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{Originally posted to the SATIRICAL website, PreOcuppied Territory}

Jerusalem, April 4 – Journalists and political analysts predicted today that if the next Israeli government lasts its full four-year term, the number of parties vying for seats in the Knesset in the following campaign will exceed the number of eligible voters.

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Writing in an article in Haaretz this morning, professional pollsters and political experts noted that the pace of party registration with the Board of Elections has jumped ahead of the birth rate, such that if both rates continue their current trends, parties will outnumber Israeli voters by the first half of 2023.

“This all holds true only if the government that forms after the current elections – scheduled for 9 April – lasts a full two-and-a-half years, which Israeli governments have seldom done in the last several decades,” the article explained. “Additionally, if the rate of new party registration changes, the point at which parties outnumber voters will shift accordingly.” The official date for elections occurs on a Tuesday in the Jewish month of Heshvan – in the autumn – following the completion of four years since the previous contest, such that almost five years can theoretically elapse between elections. The last elections were held in May 2015.

At present there are approximately five million eligible voters in Israel, as compared to four hundred thousand political parties. However, new political parties have begun to form much more quickly than in previous years: only about two hundred thousand parties existed at the time of the previous elections almost four years ago, and two years before that, they numbered a mere seventy thousand. At the current pace parties will overtake citizens of age in time for Heshvan 5884, according to the Jewish calendar, or October-November 2023 in the Gregorian.

“That last fifteen years in particular have seen geometric increases in party formation,” the article observes. “Since 2016 every high school graduate has been assigned a unique new party, and households have sought to increase their political influence and income by registering as such entities since the late 1990’s.”

The impact of this phenomenon on elections remains unclear. “Most of the parties in question will never amount to anything of consequence, or no longer command attention,” the authors caution. “As Lyndon Johnson is said to have stated, the most basic skill a politician must have in knowing how to count. People will vote mostly for the existing, traditional parties that have a chance of entering the Knesset – the electoral threshold is still 3.25% of votes, after all. So it would be futile to vote for your family’s unique party, or for some obscure, irrelevant one that no one aside from you and your friends have ever heard of, such as ‘Kulanu.’”

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