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May 20, 2014

Proposed Law: residence prior to candidacy

In a strange debate, one party member submitted a law proposal that the rest of his party opposed.

MK Menachem Eliezer Mozes (UTJ) submitted a bill that would require potential mayoral candidates to live in the city in which he wants to run for mayor for a minimum of 6 months prior to officially joining the electoral race (i.e. a minimum of 7 months total).

I think it is a good suggestion. We see parties moving their activists from town to town to give them jobs and put them in positions. A guy loses in one place, so they move him somewhere else. They take someone from another city they want to promote, and stick him where they think they have an opportunity. The guy might not know anything about the city he is trying to take over. I think it is a good idea to require a period of time where the potential candidate has to actually throw his lot in with the city residents, and also become familiar the city problems and issues...

Anyways, so Mozes submitted the law proposal. By the way, the proposal passed in its first reading in Knesset. The law was most strongly opposed by none other than members of his own party! MK Yaakov Asher, formerly mayor of Bnei Braq prior to embarking on his Knesset career, opposes the law saying there are talented people and they should be able to go into a city and have an affect, and sometimes it makes sense to bring someone in from the outside.

While this happens regularly, it is specifically the Haredi community that will be most affected, as the haredi community tends to move its people around right before elections for candidacies in different cities. The haredi community also tends to make decisions, or announce them, at the last moment. Don't accuse me of bias - I heard Yaakov Asher on the radio twice yesterday say this very point, about it being much more common by the haredi parties.

Other MKs said 6-7 months is too much, and 3 months should be enough. The advancement of the bill will depend on debates and decisions aroundthe length of time, and also on the ability of the Ministry of Interior to determine place of residence - will changing the identity card be enough, or does he actually have to live in the city, and other such issues.

What is particularly striking and interesting, besides for the law itself, is that this was not coordinated within the submitters own party. Mozes wrote it and submitted it without the agreement of his party, seemingly against the party policy, and his fellow party members had no problem voting against it, despite it coming from their own party. Is there no coordination, or unity, in the ranks of UTJ?

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  1. Six months are too short. I'd say a year. A mayor should be for a loyal citizen of the city, not an ambitious carpetbagger.

  2. they said three months is enough because three months before the election is about the time that people have to submit their candidacy and move there anyway.

    count our blessings: if MKs lipman or shaked or saar had submitted the bill, we'd have to listen to another round of "they're trying to destroy the torah".

  3. Perhaps sometimes, it is necessary for fresh blood to come from outside. Why should a city only have to deal with local blood that perhaps has not nurtured a great manager? Is it really important for a candidate to know each alley and the history of each neighbourhood including internal politics before starting to work? Perhaps these things are a chain and ball for local politicians that a fresh face could rise over? Just asking more questions, I've yet to form an opinion.


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