Mr. Nir Atmor of IDI's Political Reform program writes about the role of online campaigns in the 2009 Israeli general elections. The weeks preceding the elections revealed significant attempts by political parties to utilize the Internet as a primary campaigning instrument. Atmor applauds the politicians' "wisdom in adapting to a new technological reality", with the Internet at its core.
The Arab parties of Balad and Raam-Taal were banned last week from participating in the upcoming elections for the Knesset in February. This ruling by the Central Elections Committee is a clear indication of the dire state of Israeli politics and the ongoing deterioration of Israel's democratic character.
Israeli law calls for general elections every four years. However, recent Israeli governments have not survived a full term in office. In light of the 2009 elections, IDI Researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig, Knowledge Manager for the Israel Democracy Institute's website, explores the implications of frequent elections on the stability of Israeli democracy government.
Tomorrow's elections will determine the local government in 251 cities, towns and municipalities. Of all the political parties represented at a national level in Israel, the ultra-Orthodox parties are the most successful in local government. What are the reasons behind this interesting trend? Read Dr. Gilad Malach's fascinating findings.
Recent years have seen the emergence of dozens of corruption scandals involving local government in Israel. Subsequently there have been calls to set mayoral term limits to prevent graft and corruption. Dr. Ofer Kenig and Shahaf Zamir's dispel the idea that there is a connection between the length of a mayors term and levels of corruption.
According to Israel's Basic Law, following general elections the president appoints a Knesset Member to form the new government. In the wake of the 2009 Israeli general election, Benjamin Netanyahu was chosen – even though he did not lead the largest party. Dr. Dana Blander proposes the establishment of a clear set of rules which would automatically give the leader of the largest party the power to form the incoming government, obviating ambiguity surrounding the selection process of the Prime Minister.
Yesh Atid, Zionist Camp and Meretz have the strongest online presence, while the Joint List and Yisrael Beiteinu lag behind.