Today’s al-Akhbar had an interesting article about the results of a survey conducted by Kamal Feghali (reproduced in table form above). Respondents in the 18 electoral districts were asked to grade politicians’ political performances on a scale of 0 to 10. Sulayman received the highest marks, followed by Baroud (only Baroud’s highest and lowest scores are given in the article). The remarkable thing is that despite “bir-rouh bid-damm” most other political leaders, both zu`ama and neo-zu`ama, do not fare as well. Another interesting result, pointed out in the article, is that Nasrallah is ahead of Hariri in majority Christian districts and even ahead of Aoun among the Christians of Akkar, Zahleh, and Baalbak. In addition, Jubran Basil reaps better results than Aoun in 13 of the 18 districts.
This all leads the article to conclude that the Lebanese value the performance of the “active minister” and thus show a bias in favor of the state and neutrality. That is quite a jump! The scores respondents gave performances may have political relevance if one were to assume that political performance actually impacts political choices. And in Lebanon, I do not see what one has to do with the other. Still, respondents of all sects were able to point out a common set of achievers and grade them accordingly. That such a value system might exist, as the survey suggests, alongside the other set of considerations that ultimately shape political choices is in and of itself intriguing.