Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Next Prime Minister

Will be, of course, Netanyahu. Though it will take a while. Until then, I'm mostly not commenting on the process of constructing (or de-constructing?) our next government. Half of what you read or hear about the process is spin, half is trial balloons, half is negotiating ploys, half is bad faith and the final half is people talking through their hats. So there's no point in trying to comment on any of it.

What is clear is that there are only two possibilities. The positive one is that three of the four larger parties will set up a governing coaltion that will be stable, possibly efficient, and could serve us well. I think that's what the voters wanted in the first place: a large centrist coalition, perhaps right-leaning but not fatally so. (Of course that's what I'd say, what with being a centrist myself: but I do think that's what the numbers say). The negative possibility is that we end up with a narrow majority of everyone on the right, many of whom are incompatible with each other, where the agendas of the far right will dictate all sorts of foolishness, we'll be treated to to a year or two of high political drama, and the next elections will be in 2010.

It could go either way.


Anonymous said...

Why would Netanyahu be the prime minister of a coalition with Kadima? As i understand it, he claims the win because overall the right wing parties won the elections. If he now chooses not to work with those parties, he loses the reason he himself put up for justifying his claim on the premiership.
Therefore, the largest party in the coalition would naturally supply the prime minister, and that would be Livni.

I don´t get it.

Unknown said...

Bonde said..."I don't get"...for which there're two answers: 1) Clearly 2) you didn't understand a word of what Yaacov wrote (you did read it, I assume)

Kadima was voted out of power, the proof being the success of the Likud...

...Netanyahu didn't win, the proof being that Kadima still exists in reasonable shape

The focus of the voting emphasized that the country wants a change, but that it doesn't view the Likud as having any messianic potential.

The electorate is hoping and praying that maybe somehow and in someway that the political community can overcome itself and form a government whereby...

the People of Israel don't lose the elections.

Two miracles for the price of one!

Shabbat Shalom

Anonymous said...

I think that's what the voters wanted in the first place...

No: some voters wanted Likud to lead the government; some wanted Kadima. Some knew that Shas wouldn't win but they wanted it to be powerful enough to represent their interests. I'm sure there were many people who wanted a coalition of the sort you describe, but how could they have directed their efforts? How could they have voted in order to achieve their desire? You can say that the election results show that voters swung to the right: this means that fewer voters supported left-wing candidates than formerly. But you can't say that the voters "wanted" a particular outcome when in fact they had no way to indicate this desire.

LB said...

Joe in Australia - you're absolutely right. The only indication of the voting public's desire is that the rightist bloc can form a coalition, and no one else can - ergo, the only thing we can learn from the elections is that the public wants a right-wing coalition. If something else was desired, we have no way of knowing it.