Jan 24, 2013

The Likud, not just Feiglin, needs to take some blame for less voter support

Some leaders of the Likud are upset. They have been looking over the numbers and they see some towns in Judea and Samaria that gave far fewer votes to the likud than the number of members. To them this indicates that these were Moshe Feiglin supporters who do not actually support the Likud. They have been members of the Likud just as a way of advancing Moshe feiglin in the Likud ranks, but they do not actually support the Likud. They are "working the system", taking advantage of the rules, if you may.

One can debate the morality of joining a party for the sole purpose of advancing a "trojan horse" and assisting in a takeover, without actually believing in the party platform or supporting the party. Some might say as long as you followed the rules, all is kosher - if they wanted to they could change the rules to prevent such things from happening. Others might say that while it is technically legal and doable, it is morally wrong.

There is absolutely no problem with not voting for the Likud, or any party, despite being a member. Being a member of the party does not obligate one to vote for the party. There can be many reasons why a member of the Likud, for example, might not vote for the Likud, and not all the reasons have to do with Feiglin. One could still identify with the party and its platform while being upset at it for variosu policy agendas that were advanced, or maybe one wants to support a rival for a specific reason on a, let's say, one-time basis. I know that in this last election, many regular Likud supporters were upset with the way the Likud handled the campaign, attacking its regular partners, attacking communities of people that the Likud members identify closely with. I know people who normally support the Likud but this time out of frustration regarding the campaign chose to vote for a different party.

That is not to say that surely some of the voting patterns in Judea and Samaria was based on the Feiglin issue, but I would be reluctant to blame the Feiglin excuse for all of them. Especially when Likud ran such a dirty campaign.

I do not know if he is correct, but Yehuda Glick, a Likud member from beit El who was a candidate for the Knesset (he was too low down the list to win a spot) denies the decline in Likud votes in Judea and Samaria. He says in some towns there was a decline in numbers from previous elections, but, Glick says, in those towns many people were on active army duty and voted on army bases around the country. As well, looking at the overall trends rather than at some specific towns, the numbers voting for the Likud actually increased from Judea and Samaria overall. Glick also says some of those who voted for other parties did so because of the way the Likud was perceived to have attacked Rabbinical leadership or spepcific individuals. Despite that there was a very healthy turnout for the Likud.

I do not know if Glick is correct or not, but I still think that especially when the Likud ran such a dirty campaign, one cannot lay all the blame at the "Feiglinites", and the Likud has to reconsider its tactics.

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  1. Well said.
    Moreover, this situation is a lot less problematic than the reverse situation in the Likud leadership primaries, where more vote were counted for Netanyahu in Beit Shean than there were Likud members there!

  2. The is the norm of politics in the USA too. You might be a registered Democrat in order to vote in Democratic primaries yet when election day arrives, you wrote Republican.

  3. Netanyahu was trying (and still is...) to disenfranchise the dati leumi membership.

    He knew he had prime minister in the bag, so figured he could do everything possible to shake off these new and enthusiastic members.

    In the meantime he has disgusted most of his own party members with such a dismal campaign strategy. While he will be prime minister 4 more years, he will probably be replaced after that.


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