The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy


Two-and-a-Half Cheers for Caroline Glick

Filed under: Democratic MethodsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 6:22 am

Two-and-a-half cheers for Caroline Glick. In reaction the Ehud Olmert corruption case, Caroline Glick has begun to advance the position which the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy has so frequently and extensively articulated during the past thirteen years: the need to scrap Israel’s dysfunctional and corruption-laden system of proportional representation.

In partial explanation of governmental corruption and incompetence in Israel, Glick writes (The Jerusalem Post, May 30, 2008):

“The Knesset’s relative weakness [really its shady character and lack of accountability—PE] is a function of Israel’s proportional election system. This system—whereby voters select a party rather than individual candidates at the ballot box—promotes the political fortunes of the corrupt and the weak at the expense of the honest and strong. Similarly, it prolongs the life span of coalition governments with a tendency toward corruption and failed policy-making, at the expense of coalition governments [sic] informed by principle and the national interest.”

I will not offer a more incisive analysis of Israel’s corrupt system of governance: how this corruption is institutionalized, and how it can be significantly diminished not merely by constituency elections, but by replacing multi-party cabinet government with a Unitary Executive or Presidential System. The reader can learn more about the remedy in my book Jewish Statesmanship; Lest Israel Fall (2000) or its abbreviated version, The Myth of Israeli Democracy: Toward a Truly Jewish Israel (2006).

In any event, kudos to Caroline Glick. Let us hope she elaborates on what she has barely begun so say about Israel’s dysfunctional system of governance and what to do about it.