The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy


Electoral Reform—A Public Query

Filed under: Democratic MethodsElectorate/DemographicsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 5:16 am

During last month’s Jerusalem Summit, the world renowned Professor Bernard Lewis said, in effect, that democracy in Israel is endangered by the fact that members of the Knesset are not individually accountable to the voters in constituency elections.

Another distinguished professor, who once served as a science adviser to the government, has gone even further. He concluded that “electoral reform in Israel is a necessary precondition for changing the disastrous course of this country.”

The reform in question means nothing less than empowering the people. In the absence of such reform—i.e., preserving the existing system—citizens are compelled to vote for fixed party slates, a system that effectively disenfranchises the people by enabling MKS and Cabinet Minister to ignore public opinion with impunity—as happened when 23 members of the Likud Party adopted Labor’s policy of “unilateral disengagement,” a policy rejected by more than 70% of the voters in the January 2003 election.

With the foregoing in mind, I would like readers to name the head of any party or of any party faction in the Knesset, who has emphasized on public forums the dire need of electoral reform—that is, to make MKs individually accountable to the voters in constituency elections. In other words, please name any Knesset aspirant who has placed electoral reform at the center—not of his organization’s written program—but at the center of his public criticism of the suicidal territorial policies Israel’s government.