electoral reform

Publications Regarding electoral reform



Alliance of Interests

The alliances and fragmentation has far-reaching consequences for the work of the Knesset and the government


Why Local Elections Matter

"While Israeli national politics get most of the coverage, it is the local level that in many cases has the greatest impact on Israeli lives." Read Yohanan Plesner's op-ed on the upcoming municipal elections and why electoral reform is required, both on the local and national level.


Why Are There so Many Political Parties, and Why Does This Fragmentation Obstruct Governance?

“The current system grants small parties disproportionate power, leads to excessive preoccupation with coalition management, does not provide strong incentives for creating an effective opposition, and leads to the allocation of over-sized budgets to sectoral interests. We need to create a system of incentives which will solidify the political system into two main blocs.” says Prof. Gideon Rahat


Time to Reform the Electoral Process

What reforms are necessary to repair the electoral process to improve governance? Prof. Gideon Rahat sits down to discuss the upcoming elections with David Schulberg from the Israel Connexion in Australia


The Researched-based Responses to Troublemaking MKs

News from the Knesset in the last week raises myriad questions about democracy, and Israel Democracy Institute president Yohanan Plesner tries to provide answers.

Policy Statement

A Professional Assessment of the Governance Bills

A professional assessment of proposed changes to Basic Law: The Government and the Election Bill, which was submitted by Prof. Gideon Rahat to MK David Rotem, Chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.


Will Your Vote Count?

To what degree does the Israeli public have faith in the integrity of the elections, to what extent does it believe that the April 9th elections will accurately reflect its views and how does Israel measure against other democracies?


Take Great Care When You Limit Freedom of Expression

Instead of training rhetorical cannons on the court, which is doing its job in a chaotic situation, the legislature should delete Section 7A from the Basic Law. Let everyone run for the Knesset, and let those who violate criminal laws bear the consequences of their actions


District Elections in Israel: Pro and Con

A broad survey of the various models of district elections that could be adopted in Israel, which includes a comparative international perspective and explores the factors that must be taken into consideration when deciding to adopt such a system in Israel.


The 2015 Elections and Israeli Governance

In a Jerusalem Post op-ed, Yohanan Plesner notes that the 2015 Knesset election demonstrates that structural changes matter, and argues that further stability can be fostered by automatically making the head of the largest party prime minister.


The Electoral Threshold: Why the Rush?

In an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post, Dr. Ofer Kenig warns that while there is nothing wrong with a moderate increase in Israel's electoral threshold, increasing it from 2% to 3.25% in a single step is problematic.


The Governance Bill: Pros and Cons

A video in which IDI researchers discuss some of the pros and cons of the Governance Bill being considered by the Knesset. 


Israel's Political Parties: Strengthen the Party, not the Cult of Personality

Prof. Gideon Rahat, Director of Research of IDI's Political Reform project, recommends several changes that can help strengthen Israel's political parties and restore them to reasonable performance.


IDI President Explores Israel's 'Silent Killer' and Calls for Political Reform

In an article by Dan Pine originally published in J.Weekly on November 5, 2009, IDI President Dr. Arye Carmon describes Israel's internal domestic developments as its greatest existential threats and stresses the urgent need for political reform.

IDI President Dr. Arye Carmon on the Forum for Political Reform

In 2009, IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon established The Forum for Political Reform in Israel in response to "the urgent need to generate significant improvement in the capabilities and functioning of the Knesset." On March 28, 2011, Forum Chairman Meir Shamgar, Former President of the Israeli Supreme Court, submitted the Forum's recommendations to the Knesset. In this video interview, Dr. Carmon speaks about the Forum, its key recommendations, and obstacles to political reform in Israel. 

And the Winner is...

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.


Proper Representation - Let's Play!

As the Knesset celebrates its 69th birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 30, here is a chance to see how you score on knowledge of Israel's parliament. What did Israel's lawmakers do before joining the Knesset? What did they do after leaving? what are the benchmark requirement to becoming an MK? How many are currently serving their first term? Let's play!

Press Release

The Israel Democracy Institute to Knesset Ministers: "Support Bill to Shorten Time Allotted For Forming A Government"

Ahead of today's meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) called for supporting a bill that will shorten the length of time allotted to form a governmnet after an election. 

Press Release

Israeli Democracy Institute to Ministers: Support the Amendment to the Propaganda for Elections Law

Policy statement: "The current law from 1959 does not jibe in the current media and political reality of the 21st century and causes discrimination between different forms of media and political forces."


No Way to Run a Democracy

IDI President Yohanan Plesner argues that electoral reform will not suffice to fix the short-term-ism that is destroying Israel's capacity for long-term planning and policy execution; reform of the internal processes of the parties themselves is required. This op-ed first appeared in the Jerusalem Report.


Campaign Financing in Israel

A discussion of the principal issues pertaining to campaign financing in Israel, written before the Knesset elections of 2015. 


Local Authorities: An Issue of National Importance

Who is addressing the problematic relationship between local and national government in Israel? Is anyone designing a a comprehensive reform program to solve some of the issues that are the result of a malfunctioning system of local governance? How, if at all, does the national media deal with this issue?

The Governance Bill: A Status Update

An update on the status of the proposed Governance Bill and how it aligns with the recommendations of IDI researchers, which was written after IDI experts participated in Knesset committee deliberations.


On the Decline in Voter Participation in Municipal Elections in Israel

Why is voter participation in local elections in Israel so low? Assaf Shapira explains the reasons behind this phenomenon, discusses its implications, and offers possible remedies.


Fixing our Broken System

The Israeli public is increasingly demanding a more effective system of government. In this op-ed from Israel Hayom (February 2, 2012), IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon asserts that reforming the system of government is the only answer to stabilizing the executive so that a party that has been voted into power can actually govern, and points to two types of necessary change: structural and perceptual.

Decade in Review: Israeli Governance in Crisis

IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon, one of Israel's foremost experts on political reform, sums up the Israeli political scene at the end of the first decade of the third millennium in an article that was published in collaboration with Walla!, a popular Israeli website.


America: Land of Endless Voting Opportunities?

Dr. Ofer Kenig discusses the multiple ways in which the United States has facilitated the voting process in order to improve voter turnout, and suggests that Israel adopt a number of these innovations. This op-ed originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post


The Municipal Elections 2018: Digital Resilience

The digital domain has developed into something of a wild west for election campaigning in recent years. While there are strict laws governing the press, radio, and television, there are almost no restrictions on online campaigning, such as on the forms of advertising permitted, the use of personal data, and advertising budgets. This lack of regulation has already been shown to potentially affect election results, and may lead to the misuse of information on residents, routinely collected by the municipality as part of its function by those in positions of power in local government. 

Press Release

Elections, Security and the Next Government

The majority of Israelis think that Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria harms Israel’s security and want a right or center-right government. Read more in the latest Peace Index. 


The Illusion of Political Stability

Despite a solid decade with the same prime minister, other cabinet posts have switched hands at alarming rates.


Israeli Politics Fractured: The System Needs Fixing

It is commonly accepted that in order to defeat Netanyahu, the political parties in the center and on the Left must unite and present a single and clear alternative. However, under the current system, this claim is simply not true.


It’s time to change how we select Knesset candidates

Primaries often don't reflect the true will of actual party supporters -- voters should weigh in on Election Day


Time to Vote for a Bloc!

“The great task before all — right and left, religious and secular, Jew and Arab — is to break down the veto power that the extremists among us wield over the center on various fronts”


Local Government and Local Elections: Time to Move Away from Centralized Thinking

Israel’s system of local elections has been in place since the 1970s - but is it optimal? Prof. Gideon Rahat proposes reform to enhance the compatibility of the system to the characteristics and needs of different localities.

Press Release

Should Israel Lower the Voting Age to 17?

On March 20, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation will discuss legislation calling to lower the voting age in Israel from 18 to 17. Dr. Ofer Kenig, a researcher in IDI's Political Reform project, explains the the implications.


The Electoral Threshold, Wasted Votes, and Proportionality

In the upcoming elections, the electoral threshold will be 3.25%, a big leap from the last elections. Will this higher hurdle deter voters from supporting small parties? Will it reduce the share of wasted votes? What impact will it have on the proportional nature of the electoral system?


Israel's Central Elections Committee: Political Cabal or Independent Agency?

IDI Researcher Dr. Dana Blander discusses the role of Israel's Central Election Committee and asserts that change is needed in its structure, composition, and working methods.


Democracy: The Key Election Issue

In an op-ed in Maariv, IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer calls for an election campaign that focuses not only on foreign policy and Israel's social gap, but on the nature of Israeli identity and the value of Israeli democracy itself.


How to Prevent the Recurrence of Early Knesset Elections

IDI President Yohanan Plesner recommends a change of approach and some practical steps for changing the reality in which the Israeli public repeatedly goes to the polls to elect a new Knesset before the previous Knesset has finished its term.


23 Knesset Seats is Not a Victory

In an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post, Yehoshua Oz, IDI's Director of International Communications, argues that pundits eager to crown a victor in the 2015 elections have lost sight of the fact that winning one-fifth of the Knesset seats is no victory.


The Israeli Presidency: Unnecessary Institution or Vital Symbol?

As the 2014 presidential election draws near, once again there have been calls to do away with the institution of the presidency. Is the President of Israel an unnecessary position or a vital symbol? IDI researcher Dr. Dana Blander analyzes the two sides of this question.


Basic Law: Referendum—Changing the Rules of the Game of Israeli Democracy

Dr. Dana Blander draws on the findings of Israeli public opinion polls and explores some of the ramifications of the new Basic Law: Referendum, a law that establishes a system in which every citizen is entitled to participate in historic decisions on withdrawal from territory.