Photos: EPA, AFP
Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz
Photos: EPA, AFP

Why I am not voting when Israel goes to the polls

Opinion: I am not willing to cast a ballot for this current crop of scandal-mongers, gossips and PR-obsessed dilettantes who are tearing the country apart - don't we deserve better?

A wise man told me that I was a perfectionist, but that politics is a choice between the lesser of two evils.



You could even see the anger in his eyes when he spoke. He brougjt to mind an episode in the series "Madam Secretary," in which the lead character was furious at her daughter who had decided not to vote, and told her about all the people who sacrificed their lives for the sake of us living in a democracy and being able to participate in the election process.


An Israeli votes in the 2015 Knesset elections (Photo: Yisrael Beiteinu Spokesperson)
An Israeli votes in the 2015 Knesset elections (Photo: Yisrael Beiteinu Spokesperson)


Then I thought to myself whether it was possible to quantify the phrase "lesser evil" and see how great of a compromise I would have to make in order to choose one particular party.


So I went to a place where you can measure anything in this modern world, from the level of your education to which character in the series "Sex and the City" you are – I'm referring of course to the Internet. I went into one of these tests where you relate to your opinion on different issues, and the result is how much you agree with the agenda of a particular party. The best match I got, was 76 percent agreement with one of the parties, no matter what party it was.


But even if the remarkably arbitrary number is accurate, the question is whether am I willing vote for a candidate with whom I do not totally agree and whom I do not feel enthusiastic about voting for, and worse, that I do not feel it is important to vote for. In a world of compromises, politics must be the last place to look for someone who fully represents me. By contrast, in the past I did not feel I was making assumptions but believed in what I read and saw. Today, it is no longer the case.


A second wise man told me that he does not vote for a person, but rather for an ideology. That is another interesting way to look at everything. But over the years we lost those utopian beliefs. Parties that base their ideology on public opinion, emerge and disappear from one election to the next. and therefore reflect the public's willingness to vote for parties who stand for absolutely nothing other than being an alternative for the existing parties.


The heads of the political parties competing in the April 9 elections
The heads of the political parties competing in the April 9 elections


Unfortunately, the few parties whose ideology have been stubbornly rigid over the years, are those whose ideologies I view as extreme and dangerous. On the other hand the same parties I once voted for have forfeited their ideology for the sake of power.


A third wise man, if he does not mind me giving his name, is Israeli singer-songwriter Yehuda Poliker. When asked what he thought about Israeli music, he replied: "Once they stop asking people about their roots, there will be Israeli music."


I think about this wonderful sentence all the time, especially when I see the campaigners trying to make political gain over the number of Mizrahim (Jews of Arab descent) and the women who rank high on their party's roster, instead of dealing with the quality of those people. I did not grow up like that, in an environment that divides people by origin, and I refuse to tolerate such an atmosphere.


I'm fed up with all of you. The skies all over the world have been darkened because of small-minded politics, but that does not mean I have to accept it or agree to participate in it. None of you represent me, at 76 percent or any other number. All that remains are scandal-mongers who are looking for gossip on their opponents, and PR-driven, inexperienced candidates who tear the country apart with hatred. I have the right to demand a party, a candidate, a name I can vote for wholeheartedly.


So on April 9, for the first time in my life, after I thinking deeply about what these three smart people have said, I'm not going to vote. Do not look for me at the ballot box.


פרסום ראשון: 03.20.19, 23:30
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