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

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