Olmert the disciplinarian: "Any minister that votes against government decisions in the Knesset plenum will be dismissed. I don't intend to play games anymore," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Kadima ministers in a meeting this week.
The prime minister is apparently tired of seeing his own ministers voting how they please in various Knesset motions and has decided to clean up shop in his ruling coalition.
In the meeting, Olmert even indicated that his comments were also pertinent to all parties in the coalition not just members of his Kadima party.
Olmert is fed up with the embarrassing votes that have been made by coalition members in the Knesset in recent weeks because of a lack of unity among government ministers and coalition partners among other things.
"This behavior is unacceptable," a source close to the prime minister said. "More than once, ministers have not backed up government decisions. It is not possible that in a democratic country, decisions are made and then ministers do whatever they want. A minister who doesn't feel comfortable with the decision can quit," the source said.
The prime minister's office remarked that "the government as a collective body has a responsibility. It obligates all of us. A minister can't be in the government and act like he's in the opposition."
Sources from within Kadima said it appears that Olmert feels more comfortable now with the publication of the Winograd report. According to one source, "the prime minister feels stable enough to issue threats like this.
"Until now he has maintained a low profile and ministers did as they please. But now he feels like he has to put things in order. He wants to appear as if this coalition has a landlord."