Lebanese expats were denied the chance to participate in the 2009 parliamentary elections and it looks like they are going to be excluded as well from the 2013 elections, especially that our dear Foreign Minister is treating this issue as if it’s some sort of joke. In fact, according to the report he submitted to the government 3 days ago, only some 3,009 expats had registered to vote at Lebanese embassies and missions to take part in the 2013 elections while Assafir’s earlier study revealed that there are almost 1 million Lebanese expats eligible for voting.
I managed to get from a source the distribution of those 3009 and they clearly show how unprofessional and lousy this report is. Here is the list of cities and number of registered voters as provided by the foreign ministry:
State or City / number of registered voters
New York 110
Los Angeles 9
Montreal 0 Canada
Ottawa 0 Canada
Buenos Aires 0
Rio de Janeiro 0
Marseille – France 37
Kuala Lumpur 1
South Africa 0
Abidjan Cote – d’Ivoire 6
0 Lebanese registered in Montreal and Ottawa while 92 registered in Zimbabwe. 89 Lebanese registered in Conakry, which is the capital of Guinea, while none of the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese in Brazil bothered registering. Needless to say, this report is a joke and was rejected by a large number of officials. I mean how is it possible that 0 or barely 10 Lebanese register in major cities ( 1 in Sydney) while 25 register in Kazakhstan?
Maybe it’s better if Adnan Mansour resigns and let someone handle the expats file and other files in a decent and professional manner. In fact, I think the expats voting should not be handled by a minister but by an independent committee at one distance from all parties and capable of handling such a large task.
i find this totally possible ..
for one thing lebanese out of lebanon care LESS about politics than those in it .. by CARE it is important for me to point out that i dont mean we dont care about lebanon .. but call it ignorance, but the politics just dont matter .. for the foreigners lebanon is what it is .. votes wont matter , and politics is irrelevant to our interest in lebanon .. we go for the people the lifestyle the excitment in everyday the scenery and beauty .. and hell ya the parties and driving and friends .. but definitly not for any political or buisness gain .. thus people out of lebanon dont really care about any of that stuff .. they simply assume the lebanese ppl in lebanon will keep it going .. as we have for endless years .. lebanon never dies !! we push and push and push !!
2- it is a headache for people out of lebanon to go through the process of registering .. lebanon is tiny and has living dynamics very different from outside lebanon which makes it the perfect retreat for us lebanese !! we love lebanon .. but when we are not in lebanon we have lives, governed by complexity, no free time, lots of work, high stress .. ur probably thinking its the same in lebanon, but it isnt .. you get to see friends and hang out and do things .. when not in leb that is much more difficult .. people are lazy and dont wanna drive hours to an embassy or have to send a post mail or even fill in a form to register .. it is all too much for someone who doesnt really care ..
3- most of them probably have no idea about this .. lebanese out of lebanon dont keep up with news especially not the newer generation .. its just facebook and talking to friends .. the older people may have LBC or some channel but thats about it ..
4- there should be a distinction made for when people are in lebanon it is the norm to vote .. and when your outside it, it is a different reality .. election day in lebanon is a big ass deal literally everyone is doing it .. so if ur in lebanon .. ull do it .. even if u dont care about politics , its just groups of ppl/friends go and vote .. but when ur outside of lebanon .. that dynamic doesnt exist ..
5- im sorry im ranting .. and i totally do not want to seem racist in this point .. but the lower the ‘socioeconomic” rank of whatever city is .. the HIGHER the number of voters .. living in a 1st world country and big city makes life totally different from ppl in africa or what not .. the ppl in those low socioeconomic surroundings have a lifestyle perhaps crappier than that of lebanon, but can make more money .. so they push on but keep an eye on the right time to move back to lebanon .. so lebanon is of MUCH higher value to them as far as politics go .. a family in sydney with a huge house and cars and everything LOVES going to lebanon for vacation .. but they dont care about moving back (they say it) but they wont give up what they have for it .. this is where ignorance comes in .. they would move if it was economically viable, but they wouldnt participate in making it viable .. so its weird .. but ppl dont c it like that .. theyre mindset is stuck on well make money here, go vacation in leb, and when were old and retired move back .. which wont happen like that ..
6- my final point . which i mentioned already .. but god ! ppl DONT care !! i would gestimate that 99% of lebanese youth out of lebanon have no clue about anything in politics (simply the follow the family tradition oh we support this group or that group) .. life is not revolving around politics .. life is about education and money and parties (which is the only place leb registers for them) .. and those who want to argue my point fine .. but in lebanon elder generation (not old but like parents) it is ALL about politics 100% of the time .. and the kids even those who dont care have that rub on them .. in school it comes up, with friends it comes up .. it dominated the lebanese mentality and so people are literally forced to align themselves !!
now this doesnt stop them from living !! ppl from all parties are friends together .. and that is amazing !! but none the less they count themselves part of a party .. and for all the wrong reasons ..
anyway my point simply is, ppl out of lebanon do NOT have that !! those in 1st world countries are exposed everyday to the “mixing” of people .. while in lowe rank cities there is “division’ still ..
bla bla bla .. im just gonna shut up now 🙂
lovely analysis… you hit it on the head!
I am a Lebanese living in Germany. First, as we still not sure if we have the right or not, why do we want to loose time into all the papers and the like. I am holder of a French citizenship and all what we needed to vote is a simple document to print and to send to our embassy and the vote was done by internet.
For the lebanese elections, they want to have the approval of a notary in order to register for the elections… Why do we need a notary for that ?
Anyhow, independent of the number of registered, they are obliged to allow expatriates to vote.
It is like if they tell a small village in Leb that the villagers do not have their names registered because their number is not important. In other words, their vote has no weight in the election.
Another thing to add to this analysis, far be it from me defending the integrity of these statistics is that people on the west coast of the US (Los Angeles) are so happy that they never even consider going back to Lebanon. They have the weather, the fun, the beauty, the comfort, etc.
whereas people on the east coast (Washington, New York, etc.) although happy, have a very busy life (east coast is known to be all about workaholism!) that some of them are actively moving back to Lebanon due to the stresses of life… This is reflected in those statistics:
New York 110
Los Angeles 9
I would have registered if I even knew there was anything going on.
exactly… never heard of it before especially that we’re not allowed to vote.
Maybe it’s true, they don’t want to vote. Some of your accusations don’t make sense, like ” I mean how is it possible that 0 or barely 10 Lebanese register in major cities ( 1 in Sydney) while 25 register in Kazakhstan?”. What you don’t mention is that the vast majority of the voters in Sydney are Shiites who support Hizballah and Amal, so it wouldn’t make sense to deny them their voting rights.
Expats might not even understand Lebanese politics, and they couldn’t care less who wins.
Just tell me this, if there really is a conspiracy to deny them to vote, then why haven’t we seen a single expats protest abroad regarding this? I’m not asking to see a 1 million strong crowd, just a few hundred protesters that’s all.
The whole damn thing is rigged! Do you know of the process of registration? I don’t give a damn about elections that are run in atmosphere of fear and threat of HA guns! Get the gangsters off the streets and introduce an election law that reflects true democracy…one person one vote; then I’ll join in. In the meantime I don’t think anyone really wants to travel 3,000 miles to Lebanese Embassy to see bottom feeders ignoring you. I am still waiting for my new Lebanese passport after ten years of back and fro…
Wow really, atmosphere of fear and threat of HA guns, and gangsters off the streets. Maybe I’m living under a rock cause I missed all that. Funny how all these gangsters and gunmen lost the last election.
Do you really need an answer…or help pulling you from the Rock you are under? What’s funny is your total denial and rainbow state of mind…:D
0 in Montreal???Looool,it’s a lie
I think the reasons for low numbers are the following:
1. The deadline for registration is 31 December. Lebanese are always late, or at best, will do things at the last minute. There may be a mad rush in December.
2. I live in Sydney and am a Lebanese citizen. I received no letter, advice or any information that expatriates could vote. I only found out via reading The Daily Star, at which I rang the embassy in Canberra for information.
3. The information is vague and people are confused. We need proper information and advice on the process – not an ad-hoc approach.
I am looking forward to vote, and I hope the vote in for my hometown – as this is where we own property, and stay when in Lebanon.
I’d love to vote and I may be that 1 person in Sydney!
I remember in 09 when a certain Lebanese political party flew out many Lebanese Australians to vote. I suppose I’ll be waiting for that day along with a free holiday!
and what’s with that shitty picture? They still post their pictures all over the country? disgusting and funny!