The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy


Party Slates and Multiculturalism

Filed under: Constitution & RightsParty StructuresRepresentation — eidelberg @ 2:24 am

Revised transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, Jan. 1, 2007.

In this report I want to warn people about various constitutions and institutional reforms which, whatever their merit, will nonetheless perpetuate the divisive and anti-Jewish aspects of Israel’s existing system of governance.

As a preliminary to my analysis, let’s consider the position of Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute who worked in Iraq while it was deliberating on a constitution. One of his major concerns was the electoral system. Given Iraq’s ethnic divisions, it was all-too-easy to recommend election of representatives by party slates. Rubin wisely opposed this pernicious electoral system—the very system that has fragmented Israel since 1948 and has produced a government rated in international reports as one of the most corrupt in the developed world.

To appreciate one of the evils Michael Rubin warned against, some basic facts about Israel need to be understood.

First, in Israel, voting for party slates is the consequence of making the entire country a single electoral district in which parties necessarily compete for Knesset seats on the basis of Proportional Representation.

Second, almost every one of the 88 other countries listed as a “democracy” in the Freedom House report of 2005 has an electoral system that enables citizens to vote for individual candidates as opposed to party slates.

Third, even with party primaries, voting for party slates makes a candidate dependent on his party machinery for his place on the party’s list of candidates. His political longevity and perks will very much depend on his party leader. Party dictatorship readily follows, as various political scientists demonstrated many years ago.

Now we can reveal the treacherous character of Israel’s parliamentary system where citizens are compelled to vote for a party slate rather than an individual candidate.

Let’s say Mr. X is seeking to become his party’s chairman, or, having become such, he is leading his party in a national election based on party slates. If his party wins enough seats—in Israel, no party has ever come close to winning a majority—Mr. X will become Israel’s prime minister (provided he can form a majority coalition).

Now, if a foreign government or millionaire contributes significantly to Mr. X’s winning the chairmanship of his party or to his party’s campaign chest, that foreign government or millionaire is well-positioned to influence the conduct of Mr. X’s entire party in the government. To put it bluntly: given party slates, buy a party leader and you pretty much buy his party—something virtually impossible when legislators are individually elected by the voters in multi-district or regional elections.

It is in this light that we are to examine or reexamine the funding behind Ariel Sharon’s election as the Likud party chairman in 1999, as well as the funding of other Israeli politicians who vied for the premiership of this country. Such funding would evaporate or would be of minimal consequence if Israel had direct, personal election of representatives as opposed to voting by party slates.

Nevertheless, Israel’s single, nationwide electoral district and its corrupt system of multi-party cabinet government would be perpetuated by the so-called Constitution by Consensus now before the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. This constitution was influenced by the left-wing Israel Democracy Institute.

Another draft constitution is that proposed by the Institute for Zionist Strategies. Although this constitution would be an improvement over Israel’s existing system, it, too, makes no provision for personal election of representatives. It adopts the Norwegian Law whereby members of the Knesset who become cabinet ministers would have to resign their Knesset seats. This arrangement does not really avoid the system of multi-party cabinet government, since cabinet ministers will remain the leaders of their respective parties. The government will remain an aggregation of rival party leaders. Each will advance his own priorities, since he will have to campaign on his party’s program in the next election if he is not to be relegated to the political wilderness.

Now let’s consider the reform proposed by the Megidor Committee, which, in addition to the Norwegian Law, adopts the Danish system of combining regional elections and proportional representation. 60 MKs would be elected on a regional basis and 60 by proportional representation according to the total number of votes that each party wins in the regional elections. This does not mean that citizens will vote for a single candidate in a regional election, unless the country is divided into 60 regions, and this is not clear.

To win Knesset seats, a party would have to win either three regional elections or 2.5% of the ballots cast in the election—an improvement over the existing system. However, the Megidor proposal leaves intact the Supreme Court, a self-appointed oligarchy whose decisions so often violate the values of the Jewish people.

And so, if only for the benefit of new immigrants, I’d like to mention one organization in Israel, the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, which has designed a Jewish-oriented constitution conducive to national unity, integrity, and efficiency. This constitution has been adopted by the Yamin Israel party. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this party is that it proposes to make Israel more democratic by means of Jewish principles, while making it more Jewish by means of democratic principles. The key to this proposal is to substitute personal election of representatives for party slates and a presidential system to replace multi-party cabinet government. Yamin Israel also proposes a democratic method of appointing Supreme Court judges.

Another unique aspect of Yamin Israel is this: It is the only party that reveals the connection between election by party slates and multiculturalism. Let me explain.

Thanks to the multiculturalism of Europe’s ruling elites—its left-wing politicians and judges, academics and journalists—Europe is losing its cultural identity. Permissive immigration laws have brought millions of Muslims into Europe. Muslims are developing Islamic enclaves in European capitals in defiance of the criminal and civil laws of the host country, which defiance is tolerated if not abetted by European officials. But what has this to do with Israel’s system of party slates?

First of all, it needs to be emphasized that the goal of Israel’s left-wing oriented government, like its left-wing oriented Supreme Court, is to transform Israel into “a state of its citizens.” But a state of its citizens means a multicultural state—a state that has no distinctive ethnic character. This is precisely what is happening in England, in France, and in the European Union.

Second, the EU, as a member of the Quartet, is committed to a Palestinian state. So much is obvious. But the fact that the EU is dominated by left-wing multiculturalists or internationalists impacts Israel’s own national character via party slates.

Israel’s system of party slates entices the EU to fund anti-nationalist parties such as Kadima, Labor, and Meretz whose goal is to deJudaize Israel. The EU has funded the Shimon Peres Peace Center and Meretz chairman Yossi Beilin. The only reason why these Israelis are still in government is because of Israel’s system of party slates!

Yamin Israel is the only party that exposes Israel’s subversive system of governance: the deadly consequences of party slates and multiculturalism.