Dagan: Gov't has chance to reform electoral system

By
May 13, 2012 17:00

Former Mossad chief will visit Camp Sucker protest movement in support of changing voting system, finding Tal Law replacement.

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Ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan at Jpost conference

Ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan at Jpost conference_370. (photo credit: Screenshot )

The newly-formed national unity government has a real opportunity to implement meaningful change in Israel's electoral system, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan stated in a press release Sunday.

Dagan heads the pro-electoral reform movement Yesh Sikkui (“There is a chance,”) which is dedicated to, inter alia, raising the minimum threshold at which parties can gain a seat in the Knesset from two percent to three, capping the number of government ministers at 16, and integrating a regional electoral system to increase MK accountability to voters.

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The former Mossad chief stated: "I believe that by changing the electoral system, MKs will more accurately reflect the will of the voters. Through implementing this change, we will also increase government stability and decrease political corruption." Dagan added that his movement "will continue to act to ensure that the coalition's commitment will be fulfilled."

Dagan will visit Tel Aviv University on Monday for a joint conference with leaders of the Camp Sucker movement - dedicated to broadening the base of IDF inductees by drafting more within minority communities, including haredim.

In the press release, Boaz Nol and Idan Miller, leaders of the Camp Sucker movement, stated that "Both (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu and (Minister Shaul) Mofaz have promised to pass a bill replacing the Tal Law during the current Knesset term. Now that they are enjoying a broad and stable coalition, they must both stand by their words and pass, within the coming months, this historic bill that will create equality between Israeli citizens."

Tel Aviv University's student union leader Uri Reshtik stated that his organization "supports the struggle for change in the system of government, and wants to find an equitable replacement for the Tal Law. We call on PM Netanyahu and Minister Mofaz to keep their promises and to immediately begin working correct these issues."

The Supreme Court ruled in February that the Tal Law, which allows haredim to defer army service indefinitely, must be replaced by August.

During his opening remarks at the weekly cabinet meeting earlier Sunday, prime minister Netanyahu reiterated the four main goals of the national unity government which he laid out last week - passing an alternative to the Tal Law, changing the electoral system, passing a budget and advancing the peace process.

Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid expressed his doubts that the new unity coalition government could replace the Tal Law with a more equitable law by the August 1 deadline, Army Radio reported.

"Who really believes that a change in haredi [ultra-Orthodox] conscription will occur when Eli Yishai and Shas are signed and involved? It won't happen," Lapid said at a Tel Aviv University conference, referring to the religious Shas party that remains in the government coalition.

"If by July 31 the government does not announce that every person over age 18 is going to the army or civil service, know that they deceived you," he added.

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.


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