IDI's Plesner says it is time to unite

“What if instead of voting for a list, we voted for the values in which we all believed?"

Yochanan Plasner at The Jerusalem Post elections conference, April 3rd, 2019 (Credit: Ronen Shamir)
“Israeli society is the big loser in these elections,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, on Wednesday at the Jerusalem Post Elections Conference.  “We have lost the solidarity, the unity and the trust between the various state authorities and the citizens. The election campaign strives to divide and separate the public.
“What if, instead of voting for a list, we voted for the values in which we all believed?” he asked. “I think we would find that we have a breadth in common. Elections are not supposed to encourage civil war, to divide and radicalize, and we must demand that the politicians change this tactic.”
Two of the challenges that the winner of this election will face are determining the rules of the game in which we will hold our public debates, and ensuring that the system is changed so that the small parties will not hold the scale of power in their hands, Plesner explained.
“Only in the last term, the government has made changes to our basic laws 14 times,” he said. “For the sake of comparison, during its 200 years of independence, the US Constitution was changed only 28 times. A broad government must be established that can set clear and binding rules.
“The next coalition will be composed of many parties, each with veto power, so parties that do not represent the public will affect 95% of the citizens.”
“It is inconceivable that coalition considerations will dictate the face of the state,” he continued.
Plesner said that the mission of the Israel Democracy Institute is to establish two large blocs that will lead based on their common denominators. Under this plan, a mandate will be given to the head of a large list and, as such, voters will choose these lists, and politicians will unite rather than radicalize.
He added, “As Benjamin Netanyahu once said: ‘This is not the time to create a split, but to unite. If we want to create peace outside, we must create peace at home.’”