Two cheers for Nathan D. Wirtschafter, a member of the Likud, whose article in The Jerusalem Post (September 11, 2008), “Direct elections begin with the Likud primary” comes close to advocating some of the institutional reform proposals of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy and of the Yamin Israel Party.
Mr. Wirtschafter calls for “regional elections with single-member districts, a professional cabinet and a new judicial selection system … ”
To propose a professional cabinet is to propose, in effect, separation between the executive and legislative branches of government. The proposed cabinet would then no longer consist of the leaders of rival political parties (one of the root causes of Israel’s malaise). Mr. Wirtschafter could have clarified matters by simply and explicitly calling for a presidential system of government.
Unfortunately, his party leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, in an interview with the Russian Chanel-7, rejected district elections as well as a presidential system of government—and on the most frivolous grounds. As if he never heard of the U.S. House of Representatives and its 435 districts but only two political parties, Netanyahu said that district elections in Israeli would produce sixty political parties!
Moreover, he rejected a presidential system of government, saying it would enable the president to do anything he wishes! This he had the audacity to say while Republican President George Bush has to contend with a Democratic-controlled Senate and House of Representatives.
Perhaps Mr. Wirtschafter should try to enlighten his American-educated party leader?