Sunday, April 02, 2006

Israeli Elections - The Wrap

This is it.

Well, you never know. Labor and one of the Arab parties are contesting a number of election districts, so the absolutely, positively final results may not be confirmed for a while.

But here's how my March 26 predictions contrast against the actual totals

KADIMA 27 (29) [690,095 votes]
LABOR 23 (20) [473,746]
LIKUD 15 (12) 282,070]
NU/NRP 14 (9) [223,083]
YISRAEL BEITEINU 11 (11) [281,850]
SHAS 13 (12) [299,130]
ARAB PARTIES 8 (9) [94,460 * there is a recount *
UTJ 5 (6) [146,958]
MERETZ 4 (5) [118,356]
PENSIONERS 0 (7) [185,790]

THE RESULTS, regrettably, provided neither a referendum on disengagement nor a mandate for further unilateralism.

At the same time, the only party unconditionally opposed to any withdrawals, whatsoever – NU/NRP – received only 9 mandates.

All the other right-wing, or quasi right-wing parties, are far more malleable.

Bottom line: Israel remains a fragmented society whose electoral system encourages hyperpluralism. Everyone gets something, and everyone is left unsatisfied.

The saddest part of the election results is the protest vote that propelled a bunch of grumpy, self-interested (and not financially uncomfortable) old codgers into the Knesset under the rubric of the Pensioners Party.

It’s also interesting to note which parties didn’t make it:

Baruch Marzel’s ultra right-wing party received about 25,000 votes. Michael Kleiner’s ultra right-wing party received less than 3,000 votes.

The virulently “anti-religious” (really self-hating) secular parties whose campaign ads were particularly tasteless polled less than 15,000 combined.

And 40,000 Israelis place smoking dope at the top of their agenda.

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