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Israel Elections 2006 | Primer: Things are not as certain as they seemed

I’ll be delivering the view from the cheap seats. Israeli politics can get nasty, but not nearly as nasty as my commentary.

Primer in case you want to get up to speed

Israel’s political system is different from North American and UK “first past the post systems” where winner takes all and there are usually only two real parties. There are many more parties with proportional representation in Israel and the votes get fractured, making for much mayhem, wheeling and dealing, and movement.

This is also the first election featuring Sharon’s new Kadima (center) split off party.. Meaning the two stalwarts Labour (left) and Likud (right) are missing a big chunk of their leaders, potential ministers as well as vote.

With Kadima the front runner: the right of center Likud party and smaller but numerous Religious parties (right) will be charging full steam ahead in the quest for Knesset seats, while Labour and the left scramble to deal with a monumental blow, Terrorist wolves at the front door..

After heavy economic reforms in the last few years everyone thought social issues would dominate and Labour (left) leader Mr. Peretz may have had a shot at reclaiming some seats. But with Hamas in power and Sharon gone I think those days are over, now even the center Kadima party will come under siege..

Labour and the tiny Meretz party will be courting the left and not to be discounted Arab vote.
(Yes, contrary to the absurd media portrayals, Israeli Arabs are mostly citizens with all rights accorded)

Just as important will be the post election makeup, Israeli governments are almost always coalitions. Who will be teaming up with whom will make for intense political mayhem.

Here’s the bloated coverage election Big List;
I’ll be bringing home their bacon kosher style - sans saturated fats.

Arutz 7 Political coverage : Channel 7, Religious right.
Jerusalem Post Election coverage : Center right.
Haaretz : Election coverage from the Left
Worldnet : General coverage, Klein & Farah with the Judeo-Christian view from the right.
YnetNews : No section just yet (pfft) Center coverage.
Israel Votes : Full spectrum coverage

The Big ?

The big unknowns like Iran, Hamas, potential Terrorist attacks (frequent happenings around Israeli election time) all could throw much into the loop and sway the electorate. Kadima was riding on the plan to withdraw more territory, but are Israelis in any mood to cede more land now that they deliver it straight to Hamas’ waiting jaws?

Can Kadima hold on now that the ‘Sharon effect’ and the empathy of the electorate dissipates, especially with the most evident lack of experience (political and military) by the top party officials so far?

Deterrence, under siege from all sides Israel needs it and Israel’s voters crave it, what will be revealed is how much Kadima has.

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My stand:

I’m a former Likud lover, and up until now a Kadima rooter.. But things in politics change. Sharon’s vision was to go their own way, so far Kadima has done little of anything. Made up of many former right minded members, internal divisions of the leading party over Hamas & security may be the big story of this election, no one’s vote is safe and with 32 days until chow time.. It should make for some meaty posting.

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