Israeli Elections, 2019 Edition

MsZem

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Mark your calendars: the next Israeli elections will be held on April 9th.

As always, these will be early elections. I'm not sure I've ever voted in an election held at the originally scheduled time.
 

MsZem

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A recap of developments so far:

The Jewish Home party is splitting and there will be a new party called "The New Right" (which sounds exactly like the old right to me).

The Zionist Union (the current incarnation of the Labor Party) is also splitting amidst some really poor polling. Avi Gabbay ambushed Tzipi Livni at a press conference and announced the split.

There are multiple new parties being registered. Some might have a chance.

Bibi is the target of multiple corruption investigations. He'll still win.
 

Jot the Dot Dot

Headstrong Buzzard
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3,911
A recap of developments so far:

The Jewish Home party is splitting and there will be a new party called "The New Right" (which sounds exactly like the old right to me).

The Zionist Union (the current incarnation of the Labor Party) is also splitting amidst some really poor polling. Avi Gabbay ambushed Tzipi Livni at a press conference and announced the split.

There are multiple new parties being registered. Some might have a chance.
Holy Jumpin' Pythonites, it really is a replay of the whole 'Peoples Front Of Judea' scenario! http://wiki.godvillegame.com/People's_Front_of_Judea https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WboggjN_G-4
 
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ballettmaus

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But zemgirl is right, it will be Bibi again even if he’s indicted. His base is a lot bigger than Trump’s
That sounds like a depressing prospect.

Just out of curiosity, how does it usually affect voter turnout?
 

PRlady

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That sounds like a depressing prospect.

Just out of curiosity, how does it usually affect voter turnout?
Bibi is the master of energizing his base against the leftists/media/Arabs/anti-Zionist NGO traitors and now the police and judiciary. Sound familiar? They’ll turn out for him no matter what.
 

ballettmaus

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Bibi is the master of energizing his base against the leftists/media/Arabs/anti-Zionist NGO traitors and now the police and judiciary. Sound familiar? They’ll turn out for him no matter what.
And others stay home because there's no point in voting? Or is his base actually so big that everyone else wouldn't be able to make a difference?
 

PRlady

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And others stay home because there's no point in voting? Or is his base actually so big that everyone else wouldn't be able to make a difference?
In a coalition system with 15 parties, some new some old some with new leadership, it’s more a question of whether the party you vote for is going to be empowered in the inevitable horsetraded coalition government. No Israeli party has ever won a majority in the history of the state. Bibi’s party only wins 30 or so seats out of 120 but that makes it the biggest party and first in line to form a government.

Past that don’t ask me. I’m an American and we don’t have the parliamentary system.
 

MsZem

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And others stay home because there's no point in voting? Or is his base actually so big that everyone else wouldn't be able to make a difference?
People still vote. But there are so many parties that the Knesset ends up really fractured, and people are always looking for the next trendy thing (@PRlady - if you haven't yet seen the Lior Ashkenazi skit about being a centrist, take a look!).

On top of that, Bibi is dreadful but it's not like any of the other parties have done a great job finding inspiring candidates. And Israel is more right-wing than it was twenty years ago, which also doesn't help.
 

MsZem

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And we're all set! Today was the deadline for the submission of party lists. The big news of the past 24 hours was a merger of the centrist parties under the name Blue-White (flag colors and a colloquial term for "Made in Israel"). They may end up being the biggest party, which should at least be better than Bibi.

Bibi encouraged a merger of a far right party with a repulsive racist far right party so that they might get into the Knesset.

The Joint List (mostly Arab MKs) split back into its original parties, which then paired up. I think.

The two Zionist left wing parties, Labor and Meretz, talked about merging and then didn't, which is a very Israeli left thing to do and now I'll have to choose between them. So inconsiderate.

Confused? So are many people here. Oh, and Bibi may still be indicted before April 9th.

The Times of Israel has been liveblogging the, um, festivities, as it were. Click through for the politics, stay for the pirates!
 

MsZem

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Quite the original thinker that Mr. Netanyahu, isn't he?
This was Bibi's thing before it was cool. Although his beloved "there will be nothing because there is nothing" line appears to have been cribbed from The Master and Margarita.

On a more serious note, it's really sad to see what he has turned into. Bibi is smart and capable, and while I've never agreed with his politics, his descent into corrupt demagoguery is appalling.

In other Israeli election news, Benny Gantz has been accused of exposing himself to a younger female student when they were both teenagers at school. It is not yet clear whether the accusation has merit or not.
 

PRlady

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The indictments are serious. Even before they came down, the Blue-White mega party was outpolling Bibi’s Likud. And it’s hard to tar three former high ranking generals as leftists (although in Israel the security establishment is to the left of the government generally.)

I am allowing myself a smidgen of hope. If Bibi were just a rightist I would say that’s what the people want. But he and his henchmen are determined to change the rules of the game to stay in power indefinitely- including damaging the independent judiciary and other democratic institutions. I don’t fool myself that Gantz will sit down with the Palestinians but at least he’ll run a cleaner, more democratic government.
 

MsZem

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The election is next week, time for another update...

Polls have Blue White ("anything but Bibi") as the largest party, but the right & religious bloc as the larger one. Bibi and the Likud are nonetheless concerned about Blue White and Benny Gantz, so they've thrown all sorts of allegations at him to see what sticks: an apparently false #metoo allegation, a story about Iran hacking his cellphone, accusations that he's an unfit leader (still fit to lead the military, apparently) and mentally unstable. So far the polls are unchanged.

Lots of parties are on the brink of the electoral threshold, and no one knows which ones will end up under or over. This will have huge implications for potential coalitions.

Bibi is being supported by a bot network, and also people who behave like bots but apparently just really like Bibi, god knows why.

The Arabs, it would seem, are not flocking to the polls in droves.
 

TAHbKA

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And in the mean while one can't even use a phone, because of the calls/text messages non stopping flow....I just want these elections to be over
 

PRlady

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I’m surprised how much anti-Netanyahu stuff there is in the mainstream American press. The Wash Post had an editorial against him this morning and they’re pretty rah-rah Israel in general. Although he’s earned the criticism all by himself, hugging Trump isn’t doing him any favors here.
 

MsZem

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The percentage of voters casting votes so far is a couple of points behind 2015. More ominously, the voting rates among the Arab population are reportedly very low. Assuming this holds, we're screwed.
 

Debbie S

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I'm reading turnout is 36%....I think that is lower than 2016 in the U.S. That's disappointing. Are voters just generally disillusioned?
 

MsZem

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I'm reading turnout is 36%....I think that is lower than 2016 in the U.S. That's disappointing. Are voters just generally disillusioned?
Turnout was 52% as of 6pm, compared to 54.6% at the same time in 2015. The difference is reportedly due to unusually low voting rates in Arab localities. There was a report this morning that the Likud had set up hidden cameras in voting locations there. Also, there have been some shifts in terms of the Arab parties, and a lot of unhappy potential voters.

Israel always has higher turnout than the US. I think a bit more than 60 percent is the lowest. There is no early voting, mail-in voting, or absentee voting allowed (except official representatives like embassy workers and people serving on Israeli ships at sea).
 

Debbie S

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Turnout was 52% as of 6pm, compared to 54.6% at the same time in 2015. The difference is reportedly due to unusually low voting rates in Arab localities.
Glad to hear numbers have gone up over the last few hours. I thought Israel usually had higher turnout than in the U.S. so I was surprised about the low numbers.
 

MsZem

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And we're done voting.

Exit polls are contradictory, with either the right/religious ahead or a tie. My experience is that they tend to underestimate the right-wing vote. I'm not looking forward to tomorrow.
 

TAHbKA

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I got my.phone back. After hysterical messages every half an hour, every 10 minutes and then almost every minute towards 9.30pm finally all is quiet
 

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