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Jun 19, 2023

Proposed Law: Secret Ballot Votes

MK Dan Ilouz (Likud) has proposed a law by which all secret votes in the Knesset will go the way of the Dodo bird.

According to Ilouz, holding secret ballot votes in the Knesset means the elected officials are not able to be held responsible to the voters - nobody knows what they actually voted on the issue. MKs like to say they represent the people (even there is no direct voting for any specific candidate), but when voting in secret in Knesset, the public has no way to know if their representatives are actually voting their interests.

Obviously this comes at the heels of the recent vote for representatives of the judicial appointment committee in which it seems to be clear that some Coalition MKs voted in favor of the Opposition candidate due to the secret ballot used.

Ilouz says that as representatives of the public the actions of MKs should be transparent to the public so the public has the tools and ability to decide whether or not to vote again "for us" in the future. Secret ballot votes in Knesset damage democracy and should become extinct.
source: Hamechadesh

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  1. Wow - Likud is really running sacred.

    It is pretty obvious that if this government's cornerstone legislation, the Judicial Reform was vote on by secret ballot, it would have no chance of passing (as we saw with the vote for the Judicial Committee)
    The only way that this government could remain in control is to enforce Party Discipline on every vote, and the only way to do that is to abolish the "Secret Ballot"

    1. Care to tell me another democracy in which there are secret ballots by legislators?

      Legislation is already not secret. This is for representatives to the judicial panel. You run on a platform, you stand by it or face the consequences. Or should.

    2. In Canada the speaker is chosen by secret ballot. The advantage is the speaker is chosen based on merit instead of outside political consideration.

    3. I don't know about Secret Ballot, but in New Zealand (and probably other British-based democracies) there are some votes where they remove the whip and MPs are free to vote according to their conscious.

    4. ehwhy, that's a nice ideal. Has a speaker *ever* been chosen who wasn't a member of the governing party? I somehow doubt it.

      Michael, that's not at all the same thing. Israel removes the whip at times too.

  2. Should go for president and chief rabbis as well.

  3. I'm not holding my breath, but this is obviously the right thing to do.

  4. The secret ballot was introduced in 1986.

    Peter Milliken (Liberal) served as Speaker for 10 years (2001 - 2011) under both Liberal (Jean Chretien & Paul Martin) and Conservative (Stephen Harper) Governments.

    In 1926 (Rodolphe Lemieux) & 1979 (James Jerome) Liberal speakers were also chosen under Conservative Governments.

    In 2011, 8 candidates were on the ballot. It took 6 ballots to finally select the winner.
    In Canada the Speaker only votes when there is tie. It has only happened 10 times in Canadian history. Milliken presided over 5 of those votes.

    1. Yes, I had a feeling any examples would only go one way.

    2. That is a reflection of the fact the Liberals have been the ruling party for most of the countries history rather than any preconceived notions of left/right politics you may have.

      Back to the main point. You said 'Care to tell me another democracy in which there are secret ballots by legislators?' I gave you an example of another country that has a secret ballot, where the outcome is not predetermined before the election takes place.

      The selection of the Judicial Election Committee has traditionally been a secret ballot where the outcome was predetermined and the votes only a formality. It is only because the Government botched what should have been a simple vote, that we even need to have this discussion.


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