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

Jan Kok jan.kok.5y at gmail.com
Sun Apr 23 16:33:02 PDT 2006

On 4/23/06, James Gilmour <jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk> wrote:
> > 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).

MMP = mixed member proportional?  Which I believe is used in New Zealand also.

What is the "trouble" that you have with it?  Do the small parties
periodically threaten to change alliances, which would require
re-electing new executives?  (As Doreen mentions in her next paragraph

Does New Zealand have the same problem?  If not, why not?

One way to insulate against too-frequent changes of government would
be to require a slight supermajority to replace the incumbents.  Say
>=60% to replace an incumbent immediately, or >=55% twice over a
certain time period.

I would note that some of us Americans consider it a good thing for
the majority in Congress and the president to be from different
parties.  It keeps the government from becoming too powerful.  Checks
and balances.  Gridlock is good. :-)

> 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.

I think you (James) are saying that because the MMP system lets the
small parties into the Parliament, where they cause "trouble",
according to your perception.  Is that right?  If there was some way
to avoid that "trouble", would you still be opposed to MMP?

- Jan

> > 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

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list