At this writing, Israel seems to be headed towards its third elections within a year. Israel has been governed for almost a year by a caretaker government, and no one can be sure that the next elections will resolve the stalemate. While this state of affairs may fulfill the dreams of libertarians or anarchists, for most others – it looks more like a nightmare.
After Netanyahu returns mandate to the President: Most Israelis support a system based on 2 large parties and a Netanyahu-Gantz rotation for the position of prime minister. 53.5% of Israelis think Netanyahu should resign immediately, while almost half (47%) of right-wing voters believe that Netanyahu should resign if indicted.
The Israel Democracy Institute, the Kohelet Forum, Israel 2050, The National Union of Israeli Students, and the Israel Leadership Forum have joined together to call for the implementation of a "primaries on Election Day" system in Israel. This approach is often referred to among academics as the "semi-open ballot"
For many years the ultra-Orthodox were perceived as “captive voters” who would always comply with their rabbis’ instructions to cast their ballot for ultra-Orthodox parties. In today’s new reality such directives are no longer enough
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
Israel's political system is being held hostage by sectorial parties, which promote policies that only serve small interest groups. The annulment of the Kotel compromise, the Sabbath supermarket closure bill, the death penalty for terrorists bill, the so-called "Litzman Law" – are all products of a system that weakens the governing party and incentivizes political extortion. We must take control of our fate. Now is the time to empower our representatives to act on behalf of the national interest.