There must be over a 1000 "political" parties in this humongous country, but as a first step I will look into the Top 10 according to the last election results and rate their stock.
1. Future Movement: Banking on the Tupac effect following the assassination of its leader, the Future movement had a strong showing in the elections and was clearly the top party in terms of popular vote (17.2%). However, election time was the peak; its support is already waning within the Sunni community. Saad (ironically means happiness) Hariri has looked weak. The movement has ctrong charity work but lacks any political and economical agenda outside of Hariri Inc.’s business plan. The number’s show almost 40% of the votes came from the north where Saad spent some generous campaign time following his defeat in the third round of elections, that will not hold.
Outlook: Future Movement will continue to be a major player in the Lebanese political landscape as they will continue to be the top Sunni party for a while. But expect it to fall into #3 in the Popularity Rank if it’s not already there.
Favorite Color: Baby Blue. Favorite Day: March 14th.
2. Hezbollah: Here come the Men in Black, and women. Hezbollah has the strongest base among the Lebanese parties, especially since they kicked Israel’s ass out of Lebanon. It has been under a constant American/Israeli attack since its foundation and yet it has managed to grow stronger with time. How? Resistance. They resist occupation, capitalism, communism, money, liquor, make up, colors, entertainment, good image, creativity, music, razor blades, basically anything except sex.
Outlook: At 14.6% of the popular vote, Hezbollah will be around for a long time. It will not grow beyond its current circle of support, however this circle will stretch since they fuck a lot. Each Hezbollah couple is required to have a Mohammad, Ali, Hussein, Hassan, Haydar, Mehdi, Moustafa, Zeinab, Fatima, and Zahra.. Favorite Day: May 25th. Favorite TV Personality: the Midget on the kids shows on Al Manar.
3. Free Patriotic Movement Party: The cool, hip, orange, sexy, fashionable, orange, new kid on the block; this party is the IN party, it has a political platform which is a novelty in Lebanon, even though it looks like it was written by an orange. It’s been referred to as the tsunami and it has lived up to the label, checked in with 14.5% of the popular vote on election day, and has been growing fast. Although it markets itself as secular, its supporters are 99% Christian. 100% Lebanese of course.
Outlook: Well funded and organized and will continue to grow for a while. However, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The “General” can talk a good game, but his history doesn’t back it up. Also the “General” is not young, and he is the party, expect a rapid collapse similar to the rapid rise it has enjoyed when the “General” chokes on an orange. Favorite Drink: Orangina. Favorite Color: Guess?
4. Amal Movement: The Party for the Shia who are too cool for Hezbollah. Grasping on to the legend of Musa Sadr, it continues to enjoy a strong southern base. Led by war criminal/ post war public money suction machine Nabih Berri, it has been in constant decline due to the fact that it is nothing, stands for nothing, and represents nothing. In the past year it has adopted the follow Hezbollah in everything they say approach. Well that has them good enough for 8.6% of the voting public.
Outlook: More nothingness so it makes a perfect fertile base for a new party to target. Favorite Color: Fluorescent colors with “kashkash”. Favorite TV Personality: That Herb doctor.
5. Progressive Socialist Party: Although it sounds like a political party, it is not. This is just the code name for the Kingdom of Jumblatt. War Criminal Walid Jumblatt has proven to be the undisputed King of the Mountain. Jumblatt is the smartest, most astute politician in Lebanon.
Outlook: Having a loyal Druze base of 6.2% of Lebanese vote will guarantee the Jumblatts’ generations of presence in the Lebanese political tabbouleh as representatives of their religious sect. The irony here is that Walid Jumblatt just like his father Kamal are atheist. Favorite color: Gray. Favorite Day: Today.
6. Lebanese Forces: Led by the only War Criminal to do jail time, Samir Geagea, the Lebanese Forces enjoy 5.1% of public support. (51% according to LBC). Geagea is a hard core Christian fundamentalist, except he disagrees with Christ on all morality issues. He promises to be a changed more tolerant man in the New Lebanon. He has a HOT wife.
Outlook: Geagea’s time in jail helped increase his popularity, since he was portrayed as an oppressed victim. Well now he is a free man. People can see him and hear him; that is terrible news for his political future.
7. Sleiman Frangieh Gang: Patriarch of Zghorta. Controls 2.4% of Lebanese vote and will pass it on to his kids and grandkids.
Outlook: no changes in the foreseeable future to his reign over Zghorta. Since he’s an ally of both Hezbollah and FPM so he will probably be President of Lebanon at some point in the future.
8. Kornet Shehwan: R.I.P. An amalgam of presidential hopefuls, Kornet Shehwan has parted ways with the Syrian withdrawal as that was their only uniting issue. Only 2.2% of public votes on their own, they try to court the major parties as moderate flexible maronites who can fill the constitutional role of President of the Republic.
Outlook: Boutros Harb and Naseeb Lahoud are strong presidential candidates. Loud and obnoxious Fares Seaid is thankfully gone with the wind.
9. Communist Party: One of 2 parties with equally spread support across religious sects and geographical areas. That explains its low popularity (1.7 %). Once a strong proud party it just couldn’t hold up with the fall of the CCCP and the Berlin wall.
Outlook: Che Guevara T-shirts are raising interest amongst the youth, but how long can that fad last? Favorite color: hmm, what could it be?
10. Syrian National Socialist Party: The other secular geographically spread party. The grand daddy of them all. It is older than Lebanon itself, thus its name. This old fart is good for 1.6% of Lebanese vote.
Outlook: SNSP seems to be making a comeback in recent months by targeting the secular crowd. However, I have two words of advice for them: NEW NAME!!!! “Syrian” and “National Socialist” are a PR double whammy.