Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Very good news (via Arutz-7):
Two-man Knesset factions will soon go the way of one-man Knesset factions: out. The Knesset voted yesterday to raise the minimum threshold of votes required to enter the Knesset, from 1.5% to 2%. What this means is that any party that does not receive at least 2% of the vote in national elections will not enter the Knesset at all, and its votes will be wasted. A party that receives at least 2% of the vote, on the other hand, is guaranteed at least 3 of the 120 Knesset seats.

The new law was passed yesterday by an impressive 67-17 margin. Haggai Seri-Levy reports that the coalition made massive efforts to garner a majority for the bill. Coalition whip MK Gideon Saar (Likud), one of the co-sponsors of the bill, said, "This is not the end of the line for us. If we see that we can raise the minimum threshold to 3% or even higher, we'll do so. The coalition is seeking to minimize the phenomenon of splinter parties... Our goal is that the public should vote for large parties, and not tiny ones. We in the Likud have always suffered from small parties."

The only 2-MK party in the Knesset at present is the United Arab List. The Herut Party of Michael Kleiner and Baruch Marzel received, in the last election, just over 34,000 votes, some 10,000 short of the required minimum.

Actually, this wouldn't have had any affect on the last election. But yeah, raise it higher. Raise it to 4% or even 5%. Effectively raise it to 50% by creating districts, even. And then my dream, of a completely separate Executive and Legislature (and Judiciary) with a directly-elected Prime Minister who doesn't need to form a government and thus can't "fall" (although removal is an option). Get rid of the President and call the Prime Minister that instead. Yadda Yadda. (I could go on, but won't.)

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