Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Prime Minister , Whats his name ?

It is the day after the Isaeli elections, and Mark in the office came up to me and made comments about what I wrote yesterday about democracy and the Israeli Elections, bringing up some good solid points.

The thing is that Israel and the Middle East is a big deal worldwide whether we like it or not, Israel dominates World News on a regular daily basis, no matter side of the fence you sit on, and almost everyone in the world knows the name of Israeli Prime Ministers, past and present. very few no the name the name of the current Australian Prime Minister not to mention who was the last Australian Prime Minister.

Following the lowest voter turnout in Israel's history, the people have spoken.

However in Mark's words , the average secular Israeli is about to be raped, that is the result of the Elections last night, The Kadima Party did OK and has the largest number of seats and will thus be the major party in power BUT and this is the part that many Israelis now fear, is that to form a coalition Kadima will enter into talks with minor parties that represent elements of the extremists here. These parties only want, then want more and in return will give nothing back to the country.

These groups do not work, do not pay taxes and do not serve in the Military, whilst the average middle class secular Israeli citizen works like hell, pays a fortune in taxes and watches their children serve in the Miltary putting their lives on the line to protect the country.

His points are very valid and perhaps they are not heard enough in the wider world, Israeli voted yesterday and a new administration under Prime Miinister Ehud Ulmert. get used to the name you will be hearing it a lot in the future.

But behind the scenes, average Israelis become more frustrated at their society, as Democracy here continues to flourish, everyone nows that deals are being done with parties who do not have the interest of their country at heart. Rather than a sense of optimism for the future that comes from a new Political Party taking the reins, there was a sense of doom in the office today.

Of course here in the Unholylands, there is always a twist in the tale, to use a pun. The main commercial TV Network News tonight Channel Ten, had a report on the new Prime Ministers brother who now lives in Canada, he apparently owes some "Commercial Interests" -(here think The Sopranos and Immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Republics), large sums of money and cannot return to spend time with his brother.

The other funny note from last night and the Elections, after the Exit Polls had declared Ehud Ulmert as the next PM, rather than rush to Party Headqurters to accept the accolades of the Party Faithful and appear on TV around the world, he kept everyone waiting because he wanted to watch the end of the Football. Now I am starting to like new PM already, a man who knows his priorities.

Post script - The name of the Australian Prime Minister is John Howard and he has been in power for ten years , if anyone was interested.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Election Day

It seems to everyone that today is a big deal day, Israel goes to the polls to choose a new Prime Minister, the encumbant Ariel Sharon still lies in his hospital bed, watching the paint dry on the ceiling. The party he founded Kadima looks like it will be the majority power in a coalition government.

Israel in its short history of being a nation has never had a political party that has ever won in its own right, they have never had anything but coalition of various mixes, it has been known that the left invite the right to form a government and the secular invite the religious extremes into the fold. So in essence you never have a political party that can take a fresh mandate to the people, because everyone knows that a coalition will be the end result and as such comprimises are inevitable.

This explains why Israel will never make forceful steps forwards as a democratic nation, democracy they have as long as they never have to make a decision that has profound effects on the peace process. The moment a hard decision is taken half of the coalition resigns because they have too and the government is ineffective for a period whilst a new coalition is formed with all the problems of the last government, then a few months later the members of the parties that resigned change there minds because the decision that forced them to resign have not been implemented and a new cabinet is formed.

Politics here is a joke to a certain extent, but at least they have democracy, which is what the Palestinians have now and they managed to screw that up so badly that Hamas is in power by default.

So tonight a new man is poised to take control of a nuclear nation with neighbours in their own backyard that believe they do not have the right to exist as a nation.

It will be an interesting pewriod in the next few months here, that is if they can form a government that is effective and has a mandate that people respect.

The party that has seen the greatest increase in the polls in the last week is the Green Party, not the environmental party but the Green party for the legalisation of Pot.

There were no lines outside polling stations as i drove to work, but I saw people everywhere dressed in their biking clothes meeting to go out for bike ride, perhaps they will vote later but most likely they will be found in a cafe drinking coffee discussing politics and democracy, the odds of them walking into a polling station are very low