Where do Lebanese Political Groups Stand on Policy Questions? An Analysis of Electoral Platforms
Most major political parties in Lebanon released electoral platforms ahead of the 2018 parliamentary election but little attention has been paid to their content. In this study, LCPS examines the platforms of six major political parties and three emerging groups. Complementing another study2 that analyzed these platforms’ scope, depth, and focus, this study examines platform content in a more comprehensive manner in order to determine political groups’ positions on major policy issues. In addition to platform content, the report also utilizes data collected in a pre-election survey of some political parties. This study found that political adversaries often do not have conflicting policy prescriptions and, in fact, espouse support for widely-accepted and uncontroversial positions. It also confirms the findings of previous research, namely, that major parties appear to avoid commitment to specific policy proposals in their platforms, and instead present documents that allow flexibility on policy positions and allow for contradictions in stances within each political group. The overview of individual platforms offers a snapshot of the approach that each party has adopted, and more generally their apparent ideological and policy orientations. We hope that this analysis will help provide a solid foundation for further research on the positioning of parties and can be useful for activists seeking to influence policy.