Monday, November 28, 2005

I feel like a kid whose birthday party got cancelled. Now's the time in the political cycle when I get courted by every Likudnik with political ambitions. I've been so looking forward to meeting with all the craven opportunists who lied to me three years ago about what they intended to do in the Knesset. So what do they go and do but start their own party. I'm crestfallen. There will still be plenty of suitors, though, and I hope to chronicle my dates right here, so stay tuned.

Two quick points. First, whether you're a right-winger or a left-winger, if you care about democracy you should be scared to death of Sharon. He is personally corrupt and the people around him are corrupt, but that is the least of it. He began this new party because he holds the electorate, the Likud voters and his fellow Knesset members in utter contempt. He regards those who disagree with him as obstacles, not as partners in dialogue. Knesset members who vote their consciences (and, in fact, their party platform) are deemed rebels and rabble-rousers. The very notion of debate and negotiation, the lifeblood of democracy, strikes him as a nuisance.

He now has formed a party in which he appoints the list of candidates and makes all the decisions. Everyone in the party has followed him to it as a result of having flamed out elsewhere and is utterly dependent on his goodwill. This is not a by-product of the circumstances under which the party was formed but rather its very raison d'etre. That should be frightening enough, but get this: his latest meshugas is to seek to change the electoral system to a presidential system in which (so he imagines) he will not be answerable to anyone at all. May God help us; the courts and press certainly won't. (For the record, I am all for electoral reform but not the kind of reform designed for the sole purpose of anointing Sharon All-Knowing Master of Space, Time and Dimension. I'll get into this another time.)

Second point. The distribution of seats among small parties matters not at all. What matters is who can form a coalition -- left or right. If you count the Likud as a right-wing party, the right/left distribution after the last election was 70/50. All that need interest us here is how many voters will cross the right-left divide. Counting Sharon as a left-wing party, there are only two potential crossover blocs: Shas voters going to Amir Peretz and Likud voters going to Sharon. There isn't much potential for crossovers in the other direction. (There will be plenty of Shinui and (Ashkenazi) Labor votes going to Sharon and plenty of Likud votes going to Mafdal-National Union but those aren't crossovers.)

Those Shas losses and Likud losses are the only votes that matter. I assume Shas can take care of their problems on their own. As for the Likud, they'll need to portray Sharon's party as irredeemably opposed to core Likud values, or whatever little is left of them. What better gift could one hope for, then, than Shimon Peres signing on with Sharon? As far as I can tell, the last remaining core Likud value is hatred of Shimon Peres.


Blogger Zalman said...

For me, it is enough that Olmert is with Kadima to run the other way.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous said...

By referring to the Likud voters with the pronoun "they" as opposed to "we" you lend credence to those like Rav Sherlo who would claim that the MY faction is a "trojan horse" that fools the public and doesn't really vote for the Likud and also weakens any arguments for fighting against Sharon's "trojan horses" in the Likud.

Not that having the party full of trojan horses leading to its demise is necessarily a bad thing. One might even argue that the most important thing that could happen after the disengagement is the destruction of the Likud which "fooled" the "right-wing" for 30 years and needs to disappear

1:55 PM  
Blogger mnuez said...

Yours is a voice I always enjoy hearing and particularly look forward to hearing more from over this coming electoral season.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Zeh Sefer Toldot Adam said...

Your last point is entirely trenchant!

Having said that.. I don't see how you can posit Sharon's corruption as a reason not to vote for Kadima. It is a reason not to vote at all. Peretz is corrupt. Bibi stinks to high heaven. Shas, I don't even want to mention.

Corruption? It's the name of the game, baby.

10:22 PM  
Blogger bar_kochba132 said...

I voted National Union in the last 2 elections, Moledet in the one before that (1996) and MAFDAL before that (1992). Now, I can't seen any reason to vote at all. Friends of mine in YESHA say I have to vote for a party of the "right" (i.e. the least bad) in order to help them hold on to their yishuvim, but when I look at how the National Union and MAFDAL dragged their feet and not giving ANY opposition to Sharon, i.e. not protesting the "Road Map", giving Sharon extension after extension, etc, I reach the conclusion that I can not support any of them any more. Yisrael Harel in Ha'aretz a couple of weeks ago pointed out how the politicians of these parties didn't provide any leadership in the struggle to save Gush Katif, and viewed their job in coming to the Gush Katif area to help the gov't carry out the pogrom with as little opposition as possible. I do not view Marzel's "Jewish National Front" as any sort of option, because I oppose Kahanism in principle (which the Left has adopted, they just throw out Jews instead of Arabs as Kahane proposed), and I object to Marzel picking the name of the fascistically-oriented party of Le Pen in France.
Thus, for me, election day is simply a day off of work, and to pray that the Jewish stops its suicidal policies before it is too late.

5:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home