Anglo voters sound off on election apathy

'I feel that many people were just disappointed in our so-called options.'

By RUBEN BROSBE
March 30, 2006 01:16
2 minute read.

 
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Many Anglo voters reacted with disappointment and disillusionment to Tuesday's record-low voter turnout and sounded off on the possible causes. "Even the weather was reacting to the election - gray. That summed up the election. There was no color, no excitement, just gray,"said Nicole Greenspan, a 25 year-old immigrant from Toronto. When asked why so few people turned out to vote, Greenspan posited, "I feel that many people were just disappointed in our so-called options." Sarra Zacks, a 26-year-old Detroit native who made aliya in 2003, cited widespread apathy as the cause for the 63.2 percent voter turnout. Zacks was dismayed the lower turnout didn't benefit her choice, National Union/National Religious Party, as she expected prior to the elections. "I thought that they would have more votes and would be able to have more of a say in this Knesset." "What surprised me was the lack of enthusiasm," 25-year-old Darrell Ginsberg told The Jerusalem Post. A Kadima voter originally from Toronto, Ginsberg was upset by "voter turnout being so low, a vote that could have gone so many ways. At 10 o'clock people weren't glued to their TVs. Nobody really cared." Elana Kirsh, 23, a new immigrant from Sydney, said that "coming from a country where it's mandatory to vote, the concept of voter turnout is very foreign to me." Kirsh, a Labor voter, expressed surprise about Israel's political apathy. "I find it strange that in a country like Israel, where it seems like everyone has at least one strong opinion on something, that more people don't use voting as their chance to have their voice heard." Golan Canaan, a 29-year-old immigration from Cincinnati, also voiced frustration. "With the whole national holiday type thing it doesn't seem like there is much excuse to not go in and vote. To have that few people go in vote seems sad." Several Anglos also voiced dismay concerning the political system itself. For Canaan, the voting system seemed "primitive," adding that "the whole process was so basic and people were very unhelpful and standoffish." Greenspan, a Likud voter didn't see a positive outlook for the new government's future. "The way the election turned out, and the poor numbers, I wouldn't be surprised if we find ourselves in another election in the next 14 months." Zacks also expressed discontent: "I think it is a system where each party has only their interests at heart, and there is no party who is working for the good of the whole country. It is a system that easily lends room for bribery and corruption." Dissatisfaction with the political system was an issue some parties tried to capitalize on before elections. "Kadima's offering an emphasis on governmental reform and American-style reform and constituency-based politics into a more stable democracy," said Alexander Chester, an Anglo Kadima activist. However, Kadima failed to win a commanding majority and results show Israel heading towards another round of complicated coalition bargaining. It's an outcome that many Anglos hoped to avoid. "I would rather that one party would have got enough votes so they wouldn't have to make these weak coalitions where you want to please too many people at once," said Darrell Ginsberg, an immigrant from Toronto.

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