Nov 16, 2008

Some post-election thoughts

I know some people want the "rayd" on all the exciting stuff that happened on election day. All the double voting in RBS B, the kannoim who voted for Abutbol even though they normally do not vote, fraud, whatever.

The truth is that I heard about some of that stuff going on. But it makes no difference. The numbers Abutbol received make it all moot. So let's say there were a hundred people who double voted. Let's say there was cheating of another type for another 100 votes, or even 500 votes. Does it change anything? Abutbol won with such a great par over his competition that none of that matters. Nobody has even appealed the results based on fraud or anything else (though there were some rumors that Vaknin applied some form of appeal early on election night, I think he pulled it). Discussing it only makes us sore losers. And I am not a sore loser. Both because I see no point, and because I think Abutbol will do a fine job and am willing to give him that chance.

About the parties, the big surprise is TOV. Both good and bad. They surprised everyone and won a seat. Despite the tremendous onslaught against them from Degel. Many people were scared away and were afraid to vote for them. Yet they still pulled it out of the hat, with a large majority of their votes coming from RBS A families.

On the other hand, I really expected, and plenty of other people did as well, two seats for TOV. Because it seemed with Chabad and Rav Alon on their side they already had one seat locked up. I don't know how the chabadniks voted generally, but it seems Rav Alon is no longer worth the 400-500 votes he claimed to bring with him. I would bet 80% of his people probably voted Shas instead of TOV.

When people are discussing the great success of UTJ garnering 5 seats, they often mention that it is really six seats when you add TOV to that, as TOV is mortly former UTJ voters. I find this claim to be a tremendous chutzpa. After they completely rejected TOV during the elections, to then claim TOV as being "shayach" to them is chutzpa.

I hope TOV stays on UTJs case, and keeps them clean in government. I hope TOV does not get seduced by offers to merge or "work together" and eventually swallowed up by UTJ. The voters of TOV are people who would not vote UTJ. If they did not bolt from TOV and vote UTJ after the violent campaign against TOV, that shows that they really felt displaced and not connected to UTJ. They probably would not have voted UTJ anyway. But these people need a party to support, and a party that represents their needs. TOV filled that void. Intentionally. That was the whole point of TOV. If TOV merges with UTJ or disappears as part of a "working agreement" with UTJ, that would be a shame..

One more thing on TOV, looking at the polling booth breakdown in the Friday papers, I noticed that TOV had a great accomplishment. They garnered votes in every single ballot box around the city. Even UTJ that had 5 times as many votes did not get votes from every ballot box. That is a tremendous accomplishment, in my eyes. They were able to connect to people all over the city.

Unfortunately CHEN did not make it in. They were close. Very close. But too many people were nervous because they "might not make it in" and did not vote for them. Had you voted your conscience, they would have been in. And all those who said there is no chance because Rav Alon left and he was a big percentage of their voters - were wrong. They were very close. Despite Rav Alon leaving. Rav Alon is not worth the 400-500 votes he claims. And Chen not being in government will be a shame, because they really did great things, and I do not see any of the othe parties filling the void created by CHEN not being there. So next time around, vote your conscience and don't make so many cheshbonos.


  1. alon probably is still worth the same. (that is why didn't get their seat.) and chabad and alon probably counts for the votes that are outside the rama. all in all the real tovnikim (people that left gimmel) probably aren,t more thn five hundred or so.
    also none in the gimmel political scene (the insiders) are saying anything about working agreements with tov. just the opposite.

  2. What really WERE those election results??!

    This weekend's Chadash, a local Chareidi newspaper/mag, has clear discrepencies, depending which page you look at.

    Their main article, with many pictures of the victorious Moshe Abutbol, state:

    Moshe Abutbol - 13,528 votes = 52.31%
    Shalom Lerner - 7760 votes = 30%
    Daniel Vaknin - 4575 - 17.69%

    This looks like a landslide to Abutbol, a respectable 2nd for Lerner, and humiliating defeat for incumbent mayor Daniel Vaknin.

    Indeed a couple of pages further in, there a one page colour ad from Moshe Abutbol, "13,528 Times Thank You!" (same number as the article).

    However, in the very same magazine, between the article and ad, is a full page table, with detailed breakdown of each polling station, including the 'possul' votes etc etc..

    The results are:

    Abutbol: 12,277 Votes - 46.46%
    Lerner: 7601 - 28.74%
    Vaknin: 6572 - 24.85%

    This tells a different story. Abutbol got in, but with a majority voting AGAINST him; Lerner and Vaknin came in with similar results, Vaknin actually doing much better than predicted.

    Clearly in either case Abutbol won!

    However, what concerns me is the integrity issue; is there deliberate, even fraudulent, misrepresentation of the weight of the new mayor's 'mandate', by both Chadash and, more alarmingly, by our new mayor??!

  3. I don't understand. The fact is that Chen didn't get in. If Chen wouldn't have run BiYachad and Gimmel would both had been at 4 seats. You can't fault BiYachad or Tov or whatever for saying that a party that no poll gave them a seat might not get in. Next time vote for a party that there is no safek about.
    Moreover the Tov people that voted for Abutbul cut off their nose to spite their face. Lerner had an interest in giving them everything they want without asking. With Abutbul in power, Montag and company will do anything he can to backstab Tov, and it will be quite hard for them to accomplish anything on their agenda.

  4. anonymous #1 - I am not sure about your numbers. TOV calculations I saw said something like 850 (I dont remember the exact number, but it was in the area of 850) tovniks from rbs a. not 500.
    Also, I am not saying that there is talk of a working agreement. i see Degel trying to keep TOV out. I see a tremendous revenge campaign against TOV coming. But that is neither here nor there. Eventually things will calm down and they will work together. Degel will try to get TOV supporters "back". They will work on some way of getting rid of TOV, whether it be in the form of a merger, or whatever. I hope TOV holds out.

    reality - interesting perspective, but either way abutbol won big. Yes, according to the second calculations, and according to the official final numbers, lerner and vaknin together, on paper, could have beaten Abutbol. But you are forgetting that a lot of Lerners supporters would not have voted Vaknin had they joined together behind Vaknin (I do not know about vice versa, but that seems to have never been a realistic option). Many lerner supporters would have voted Abutbol over Vaknin. so the numbers can be worked in different ways.

  5. anon of 9:08. I agree about TOV and Abutbol, and they will now have much less influence than they would have had under Lerner, and TOV people supporting Abutbol clearly did not see that. But TOV never took a position on mayor, and some high up in TOV supported Lerner and some Abutbol. Which is why they chose to not take a position.
    Some TOV people helped Abutbol a lot because they really believed he was the better choice for mayor (and maybe others for other reasons). Perhaps they did shoot themselves int he foot. We have to wait until Abutbol starts forming his coalition, and see how he deals with TOV, and how Degel reacts (and if they choose to pressure Abutbol to leave TOV in the opposition or not).

    About chen I disagree. If they were 500 votes, that is one thing. Perhaps you would be right and there would be room to say dont vote your conscience but it is too unrealistic. But despite the polls, they came up only 46 votes short. That is very realistic.

    Dont forget - the polls did not just predict no seat for chen. They predicted something in the range of 500 votes. So the polls were technically right because chen did not get a seat, but they were way off on the numbers.

  6. Please don't say that voter fraud in your neighborhood does not matter.

    Perhaps it didn't affect the outcome of the election, but it matters.

  7. I garee, Jeremy. it matters, and if there are concrete complaints, the police should deal with it. But it is not something I am going to harp on, because overall nothing will change because of it...

    And anyway, there is always some fraud, in every election. In every neighborhood, in every city, in every country. That is part of elections. We have to try our best to make them as clean as possible and minimize it to the best of our ability, but lets not fool ourselves to think we can get rid of it so easily...

  8. call me naive, but i was so devastated to hear about the activities that Ger engaged in in Yerushalayim. I even spoke to a friend of mine in Bnei Beraq who is from a very well known Ger family and she didn't deny it. She knows it's true.

    Such an unbelievable chillul hashem.

    Also, the general behavior of Gimmel here in Bet Shemesh was so off putting.

    I am so ashamed.

    I really hope Tov can stand up to intimidation and not let us down.

  9. Tov is made up of two distinct groups each with two subgroups
    I.Chutznikim that are Charedi oriented but never bought the party line.
    A. Those that may wear hats on Shabbos but have pro-Zionist leanings, have social contacts outside the Chareidi world, etc.. These people voted for Lerner, and many were deciding between Tov
    and Chen.
    B. Those who are more Chareidi leaning to the point that either
    1. A DL candidate is inherently posul
    2. Moshe Abutbul's pernsonality won them over.
    1 and 2 subgroups may have felt the pressure of the R. Goldstein/Kornfeld bullying, as well as the R Shteinman Mayim Achronim fiasco, but I think most stuck with Tov
    II. Israeli Charedim who always voted Gimmel
    A. Charedim whose children were not accepted by the Cheder or Bais Yaakov of their choice or have other grievances against Degel's askanim. Many of these people have no ideology backing them up what so ever. They couldn't care less if the DL left town, etc.. These people turned out for Abutbul, and many couldn't stand up to the Gimmel bullying.
    B. People that are oriented towards Yavetz's Aguda Achas- these are people that live a Chareidi lifestyle but no longer believe in Daas Torah (at least in the way it is used by Degel) and wish to see radical changes in Chareidi scoiety. They're aren't so many of them, but may be the ideological backbone of Tov, they probably voted for Lerner.
    The issue of Mosdos can probably be taken care of, however what will Tov say if the Matnas in Miri Shalem is fired from the Matznas and replaced with someone who keeps the building locked exept for Shasnik speaking about thir tour to the Olam Haamet etc..
    What will they say if the Iriya doesn't fund Yom Haazmaut.
    What will they say if Labor (who now controlls education in the city) assualts Torah education in Etrog Harel and Rapraport?
    Whether or not they view the DL community as their allies or adversaries will define them to a large extent.
    The second issue is the RBS arnona. Gimmel doesn't care thaey represent "Bnei Teirah" who get discounts. Here their is a real conflict of intrests between Tov and Gimmel.
    BeKitzur are they less frum Charedim who wanted to give Montag a kick in the pants? Or do they represent a different value system?

  10. good questions. now they have to prove themselves. Hopefully they will have the opportunity and will not be pushed down by Degel... Abutbol has no reason to not let them in and give them a job, unless Degel insists on it.
    Abutbol won because of Degel, not because of his Gush Chevrati. I saw a breakdown in one of the BS papers that showed how RBS was all the difference, and his numbers in old BS were not as strong as Vaknin or Lerner. But in RBS (A and B together) he wiped everyone else away. So he might owe them.

  11. anon, i object to the term 'less frum'. what makes them 'less frum'? bc they don't blindly follow misguided proclamations by out of touch 'leaders'?

  12. Mrs. RBS I posted earlier
    I wasn't referring to Tov as a whole. I was referring to a specific subgroup (IIA in my posting)

  13. anon, i know, i read your posting.

    am wondering what makes them 'less frum' in your mind?

  14. Mrs. RBS
    That population leans more towards a "Chareidi Lite' lifestyle , regarding issues such as tznius, movies etc.. Fro the record I'm not Charedi at all I'm not judging them, but I feel its fair do define them that way.

  15. thanks for clearing that up. I understand what you are saying.

    However, I'm just biased because the behavior of the 'more frum' elements of the chareidi population has been absolutely disgraceful. Makes you wonder....

  16. There's something I don't get. Montag davvens in the sterotypical Tov shul (Zichron Moshe) - burned-out charedim who don't believe in charedi conformism. I am pretty sure that many of them voted Tov. What's going on?

  17. Montag davens at Chanichei. It could be he spreads himself around and goes to various hsuls when he has the opportunity, such as for simchas or whatever, but his main shul is chanichei...

  18. The "Tov" phenomenon is interesting. I wonder if it will spread to other cities or perhaps event to the Knesset.


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