Mar 27, 2006

Three random thoughts on the upcoming elections

A few random thoughts scribbled together in one jumbled post:

I just took a couple of taxis through Tel Aviv and noticed a few things. Here we go.

1. The signage (I might have made up the word) confuses me. In every major intersection there are large signs for all the large parties. What is the point? Why waste all that money? None of those are going to sway anybody to vote for the specific party. All the parties have signs next to each other, so they effectively cancel each other out. They do not indicate any level of public support, because it is simply a matter of who ran to the intersection first and grabbed the first available spot. What's the point?

2. I saw almost no signs hanging from porches and windows. That means that people really do not care. I have been in Israel long enough that I have experienced a number of elections, so I have what to compare with. Normally election time, especially erev elections, the buildings are plastered with signs and there are flyers all over the streets and being handed out on street corners. Today, with elections looming less than 19 hours away, the streets are quiet and there are few signs hanging up from porches. People just do not care.
I assumed in Bet Shemesh it was quiet because it is a small city and most people know whom they are voting for and the parties more or less know how much support they have. no real need to get worked up. But in the big cities, there should be street battles looking for support. I was wrong. In the big cities it is also quiet. People really do not care.

3. I took two taxis on my venture through Tel Aviv. Both taxi drivers are voting Likud. One was an older Sephardic Jew and the second was a younger Ashkenazic Jew. They can clearly not be stereotyped into the same category of type of person who obviously votes Likud. Except for the same profession, I noticed no similarities between the two. Yet both are voting Likud.
One of them even (the younger one) even began to rant about how it is important to vote Likud as the rest are selling out the country and we need a strong Likud. It was refreshing to see that not everyone has been hoodwinked by Kadima. I might revise my predictions. I think when it comes down to actual voting, people may likely go back to their natural parties they have always supported and not vote kadima. It is easy to answer a pollster on the telephone and say the popular answer. When the vote counts, people are more idealistic and vote for ideology. Let's hope that is true.

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