While Kadima ended up with the most seats, their position is quite weak. Kadima and Labor only have 48 seats, even if you add in the pensioners (who may have right wing views) that is only 55. They need one or more of the following parties to join, each one of whom has stated that they are against a unilateral pullout.
- Shas - I don't think that Shas will support a pullot from Yehuda V'Shomron. I can't see R' Ovadya supporting evicting Jews from Hevron, Bet El, etc.
- Yahadut Hatorah - I don't think that they will support a pullot from Yehuda V'Shomron. I can't see them supporting evicting Jews from Hevron, Bet El, etc. although you never know with them.
- Yisrael Beitenu - Lieberman stated that he opposes unilateral pullouts. Labor does not want him in the government.
If you look at the Jewish vote, the right wing anti-pullout camp got 51 seats, the pullout camp got 52 (Kadima 28, Labor 20, Meretz 4). Given these numbers, to say that Olmert now has a mandate for his pullout plan is ridiculous.
In short, Kadima will not have an easy time forming a coalition to support a unilateral pullout.
The election results are a disaster for the economy. Below are the parties who will probably be in the government.
- Kadima - Hard to say what their economic outlook is, but in any case they will be forced by their coalition partners to adopt a more socialistic policy.
- Labor has only 8 seats less then Kadima and will have a tremendous influence on economic policy. Labor is led by the "King of Strikes" Amir Peretz, and has a socialist ideology.
- Shas - Their main plank was to restore the child allowance cuts. Although this will personally benefit me (I have a lot of children), it is a very bad idea for the economy. In general, Shas is for more government control and spending.
- Yahadut Hatorah - Very similar to Shas
- Pensioners - They also want the government to spend more money
- Yisrael Beitenu - I don't know, but in any case I don't think they will have much influence on economic policy.
In short, Netanyahu was a very good finance minister, he accomplished a lot and got the economy moving again. I fear that many of his reforms will go by the wayside and the economy will go downhill again.
The big winners are:
- Lieberman - He is now the leader of the right wing and will have a lot of influence
- Shas - With 13 seats they beat the pollsters expectations. Olmert needs them for the coalition and therefore they will have a lot of influence.
- The pensioners- This was definately the surprise of the election. with 7 seats they will get what they want.
- Netanyahu - With the Likud only getting 11 seats he is in big trouble. I hope that he stays and leads the Likud in opposition.
- Olmert - With only 28 seats and the need to take in a right wing party for his coalition, he is going to have trouble governing.
- Shaul Mofaz - Labor will probably get the defense ministry leaving Mofaz without a ministry. Makes me very hapy.
- Yossi Beilin - With Meretz only getting 4 seats, I think he is done. Good riddance.
- The pollsters - Again, all the pre-election polls were wrong. No poll was even close to 28 for Kadima and 11 for the Likud. The pollsters completely missed the Pensioners and predicted they would not even get in to the Knesset. Hopefully, people will learn something from this and the next election won't be so poll driven
In summary, althoug Olmert and Kadima won and will make the next government, they will have a hard time making any unilateral moves. IMHO, there is no way that this government lasts 4 years.