A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

the Shia of Bcharre: fun with election stats

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on March 18, 2009

OMG I love Tayyar, B wrote during a Sunday morning chat. Hunh, I thought – B has never seemed particularly Aouni. But it wasn’t the party’s political views he was embracing: it was the interactive elections map available on the Tayyar website.

Its a great map: you scroll over each electoral district to see the number of electoral votes and the number of registered voters.

To be honest, seeing the stark reality of the Lebanese electoral system gives me a chill. Seeing voters divided into categories as:

Orthodox

Armenian Orthodox

Armenian Catholic

Minorities

Evangelists [the Arabic term for Protestant]

Druze

Sunnis

Shiites

Alaouis

Catholics

Maronites

turned my stomach. It appears uncomfortably close to what I imagine a voter registry from Nazi Germany would look like – although I was of course happy to see that the voter lists make the theologically correct distinction between Catholics and Maronites🙂.

The map could use a little tweaking: there’s no legend, for example, so its up to you to figure out that the dark grey numbers listed after some of the sects indicate electoral seats. And its not the only elections map around – a number of organizations have been creating them, with slightly different voter counts.

As I scrolled over the different districts, a few numbers began jumping out at me.

Does this map’s table mean that there is only one Druze voter in Akkar? I asked B.

Druze voter? B replied. I suppose. Not sure where they are getting this information, but I really want it to be legit.

I do too – and I want the study of election maps and voter registration to become a regular part of Lebanese elections.

And in the meantime, B and I would each like to get to know some of the solo sect voters.

Who is this Druze guy living in Akkar? B asked. I kind of want to meet him.

I do too, although I am guessing that “he” is really a she. My understanding is that Lebanese women are required to transfer their voter registration to their husband’s village when they get married, so I imagine that this lonely Druze is the wife of a native Akkari. (Please, please, please correct me if this is no longer the case. I would be thrilled to have one example of a way in which Lebanon does not discriminate against its female citizens.)

As for me, I’d really like to meet the one Shia of Bcharre🙂 .

One Response to “the Shia of Bcharre: fun with election stats”

  1. “…although I was of course happy to see that the voter lists make the theologically correct distinction between Catholics and Maronites”

    hehehehe – Good point. But you know, this is how the districts voters are allocated. You have to reference them somehow.

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