[EM] Amnon Rubinstein's Proposal for Electoral Reform in Israel

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Sun Apr 23 10:55:24 PDT 2006

> Doreen Dotan Sent: Sunday, April 23, 2006 2:42 PM
> 1) To separate the party lists we presently vote for into 
> regional slates and a general list thus: 
> Divide the country into 40 election districts with 2 
> representatives for each district. Representatives *must* be 
> residents of the district they represent. 
> The remaining 40 representatives are elected according to the 
> general count, from a separate list. A regional candidate may 
> not be on the national list. 
> This would give 120 Knesset members, only 1/3 of whom are 
> elected according to the present system, with district 
> representatives accountable to their electorate. 

I would NOT recommend any voting system that elected the members in two such different ways. It is a recipe for
potential trouble, particularly if the district representatives are predominantly from the two largest parties
(inevitable with 2-member districts) and the national list members are from the smaller parties, and especially so if
the larger parties from the government and the smaller parties are all in the opposition.  That's what we've got in
Scotland and that's why we have so much trouble with MMP in our Parliament which doesn't arise elsewhere (or at least,
not to the same extent).

All members of the Knesset (and the Scottish Parliament!) should be elected on the same basis and all should be directed
accountable to the local voters.

> It would also demolish the small, specific interest-based 
> parties that have often held entire governments up for ransom 
> with the threat of leaving a narrow coalition. 

Some adjustment in this direction in Israel would seem desirable (!!), but this proposal, dominated by 2-member
districts, restricts direct local representation to a wholly unreasonable extent.  With STV-PR you could have districts
electing, say, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 members, with size being related to the various "natural communities" and to population
distribution (urban v. rural).

James Gilmour

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