Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘proportional law

I want clarifications: On this Orthodox election law proposed to Lebanon

The one “reform” item that always get passed in the successive lukewarm and never serious election law reforms, every 4 years, is the increase of the number of deputies in the Parliament.

The trend is a 10% cumulative increase of deputies, every decade. And the reason is never a population explosion: Lebanon “citizens” immigration rate exceeds the rate of eligible voters of 21 year-old…

The political leaders view Parliament as the easiest and fastest elevator to power and accumulate wealth for their progeny.

The Parliament of tiny Lebanon (a State smaller than New Jersey) and a voting base of barely 2 million voters, is bound to jump to 134 deputies, from the current number of 128.

I badly need a link that directs me to the details and mechanism of this Orthodox alternative election law.

All that I could understand from these “long months” of negotiating a “valid and acceptable” law are the followings:

1. Every eligible voter of a religious sect, of the 18 officially recognized sects, can vote for only the candidates representing his sect.

2. The law is proportional, a first since 1943? I guess it means that, if a list of candidates surpass a cut-off rate of votes, then it will be represented commensurate to the percentage of votes it received…

3. The law considers Lebanon as a single district, instead of the 13 or 15 districts…

4. The dozen “Christian” sects representing barely 30% of Lebanon’s population will be able to be represented by 50% of the deputies…

5. The half dozen of “Moslem” sects representing 70% of the population will vote in 50% of the deputies.

Beyond these pieces of intelligence I am in the blank.

I can only conjecture, if logic and rational thinking is a valid basis in this political domain of Lebanon,

1. Does this law means that if I am an eligible voter of a very minority sect that can be represented by only 2 deputies, then I am entitled to vote for only 2 deputies from the list of 134 candidates? And the other 132 deputies can be from Mars and it is none of my business?

2. If  I am an eligible voter from the Moslem Shiaa sect (representing at least 45% of the total population) then I might be able to vote for maybe 30 deputies (less than 20% of the Parliament)… And the remaining candidates may come from Jupiter and I am not supposed to care in any reasonable way?

3. Do you think the vote of a minority sect has the same weight and value as the vote of a majority sect? Some dignity, please.

4. Does this law intends to propose that I can vote from anywhere in Lebanon, and not be restricted to pay a visit to the village my family is registered in?

Even within ridiculously absurd law, there can be a few improvements:

1. A minority sect, and only during election period, can opt to join another sect or a coalition of sects, so that my vote acquires a higher value or weight in the election process. This alternative will give me more incentive to go to the voting booth

2. Allow youth of 18 years to be eligible to vote

3. Allow soldiers and internal security officers to vote ( In other countries they vote before the ordinary citizen voting day)

4. The youth and military votes will not significantly alter the outcome in this system, but the increased “image” of higher democratic representation will play the catalyst for later pragmatic a real reforms to this archaic political/social structure.

Some dignity, please.

Note 1: You might be wondering how come “Christians” in the Middle-East are entitled to 50% of all public positions, the President of the Republic, the Chief of the Army….

It was a tacit agreement, not in the Constitution, among the religious sects in 1943 to split public functions and high positions among the various main majority sects. Actually, the mandated power of France created Lebanon in 1920 after the Paris Peace Treaty among the WWI warring nations. Lebanon was to be an “oasis” entity for the Christian Maronite sect.

This tacit contract is still suitable since all the surrounding States are sectarian, theocratic (including Israel), or one party regimes. The States with Moslem majority have in their constitutions items such as:

1. Islam is the religion of the nation

2. The Chariaa is the main source for civil laws

3. The main and key public positions are to be held by Moslems…

Note 2: A hilarious article? https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/the-onion-to-sue-lebanon-political-system-far-beyond-the-reach-of-satire/

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adonis49

adonis49

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