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Democratic elections in Israel



Flawed policies come from a flawed election system of proportional representation and endless coalition government. Israel turns out to be a democratically elected despotism. In fact its policies cast doubt on whether Israel is a Jewish State or not. A Prime Minister who changes this system can become truly great. But it means ditching Israel's democratic reputation. The Likud Party make it worse when, dependent on Arab votes, they let insurrection slide.

As noted in my previous article on James Wilson, one of most learned of America’s Founding Fathers, the business of electing someone to public office is a moral act requiring rational inquiry and candid judgment.  Such is the seriousness and complexity of this act that it requires the voter to devote all the time he can prudently spare to learn about a candidate’s character.

In Israel, voters never learn what they must learn

This is impossible in Israel, where 30 and more parties compete in an election, in consequence of which citizens are compelled to vote for a party slate of 20 to 60 and even more candidates, almost all of whom are unknown to the voter!

Voting in Israel is therefore a travesty of democracy. Small wonder that members of the Knesset, generally speaking, are not of high caliber, are not learned in history or in political science or even in Torah. I recall an election in which a beautician joined the law makers of this democracy.

The Knesset: 61 years of parliamentary democracy. Problem: voters in Israel never learn what they must know to vote intelligently.

The Knesset, observing 61 years of existence. Photo: Itzik Edri, CC BY 2.5 Generic License

Polls indicate the public has a low opinion of MKs, that they represent paltry partisan interests, rather than the common good. Indeed, how can an MK comprehend the common good of a nation, a most complex matter, if he or she is not a learned person with some experience in public affairs: say in economics, defense, international relations, and, above all, in the history of the Jewish people?

And how can a person acquire experience in public affairs when the average duration of a Cabinet Minister in Israel is less than two years? Lacking in Israel is professionalism.  Voting in Israel is a game of chance, a political Las Vegas. With perhaps a dozen parties having seats in the Knesset, the voter knows very little about those who are going to compose the Government. It’s worse than the present American system of “choosing” a President! To win an Oscar in Hollywood is a more discriminating process!

In fact, democracy was not regarded as a good regime until Machiavelli, the father of modern political science and democracy!

By the way, one of Machiavelli’s disciples was the political scientist Harold Lasswell, who once was elected president of the American Political Science Association. Lasswell’s most famous book was “Politics: Who Gets What, When, and How”.  As I have shown in my book A Discourse on Statesmanship, there is a causal relationship between the materialistic foundation of modern political science and the low caliber of democratic statesmanship. This is evident in America and Europe, as well as in Israel.

As I have shown elsewhere, there is a way to reverse this decrepitude in Israel by Jewish-democratic means. It seems, however, that the political science profession in this country has either more pressing interests, or does not feel equal to this monumental task.☼

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