|Because we also want to enjoy|
picnics in the park.
We have a general election on Tuesday and I was in a bind. Along with many many others, I didn't know who to vote for.
The way it works is that there are 120 seats in the Knesset and the ruling party must have at least 61 of them. The bigger parties usually only get between 30 and 40 seats, so they then have to form a coalition made up of their party and up to 30 other seats held by other smaller parties. They have six weeks to do this during which time there are usually big compromises that have to be made in the pre-election promises. We all know this. Obviously it's most useful to get the big 3rd and 4th parties in the coalition so there's not much change in policy from election to election.
I usually go by the principal that voting for one of the small parties is a wasted vote because we know that one of the big two will win the elections. Better to give the winning party a bigger mandate and more clout so that they don't have to form so many coalitions with demanding parties on the fringe. But this election, neither one of the big two parties sparked joy. Neither Bibi Netanyahu's Likud nor Benny Gantz et al's Blue and White.
Both parties have their good points. I have no truck with the "anyone but Bibi" movement, especially from Jews in America and the UK, as their agenda is different from mine. We also have our Bibi haters and it annoys me when they forget that we have lived in relative stability and safety in most of the country during the past 11 years. However, it's probably time for Bibi to go. Otoh, the B&W brigade include top army generals but they have no experience running a country.
Then I discovered Gesher. At the top is Orly Levy. A former model whom no one took seriously until she won a seat in the Knesset and started to make changes for social justice. She refuses to be dragged into the Left versus Right debate. Gesher is only concerned with social issues.
In the last general election the fight was between national security on the Right and social justice on the Left. Netanyahu won because the majority decided that we had to be alive over and above any other issues - as important as they are. I remember a friend who lives near the border with Gaza saying, "I wish I could vote for the left and everything they believe in, but I have to vote for our safety at this point." This time both sides are about national security and there's no such dilemma.
There is a 3.25% of the vote threshold that you have to cross in order to get in. Votes for parties under the threshold are distributed proportionately among the other parties. With 42 parties running, this can be a lot of wasted votes.
Levy is on the cusp of the threshold according to the polls but she has made it into the previous two governments. This year they are hoping to gain more seats as the voice of social justice. This is what I wrote on Facebook yesterday:
Election bottom line: Either Likud or B&W will win the most mandates. Both parties have national security at the top of their agenda and experienced military men at the helm. Both parties will ultimately make a coalition with the same other parties. Whoever wins, we will not see much change in actual policy. So, let's get Gesher in the government to deal with the pressing social issues that we all care deeply about. Finally a party that isn't concerned with Left or Right but is concerned about health, education and the cost of living. Left or Right, this concerns you. Please share.
A political post may seem like a strange topic for Reasons 2B Cheerful but I was in such a bind about who to vote for that I even considered not voting. I never don't vote. Finding Gesher and making the decision to vote for Orly Levy was a big relief. I also usually keep my ballot secret. However, I'm so happy with choosing Gesher that I'm willing to put myself out there in the hope of reaching a few more voters.