Zionist Union crushes foes in mock student election

Universities nationwide give 41 mandates for Labor-Hatnua list, Likud gets 10.

March 11, 2015 04:29
2 minute read.
A STUDENT ‘VOTES’ at Tel Aviv University yesterday

A STUDENT ‘VOTES’ at Tel Aviv University yesterday. (photo credit: TAU STUDENT UNION)

The leftist camp was the big winner of a student mock election at universities and academic colleges on Tuesday.

The Zionist Union emerged as the biggest party, snagging 41 Knesset mandates in the votes, run by the National Union of Israeli Students in collaboration with student unions across the country.

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Meretz came in second with 19 seats; Bayit Yehudi won 17 mandates; Yesh Atid won 15; while the Likud won only 10.

The Joint (Arab) List won seven mandates and Kulanu won six.

Shas and Israel Beytenu did not receive enough mandates to pass the 3.25 percent electoral threshold.

The organizers of the event attributed the Left-camp win to low voter participation among students at Ariel University in Samaria and Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, which have more Right-oriented student bodies.

Some 15,000 students participated in the vote at 19 campuses – the largest mock election of its kind to date among university students in the country.

Other participating schools included Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa, Sapir Academic College, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

“Voting for the Knesset is a fundamental right and one of the most important in a democratic society. As students representing the next generation of Israeli society, we have the responsibility to take part in influencing and shaping our future in the country, both routinely and more so during elections,” said Inbar Hochberg, chairwoman of the Tel Aviv University Student Union.

“I hope that next week we will see an increase in the percentage of students who will visit the polling stations and vote according to their conscience and in accordance with the most important issues for the student public as a whole,” she said.

Students were asked to identify the most important issue in Tuesday’s general election.

Some 60% said they would cast their votes for the party that could best address socioeconomic problems. In contrast, only 27.91% of students named the security issues as the most important concern, followed by 5.38% who listed issues of religion and state.

“It doesn’t matter if in the upcoming election a Right of Left government will be elected – what is obvious is that there is a call for a more social government, which will deal with issues such as cost of living and the housing shortage. This is what preoccupies the students in particular and the Israeli public in general,” said Gilad Arditi, chairman of the National Union of Israeli Students.

“There is a very clear call of the student body to change the existing policies, and we as representatives will do everything we can to promote the issues that are important to them. We expect all parties to meet their obligations on these issues and promote needed reforms on the day after the election,” he said.

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