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Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Role and Impact of Christians in Egypt's 2012 Presidential Elections

So generally I hate getting into the Christian versus Muslim aspect of anything. However, since Thursday night I've been hearing, watching and reading ridiculous stuff about how Christians, a minority, group suddenly determined the fate and future of Egypt by voting for Shafik.

I don't deny that many Egyptians voted for Shafik; it's not something I can deny; however, of all Christians I know the percentage of those who voted for Shafik doesn't exceed 50%.

I personally didn't vote for him... I'm not defending him... I'm simply explaining events!

Anyhow, since I'm a person of calculation and pen and paper; I'll share with you something I did. It started out this morning, with a little calculation I did for myself... and then I thought why not share it with you all.

First of all I wanted to know how many Christians, more or less, participated in the elections; so I assumed the following (numbers cannot be generalized):
  • Egypt's total population is about 90 million of which about 50 million are eligible to vote (around 56% of the total population)
  • Christians total population is about 18 million of which about 10 million are eligible to vote (around 56% of the total Christian population, reflecting the behavior of the total population)
  • Generally speaking, 45% of the eligible population actually voted HENCE of the 10 million eligible Christian, only 4.5 million actually participated in the elections (again reflecting the behavior of the total population)
That being said... we know that majority of Egyptian Christians voted for one of three: Shafik, Mousa or Sabahy. We also know the following (sort of facts until the final official announcement):
  • Shafik received: 5,900,000 votes
  • Mousa received: 2,600,000 votes
  • Sabahy received: 4,700,000 votes
Hence assuming all Christian votes were divided across these three; I did a little homework in calculating the percentages of Christians that voted for each. I randomly picked 35 of the Christians I know and checked who they voted for and following were the results:
  • 13 out of the 35 voted for Shafik (around 37% of Christians)
  • 10 out of the 35 voted for Mousa (around 29% of Christians)
  • 12 out of the 35 voted for Sabahy (around 34% of Christians)
However, even more important than how many of us voted for each candidate the question is what was the impact of these votes; therefore I calculated the following:
  • If 37% out of the 4,500,000 eligible Christians voted for Shafik; that means Shafik got approximately 1,665,000 Christian vote which represent a total of 29% of the total 5,900,000 votes he received
  • If 29% out of the 4,500,000 eligible Christians voted for Mousa; that means Mousa got approximately 1,305,000 Christian vote which represents a total of 50% of the total 2,600,000 votes he received 
  • If 34% out the 4,500,000 eligible Christians voted for Sabahy; that means Sahaby got approximately 1,530,500 Christian vote which represents a total of 33% of the total 4,700,000 votes he received
That being said; and although I know the numbers ARE NOT exactly accurate the impact of Christian votes on Shafik is actually the least. Therefore if we, hypothetically, were the only ones who voted for him he wouldn't have made it to the re-run. 1.6 million votes would have done him no good at all. All that, assuming they didn't vote for anyone else like AboulFetouh, Khalid Ali or anyone...

Point is like ALL Egyptians... the Christian elderly were split between Shafik and Mousa and the youth went for Sabahy and some for Mousa. Additionally the ones in slums in need for "protection and safety" decided that Shafik is the best case for them.

Yes, many Christians voted for him; but their impact wasn't as big as you think; and it is impossible to throw that weight alone on them. Stop pointing fingers; the who idea behind democracy is that everyone votes for whomever they want; if 37% of Christians (plus or minus) wanted to vote for Shafik, it's their right! NO MORE NO LESS! No blames, no agendas, no plans!

We are in desperate NEED of respecting each others' choices; even of we don't agree to them.

And then again; in the re-run, if Shafik wins, people will blame it in on Christians... and if someone then comes and asks how did you guys vote for him... my answer will be simple: DUH! Don't expect them to vote for Morsi; best case scenario "others" would hope for is that they abstain... 

I'm not defending Christians; because one we don't need to defend ourselves and two given the rules of democracy we shouldn't be in need for defending our choices; I'm trying to explain because the attach I've been witnessing since Thursday night is absurd. 

AGAIN, the numbers above are a simplistic calculations; they're not a generalization; they're a simplified representation. I've also included the rough draft I did on paper so people don't assume I made these numbers up; however I blacked out the names of the people because their choices are personal and they shared it with me out of good will. 

~ my next post will be away from pointing fingers; it'll be a general post about the Elections experience in Egypt.

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