Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Official Voter Statistics

Here are links to official voter statistics by region. The format is borrowed from NOWLebanon but the tables below contain more districts as well as both winning and losing candidates, along with their partisanship.
  • Official Voter Statistics - Beirut
  • Official Voter Statistics - North
  • Official Voter Statistics - Mount Lebanon
  • Official Voter Statistics - South
  • Official Voter Statistics - Bekaa
Check the Blacksmiths of Lebanon Elections Center for more information related to the 2009 Parliamentary Elections.


  1. Hi Jade,

    Great job! I was in the process of doing something similar, so you have saved me a lot of effort :).

    On the other hand, I find the results very troubling. In particular, aside from the elections being a (faulty) democratic exercise in areas with significant Christian presence, they were merely a rubber stamp for other sects. The numbers bear this fact out unequivocally, and this is most clear in the Shia dominated districts of Zahrani, Tyre, Bint Jbeil, Nabatiyeh, Baalbek, and to a lesser extent Marjayoun. The numbers are in fact so bad that they approach the numbers in the 90-99% sham election victories of such great democracies as Syria and Iraq under Saddam.

    One could argue that the results are similar in Druze and Sunni dominated areas, but they are nowhere near this pronounced. I think the closest that any district comes to the above numbers is Beirut 3.

    Just something to think about I suppose.

  2. You didn't really think that the Hezb would allow people to vote freely in their area, did you?

  3. Where is Zghorta?
    Thanks for the great job anyway.

  4. Thanks for the heads-up Nat, I'll include it (in the North post) later today.

  5. vox p5:43 PM

    What is also worrying is that 1 Shia MP represents 3 or 4 times as many citizens than a Chrstian MP

  6. In all fairness, such representational issues do occur in every democracy, representatives from rural areas will represent less constituents than those from urban ones.

    In Lebanon the issue is further complicated by sectarian considerations. Proportional representation along with the implementation of a bicameral system through the Taef will be tools used to address the sectarian aspect ...

    ... given the results of this election we have greater hope of implementing the above, but we will still face stiff (if not violent) resistance from those groups that have rejected both the Taef and the progress it entails outright (i.e, Hizballah and the FPM).

  7. Lets not kid ourselves blacksmith. This has nothing to do with rural/urban split and everything to do with a sectarian split. I don't recall that Koura (mainly christian with ~57000 registered voters and 3 MPs) is more urban than Zahrani (mainly muslim with ~93000 registered voters and also 3 MPs) or Nabatiyeh (120000 voters and 3 MPs). The discrepancies are purely the result of the untenability of the 50-50 split in the face of demographics.

    Of course you are right that the solution is at least partly in the implementation of Taef.

  8. I kid you not. I referred to the "rural/urban" example to demonstrate that there are plenty of cases around the world and in the most advanced democracies where 1 MP will represent 50,000 and another 500,000. In Lebanon there is the issue of sectarian representation as well as geographical, we agree on that.

  9. Here is a Canadian example:

    Why don't all MPs represent roughly the same number of constituents?

    There are at least four issues involved.

    The first is the vast difference in population density across Canada. The riding of Nunavut has 29,474 people inhabiting 3,117,463 square kilometres. Big-city ridings with many high-density apartment buildings can contain more than 100,000 voters in a tiny fraction of that space. In city ridings, it is relatively easy for an MP to visit and represent all parts of his or her riding. That's not the case in ridings with farflung borders, especially in the Far North, so that kind of riding has historically been allowed to contain many fewer than the national average number of voters. At the moment, one MP represents each of the three northern territories of Nunavut, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

    The second issue is the difficulty of keeping up with rapidly changing population rates in parts of Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Some ridings in the Greater Toronto Area, for example, can add tens of thousands of people from one election to the next as new residents flood in. Meanwhile, rural ridings tend to gradually shrink as older residents die and younger ones move away to find work. Every 10 years, after the national census results are tabulated, an independent federal electoral boundaries commission is established for each of the 10 provinces to recommend how riding borders should be adjusted to compensate for population trends like this. After the 2001 census, these commissions recommended an increase in the number of seats in the House of Commons from 301 to 308, with three additional seats given to Ontario, two more to Alberta, and two more to British Columbia. The boundaries of many other ridings were changed to try to equal out the number of constituents. The goal is to have ridings within the same province contain roughly the same number of voters.

    A third factor comes into play in Prince Edward Island, which has four electoral districts, each representing an average of 33,824 voters (the average in Ontario is one MP for every 107,642 voters). Logically, Canada's smallest province should have fewer ridings, perhaps only two, but because of a 1915 senatorial clause added to the boundary changing formula, P.E.I. was guaranteed that it will never have fewer MPs than it does Senators. So to this day, P.E.I. has four Senate seats, which were granted at its entry into Confederation under the terms of the British North America Act, and four federal ridings.

    Finally, a complicated piece of legislation in 1974 laid out more elements to the amending formula, which among other things, guaranteed that no province will ever lose federal seats because of redistribution. So without further legal changes, redistribution will always leave the number of seats in the House of Commons at the same level or higher. It will not shrink.

  10. :), yes of course. Though to be fair Canada has rational reasons (population density, changes in population in ridings, bizarre PEI clause). Moreover, every 10 years it reexamines the ridings based on a census.

    Of course, in Lebanon, being much more advanced, we change the ridings every 4 yrs without ever needing a census :).

    Seriously though, I understand what you are saying, but its not the same. In any case we agree that its wrong and that a non-sectarian law needs to be enacted and thats what is important.

  11. vox p6:13 PM

    Many, if not most, democratic systems (the US, the EU, Switzerland) over-represent minorities in order to avoid a dictatorship of the majority that would be negative to the country as a whole. Democracy is a system where the majority governs but where the powers of the state are subject to limits. However, this subtlety is lost on Hezbollah since ‘party of God’ envisions democracy as a system where the rule of the majority is unchecked and unbound.

    If this was a civilized country, I would advocate a redistribution of the MPs - but in Lebanon's case, handling power to a sect possessed by a fanatical ideology would be suicidal. That would be akin to a German Jew empowering the Nazis.

    The way I see it, the rule of the majority is acceptable within a nation where ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ come from the same families. But Lebanon is barely a nation, and inter-sectarian weddings are the exception rather than the rule. I am not advocating a redistribution of power, I am merely pointing that the current system is built on a lie. Overrepresentation is acceptable up to a point, however the 3:1 ratio is a stretch and if the demographical trends continue, the system won’t be viable for long. We should recognize Lebanon for what it is, a multi-national country, and explicitly transform the country into a federation.

  12. True Blue5:43 PM

    R, in Lebanon there are rational reasons too. We have our history to preserve and the future to build for.


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