Press Release

Party Democracy Index reveals that Labor, Likud, Meretz, Bayit Yehudi most democratic parties

New Party Democracy Index Poll Finds Labor, Likud, Meretz, Bayit Yehudi ‘Most Democratic’ Parties


New Party Democracy Index Poll Finds Labor, Likud, Meretz, Bayit Yehudi 'Most Democratic' Parties

Sunday, January 13, 2013, Israel Democracy Institute, 4 Pinsker St., Jerusalem, Israel – With Israeli elections just over a week away, do Israeli voters know just how democratic their party of choice really is? The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) has unveiled the Party Democracy Index, a mechanism that allows voters to evaluate the degree of internal democracy in Israeli political parties.

The Index assessed the following parameters:

  • Inclusiveness / Participation (30%): To what extent does the party involve members when choosing its leader, Knesset candidates, and platform?
  • Representation (20%): Does the party include women or have reserved spots for other sectors?
  • Competition (20%): Has the party held elections for its leader and party institutions in recent years?
  • Responsiveness / Accountability (15%): Are elected party institutions involved in decision-making, and have they been convened in the past two years?
  • Transparency (15%): How easy is it to obtain a copy of the party's constitution or bylaws, and how much information is available on the party's website or Facebook page?

The Index found that the "most democratic" party is the Labor Party, which received a score of 86%, followed by Likud (75%), Meretz (74%), and Bayit Yehudi (64%). The lowest scoring parties are Agudat Yisrael, Degel Hatorah, and Ra'am, each of which received a total score of only 2%.

Pertinent findings of the Index include:
• There is no connection between the size of the party and the level of its internal democracy.
• Parties that exhibit robust internal democratic processes exist across the political spectrum.

Dr. Arye Carmon, President of the Israel Democracy Institute, stressed the importance of these findings, saying, "Today, the electorate votes based on who is in the party and not what the party stands for. Among other things, the citizens of Israel must take into account the party's level of internal democracy when deciding for whom to vote."

For a visual representation of the Party Democracy Index, see the PDI infographic. (Permission is granted for the infographic to be used in news reporting as long as the full graphic image is used.) For more information about the Party Democracy Index including the full questionnaire, see the Party Democracy Index page.

Additional IDI election resources can be found in our Israeli Elections Primer.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Prof. Gideon Rahat, director of research of IDI's Political Reform Project and author of the Party Democracy Index, contact:
Yehoshua Oz
Director of International Communications