The minister of interior affairs Marwan Charbel has just announced the date of Lebanon’s 2013 parliamentary elections.
We will be heading to the polls in order to perpetuate the current status quo on June 9th. The entire country will be voting on that day and the ministry is apparently done with election preps according to the 1960 law, which was employed in 2009: the law that everyone is against but no one is willing to change.
According to the 1960 law, each caza in Lebanon is its own electoral district.
However, the minister said that if Lebanon’s political parties agree on another electoral law, the date might be postponed by a few weeks. So for all matters and purposes, June 9th it is.
Political parties will start booking those plane tickets for our expats in 3…2….
You don’t let expats vote at embassies and consulates?
Theoretically, yes. Realistically, no.
It was proposed back in 2008 to be employed in 2013. But most expats don’t vote the way Lebanon’s external affairs minister wants. So he didn’t work on actively getting them to register and on proposing a mechanism by which they can vote.
The deadline to register in on December 31st and many don’t even know they can vote yet.
I have doubts that the expats would sway the vote much. There’s tons of Lebanese (tens if not hundreds of thousands) where I live, many Maronites & Greek Orthodox, however most Christians of Lebanese origin were born here in the States, some born elsewhere–very few are still passport holding citizens of Lebanon. The majority who ARE still passport-holding Lebanese citizens seem to be mostly Shia. Hell, we had/have Hezbollah rallies here! 😀
That’s the case in Michigan. But everywhere else is different. Moreover, the bulk of Lebanese expats isn’t even in the US. And almost all of those vote against Hezbollah, as was evident by those who were brought over to the country in 09.
For example the pro-Hezbollah Christian allies had the following rhetoric before elections: bring them in, they HAVE the right to vote. After elections: But… but they don’t understand how it is to live here.
That’s a shame. Over here (well not literally “over here) the vast majority of expats vote right-wing or liberals. So I certainly appreciate their small share of the votes 😉
Being someone whose only clue as to how I’ll vote is for whom I won’t cast my ballot, I appreciate my expats too 😉
You’re correct that the community in Michigan is only one example. I don’t want to claim it alone is representative of the expat population. And yes, Latin America holds an even larger percent of the Leb diaspora than North America. I think there is a psychological power in the hugeness of the diaspora, and everyone knows it’s majority Christan. The mistake is conflating the diaspora with the expat community–those who are still citizens. Salma Hayek, Carlos Slim, and Shakira wouldn’t be voting as expats; the Shia in West Africa or Sunni in the Gulf might be more likely. The diaspora in the Americas is VERY old.
It might be wishful thinking (à la Michel Sleiman) to place any hope in the expat vote. The Leb political class are masters of political theater (40 years of practice); you’re safer not to trust what you saw ’09.
Interesting. In Holland (you’re Dutch, right?), are “the liberals” pro-business, laissez faire economics? Here, sadly, liberal means left-wing, conservative means right wing, without taking social and economic policy seperately.
It depends. You have progressive liberals who are more on the social democrat side. But in our case “Liberalism” in the original sense of the word refers to “Classical Liberalism”, with a modern intepretation of course.
The Dutch Liberal party is described as center right wing, ideologically aligned with “conservative liberalism” and in favor of a free market economy.
Well, we’ve been promised that the whole country will be voting these elections, since there’s a huge campaign launched to encourage people to vote, and everyone could check their names on the Lebanese voters list through People of Leb http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/people-of-leb/id563519565?Is=1&mt=8 .