Probably not "occupied" but:Lebanon isn't an occupied country, ask the lebanese member of this forum. Lebanon is an independant government with an own policy, very different from syria, no syrian settlers with special privileges, no Syrian army interfearing in the daily life of Lebanese etc. The Lebanese government and parliament allowed the syrians to stay there, the palestinians have never recognised israel's presence in the occupied territories.
For the Labanese sake, I hope democracy gets a real foot-hold and the corruption and Syria's intervention stops.
Concerning what you asked; the answer is yes. Yes, Syria "does" have influence on Lebanon. Actually, every Lebanese everywhere in Lebanon and outside, knows that the president here in Lebanon is elected or more like "placed" by the Syrians. That doesn't mean anything though. To us, the whole political scene and the politicians to be exact are corrupted and are pretty much screwed. Lebanon now has debts estimated for $30,000,000,000 due to politicians, specially those related to Syria; "which most are".Democracy has showed up though. The Lebanese people never settled for any "foreign" occupation. Here in Lebanon, there are many point of views. There are the Muslims and there are ofcourse the Christians. Now, both parties have agreed on the "Taef" which was signed from both sides, and which allowed
Syria -back in 1990- to enter Lebanon, in order to stop themascares and stop the civil war, to re-order the country, and ofcourse provide security and peace. It was given a 3-year time to do that.
So takeo, it's not a democratic paradise as you pointed out - but it will be in time.