Issues to Focus on When Choosing Who to Vote For
Gino's Blog -

I know many of you might not want to vote. The polls I’m running on my Instagram page and the blog’s Facebook page consistently show that 30 to 40% do not wish to go to the ballot boxes on May 6.

This is troubling for me, because the less voters go out and vote, the more secure the current ruling class’ seats are. You have no excuse not to go vote, if not for someone you truly believe in and respect, at least to derail the political parties’ dreams of staying in power forever, and leaving it to their offspring when they’re too old or about to die.

Forget Blank Ballots

Every empty ballot is one extra vote that makes it harder for independents to secure seats, and easier for the ruling politicians to extend their reign of garbage and darkness further. So, the easy excuse of voting blank, is actually helping the ruling elite in this election, not a protest vote.

That’s why you need to do your research in your districts, and see who your best options are. I will also be helping you make your decisions, based on the below points.

Forget Big Meaningless Titles

Independence, freedom, anti-corruption and all the other drivel on the disgusting political ads littering the airwaves and streets, are meaningless. We all know they are all stooges of Iran or Saudi Arabia, that they are all corrupt, and that none of them actually supports freedom and human rights.

The problem with issues such as electricity, decent Internet and proper infrastructure, is that they are all allegedly for such reforms, but their past 30 years in power, shows that will never change as long as they are ruling us against our will.

Here, we have to make our decisions based on things that are much more easily fixable, if we put enough pressure. They don’t need billions of dollars and decades to implement. It takes a couple of signatures and the necessary political will. That’s at least how I’m making my decisions, and below are a few of the points I care most about that are pragmatic goals that we can see as soon as they get into parliament.

Pot Decriminalization

It’s unbelievable that over 3000 young people are arrested every year for a victimless crime, just so a handful of people can get bribed to sweep it under the rug. When the rest of the civilized world is moving way from criminalizing marijuana, it remains one of the only things the security forces here enforce with zero compromise, and often overreaching beyond their jurisdiction and legal rights.

If I’m going to support a campaign, it needs to commit to actually applying the law, and treating drug enforcement as a health issue, not a criminal one. In other words, I don’t want it legal, where you walk into a coffee shop like in Amsterdam. All I’m asking for is that no one ever steps foot in a sub-human jail cell for weeks and months, for absolutely no good reason. It’s basically the current law, where users are immediately referred to the addictions committee and go home, not rot in jail with suspected terrorists, rapists and murderers.

Freedom of Speech

They all claim they are for freedom of expression, but their behavior indicates otherwise. For a campaign to earn my support, they need to be explicitly committed to freedom of speech, online and offline. The age where social media users go to jail for a status or a tweet, needs to end, once and for all.

They might own most of the TVs, radios and newspapers, but they will never own our personal pages on the Internet, and the fact they’re trying to, goes to show you how disgusting and malicious they are.

Civil Status Laws and Civil Marriage

When addressing personal status laws, the current ruling parties always treat it like some unattainable goal that we might be able to reach in the very distant future. No. It’s something we can do now.

Enough archaic, religious courts that decide who can get married, divorced, custody and inheritance. Enough domestic violence that is OKed thanks to ancient laws belong in 1018 not 2018, laws that religious authorities will never update.

I understand that the violent, religious conservatives will have a seizure if women have equal rights, and they prefer the current status quo, so I’m willing to accept civil marriage remain “optional” at first, till the benefits of a secular set of personal status laws proves it’s exponentially better for everyone, even conservatives.

Plus, most of the progressive people who will not submit to dark age laws, are going to Cyprus, Greece and elsewhere to get a civil marriage. Why do we need to go abroad to get married? We should have that option (I’d prefer it be mandatory to protect those that need civil status laws the most) right here at home. Not all of us can afford offshore weddings on islands in better parts of the Mediterranean…

That way, we move large strides towards gender equality, ensure that no minors are forced to marry while underage and encourage people of different sects to marry each other out of love, instead of just someone from the same sect to make their teta happy.

LGBT Rights

The fact that someone can still ostensibly be arrested for being gay, lesbian, bi, trans or queer, is unacceptable. We might be a long way from same sex marriages, but we must surely be closer to that, than eggs being shoved up rectums to “test” for homosexuality. Luckily, this hasn’t happened recently, and wise and prudent judges have exonerated defendants accused of this non-crime. However, the fact that our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community still face a threat of arrest, torture and humiliation, needs to stop once and for all.

Removing Article 534 from the Lebanese penal code must be part of a campaign’s plan if they expect to get my support.

Member of Parliament Salaries for Life and Beyond

All these disgusting political parties talk about fighting corruption, when they get their salaries long after their terms expire, and even after they expire and die, passing it on to their families. They do that while they hike taxes on us.

If a campaign wants my support, I expect them to fix this immediately, and ensure no one gets a salary for life. They’re 4-year-term members of parliament, not life-appointees to the US Supreme Court. Khlosna ba2a.

I Could Go On

But these topics are ones I see an easy fix for, and will better the lives of thousands and hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people almost overnight. Everyone wants to get us 24/7 electricity, or at least claims to. The issues that should make you decide who to vote for, need to be more specific and quicker to implement and easy to hold the candidates accountable if they don’t fulfil their campaign promises.

Of course, we still expect to see their plans for the economy, infrastructure and overall reform-minded legislation, just don’t dismiss the above, because they will have the impact we feel most and in the very near future hopefully.


Issues to Focus on When Choosing Who to Vote For was originally published in Gino’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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