Chapel Hill Treehouse

A decidedly mixed bag of musings by andrew reynolds, professor of political science at UNC Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Friday, July 14, 2006

Beirut election systems

I'm sure it is the furthest thing from the average Lebanese mind right now but the proposed new election system is parallel. 77 Block Vote seats in 1-6 member districts, 51 list PR seats in 6 districts, with a sort of open (2 vote) list...while under both methods seats have to be allocated back down to the confession/sect/ethnicity and single member seat (or qada)...Yes, its really complex! Perhaps the most complex system I have ever seen.

I'm writing up my review for IFES now...More details here if anyone is truly interested.


At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

Truly interested?

Now, come on!

At 6:23 PM, Blogger AR said...

I promise to run through the details and potential consequences of this proposal as soon as I finish the IFES report. In fact I'm evolving a Block Vote article using Lebanon, Palestine, Mongolia and Jordan (pre 93) as cases. I think only in Lebanon is there a case to be made for its efficacy, but even there it only works bc of the reserved seats for every significant sect.

At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Matt said...

I've been thinking of such a paper. But you've evidently scooped me. (Again!)

Mine was also going to include Liberia. Leave Liberia (senate) out so I still have something to write!!

(Actually, I am not sure if Liberian voters had one or two votes per two-seat district in the senate. Perhaps you know?)

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Matt said...

Looking back at my own post (linked in the last comment), it seems I was pretty sure then that Liberian voters had two senate votes.

But I think I read subsequently that it was SNTV. I think what I read subsequently was probably incorrect.

And, by the way, I agree with you that Lebanon's reserved-seat provisions make the system less bad. Not good, just less bad.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger AR said...


Wow. I had no idea Liberia *had* switched back to FPTP for the lower house and BV for the senate. The previous single list PR system which elected everbody with a single vote was a classic (in the annals of bizarre systems) but it looks like they've gone from bad to worse.

The BV paper is interesting bc of the currency of democratisation in the mid east and they fact that the system has heavily influenced politics in Jordan and Palestine and Lebanon. And yes I agree, Lebanon is virtually the only place BV works bc the proprtionality (of groups via reserved seats) is already ensured by the Taif accords. Which removes a big part of the negative effects of BV...although the system remains far from perfect.


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