Monday, March 27, 2006

The NU/NRP campaign made two egregious mistakes that will cost us dearly.

First, they attacked Likud and portrayed Netanyahu as weak and unreliable. This may have brought NU/NRP a few votes but, by playing on the uncommitted public's worst fears about Bibi, it undoubtedly sent many more votes from the right to Kadima. The right's only chance of forming a coalition is a strong Likud (and that's as close as I'm coming to announcing whom I'm voting for), so NU/NRP has again shot itself in the foot. That's what happens when you think you're the only tzaddik in Sodom. They're becoming the Briskers of Israeli politics.

Second, they actively campaigned against Marzel on the grounds that he wouldn't cross the minimum threshold and would waste votes. This is an entirely self-fulfilling claim. In fact, a more reasonable argument goes the other way: since Marzel is flirting with the minimum and failing would cost the right dearly, we should encourage people to vote for him to ensure that those votes are not wasted. As it happens, Marzel will be quite useless in the Knesset since he can't be part of any coalition but at least he'll take mandates from the left simply by sitting on them. And I think he has an excellent chance of getting in. (The surprises in this election will be down in the little parties; pollsters don't have the tools to deal with them.)

Soon a few words about Yisrael Beiteinu.


Anonymous zalman said...

"The right's only chance of forming a coalition is a strong Likud."

1. Why? Is it significantly more difficult for the right to form a coalition if some of "Likud's votes" end up with some of the other right wing parties?

2. Is there a realistic possibility that the right will get a chance to form a coalition?

9:39 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

A coalition needs to be led by a single dominant party. Since the parties on the right other than Likud are all sectarian parties, no coalition is possible without a strong Likud. If the right and left are about evenly matched but Kadima has twice as many seats as Likud, Shas will prefer Kadima.
Yes, 60 votes for the right is possible, depending on who shows up to vote and which of the small parties gets in.

10:20 PM  
Blogger bar_kochba132 said...

Agreed, 100%. I saw some of the TV ads. The right-wing parties attacked each other instead of the Left. They really have a death wish. "TOV", -the Ihud HaLeumi/MAFDAL really doesn't care about the country or the yishuvim in YESHA, (I voted Ihud the last two elections), it is simply a gang of cronies that wants a few crumbs from the table of the oligarchs (BTW Ben-thanks for the link to Ari Shavit's brilliant article showing how the oligarchs, thru Kadima, are destroying Israel).
None of them address the real issues about corruption, the anti-democratic forces like the Supreme Court, police, SHABAK, media. This is because all they want is to get onto the same gravy train.
I am voting Marzel. I agree that if he gets in, he will be neutralized, for that matter, I don't agree with his Kahanist background, but it seems the only way I can register a protest.
After the election, particularly if Olmert becomes PM, I hope and pray that good people of both Left and Right, who really care about the state and Zionism, can get together, reach some sort of consensus to forget YESHA for a while (since everyone agrees that there is no possibility of reaching "peace agreements" with the Arabs in any event), and work to do real reforms in Israel, realizing that a major existential crisis is upon us. Pray a lot!

1:03 AM  
Blogger Avi Green said...

Why? Is it significantly more difficult for the right to form a coalition if some of "Likud's votes" end up with some of the other right wing parties?

Okay, if I may address your questions, let me point out that if the right-wing is to have a strong coalition, it depends largely on the Likud getting a strong number of Knesset seats of its own.

All the small so-called right-wing parties are opportunistic, and they'll all join with Kadima to get a ministry or two. That includes Shas, Aguda, Yisrael Beitenu and National Union/Mafdal.

Second, while the NU/NRP and even Yisrael Beitenu did attack Olmert and Kadima, they still flubbed big time by attacking the Likud as well. That said, it doesn't look likely that most of the public will vote for Kadima in the elections tomorrow, but it could alienate them, and that's the serious mistake that the National Union made in their campaign. I was horrified when I saw what they were doing, and can't understand how they kept resorting to this ludicrous tactic when they didn't have to.

To say the least, only the Likud maintained the best of campaigns, and I'm disappointed in National Union for their failure to do the same.

1:26 AM  
Blogger westbankmama said...

I agree with you Ben. There comes a time when you have to realize that even if we are "right" we are a MINORITY, and the only way to really lead the country is with other like-minded people. We can't have everything our way, but if we work with other people, we will get a lot more than if we are alone. The Likud is the logical place for us now - NOT another small sectarian party.

8:53 AM  

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