Excitement, passion, denial, cheers, intensity, verbal attacks, debates, criticism, intimidations, slandering, and you name it, Elections in Lebanon can indeed be both amusing and pesky.
And it is more so this time with tension increasing at the rise of new daring candidates from the people and the participation of the diaspora across the world.
Memes, videos, sarcasm, and posts are swarming social media in Lebanon, but what stands out the most are the 13 types of people you just can’t “unsee” during these elections.
Let’s take a look:
#1 The Over-enthusiast adulator
Somehow, you’ll think they themselves are getting a parliamentary seat and all the perks that come along, including immunity, wealth opportunities, power over the people, adulation, and so on. Or that the same leader they are eager to re-elect so enthusiastically will just give it all to them.
Too bad they just forgot they have no electricity at home, their money is stuck in banks, their salaries are now worth two digits, and they can barely make it through the week, and so on.
What to say? Enthusiasm could be an anesthetic for some.
#2 The Boycotter: “because my leader said so”
Just because their leader said so… whatever his known and unknown reasons. No need for them to scratch their head to decide what’s best for the country or to realize how crucial their vote could be to change the disaster you are in.
Next time they complain about the crises in Lebanon, someone please remind them they did nothing about it. No, a meme won’t do. Give them a call.
#3 The Indifferent: “It doesn’t concern me”
Yep, there are those as well. Add them to your call list when they next complain that their voices are not being heard, or that they waited in a queue for long hours to fill their car, or that they’re paying double bills for electricity, and you know the rest of the long list.
The elections, after all, are none of their business.
#4 The Pessimistic: “What for?”
You may have seen these comments on social media or heard them at home or in your social circle. “The country is doomed” and “Whatever we do, nothing is gonna change.”
Well, how about giving it a try? Your vote might be the change you assume to be impossible. After all, it is your civic duty. (just in case no one told you).
#5 The Lebanese diaspora to people in Lebanon
Roughly translated, the caption says: “To our people in Lebanon, we did our part, your turn now.” This call, shared in various posts from the diaspora, is probably one of the best we’ve seen during their assigned elections days.
A highly encouraging message, indeed, and a powerful sense of unity bridging the diaspora with the Lebanese in the homeland.
They went to great lengths to vote to make a difference that could relieve their people in the homeland, many waited for hours in queues, and some traveled by train or airplane to make their vote counts.
So, right, they did their part, the ball is in your court now.
#6 The Rebels
They jump on the billboard of electoral candidates they oppose and spray-paint their own slogan, making a statement (whatever it is).
Some even go as far as to burn down billboards, as if by that they had conquered the parliament for their political leaders. Heroic acts of loyalty? Nah… not even close.
#7 The bikers
They roll and roll around in their motorcycles looking to intimidate the people or worst, the partisan troublemakers. Luckily this time, they are banned from “vrom vrom” on Elections Day as per a decision by the Interior Ministry.
Did we say they tend to express their freedom of opinion with batons? Yeah, there is that also.
#8 The New Daring Candidates
Born from the Thawra and the crises, these new bold candidates are racing against the long-ruling politicians and they do intend to score some wins.
From the people, for the people, and by the people, some don’t even have any funds to appear on TV talk shows like their opponents to promote their electoral campaign.
But hey, social media has been there for them to make their voices heard, and they are quite popular.
#9 The Sleepy-head: “Hmm, what? What’s happening…?”
Yep, they are also those who are clueless that a decisive election is about to take place in their country.
They have come somehow to believe elections are just about politics and they just don’t like politics (el dunnia zo’k) or read the news (nah, what for?) or they just live in their own bubble in a parallel cosmo dimension.
You think you’ve seen it all, and heard it all. But this one is one of a kind that could make you laugh or cry; Lebanese political partisans proclaiming Berlin the stronghold of their leader’s party in Lebanon.
Get this, it is the city that embraced them, probably hoping they integrate and adapt to the local ways. Berlin shouldn’t worry though, they left their motorcycles back home (or not?)
They are not a few and they’ve been really active in making people in Lebanon laugh over their misery. What to say? They have their defense mechanism of sanity survival (and that of the Lebanese audience) in full mode.
They can’t help it. They deem everywhere their territory and feel the need to express themselves in whatever way they know best.
#14 The oppressed free-thinker
You surely know what is this about. You might be one of them these days in Lebanon. Not only do you have to deal with politicians pressuring you to (re)elect them, but your parents also have their own lectures to make.
They are probably the ones most pressuring you to vote for the leader of their choice, even if you truly believe it is a very (very, very) wrong decision.
After all, they sent you to school for your brain to function on its own, didn’t they? (Psst! They won’t know who you voted for. Keep thinking freely.)