Israel has a closed electoral system, so that on election day, the country’s citizens do not vote for individual representatives, but rather-for a list, which subsequently evolves into a faction in the Knesset. What does that mean in terms of balancing the power between the party and individual parliament members?
Exclusive Pre-Elections survey by the Guttman Center at the Israel Democracy Institute finds that half of Israelis find it harder than in the past to decide whom to vote for; 25% base their choice on the party’s positions on socioeconomic issues and 18% on who heads the party; 27% do not trust the integrity of the Knesset elections
Love him or hate him, Donald Trump’s once unthinkable ascension became a reality earlier this month, following a largely drama-free roll call vote on the Republican National Convention floor. Trump is a prime example of a candidate whose vision and ideas are not a direct reflection of his party's values and policies, and who, in many ways, battled his way to the top of the party. His nomination is just one example of a current trend toward political personalization, a process in which the influence of individual leaders in the political process has increased, as the centrality of the political group declines.
On Monday, February 1, 2016, the long and complex process in which the two major American parties choose their candidates for president began in Iowa. One of those two candidates will be the 45th President of the United States. What exactly are the presidential primaries? What makes them so long and complicated? What is their timetable and who, for now, are the main candidates?
In an op-ed published in The Jerusalem Post, IDI Director of International Communications Yehoshua Oz argues that a central group of larger parties is needed instead of the small parties that have inundated Israeli politics over the last two decades, in order to provide stability and avoid the need for coalitions of many small parties, each with their own special-interest demands.
The frequent criticism of the Israeli primary system by politicians, the media, and academics often creates the impression that the system should be retired and replaced by a new one. In the article below, which was written prior to the Kadima primaries in March 2012, IDI Researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig surveys the arguments against primaries, analyzes the validity of the criticisms, and explores ways of addressing the weak points of the system.
Israeli journalist Yair Lapid's announced intention to enter politics sparked both excitement and speculation as to whether he planned to start his own party or to join one of the existing parties. While IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon applauds the entrance of talented, committed people into politics, he stresses the need for them to join one of the large, existing parties in order to stabilize the political system.
How much parliamentary independence should Knesset members have? To what extent must they toe their party's line? At a time when party discipline and coalitional discipline play a decisive role in determining the fate of Israeli policy and proposed legislation, MK Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin, Speaker of the Knesset, calls on parties to allow Knesset members to remain true to their conscience and to their role as representatives of the people.
IDI Researcher Dr. Dana Blander examines the statutory and customary roles of the Speaker of the Knesset and considers whether this is a symbolic job or one that has real influence on the operations of the Knesset. In addition, she compares the powers and functions of the Knesset Speaker with the corresponding roles in Great Britain and Australia.
Party primaries, though a vital component of the Israeli electoral system, receive little attention from the media and the voting public. In an interview originally published prior to the Israeli general elections in 2006, Dr. Gideon Rahat of the Political Science Department at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, today a Senior Researcher at IDI, discusses the candidate selection process within Israel's political parties and explores the pros and cons of local and international models.
The real story of the April 2019 elections took place outside the polling booth. In the Arab sector, the Movement to Boycott the Knesset Elections, a grassroots group based on Arab young adults and university students, working on the social networks with a shoestring budget, conducted an effective campaign with a simple and catchy slogan: “Boycott: The People’s Will.” This message stood in utter contradiction to the motto of the elections in 2015: “The Joint List: The People’s Will.”
Yesh Atid, Zionist Camp and Meretz have the strongest online presence, while the Joint List and Yisrael Beiteinu lag behind.
Recommendations for Policy Makers - Elections 2015
From Patronizing Partnership to Competitive Partnership