Friday, September 07, 2007

Presidents and Borders: Poll Results

Several months ago, ahead of a prolonged moratorium on Blacksmiths of Lebanon polls, we broached the question of the country’s porous borders with Syria – across which dozens of illicit weapons and ammunition-laden trucks have crossed this summer alone – and what should be done about them.

The issue was provoked by continued reports of truck interceptions and the dispatching of a UN commission - at the request of the government - to investigate the need for better enforcement of the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

That investigation led to a devastating report that highlighted an ongoing assimilation of Lebanese territory by Syria, the extension of bases occupied by Syrian-sponsored terrorists organisations such as the PFLP-GC across the border, and the smuggling of both fighters and weapons (including Katyusha rockets) to these groups as well as others.

The report also included a recommendation for the creation of a multi-agency force to patrol the border and to better secure it with the help of German "experts".

Our poll on the subject asked whether or not the government should have officially requested the presence of international "monitors" - a term very vocally opposed by the Syrians at the time, in contrast to "experts" - on those borders. Our readership overwhelmingly approved of the idea with more than 82% of the 229 votes in favour.

(click on any of the images in this post to be taken directly to the relevant poll results - showing not only the percentage of votes for each choice, but also the geographic concentration of those votes!).

This approval, of international help in maintaining a much needed vigilence over our border, was met on Tuesday by an announcement by the German Embassy in Lebanon declaring the upcoming deployment of "German-led Common Border Force (CBF) personnel" along Lebanon's northern border with Syria. The Force is to be made up of presonnel belonging to the ISF, Army, General Security, and Customs branches of the security apparatus - with each branch bringing its own brand of partisanship to the mix (anti-Syrian/Hariri, pro-Syrian/Hizballah units along the border, pro-Syrian/Hizballah, neutral/Anti-Syrian (not sure)- respectively).

Our first poll after our self-imposed moratorium took up the issue of the upcoming 2007 Presidential Elections and for the second time asked the question: Who Should be Lebanon's Next President?

The bi-weekly poll managed to grab 240 votes of which Nassib Lahoud gathered the largest share of 31.7%. Mirroring results in our first presidential poll, Michel Aoun came a relatively close second to Lahoud, winning 27.5% of the vote (this after an "inspired" rally by Aoun's supporters made up for the Orange General's tired start).

Comparisons between the two polls beyond the rudimentary one given above would be "unscientific" given the different candidate composition in each of the polls. A look at the geographical distributiojn of each poll's results, however, provides for a more interesting examination... take a look and let us know what you see. And be sure to keep an eye on our sidebar for our next poll due to be openned in the coming days. As always, all suggestions, comments, questions, and complaints on the poll series are welcome in the comments section.


  1. You said NAssib, with an A!!!!

    WAW! Thank you!


  2. Riad Salemeh would be an Excellent candidate, too good in fact. Thats why he shouldn't lower himself to take on politics; he's already perfect at what he does.

    The country would probably be more economy oriented which isn't all that bad; but overall politicians will eat the chap alive for corruption leniencies.


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