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(photo credit: Channel 2)
Justice Minister Haim Ramon said on Tuesday that he intends to initiate a law calling on the political parties to hold primaries to choose their slate of Knesset candidates.
"We must release politicians from the grip of the small group of individuals whom he currently needs to survive politically," Ramon said at a session of the Jerusalem Conference on Quality Government, sponsored by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel.
Ramon said that the political parties were at the root of the corruption in the public sector. "A large part of the structure of the political parties creates a state of affairs in which you have to reward those who are responsible for your election if you want to be reelected. As a result, the MK feels more obliged to advance the needs of this group than the public at large."
He added that when he sat down for a talk with a member of his party's Central Committee "we almost never spoke about the Iranian threat or the demographic danger to Israel's future. After a few polite exchanges, the discussion boiled down to the problem he had and how I could help him."
"Thus," he continued, "the rule is that the larger is the public that elects you, the chances of direct dependency on a small number of people will be smaller. That will make it easier for the elected official to act on behalf of the widest possible number of people."
Ramon said he had already drafted the law and would bring it to the cabinet for approval soon.
According to Ramon's proposal, the state rather than the parties would establish the rules for the primary voter's eligibility and campaign funding restrictions. He said the primaries should all be held on the same day or within a short period of time to prevent individuals switching from one party to another in order to vote more than once.
Ramon also announced that in September a pilot project would begin in Jerusalem District Court whereby every unclassified document would be available on the Internet, including the mintues of courtroom sessions in real time. Ramon said this would constitute total transparency adding that no other country in the world offered as much accessibility to judicial procedures.