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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Democracy of Morons

Moshe stood at the gateway of the camp, and said, "Whoever is for God, join me!" - and all the Levites gathered around him.
Good for the tribe of Levi. But let's not forget that they were only 1 tribe out of 12. What the heck was wrong with the other eleven tribes?

I've just come back from a talk by Natan Sharansky about the upcoming elections. He's a very intelligent man, and it was fascinating. He gave a historical perspective, and explained in very practical terms why we should vote for Likud. Basically, he says that there are only two potential leaders: Likud's Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Olmert. If we don't vote, or vote for a party other than Likud, it will hurt Netanyahu's chances of creating a coalition.

Now, I don't know much at all about politics. But let's say that we stopped believing that the two parties with the most confidence in themselves are the only two candidates worth considering. We'd stop voting for the ones we think are going to win, and start voting for the parties we believe should win. And then Likud would have no chance at all! For that matter, even Olmert's Kadima wouldn't necessarily get many votes.

Likud wouldn't get many votes, because Netanyahu has failed to promise, well, anything. It seems that the only reason to vote for Likud is that Likud's not Kadima. And while I see the importance of not allowing Kadima to get far, that's not much of a platform to stand on. What's to guarantee that Likud won't choose to go farther left, if the "political realities" force them? Netanyahu's not making a stand. Oh, Sharansky excused that too. He explained, in practical terms, why it's wrong to give a final goal before any negotiations. And it makes sense. But there's no ideology here, no plan, no nothing. No one would vote for Likud if Bibi weren't so confident that people thought he had a chance. No one would vote for Likud if this were about ideas and not manipulations.

Kadima wouldn't get many votes, because they don't have much of a platform either. Kadima's members come from all over the political spectrum, and don't really share a vision for the future of the country. As Sharansky put it so aptly: "They agree on only one thing: they all want to be in power." But the message they send (and which the media helps along) is "We are the future winners. Vote for us to be on the winning side." If people stopped wanting to vote for the "winning side", Kadima would have no chance at getting anything. And Olmert's personal position is a guaranteed course to self-destruction. He's openly stated that he's going to give a tremendous amount of land to the terrorists, without asking anything in return. The result would of course be an effort by the terrorists to keep going until they get all the rest, but Olmert's not selling a solid idea; he's selling a winner's attitude.

A little while ago, I listened to a talk by National Union's Effi Eitam, who had very clear ideas and very clear goals. They're perceived as a loser in this election. They will be a loser. The polls show them getting 10 seats in the Knesset out of 120. The polls have Kadima doing quite well, and why shouldn't they?- they're the future winners, as we all know.

As a matter of fact, I do know that Olmert will win, and I do know that he'll have his catastrophic "disengagement". When people approach elections so recklessly as to worry more about feeling like they're on the winning side than about actual ideas, how could he not? I'm going to vote for National Union.



I won't deny that there are many people who vote for the leading parties only because they are the leading parties. But you'd be surprised at the number of people who actually believe that Kadima or Likud should win.

I don't know what this country is coming to....I think you made a good choice, though.


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