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

Doreen Dotan dordot2001 at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 23 17:17:25 PDT 2006

James Gilmour <jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk> wrote:    Hi, James:
  I would NOT recommend any voting system that elected the members in two such different ways. 
  I anticipated that this would be the thrust of your reply.  
  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, 
  Wouldn't this provide balance, mitigating the power of the two largest parties even if it did not allow for easy decision-taking? 
  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).
  I was (am) under the impression that the MMP system adopted by New Zealand has proven to be a boon to their elections. Is that not the case? Is MMP less successful in Scotland than in New Zealand? If so, why?
  Paul Harris, Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission of New Zealand, writes: "The way in which New Zealand changed to MMP is not a blueprint for the ways other countries should embark on a similar change. The history, traditions and politics of New Zealand's parliamentary democracy heavily influenced that change, just as other countries' histories, traditions and politics influence the ways they go about making significant constitutional changes. Nonetheless, it is possible that New Zealand's example might offer some useful lessons for other countries which might contemplate changing their voting system." (See: http://www.aceproject.org/main/english/ei/eiy_nz01.htm)

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.
  My tendency is to think that given Israeli politicians' historical obliviousness of the fact that they should be directly answerable to the electorate (PM Yitzhchak Shamir's outrageous statement articulates their general attitude), a system that reins them in will do us nothing but good.

> 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. 
  At what point does small parties' mitigation of the power of the major parties become "holding the gov't up for ransom"?

Some adjustment in this direction in Israel would seem desirable (!!),
  Exclamation points well-taken. :0)
  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).
  Providing that gerrymandering had not been carried out to too great an extent.
  Thanks again, James.




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