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Apr 19, 2021

Proposed Law: Direct Elections now

Here it comes. the law for direct elections that was discussed last night has been proposed. it is amazing how they can talk about the need for electoral reform for years, even decades, and do absolutely nothing about it, but when Netanyahu needs it to help him, they can come up with a detailed plan in five minutes.

So here is the proposed law, as submitted by MKs Michael Malkieli and Moshe Arbel (Shas). 

It should first be noted that this proposal is not for how future elections should be run on a new system that will avoid the current stalemate we find ourselves in. This is a proposal for right now, to get out of the stalemate immediately, despite being in the middle of a post-election process of forming a government.

Arbel and Malkieli proposed a law that would send Israel into elections again immediately - the actual election would be held within 30 days. This election would only be for the post of Prime Minister, and not for the Knesset spots and parties.

Anyone already elected to the 24th Knesset in the most recent elections would qualify and be able to run for Prime Minister in this direct election. To run though, each potential candidate would be first required to get the support of 20 MKs for the candidacy, and each MK can only support one candidate.

I am not sure why this clause is included, but they also would limit the voting to people who voted in the most recent election. If you did not vote this past March you won't be allowed to vote in this direct election. I mean, I know why they included this clause - so that the anti-Netanyahu camp cannot rally its voters better than last time to come out and vote against Netanyahu. What I do not get is how this could possibly be legal and constitutional (not that we have a constitution, but still...). If this law passes, which I cannot see happening, I cannot see how this clause will hold up.

The winning candidate would have to amass 40% of the votes or more. If no candidate reaches the 40% mark, or if it ends in a tie, a second round will be held within 14 days. The results of the direct election will be published within 8 days. As soon as results are announced, the elected Prime Minister will immediately be granted full authority of both the Prime Minister and of the Alternate Prime Minister. The winning candidate will have 90 days to form a coalition, and the President will not be involved in any way but this process will go through the Speaker of the Knesset.

Obviously some Opposition MKs have spoken out against this proposal. Likud MK Shlomo Karhi says this is not enough because it still does not help Netanyahu form a government, but a proposal he has mad ein the ppast would and this should be included. Karhi has proposed that the winning candidate will be granted an addition 10% of MKs to be in his coalition - another 12 MKs. sort of virtual MKs. The Knesset is made up of 120 MKs, and all 120 were elected in elections, but the winning candidate would get an extra 12 that do not actually exist and were not elected by the people, to ensure that the winner can form a coalition. Again, make things up just help Netanyahu.

I am not even sure why they don't just try to pass a law to forgo elections and say that the people have clearly chosen Netanyahu so we will declare him king and there is no need for the Knesset to form a supporting coalition or make Netanyahu keep running. The law should appoint Netanyahu as Prime Minister until he chooses to retire.

They must really know that such a law proposal has no way to pass. Not when they stack it so far in the favor of Netanyahu and make the entire process unfair and probably undemocratic. The entire thing might be an exercise in creating appearances of trying to help Netanyahu in any and every way possible, and if he still fails, it is on him and then his partners can feel free to graze in other pastures. I don't know what else could be behind such a ridiculous law proposal. 

Source: Maariv, and all the other news media

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  1. I have no idea how this would work.
    Assuming that Bibi wins, it would only give him the opportunity to form a government, which is what he already has from Rivlin.
    If Bibi cannot get 61 MKs to support his government when the President has given him the task to form a government, how would it be easier if the voters gave him the same task.

    The only way that this could make a difference is if the winner is automatically allocated extra seats (which is not being proposed), or we allow the Prime Minister to form a minority government, in which case it would be extremely difficult for the government to get any laws or a budget passes as they do not have an automatic majority.
    If we allow Bibi to form a minority government, what is the benefit of having an election first.

    I'm also curious if the "anyone but Bibi" camp would be able to rally around a right-wing candidate like Bennet or Saar, which would be the only way for a candidate to beat Bibi.
    I.e., if there was a run-off between Bennet and Saar, would the Black Flag movement get out to vote Bennet?

  2. This is completely idiotic. Direct elections for prime minister in a parliamentary system is a contradiction in terms. Even if he would win he doesn’t have 61 MKs yo make a government.

  3. This is completely idiotic. Direct elections for prime minister in a parliamentary system is a contradiction in terms. Even if he would win he doesn’t have 61 MKs yo make a government.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Spotted your article on a Yiddish Language forum. Kudos!


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