Recipe for political disaster
Eitan Haber
Published: 11.02.09, 12:47
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1. Finally!
Shimon ,   Cincinnati, USA   (02.11.09)
For more than 30 years I have been saying "How the hell can they function? Why don't they switch to the American System?" Maybe it's time to wake up and get rid of the British "Boatload of FAIL" system? After all, when did ANYTHING good come out of that country?
2. None of you get it!
Paqid Yirmeyahu ,   Ra'anana, Israel   (02.11.09)
We Israeli Jews live in a barrel. It's imperative to change the label. I don't see any reason why that's important but all of the lemmings are so frenetic about changing the label so it must be important? Democracy elevates a reflection of the people. It is the people of Israel who are internally conflicted. Democracy can never heal an internally conflicted people; it can only mirror them. The problem is "governable," not "governability." That's been documented for millennia. Until the people of Israel resolve their internal strifes you can change labels as often as you like; you will be eternally afflicted by this intrinsically conflicted barrel. Until "lehavdil bein qodesh lekhol" you cannot claim the promises of Torah, much less anything else. Oxen that pull in different directions cannot work yoked together. Paqid Yirmeyahu Paqid 16, The Netzarim, Ra'anana, Israel Israeli Orthodox Jew (Teimani Baladi Dardai) Advancing Logic as Halakhic Authority Welcoming Jews & non-Jews www.netzarim.co.il
3. Haber Misunderstands
Sha'i ben-Tekoa ,   Judea, Israel   (02.11.09)
Like most Israelis, he thinks the difference between the US and Israel is the "presidential" system. No, it is the "congressional" system whose reps are voted into office directly by voters by district. It is this rotten, Bolshevik system of voting for parties that is the problem.
4. Eitan Haber, the political scientist.
Terry ,   Eilat, Israel   (02.11.09)
Mr Haber, you are a most confused man. People like you, of whom there are far too many in Israeli political circles, have been screwing up the country for 60 years. It is by now general knowledge that our political system is dysfunctional. It was dysfunctional from day one. That you are just noticing this is only because it is no longer working to the advantage of those you ideologically support. Change, major reform, is certainly necessary but you only want changes that will bring your faction back to it's former preeminence. You're not really interested in a more democratic system nor are you interested in a better-functioning system. People like you are the absolutely LAST people who should have a hand in making changes.
DAVID ,   JUDEA   (02.11.09)
What Eitan Haber and friends do not get and will never get , that at their hands we are ostracized and black listed and have become a pariah among the nations. In their ceaseless Hellenist effort to be like other nations , they have become hated around the world, coupled with an enormous increase off anti-semitism. No matter how hard they try to be liberal Israelis , the world will remind them, that they are Jews ,something they fear and hate most. He does not need to worry about Bibi nor Lieberman , because in the end they are the same as all our Hellenist liberal Israelis , who rather self destruct , then to stand up and claim their rightfull claim to the land off Israel. He is complaining about governabilty , while his friends hold all the postions off power and continuii to destroy Judaism in every way possible. No matter what system he suggests , secular Zionism is a dead end that will only lead to disaster and bloodshed, but this will not discourage them , because like he wrote nothing is more fearsome then to trust in god and that my friends is exactly why we are in such a dangerous mess , with no end in sight.
6. I agree 100%
Dolly G. ,   Israel   (02.11.09)
What a great article! I couldn't have agreed more... the current system is not working and it hasn't for a long time... It is a shame that we keep making the same mistakes over and over again!
7. Not Complicated
J Hartman ,   Israel   (02.11.09)
While not to Mr. Haber's liking, there is nothing particularly complicated here except his distaste for the results. We do not vote here for PM, but for parties. We have done that in the past, and abandoned it for good reason. Whichever party can put together the majority neccessary to form a government, will. That Ms. Livni was able to generate a 1 mandate lead as of this hour, doesn't have any significance other than her having drawn from the other failed left-block parties, and if she can't find other parties to join with her, that's the end of the game. BTW, most voters for the Likud, did not vote Likud to make a coalition with Kadima and it's ideology, or lack thereof. Such a move would violate the wishes and democratic expression of this group.
8. No One Won
Aryeh ,   Haifa, Israel   (02.11.09)
This is certainly an op-ed rather than an analysis. 1 - No one won the elections. Zippy and Bibi were not running. Their parties were running. In the US, one votes for a president. Here we vote for a party. 2 - One additional mandate does not matter if you can't form a coalition. If winning means that you can form a coalition, then Bibi won. 3 - Oy, what a coaltition. If Bibi is able to form one, it won't last very long. I agree with your estimate of one year. 4 - It would be interesting to see how Israeli politics would change if Israel were to go to an American system. It mirhgt reduce the national parties but at the cost of making minority interests very important for certain MKs to the point that legislation might move at a snail's pace. Wait, perhaps that might even be good.
9. #1 this has nothing to do with Britain
Yitzchok ,   Israel   (02.11.09)
Shimon Thank you for tarring all of Britain with the same brush. Not that I live there any more but I'm still insulted. What's more, you betray your own ignorance. Israel's electoral system has very little to do with that of the UK. Israel has a one-house proportional-representation system vs the UK which has two houses, the lower of which is constituency-based and the upper of which is hereditary/appointed. I'm not arguing the merits just pointing out the facts. I would be very happy to see a constituency-based system here. On the other hand if by "American System" you mean a presidential one, I wouldn't want to see that here.
10. Increase the threshold to 4 % or 5 %
JK ,   NYC   (02.11.09)
That would remove the smaller parties and create 3 - 4 parties that are strong enough to form stable alliances.
11. Constiuency voting, constituency responsibility
Sheila ,   Jerusalem,Israel   (02.11.09)
Yet again Israel will be "lumbered" with a Prime Minister she didn't vote for - because he is the most efficient wheeler dealer - not the best or most honest diplomat. It is time that individual Members of Knesset answer to their own constituencies and are elected on merit and efficiency.
12. Governability
Yitzchok ,   Israel   (02.11.09)
I don't know whether the English is YNet's or Mr Haber's but I don't think governability is the word... Governability sounds like the degree to which the country is governable. It would apply to the country/population, not to the potential rulers.
13. Who should rule and why
Ariel Ben Yochanan ,   Kfar Tapuah   (02.11.09)
B"H With nearly 40% we, the non voting public, are the real winners! We are the largest group here, more than Likud, more than Kadima, more than Labor, more than the Left and more than the Right. We should speak up more than ever and more loudly than ever. We should voice and voice again and again our NO CONFIDENCE in the "democratic" system. Not because it is corrupt and insufficient in terms of decision-making but because it is Hellenistic. Let's not forget that the knesset is NOT a Torah institution and as Jews our duty in the Land of Israel is to bring it down, appoint a King, Sanhedrin and just courts in every village. Every election shows that nearly half of the Israelis understand this basic truth and there is no way we'll stop fighting for our fundamental Jewish right to have a Jewish State. Long Live The King! www.thetorahrevolution.blogspot.com
14. But if the leftists had the majority , Eitan would say klum!
Jjjay3 ,   Israel   (02.11.09)
15. New System
Meir ,   Toronto   (02.11.09)
#1 you mean the US system where the person who won the popular vote wasn't the President because of the electoral college. Nice. Israel might consider a higher threshold and a portion of the 120 being elected directly by the people instead of party hacks. Also, someone once said that Israel needs to have the smaller parties represented to prevent an out an out civil war. Without a Knesset voice the situation could be worse.
16. leftists always want to change system when they lose.
b. moskowitz ,   chashmonaim, Israel   (02.11.09)
The people have spoken showing they do not want to continue the meretz / peace now / way of giving giving and getting only rockets and terror in return from our "friends". We do need a new system where the supreme coourt is changed and their power curbed.
17. #1 Start with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore
Sheila ,   Jerusalem,Israel   (02.11.09)
Modern India, and many more - in fact if it wasn't for Britain, the founders of democracy where would the US of A be today? Choose your target and stick to it!! Israel does not use the British system of constituency elections which is conceivably the most democratic in the world
18. #13 No vote, no army, no responsibility - no citizenship!!!!
Sheila ,   Jerusalem,Israel   (02.11.09)
19. in response to #2
Brian ,   Mashabei Sade Israel   (02.11.09)
actually.... no....we just need to change our flawed electoral process, and reform the structure of our government, and a constitution wouldn't hurt either, as for you my friend, get off the drugs.
20. # 3 # 11 : Accountability !!
denverHI   (02.11.09)
Accountability by the politicians to the public, and our ability to "Fire" them if we don't like the job they are doing... Constituency based elections, as in USA congressional districts and England..and didn't even the Palestinians have partial constituency based elections.... stop the wheeling dealing... I want to fire someone!! [everyone]
21. #4 - Terry, Kol haKavod! You took the words out of my mouth!
Joe ,   Ramat Gan   (02.11.09)
22. basic political science theory
David ,   San Francisco, USA   (02.11.09)
says that a democracy can support a number of serious parties equal to the number of possible winners plus one. In the "winner take all" system in the US for each office, that means 2 real parties. In Israel, with the 2% threshold, that means about a dozen. Without smaller parties to block majorities, the US pulls the the main parties to the center until they're all but indistinguishable, and nothing important gets done. With smaller parties blocking majorities in Israel, they hold bigger parties hostage and too much fringe stuff gets done. There are drawbacks to both ways, and neither is necessarily better. Pick your poison.
23. Exactly
Stan ,   USA   (02.11.09)
And that is why Israel's government is an embarrassing corrupt government for everyone involved. It will be this way until you throw off the nonsensical system of the parliament which does not have the voters interest remotely in mind. When Israel becomes a Democratic Republic like the US, (not perfect either, but far superior to this nonsense, with nothing better in the world) will be a day to celebrate.
24. Opportunity
Russ ,   Philadelphia, PA   (02.11.09)
As balanced as this election one, there is a great opportunity for the winners to correct the parliamentary system. Usually, the smaller parties block it, but what if Likud, Kadima, and Israel Beiteinu were to form a narrow, temporary coaltion for the specific purpose of fixing the system? They would have 70 mandates between them, and could vote in a 5% threshhold (which would strengthen all three), and also set up half the Knesset to be elected by district (maybe 4 MKs in each of 15 districts, using bullet voting). That would essentially eliminate all of the small parties and the next election could then actually be decisive.
25. #4, well at least finally he was written something
Danny   (02.12.09)
that makes sense... The results are a disaster, whether you are left, right or centre. The only winners in this elections of the mickey mouse parties and the religious parties who just want money and an opportunity to inflict themselves on the secular and traditional majority. If any of our leaders had any sense they would call another election and tell people to vote for parties that can govern in this time.
26. The Electorial system
Millicent ,   Israel   (02.12.09)
In Israel is a joke,even though Livni won she will not be allowed the chance to govern, despite the wishes of the people who did bother to vote! This is a blatent shame this electorial system in Israel,it needs to be over hauled,we need a 2 party system so that the elected officials can actually lead the country without getting replaced every 6 months or so! What should be done to be fair is to have a run off election between Bibi and Livni and let the people decide! That is how it is done in European countries and others when it is this close, not another politician deciding who will be the leader that is just wrong, and stinks like heck!
27. Israel is important
Mansour Albuggami ,   Taif ,KSA   (02.12.09)
Israel is part of the larger security system in the region and the only true democracy , yet something rotten has been gradually building up -The israelis are too fracticious among themselves , and cannot settle on a strategy, while Syria ,Iran, Hizb Allah , hamas has a clear minded one.Ad to this mix what Brisinizki said about he rising political awarenss in a highly ill governed region and you lethal combustible mix.The best one can hope for is for Israel to keep the syystem together and evloution takes its course.....long toll....Israelis thought they just have to "settle " for a normal life..ahh.how naieve.you got here to resolve our intracatable problems.
28. The problem as I see it is
Lioness ,   Israel   (02.12.09)
Do we Jews want a state for the Jews or a Jewish state? If it is going to be a state for the Jews nothing will change. If it is going to be a Jewish state with everything that goes with that High moral standards, Alieviating social injustice by helping the weaker ends of society. Knowing that we are all responsible for each other. And most important knowing that this land was God given to us the Jewish people and making that fundalmentaly clear to everyone, we will then succeed in our destiny.
29. Adjusted voter participation figure is 70%
Ilan ,   Ariel   (02.12.09)
If you take into account that a full 15% of the voters on the registration lists are living semi-permanently abroad and can not vote ( probably a good thing) and that 60% of the public voted it is clear that the public does care and that they want a more conservative and nationalist government. So we are not 'screwed', we are suffering from too many image makers like Mr. Haber who see their job as spinners of a 'new truth'. Reuven Adler and the other puppet masters rescued Livni, but they couldn't get the voters to vote as they wanted. That is another sign of health of the system.
30. #13 My dog didn't vote either
Ilan ,   Ariel   (02.12.09)
Sleep with the dogs wake up with fleas. Not participating means that you can't point your finger at anyone but yourself. Then again people who don't care enough to vote should probably have that option removed permanently.
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