Jun 26, 2019

election updates and thoughts

A new initiative to cancel the upcoming elections is underway. The initiative is being led by MK Yuli Edelstein, seemingly at the behest of PM Netanyahu. While it has yet to be explained how this initiative is working differently than the previous one, it seems to be a separate and different initiative. Edelstein himself says there is political demand for this. The question is if there is any legal way they can realistically do this.

The reason given is that the people clearly don't want elections. The elections are wasteful and unnecessary.

Let us not forget, this was true two weeks ago when the Likud led by Netanyahu decided we have to go to new elections because the people wanted a right-wing government and the results of the elections did not allow him to form one. Then it was necessary, and now it is wasteful and unnecessary. The entire Likud followed along and did what Netanyahu told him to do and support the dispersal of the Knesset and move to elections. Suddenly we hear all these Likudniks saying elections are not necessary. And not just Likudniks, but all the others as well. Kahlon supported the dispersal vote 100% but now is supporting the move to cancel elections. Few politicians have the spine to do what they believe in - they seem to all be afraid of Netanyahu and feel they must stay on his good side. I guess they are worried that if they cross him he will deem them leftists.

The Haredi politicians have some integrity in saying they will not automatically support it. They clarify that they never wanted these wasteful elections, but do not want a government with Yair Lapid and Lieberman in it. They will check what such elections would bring, and what parties would join together if elections are canceled, and then decide whether or not to support the initiative.

Bennett has the most to lose by a move to cancel elections, yet he put out a statement supporting the initiative to cancel. I suspect he knows the initiative has such minute odds of actually passing that he is safe in making himself appear as concerned for the greater good even at his own expense while he points out the pettiness of Bibi and others. Perhaps, he feels, he can take away a few votes by people who see him now as stately while Bibi is petty.

Such an initiative, which is really a long-shot, seems to assume that if elections are canceled a unity government of sorts would be formed. There is a war of words as to whether or not Likud has made any proposals or offers to Kachol Lavan. Either way, Kachol Laval has, at least publicly, said no. They say Netanyahu already started the process of elections and there is no going back. Without Kachol Lavan, and possibly without some others, they almost definitely cannot get this off the ground. And even if they did, if no unity government is formed, then we are back where we started and nothing has changed.

Avigdor Lieberman said he does not care about the elections, they were pushed by netanyahu. He will push for a unity government with Likud Kachol Lavan and Yisrael Beyteynu whether we have elections or not.

What I find interesting is that Likud is pushing this right now. Just to follow the thought to the end. Let's say the elections are canceled. Then what? Does Netanyahu think he will get another chance to try t form a government? I am not sure why he thinks that. He already had his chance. He already used the full extension period. And he failed. My assumption is that if elections are canceled, the mandate will be given to Gantz to try to form a coalition. Unless a unity government is formed, Gantz almost definitely won't be able to form a basic coalition and we'll be back at starting elections again in a few weeks anyway. Unless Netanyahu has another trick up his sleeve in the form of a way to keep the mandate that will allow him the opportunity to lead the way to forming a coalition. He might, but I have yet to hear an explanation as to why or how Bibi thinks the coalition formation will stay with him.

This evening Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister, announced the formation of a new party that will run in the upcoming elections. He failed before, and I don't expect much from him in this realm in the future. He is running with some accomplished people. Even if he is successful, I am not sure how it helps anyone on the Left, as his party will not be the ruling party. he will basically just be moving around the deck chairs on the Left a little bit more. He'll take some votes from Labor and Meretz and some from Kachol Lavan. Maybe a few from the center right as well, but not many. I don't get why he is running just to be a minor MK.

Regardless of that, I have enjoyed seeing the reactions online of right wingers lambasting him for running and scoffing that this will just help Bibi and is splintering the Left. They are all scoffing at him for something the Right has been doing every single election in the past 20 years - splintering the bloc. They all seem to think they know better and he is stupid for doing this, yet on the Right they are far greater experts and far more experienced in splintering the bloc and wasting votes. The Left has just a few parties and while this might be a splinter, it is nowhere near the proportions of the splintering on the Right.

If the Edelstein/Netanyahu initiative goes through, Barak will be left blowing in the wind. With the level of animosity between Netanyahu and Barak, I would not even be surprised that Netanyahu's entire goal in this initiative is to stick it to Ehud Barak!

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  1. I think the most logical conclusion is Bibi has no intention of cancelling elections. He is just trying to shift the blame for the 'unnecessary' elections by pretending he did everything he could to prevent them from happening.

  2. I totally appreciate your referring to "Avigdor" Lieberman instead of the increasingly common use of his original name, "Evet" Lieberman.

    Only since this past election have I heard him referred to so many times as Evet and it is extremely annoying.

    Whatever one's politics are, and I'm no fan of Avigdor Lieberman, it should be respected that Lieberman took a very Jewish name years ago, and it is absolutely unacceptable to try to insult him (I can't see any other motivation...) by "accusing" him of having a non-Jewish given name.

  3. I believe that there is a “dark horse” in the running that will slowly rise to the position that HKB”H needs him or her to be in first place to further the geulah process.


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