Investigation of the Effect of Tribalism on Voting Pattern; Case Study: Nourabad Mamasani Township

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 M.A of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Place is the focus of geography, and the identity is the manifestation of culture in place. Geographical spaces and places whether based on ecological relations or other factors are interested of people that have been born or live there as their habitat. The human is interested in his hometown and where he lived in it for a while and has a sense of belonging and makes a kind of mental relation. Belonging to place creates interests in human that because of it, deep emotional and psychological connections is established between people. The person becomes dependent on location so that goes behind of worldly relations and establishes an emotional relation with it, the place become precious and sacred for him. Finding emotional weight by space and place, mental and emotional attachments between humans and their hometown, make a political value for space. Patriotism, love of country and motherland make a defense motivation and readiness in human to fight the invaders and sacrifice for country. In the meantime, political geography researches are looking for finding emotional attachments and bonds between people and the places in which they live. These places create a part of people identity that, sometimes, is considered as their reaction basis. Available information indicates that, in some areas because of the mountainous terrain, the dominant lifestyle is nomadic. The social structure aroused from this lifestyle has a spatial and tribal identity. These properties are most common in western and south provinces of country and are hidden underlying layers of civil society. Nourabad Mamasani is one of Fars province townships that have been affected by relations of tribal life. In terms of these relationships, the pattern of political culture in this township has a spatial tribe-oriented function. So that, tribal tendencies is an effective and important factor in voting pattern of this town candidates.
This research investigates the relation between two variables: tribalism and voting pattern as independent and dependent variables, respectively. Mamasani Township is one of areas that affected by tribal- spatial election behavior. In this area, all of things, such as political affairs and social systems take their legitimacy from clan factor. The clan acts as substructure of cultural subjects and social institution. Originality is always with clan and one is integrated in whole clan. So that, since the Islamic Revolution to the present day, holding nine periods of Islamic consultancy election, statistics and information indicate that, tribal- spatial tendencies overcome other factors in voting pattern of Mamasani constituency candidates. Descriptive- analytical method was used to assess and test the research theory. Here, the data gathering methods are based on library (Books, papers, magazines, documents, publications, statistics, and maps) and fieldwork (Interviews, observation and imaging).
Result and Discussion
The first and second Islamic consultancy election in Mamasani Township had its own especial conditions due to the revolutionary atmosphere of the community. In this period, Samad Shojaiian, from Javid clan, because of his education level and revolutionary- cultural feature, could own the parliament seat. Election base of Shojaiian has been from various geographical origins, so that, he has earned enough votes even in areas that has not been his hometown (Gachgaran). So, because of the particular circumstances of country and people familiarity with especial revolutionary figures, the tendency of maximum vote, in second period, to Samad Shojaiian was predictable. In third period of Islamic consultancy election in Mamasani constituency, Abdorrasoul Mousavi, from Bekosh clan won. Given that Mousavi has been candidate in two previous periods and could not able to demonstrate a well-known figure of himself, so, entered to election with enough experience and political history and could earn enough votes as compared to other competitors and won, not only in his hometown but also in Mahour Milati (Turkish district), by accomplishing local influential from various clans. A remarkable point of this period is that, a priest, for the first time gets maximum votes in Mamasani constituency. Forth period of Islamic consultancy election was held under especial economic conditions and affected by economic development and improved living conditions. In this period, a candidate from Mamasani constituency (Reza Qholi Allahyari) entered to parliament that, largely, was in line with the dominant discourse on society. Allahyari, in this period, earned maximum votes not only in his hometown but also in other geographical constituencies: Doshman Ziary and Mahour Milati. So we can say, although all of candidates earned maximum votes in their geographical constituency (hometown and clan) during these four elections, but election data and statistics indicate that candidates have earned enough votes in other geographical constituency (clans). So, it can be concluded that clan- oriented and home- oriented subjects had a little effect on voter's pattern of four periods. In other words, although during these four periods the tribal tendencies and neighborhood were important not significant.
In fifth period of parliament elections, people participation increased by 18 percent compared to the previous periods because of the different factions and tendencies, and consequently their intense competition. In this period, also, attending candidates with different clans and geographical origins and intellectual- doctrinal tendencies led to making boundaries and social separate switching in Mamasani constituency. This social separate switching found a spatial- place aspect and we saw coalitions that while made gaps into convergence group (clan), subsequently made it for other groups, so that common voting pattern was formed between coalitions (different geographical constituencies). Such bordering and spatial- identity social separate switching had a significant effect on voting quality. In general it can be said that in five periods of election at Mamasani constituency up to now, this was the only election that the clan- orientation and home- orientation phenomena had an effective role in orienting and meaning voters choices. Therefore it can be said that the given to votes earned by Fariborz Ansari in his hometown, spatial- tribal tendencies have been effective and decisive on his voting patterns. Sixth period of Islamic consultancy election was held under conditions that deal with political development in indoor affairs and détente in foreign political affairs. In this period, candidates from Mamasani constituency (Seyed Ebrahim Amini) entered to parliament that his slogan was supporting Khordad 2nd Front. Although in this period Amini was supporting Reforms Front, but statistics and information indicate that the supporter of his votes is the fundamental broker of tribal tendencies and family relations and has not ever been related to partial- political issues. It can be said that the elections in this period were affected by tribal and spatial tendencies. Amini's votes from his hometown establish that the decisive factor is clan- orientation. Seventh parliament election was held under conditions that reformers were dominant in consultancy. In this period that was coincided with second period of reforms governments, naturally, candidates were lucky that aroused from this front, but some reasons decreased the fortuity in both the government and the public stage. Disapproving Bekosh clan candidate and multiplicity of Rostam clan candidates, the condition was prepared for creating and spreading the influence scope and voting base of Javid clan candidate (Ali Ahmadi). This caused that the Javid clan won the election by solidarity. The distribution type of Ali Ahmadi's votes show that the concentration of votes has been where he lived there. This implies that the clan- orientation has been decisive on Ali Ahmadi's voting pattern. In eighth period, Abdorreza Moradi, who attended in previous period, was not considered well- known and famous person, but  he attended with high political experience and could earn maximum votes in four district: central, Rostam, Doshman Ziary and Mahour Milati, and be a director for citizens benefit and approaches in the candidate role. In this period, although Mordi caught maximum votes in mentioned four districts, but he could not earn enough votes from Javid clan constituency boxes that have a high geopolitical level. Therefore, it can be said that tribal tendencies have had an important role in Moradi's voting bases. Ninth period of Islamic consultancy election in Mamasani constituency had its own especial properties. In this period, two important and well- known candidates from Bekosh and Javid clans that had dignity and social acceptance were rejected. Bekosh and Javid clans people despite of having no willing to vote candidates aroused from their hometown (Nozar Shafii and Said Qaedi), because of their tribal bias did not want to vote other candidates. Nozar Shafii's votes in hometown establish that the decisive factor has been the tribal tendencies. So, according to library and field findings tribal tendencies had a little effect on voting patterns for three candidates, but had a significant effect on candidates voting pattern of   fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth period. So that, tribalism subject is considered as a safe supportive base for them.
Tribalism is a sense of intrinsic motivation in individuals living in special geographical space that prefers the values related to perception of space and habitats to values beyond space or related to other spaces, and supervises on residents of a settlement area, like each other, generally, vote to a person or a process that sense similarity with them, based on their social, economic and cultural features. This research question is “do the tribal- spatial tendencies have affected on candidates voting pattern of Islamic consultancy election nine periods at Mamasani constituency?” For this purpose, the paper selected statistics for nine periods of Islamic consultancy election, and in order to better explain has analyzed the data and made maps by using EXCEL and GIS programs based on a descriptive- analytic method. Results shows that the tribal- spatial tendencies had a little effect on three candidates voting pattern, but had a significant effect on candidates voting pattern of   fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth period. So that, tribalism subject is considered as a safe supportive base for them.


Volume 11, Issue 39
September 2016
Pages 84-116
  • Receive Date: 22 March 2015
  • Revise Date: 19 June 2015
  • Accept Date: 14 August 2015
  • First Publish Date: 23 September 2015