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.
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?
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"
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 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.
Between a Legal Framework and Democratic Norms