Time to elect constituency-based elections

Labor’s split underscores Israel’s need for constituency-based elections. Israel forces voters to elect parties rather than individuals, a move that damages the democratic process.

January 31, 2011 16:59
Labor Party Convenes

Labor 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

“Shouldn’t the MKs who split from Labor last month resign and give their seats back to the party?” a high-school student asked me this weekend. “After all, people voted for Labor, not those particular MKs.”

Legally, the answer is no: The law explicitly allows one-third or more of a faction to break away. But the fact that it’s legal doesn’t make it good for Israeli democracy. In an electoral system where people vote for parties rather than individuals, factional splits can legitimately make voters feel their votes have been stolen, and such complaints are in fact widely heard after every such split.


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