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Feb 19, 2014

the real change to be made to the Presidential system

It seems that PM Netanyahu is considering making changes to the Presidential system in Israel - specifically regarding how the President is elected.

Currently the President is elected by a vote among Knesset members. The elected President serves a 7 year term, and cannot run for a second term.

With President Shimon Peres approaching the end of his term, elections are nearing. There are many candidates vying for the position, with more  people regularly announcing candidacy.

According to reports, Netanyahu wants to change the law to move the vote from the Knesset and to the people. Doing this so close to the end of Peres's term can be a problem, so Netanyahu is considering to also adjust the law to extend Peres's term for an additional year, considering the circumstances.

For his part, Shimon Peres says he is leaving office in June, at the end of his term, and is not interested in an extension. I am sure, though, it would not be too hard to convince him to stay on for another year, if that's how things would play out.
source: Walla News

Moving the voting for president out of the Knesset and to the general public is a fairly good idea, I think. The current system politicizes a position that is supposedly meant to be apolitical. There is a lot of horsetrading going on to shore up support, and support is often divided between right and left. Candidates also only have to persuade a limited number of people, people who might owe him favors or to whom he might owe favors (before or after). Moving it to the people will make the position far more representative, and might even make it slightly less political. A candidate will really have to run on his achievements and good name.

Moving the elections to the people will also eventually require making election day into a vacation day. Elections for Knesset are a vacation day. Municipal elections are on the path to being made into a vacation day. It only makes sense to also do so for presidential elections.

The truth is though, in my opinion. that once changes are being made to the presidential system, we'd all be better off if they would just shut the doors on the entire thing. Get rid of the Presidents office and position. Cancel the whole thingIt is an extremely superfluous position. We really do not need two heads of state, with all the various expenses and budgets they require.

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