Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Election Reform, another un-numbered musing

this has been corrected; the early version had a crucial mistake

Election Reform is a big issue in Israel, especially among the Anglo-immigrant community, who have rose-hewed memories of "clean government" and "democracy" from the "old countries."

Whenever I hear the words "election reform," usually followed by "representative" and districts, the term "gerrymander" begins shouting in my mind. That's the art of drawing districts to guarantee certain results. It's very common in America; that's right. Just think of the Electoral College, which really elects the president. Presidential elections in the states is not what it seems. The direct elections are a first step to guide the Electoral College. And that's not the dirty part.

The dirty part is how districts are drawn, and if anyone thinks that the Israeli politicians would make fair districts, they ought to send in their requests to Santa real soon.

The parties make up lists of candidates, and the voters vote for parties, and according to the percentage of voters, that's how many representatives from each party. It's an ideological vote, rather than a local vote. Meaning you vote for a platform, an ideology. That's the main reason why people in Israel who voted for the Likud in the last elections say that they "were robbed."

There have been calls to change the system in Great Britain. There are people who consider the district system to be a distortion of the will of the people. Basically, they have three main parties in the elections, but Parliament really has two. Taking the total national vote and looking at the percentages shows a strong third party, but the third party, the Liberals, have almost no Members of Parliament. Coming in "a close second" gets you nothing.

The only real change I would make in the Israeli Government would be to have some sort of "balance of power" between the three branches of government, judicial, Kenesset and prime minister. First of all, the judicial shouldn't vote for itself. And we can go back to the directly-elected Prime Minister; it was tried once and changed back to the old system. Yes, if you caught this. Arik Sharon was not elected Prime Minister of Israel by the people. He was elected to the "number one spot" in the Likud, and that's how he became Prime Minister. The Likud got the most votes and was given a chance to form a government coalition.

And now we see from yesterday's Likud central committee that his "machine" has taken over the Likud. Results from the Central committee were as Sharon wanted, that party elections will not be in 60 days. That reinforces my long-time feelings that the Likud is not my party. I don't trust the people running it. And it won't be any better when Sharon is gone. It's rotten to the core.

Since the Israeli electoral system is based on "ideological parties," I've chosen Ichud Leumi-Moledet, which is for all Jews and Eretz Yisrael.


Robin Ticker said...


Batya, I too like your choice of Ichud Leumi-Moledet, which is for all Jews and Eretz Yisrael. However, are all Jews ready for this party to lead? Many Israeli citizens will say they do not wish religious coersion and do not wish to have laws that are forced upon them by right wing religious extremists.

I am for a platform of Torah. I am for a platform that will focus on the Covenant and on 3 basic fundamental truths that constitute the Covenant between G-d and Am Yisroel.

1. G-d gave the Land of Israel to our forefathers Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov and to their descendants.

2. The nations of the world will be blessed through us.

3. our right to remain on the Land is contingent upon the performance of Mitzvoth.

Batya said...

I'm not waiting, I just try pushing ahead, the best I can.