In an effort to quell what has become evident media bias & undue influence on the public, a bill designed to limit media influence before primary voting has become law.
This may seem somewhat controversial, but in light of the cycle of events in recent elections and the polling which is routinely absurdly off base here, something needed to be done. Is this a solution? Perhaps not, but it does constitute a sharp slap & message to both pollsters & media in Israel who were wholly unapologetic for their bias recently, in what was clearly an attempt to influence elections.
The Knesset on Wednesday approved a bill prohibiting the publication of polls during the four days prior to any primary election. The bill constitutes a fine of NIS 67,300 (about $17,700).
The bill also states that polls that are published will be obligated to include certain details such as number of people polled, their background, and information regarding the method used to gather the data.
The proposal was initiated by Knesset Members Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor), Tzachi Hangebi (Kadima), Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) and Yuli Edelstein (Likud). It was submitted a few months ago, and legislative procedure was spurred after Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni’s victory over her opponent, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz.
The polls on the Kadima primaries showed a landslide victory for Livni, but on election eve she won by just a small margin. [...]
One notes that major players in all major parties were in favor & proposal, because the situation has become totally untenable to the point of openly influencing & manipulating Israeli Democracy by paid flacks in Israeli media, which has become like its US counterpart a sad, ill respected partisan joke. Israel is a small country with a heavy heavy media presence, this causes much more influence than larger markets may be accustomed to.
I would consider this a warning a shot, as it applies to primary votes not general elections. A free society depends on a free press, this is a signal in my belief to the media that it is time to start acting more responsibly, and to let the people not the agenda decide elections. The media sham that took place in the Kadima primary was the most shameful display in recent Israeli election history, the election of Livni was manipulated and everyone including Kadima itself knows it. Disclosure clauses in the bill would indicate a well warranted lack of trust in the media & polling, and puts the pollsters on notice..
Update: Israel Channel 2 to cease reporting primary polling entirely
Globes: Sources inform ”Globes” that Channel 2 News CEO Avi Weiss has decided that the company will no longer report primaries polls. He cited a professional recommendation by several polling and research firms because of polling inaccuracies. Until now, Channel 2 News and other news stations and media published primaries poll data, including polls in the Kadima party primaries mid-September, which were won by Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni. The decision will apply to primaries held by any party. [...]
We never do anything half way in Israel, it’s part of our charm.. Channel 10 is now under the spotlight, the Public broadcaster Channel 1 also released polling data on Primary night but waited until polls closed, an improvement but they still called the election in error based ENTIRELY on exit polling like other media outlets! Can you imagine!? Calling the elections on Exit Polls without counting votes, in some cases before polls even closed!? Total insanity. Incidentally, major print media are affiliated with the TV media stations and share / initiate polling data jointly.