They are very popular with the voters, who for some strange reason, haven't yet caught on to the con. The leaders of these parties remind me of the imaginary politician I had envisioned when I wrote my highest graded composition for a university English class. The assignment was to write a parody of a campaign speech, and the line I remember best is:
"I want what you want."I can imagine Benny Gantz saying it at campaign rallies and parlour meetings. It follows the principle that as long as you don't say anything negative, many people will like you. The polls give Gantz's parve* party a lot of votes, more than ten percent of the Israeli public.
Israelis like to give people a chance, since most have serious complaints about those they know. I've noticed this rather consistently even in our local Shiloh elections. A first time candidate usually gets a high percentage of the vote. The only time it doesn't happen is if there are a few first time candidates. Then the voters have a difficult choice deciding whom to vote for.
The only way to get an accurate idea of what Gantz or a similar party leader/figurehead stands for is to take a good look at the people on his/her list. What are their ideologies, experience etc? By examining them, you find out two things:
- what is important to the main #1 candidate
- who is backing him/her; politics is expensive; follow the money
The Israeli political system isn't like most others. Here we vote for party lists of Knesset candidates. Honestly, I think it works well in a country as tiny as Israel. The Prime Minister is the Knesset Member who can succeed in gathering a coalition of at least sixty-one 61 of the one hundred and twenty 120 Members of Knesset.
|Yes, that's me voting a few years ago, at the 20th Knesset Elections.|
Photo by Linda Fairman
*parve, according to the laws of kashrut, is a food that can be eaten with either milk or meat.