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January 08, 1988 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Middle East.
There are a number of more
effective electoral systems
that Israel can look to in
fashioning political reform,
for example, those in Scan-
dinavia, Britain and the
United States. In particular,
the European systems en-
courage the formation of
strong, viable governing coali-
tions without discouraging
smaller parties from par-
ticipating in the system.
Israel should consider the
following proposal:
• There shall be two elec-
tions — a party primary in
which the country would vote
as a single constituency (as at
present), and a general elec-
tion in which the country
would be divided into 120
single-member districts.
In the party election, each
voter would cast a ballot for
a party and for its leadership.
The ballot would list the can-
didates for leadership; such
candidates may be chosen by
the parties, or may file
independently.
Only parties obtaining at
least 5 percent of the total
votes cast in the primary
would be permitted to present
a candidate in the districts in
the general election. There
would be no residency re-
quirement for candidates in
the general election.
It is assumed that party
leaders chosen in the primary
election would become can-
didates for the office of Prime
Minister; however, they would
remain eligible only if they
also were elected in the
district in which they chose to
stand in the general election.
A party that lost its leader in
the general election would
choose a replacement from
the list it presented in the
primary.

• As in the present system,
the party commanding a ma-
jority would form the
government.
• In the Knesset, members
would be released from party
discipline if the first vote on
any issue was inconclusive;
thereafter they may vote
their conscience.
These or similar reforms
would permit the smaller par-
ties to test their national ap-
peal in the primary, then en-
courage them to seek
alliances for the general elec-
tion if they fall below the five
percent threshold. Above all,
the single-member district
rule would move the country
closer to viable governing ma-
jorities without also discour-
aging either the major opposi-
tion party or small regional
or local parties.

Jewish Telegraph Agency

MIAOW. cm

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