The two countries that I will be discussing are the countries of Lebanon and Brazil. The country of Lebanon has found itself in turmoil since February 2005 when former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was killed in a massive car bomb in Beirut. His death which is widely blamed on Syria, prompted massive street protests and enough international pressure to push Syria out of its smaller neighbor after nearly thirty years of occupation. Although there were elections done last year that were deemed free and fair, and bringing in a new parliament has not fixed the unrest in the country. Lebanon’s government is still weak and divided, and nearly powerless to control or sustain the strongest faction in the country, Hezbollah.
Lebanon is a parliamentary democracy in which the people constitutionally have the right to change their government. This has not turned out to be the case because of civil wars and has taken away political rights. According to the constitution, direct elections must be held for the parliament every four years. Parliament in turn is supposed to elect a new president every 6 years. In 2004 a presidential election scheduled was pre-empted by a parliamentary vote to extend the sitting President’s term in office by 3 years. The President and parliament choose the Prime Minister. Political parties do exist, but are most controlled by outside interests. Lebanon officially recognizes 18 religious communities within the country. Gaining political office is virtually impossible without the firm backing of a particular religious or confessional group.
The political system is distributed among the authorities recognized in the parliamentary democratic system, which is Executive, Legislative and Judicial Powers. The Executive Branch has a President, prime minister, and a parliamentary speaker. In Lebanon under a system that dates to the end of French colonial rule in 1943, the country’s...