Monty: So it’s come to this: Parliamentary Elections in Syria.
Anna: I’m American so something something, never start a land war in Asia.
Monty: Shall we get into it?
Syria is not a real democracy, and the international community as a general rule does not recognize the legitimacy of its elections, but they do give some small insights into how Syrian government works and what is going on internally with its government.
The parliament has 250 seats, elected via 15 multi-member constituencies. Of these 250 seats, 50 are held by nonpartisan representatives, while the other 200 are united under the governmental National Progressive Front, led by President Bashar al-Assad. The NPF dominated by the Assad’s Arab Socialist Baath Party, but also includes the Social Nationalists (who dream of conquering Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq, and Kuwait to form a Greater Syria) and multiple Communist and Socialist Parties.
The election was postponed from its original date in April due to COVID-19, but it wouldn’t have mattered because none of this will make any difference.
Anna: Are there ANY candidates on ballot who consider themselves opposition to Assad?
Monty: Not explicitly. It’s like elections in the Soviet Union.
Anna: I’m also curious what the typical voting turnout would be for an election like this. I have to assume there is opposition to Syrian policies and the current government somewhere in the country, with no real way to reflect that on ballot.
Monty: Well…there certainly was some Syrian opposition. I saw some of it with my own eyes. I believe however that the only way to do that under this system is to abstain from voting entirely. This is what happened in the USSR as well– voter turnout was used as a gauge of public confidence.
Anna: hopefully the government would notice and care that they did not have confidence…but it’s 2020.
Monty: In conclusion, the Syrian Government is a lack of contrasts.