Friday, May 6, 2016

Beirut Madinati, between hype and votes!

"If sex sells, and we know it does, we're going to sweep the market" I took this sentence from the long-dead Who's The Boss sitcom, I shall paraphrase it by saying, "if street credential elects candidates, and we know it doesn't, Beirut Madinati will sweep the municipal elections of Beirut".
Beirut Madinati, ah, where to begin! Disclosure: I worked on a different campaign, I do not vote in Beirut, and I do not follow politics due to tension avoidance.
But hey, Beirut Madinati got everyone buzzing. They are up against the "bierte" (Beirutis) list which is backed by Hariri, and are presenting themselves as a maverick of change in the face of the big bad old guard.
Of course, politics is a very tricky thing, but for all their naivete, they are the David against the Goliath in the municipal elections. A beacon of hope from the frustrated electorates to the hipster youth. For heaven's sake they even got an app you can download! And there was even art created around their image.
Call it a syndrome of being above 40 (41 years old actually), but I have come to believe people do not want change. In the magnificent documentary about the year 1968, French director Patrick Barberis showed how it was a matter of "on prend les memes et on recommence" (where old faces came out the window and got back through the door) and yet 1968 is always referred to as a year of change globally.
Still, the hype created around the campaign of Beirut Madinati is very commandable. Everyone is talking about them, and they managed to impose a discussion which could have otherwise gone unnoticed. If this will translate in the ballot boxes, good for them. If not, let's say at least they tried!

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