Why I won’t be voting
Ervin Eran Shahar
Published: 09.02.09, 19:12
Comment Comment
Print comment Print comment
Back to article
46 Talkbacks for this article
1. A moronic, self-defeating position !
Yisrael ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (02.09.09)
If this guy cannot find even one party out of 34 that can at least partially match his politics, he is a singular whiner that no one can satisfy ! Is the system horribly flawed and in need of correction ? Yes, but so is his argument for not voting !
2. Shahar - principle before Israel???
marlene ,   Philadelphia, USA   (02.09.09)
SHAME ON YOU MR. SHAHAR! i voted for the lesser of two evils, here in America, and even though he did not win, I can live with myself. If Netanyahu had won over Oh-merde, Israel's citizens would NOT be suffering so much and I don't believe the kidnapped soldiers would have been tortured to death. Do you?
3. if u don't vote then don't comlain about results later!
Simha ,   Toronto, CANADA   (02.09.09)
5. When you don't vote...
Stan ,   USA   (02.09.09)
You only create a bigger disparity between the expressed will of the people and the people in charge. Of course, most of these problems would be solved if you would throw out this pathetic parliamentary government that gives the politicians no sense of responsibility for their actions and adopt real democracy via republic. A nation like Israel DOES NOT NEED 34 parties. Bring power back to the people, not the party lists.
6. The decision not to vote
MC ,   UK   (02.09.09)
Shahar says 'low voter turn out deprives ploiticians of legitimacy to rule' How come this 'deprivavtion' didn't stop Olmert and Livni making disasterous decisions? Tomorrow's voter turn out will no doubt be low, but every effort should be made in order to insist that the electoral system is changed and politicians become accountable to the voters. Burrying one's head in the sand doesn't help the people or the country.
7. Absolutely stupid
Eldar ,   Haifa   (02.09.09)
With more than thirty parties and hundreds of candidates this argument is a travesty. To cast them all aside - big and little - as purely interested in themselves is to have done little homework about who is out there. This guy deserves whatever government arises. When the votes were cast - he was absent.
8. Disgust-wise, he represents many of us
sh   (02.09.09)
In a way he's right. If everyone stayed away from the polls those standing for election would know what the public thinks of them. Does anyone know what the legal position would be if no-one voted at all? In this case, however, it's shoot-in-foot as the bigots will have enough votes to take power whether Mr. Shahar votes or not. But what should we do to make them understand that we want honest governance that will put the people it is responsible for first? ALL the people!
9. #1, I agree with the Author, not moronic at all!
Jjjay3 ,   ISrael   (02.09.09)
Can you tell me a party that serves the interest of the people? Sure there are parties that can partially match our political views, but is that really good enough and will they stick to what they stand for? NO The proof id seen from the past. The whole political system needs to be changed, thats obvious. If majority didnt vote, it only makes sense that they would be forced to make that change. There needs to be accountability, and if there isnt any then whats the point of voting for people you cant trust. Same parties, same self indulgence, same BS.
10. I don't think this is the answer.
Terry ,   Eilat, Israel   (02.09.09)
I also feel very frustrated by our dysfunctional political system. I can understand the apathy, the alienation, the disgust, at how poorly our system functions. I will vote, however - but with no enthusiasm (Thks David for the spelling tip). Not voting is a poor way to protest. Actually, not voting only serves the interests of our unaccountable & irresponsible politicians. We need more involvement, not less. But more to the point, we need constant pressure for meaningful change. We, the voters, must make this an issue. And not a minor talking point, but a MAJOR issue. Reform of our entire system is possibly THE most important issue. Without reform, we will not survive, this I can assure you. Our system cannot, by it's very nature, produce the leadership we need. It can only produce third-rate low quality political hacks. I just read an interesting article on this very subject. It is titled, ''An American Primer: Israel's National Election'' by Howard Linett at News Media Journal. It is worth reading.
11. A pity because Ervin Eran Shahar is a Zionist ..
martin knopfman ,   tel aviv   (02.09.09)
Zionist Ervin Eran Shahar filed an indictment against the Iranian President on behalf of the Civil Coalition, a "civil rights" (whose rights?) NGO active in Israel. The 56-page indictment was delivered to the German Federal Prosecutors Office in Karlsruhe, Germany, on Feb. 21. It charges that President Ahmadinejad has repeatedly expressed doubt that six million Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War Two, a crime in Germany punishable with up to five years in prison.
12. A democracy by its very nature is tempoary!
martin knopfman ,   tel aviv   (02.09.09)
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith From spiritual faith to great courage From courage to liberty From liberty to abundance From abundance to complacency From complacency to apathy From apathy to dependence From dependence back again into bondage."
13. There is not "protest" in not voting. You're just invisible.
JPS ,   Efrat   (02.09.09)
A voting boycott only works if you can convince a huge majority not to vote. Since that is not going to happen, his decision to not vote is pointless and useless. If he doesn't like the system, then he should get off his duff and instead of writing this drivel he should join one of the 32 parties running that supports electoral reform - there are several. Get your ass out on the street and campaign. Show us your alternatives. Or, sit at home and don't do anything, but please don't write about your choice as if it's serving some purpose - it isn't.
14. twick here pinch there & it is the same argument that is...
used not to perform circumsicision on a male child. Its your basic selfish selfcentered I want it my way or no way adolescent point of view!
15. try a different party
John ,   Ashkelon   (02.09.09)
maybe instead of not voting, why not vote for a party that wants to change the system? haisraelim.org is working for just that, to bring change to the system
16. Blank ballot better than not voting
EM ,   Ra'anana   (02.09.09)
It is the moral responsibility of every citizen to participate in the elections. Especially as a lawyer, you should be upholding this basic duty of a citizen. Put a blank ballot in the envelope (it is there for that purpose). This way, you can perform your duty as a citizen AND at the same time, not choose a party. But maybe your problem is that you remain annonymous by placing a blank ballot. And then the issue isn't that you can't find someone to vote for..it's that you want everyone to know about it.
17. intelectually lazy argument
Asaf Golan, ,   Sugar Land   (02.09.09)
I really do not care that you do not vote. You would probably vote for a party whose platform I would disagree with. So stay home and suck your thumb if you wish. But the fact remains that we have 34 parties to vote for or against. And voting against is must as much of the democratic reality as voting for.
18. The Non Vote Is The Best Civil Disobedience
Ariel Ben Yochanan ,   Kfar Tapuah   (02.09.09)
B"H The non-vote is the best civil disobedience and the only (non) action THEY, the establishment, really fears. Even dictators need public support. The Jews have another good reason not to vote: democracy has nothing to do with Judaism. We voted for Hashem under Mt. Sinai for all generations and knesset is not a Torah institution.
19. A solution to Shahar's problem
Joseph ,   Israel   (02.10.09)
The problem is that Shahar limits himself to choose between Labor and Kadima, parties that have lost the ability to think. They decided that they must create an Arab state in Judea and Samaria, but they know that this will mean the end of Israel. Perhaps Shahar should try voting for a party that is proud to be zionist. The National Union is not apologetic when it says that Jews have a right to dignity and liberty. That democracy and law do not mean that Jews must let themselves be killed. That Israel is the homeland of the Jews. The National Union will not form the next government, but its voters will be able raise their heads high.
20. If you don't vote, you have no right to complain
Zvi   (02.10.09)
21. it's not like arabs from israel shall leave to a new country
we shall create for them. so giving up judea and samarea means no space for jews in the future in tiny israel, when arab birth rate is so high. i have nothing against arabs. i want them all to live well, but they know they are choking us for lack of space, when arabs have so much space in the middle east, and they do it to jews in israel on purpose.
22. Pity
Yisraeli   (02.10.09)
Pity there isnt a party called "The party to vote for when your not voting" or "The Protest Party" saying we stand for nothing but for whom all protestors can vote for and when we get 50 seats with all the local neighbours sitting in them, our agenda shall be the change of vote system. Once achieved we will call for new elections till then we'll serve the cats at all the ashpaot in the country. Silly I know but.........you get the message.
23. to 21
dieess ,   jerusalem   (02.10.09)
arabs are not gippsies .....end
24. Not Voting
Ora ,   Tel Aviv, Israel   (02.10.09)
If you don't vote, Mr Shahar, no matter for whom, then you have no moral right to criticize the next government. No party is perfect and you should have learned by now that election promises are made to be broken. That's part of the game. One votes for the least bad. Not voting is not a form of protest, it is a form of copping out.
25. Brilliant thinking
Shachar ,   Eilat   (02.10.09)
This is exactly the billiant thinking that allows small sectors who vote en masse,(Shas, Haredim and right wing extremists) to hold the gov't to ransom, ransack the treasury and stifle all chances for change...and then you blame the politicians for not keeping promises. And if we get a fascist or ayatollah style gov't it is your non-vote that paved their way...
26. So why not vote HaIsraelim? They want to change all this.
Steve Goodman ,   Zichron Yaakov   (02.10.09)
I agree with the writer except that in this election, there is a party that wants to address the issues the writer raises: HaIsraelim (www.haisraelim.org). So the writer could actually use his vote to change things, instead of not voting, which might assuage his conscience a bit, but is practically speaking nothing but a vote for the winner. And the winners of any parties are not going to change the system so that the writer will vote next time.
27. Mr. Shahar stop bellyaching! go vote & get ur Krembo!!!
28. legitimacy
Dov   (02.10.09)
a low turnout does not deny the politicians anything. it may deny your legitimacy to complain.
29. Re: 24 Exactly!
Ariel Ben Yochanan ,   Kfar Tapuah   (02.10.09)
B"H The problem of Israel is not the government. The problem is the State and Jews can only hope to turn the state of the Jews to a Jewish State by not participating in the first, Hellenist one. All the present state's institutions are Hellenistic and have no Jewish character.
30. Re: 16 Voting IS NOT a duty!
Ariel Ben Yochanan ,   Kfar Tapuah   (02.10.09)
Next talkbacks
Back to article