1/10/2006

Who’d Ya Vote For?

Surprisingly, voter turn out in Israel is very high, over 80%, which is a lot better than anyone can say for our great nation. This has a lot to do with the fact that Israelis know when they vote they are making news. The country is always changing and it is quite obvious to them that in such a small location, one vote makes a difference. In America we watch the news, in Israel they make the news. Plus, Israelis get a day off from work!

The big issue in the upcoming Prime Minister elections is borders, what is Israel, and what is Judaism. Israel is a very new country and has tons of issues that need to be dealt with (2nd largest social gap in the world, women trafficking, failing school systems, etc) but at the moment the idea of safety is the only concern in the eyes of the voters. This is what matters.

Then we have the three main candidates:
• Amir Peretz from the Labor party
• Benjamin Netanyahu from the Likud party
• Ehud Olmert from the Kadima party

So what are they about?
Continued...

Labor – Left of the political spectrum. Peretz may have some good ideas about how to help this country fix its vices. He’s all about getting back to Israel’s original ideas of a connection, both spiritually and literally with the land. He’s strictly focusing his campaign on social affairs of the state and a bit on the economy. He also seems to be okay with skipping the first stage of the road map (putting a stop to Palestinian terror) and feels that there could be an agreement with the Palestinians within a year. Unfortunately for him and the Labor party, he probably won’t get a chance to try. The fatal flaw of not focusing his platform on the borders makes the party unattractive to voters and lately his popularity has plummeted.

Likud – Right of the political spectrum. Netanyahu is campaigning around both borders and economics. Since the people are interested in half his platform he has a chance. Netanyahu talks about reciprocity meaning that if Israel gives, Palestine must give as well. He also is very focused on stopping the culture of violence, but also very into nationalism and having the Jewishness of Israel be self reliant and economically independent.

Kadima – Now here’s an interesting development in Israeli politics. Sharon who was the former head of the Likud party recently left his post and created something entirely different. Apparently this man has had some internal agendas for quite some time. Once he was voted Prime Minster of the Likud party before, he quickly ditched the platform he was running on, and created the Disengagement plan that more resembles the Labor party’s ideals. It has both supporters from the left and right of the spectrum. In Hebrew, Kadima means forward, but is also a slang phrase people say in traffic, kind of like “okay get on with it already”. The standing theory is such – complete withdrawal from the West Bank and the border be drawn more or less where the security fence is now. Yet, when it comes down to it, the platform of Kadima remains unknown. Now that it is pretty much certain Sharon will not be running for Prime Minister, the future of Israel’s borders are in the hands of Ehud Olmert, the most likely candidate to get voted into office.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, that was really informative. Thanks!

-ta

2:24 AM  

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