The strategic vote is a losing game

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By Daniella Peled
February 11, 2009
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Israelis, unlike us repressed Brits, are usually quite happy to discuss their voting plans.

Throughout the day yesterday I got updates from one of my friends who was torn between Meretz, as the best fit in terms of social policy and peace manifesto, and Kadima as the best option to lead a centrist coalition in government. In the end, Meretz won out (but still only managed a tragic four seats).


In Israel, it's all about the strategic vote. That's why a Meretz voter considers voting Kadima (and doubtless many others actually did) and why Yitzhak Rabin's son stood up to endorse Bibi Netanyahu - while admitting he was still going to vote Labour.


And this is another reason why electoral reform is so badly needed. The current system amounts to a giant political chess game - fun for journalists and commentators, but bad for building faith in the system. People end up voting for parties they do not support ideologically, which is hardly a good good basis for public trust in government.

COMMENTS

joemillis

Wed, 02/11/2009 - 12:55

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If you can spot any difference between Labour, Kadima, Meretz and a not insignificant chunk of the Likud, you're a better man than me, Gunga Din


Marian Lebor

Wed, 02/11/2009 - 17:43

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Is it really fun for journalists and commentators? It isn't for those of us who actually live in Israel. It is depressing and frustrating that once again no single party has more than a quarter of the seats in the Knesset. Of course we need electoral reform, but I can't see it being a priority for whichever parties end up being cobbled together to form the next government.


joemillis

Wed, 02/11/2009 - 17:58

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Electoral reform? Since when did chicken ever vote to be schechted?

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