Thursday, January 04, 2007

Election reform in Israel

The Megidor commission was appointed by the President 2 years ago to look into how the system of government in Israel could be changed for the better. They released their findings this week. I posted about this ( The electoral system in Israel is broken ...) a while ago and their main recommendation is along the lines of what I posted. The main points were:
  1. Half the Knesset (60 MK's) whould be elected in regional elections in 17 districts each district sending 2-5 MK's to the Knesset

  2. The other 60 MKs will be elected by proportional representation, according to the total number of votes that each party wins in the regional elections.

  3. The number if ministers is capped at 18

  4. Except for the prime minister and his deputy, all other MKs chosen for the cabinet will have to resign their Knesset seats

In yesterday's Yated Neeman there were a number of articles blasting the proposal and claiming that it will take away the Charedi representation in the Knesset. While they are probably right that the number of Charedi MK's will go down, it does not necessarily mean that Charedi interests will not be represented. In the US, there are no Charedi Senators or Representatives and yet, the Charedi population's interests are looked after. What this system will mean is that the modus operandi will need to change. The Charedi population willl need to work through non-Charedi representatives. Imagine a district with a sizable Charedi population (20%). Whoever would represent that district would need to take the Charedim into account, their support could swing the election. We might actually get a chiloni representing Charedi interests in the Knesset and vice versa. It would create a lot more understanding and a lot less posturing.

1 comment:

Natan said...

This is a really interesting proposal, I'm happy to see the government realizing that there is a problem with the current system.

This format, as is any non-proportional format, will also prevent the minor parties from getting a voice in the government when they don't deserve one. Parties like Ya'ale Yarok will eventually cease to exist once they realize they will never gain representation and join forces with a party that does get represented such as Labor.

It's a good plan, it needs to be flushed out some more though.