least one new and independent candidate in every electoral district in Lebanon. And by independent, we mean 110% independent – no backdoor deals and no compromises. Many have asked us to nominate full lists — 128 candidates. We will do our best to reach that number with other independent campaigns. But if we can’t, we promise 26 at least in 2013.
What is the goal?
Our goal is to present a viable alternative to old-school, sectarian, corrupt politics in Lebanon. We want to vote for candidates that represent us, that we can hold accountable, and that we have chosen ourselves. And we want all the Lebanese voters to join us in ending the era of corruption and apathy and shifting to an era of democracy and political activism.
Are you out of your mind?
A little. But mostly, we’re just like you: eager to be part of something new, something fresh, and something hopeful. Our only other option is a depressing and frustrating elections season which takes us straight to emigration visas. So we’ve chosen to act and to encourage all of Lebanon to act with us. Most people think we don’t stand a chance because Lebanese people won’t change their voting patterns. We think that with the right energy and credibility, we will all be wonderfully surprised at how everyone gave their vote to a revolutionary project rather than to the same old politicians.
So do you actually think you’re going to win?
Yes we do. And with no money (except for registering candidates) and with no bribes and with no staff and with no media stations under our belt. We believe we’re going to win with the sheer energy and momentum of the people.
What if you don’t win?
If we don’t win, we would still have achieved something significant. Remember, we’re the underdogs, the idealists, the dreamers – which makes us the ones with nothing to lose.
OK, so how are you going to do this?
We’re using grassroots mobilizing tools to get people excited. We’re knocking door to door, talking to people on the street, and hosting house meetings all over Lebanon. There’s around 150 of us actively working on the ground. We need your help to become 1000.
How are other parties responding to you?
We haven’t done any media appearances yet (waiting to officially launch) and already we’ve been approached by a lot of political parties in hopes of alliances or agreements or funding opportunities. We’ve declined them all.
But who are your candidates?
We don’t know yet. Our focus so far is 100% on building the electoral platform – which is a plan for 40 socio-economic issues in Lebanon. We’ve talked to experts and NGOs and voted on everything from healthcare to taxation, women’s rights to public transportation, national security to fighting corruption. Our platform will be launched in a big event towards the beginning of February. We’ll let you know so you can attend.
Once we have our agenda in place, we will open a public call to nominate candidates. And we need your input to suggest people you think fit our standards: new, secular, ready to pledge to the highest levels of accountability.
I love it — how can I support?
There are many things you can do. We’re counting on you. Please help us out by:
– Volunteering with our campaign. You can join one of many active committees that meet weekly: communications, recruitment, networking, field teams, expats, platform, legal, tech, and many more. If you’d like to join a committee, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set a time to meet and talk some more.
– Telling your friends. We’re completely dependent on word-of-mouth. Forward this post to friends of yours who might be interested. Get them to sign up here. Share our Facebook page with your online friends.
– Host a House Meeting. If you’re excited and want to get your friends on board our project as well, you can host a House Meeting where you invite 10-15 of your acquaintances and a couple of people from Take Back Parliament so we can share our story with you. Contact me if you’re interested.
– Simply getting in touch. Let me know your thoughts and opinions. Maybe you have a great idea to help us out. Maybe you can come in and lead a whole team. Maybe you know a great candidate. Maybe you can put us in touch with someone who can help.
Maybe this campaign’s been waiting just for you!