The Jerusalem Post annual conference: 7 Israeli ministers will meet you there!
Independence Party divided over electoral change
ByGIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
February 26, 2012 01:26
“The need to change the electoral system is not a technical change,” Barak writes in newspaper column.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak

Defense Minister Ehud Barak 311. (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem)

A column by Defense Minister Ehud Barak that appeared in Friday’s Israel Hayom Hebrew daily demonstrated that even in his small, five-MK Independence faction there were deep divides over changing the electoral system.

Barak and four political allies broke off from the Labor Party last year due to major disagreements on key issues. While the Independence faction has been more harmonious, its leaders purposely left the issue of changes to the electoral system out of the party platform because they could not agree.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


In the column, Barak blamed the system for the difficulties in drafting haredim (ultra-Orthodox), saying it gave too much power to sectarian politicians, lobbyists and spin doctors. He added that it forced prime ministers to put the agendas of small parties over that of the majority of the population.

“The need to change the electoral system is not a technical change,” Barak wrote. “The current system is the harshest disease that causes all the problems that have been on the public agenda over the past year.”

Barak’s column faced criticism from the head of his own Knesset faction, MK Einat Wilf, who believes the Israeli electoral system is the best in the world.

“I’m working all the time to convince Barak that he is wrong,” Wilf said Saturday night. “There are more and more people against changing the system. The people who want to change it have so many different views that the outcome will be zero, which is good.”

Wilf said she was fairly confident that proponents of changing the system would be able to agree only on raising the two-percent electoral threshold by half a percentage point, although even that change could be vetoed by Shas and United Torah Judaism.

“People are attracted to changing the system because they would like to believe there are easy solutions,” she said.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • Elections
  • ehud barak
  • einat wilf
  • Prev Article
    OU to Netanyahu: Don't meet GOP hopefuls on DC trip
    Republican presidential debate
    Former chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi
    Ministers likely to nix ‘Ashkenazi bill’
    Next Article
    Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    August 31, 2014
    Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

    By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 10 - 24
      Beer Sheva
      9 - 20
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 12 - 21
      Jerusalem
      10 - 21
      Haifa
    • 13 - 28
      Elat
      10 - 25
      Tiberias