Nov 24, 2008

star-studded list

The list of stars joining and re-joining the Likud keeps growing, as Netanyahu runs from press conference to press conference announcing each new one. Yesterday was Zeev Jabotinsky, the grandson of, they say there are still more to come - perhaps the son of Yitzchak Shamir (a rumor) - in the next few days...

Speaking of Jabotinsky... does anybody know what he has been doing until yesterday? I did not see any profile of him in any of the articles I saw announcing his joining the LIkud list running for a spot in the primaries. All the articles described him as is the grandson of Jabotinsky, but I have no idea of he has been a businessman, a professor, doctor, or what... Anybody know? I am curious what his own credentials are..

Anyway, with all these stars on the Likud list, it looks to me like Bibi is headed for trouble. It looks like he is going to walk away with these elections, and that could be trouble. I think they would call it the "trouble of the wealthy" - who is he going to give positions to?

First of all, he has to form a government with other parties, and the other parties will want people in certain positions. Of course this is only a problem if the Likud does not get 60 seats on its own, but nobody is predicting that!

So Likud will have to give some of it ministerial positions away to other parties.

Then, all these starts re/joining the Likud - these guys are not doing it in order to be regular members of Knesset. Most of them want the higher level of influence of a minister. There are not enough ministerial positions to give out to all of them! Even if one acts like Olmert and Sharon and creates a bunch of fictitious positions, it will be very difficult to create enough to include all these stars.

And also many of their specialties overlap, so stars will be disappointed they were not given a certain ministerial position, when it went to an alternate star. Such as Defense Minister. There are 3 of Likud's new stars who see themselves as appropriate for the DM position. Only one of them can get it, even if Likud does not give it away to another party (as part of the unity government Bibi has mentioned, for example)..

So, while it is "the tzurress of the wealthy", it will be interesting to see what happens, and what the stars' expectations really were, and what was promised to each of them (even though now they all say no promises or understandings have been made)..


  1. Punkt farkert, Rafi.

    The stronger the Likud is, the smaller we can expect the government to be. If the Likud got 50 seats, they would probably need only one other party to join the coalition. While they might choose to include more for the sake of strength, the bargaining power of all the smaller parties is significantly diluted, such that they cannot make demands disproportionate to their respective sizes.

    For a practical demonstration of this prnciple, take a look at how a weak ruling party (Kadima) fared in the last Knesset. 29 seats is the smallest size ever for the largest party in the Knesset. And they could not hold together the same coalition for very long. This was what made watching Olmert so entertaining, because he really was a master at dancing around his coalition partners, swapping out this one for that one, etc. A lesser politician would not even have managed to form a coalition in the first place!

    If anyone inside the Likud has their nose out of joint because Bibi didn't give them the portfolio they wanted, they can resign from Knesset, and some lesser being will take their place. But if your coalition partners from other parties start getting huffy, you either have to pander to them or find some other partner with lesser demands...

  2. I agree with that, that is why I said the problem is solved if Likud gets tons of seats like 60 (I exagerrated the number a bit), but I dont see it happening. It would take a real miracle for them to get so many seats that they do not need more than one other partner. I think the 30-35 is range is realistic, and then they will need at least 2 partners of medium/large size, if not more

  3. I actually would like to see some politician either pass a law or just by his own initiative implement a policy saying there will be no more than 9 ministers in government.

    We do not need 25 ministers. It is a big waste of money and makes bloated government. I would probably vote for such a candidate no matter which party he came from.


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