The next government of Israel
It is now pretty clear who is going to be in the next government.
The basis of the coalition will be:
Kadima - 29
Labor - 19
Yisrael Beitenu - 11
Pensioners - 7
This adds up to 66 seats.
The big question is what about the Charedi parties, Shas and Yahadut Hatorah and why Lieberman?
Shas - There are a number of reasons why Olmert does not want Shas in the coalition:
1. Money - Labor and the pensioners have already blown up the budget, Shas will just make things worse with their economic demands
2. Ministries - Shas wants a number of key Ministries (including Misrad Hapnim), Lieberman will probably be cheaper
3. Disengagement - Shas is against disengagement and cannot afford to change it's mind. Shas's voters are right wing and are very against disengagement
Yahadut Hatorah has a good chance of being in the coalition without Shas for a number of reasons:
1. They only have 6 seats so their demands won't be that high
2. They don't want any ministries
3. They will go along with disengagement. They will tell the Charedi population that Olmert had a majority for disengagement anyway and therefore their being in the government is irrelevant and by being in the government they can get money for Torah, etc.
Olmert wants Lieberman for the following reasons:
1. Economically it doesn't cost him anything. Lieberman is like Netanyahu and therefore will not request more governement spending
2. Olmert believes that he can be persuaded to support disengagement in some way or another
Another interesting question is who will get which ministries. As of now it looks like the following:
Amir Peretz, Defense Minister - IMHO this is not a bad thing for the following reasons:
1. He will not be Finance Minister
2. It is a good thing to have a civilian Defense Minister
3. Good riddance to Mofaz
Yuli Tamir, Education Minister - I don't know much about her, but I know that Kadima's candidate Reichman was one of the founders of Shinui so she is better then him. In fact, good riddance to Reichman who thought he could parachute in to be Education Minister.
To sum up, I think that Shas is going to be the big loser here, either being left out of the government completely or getting in at a much reduced price.