Swinging left to Meretz was a very BAD idea..
Livni’s 1st political move was a classic mistake. Instead of immediately leaning right to secure goodwill within Kadima and without, where she lacks it most and where the country is also leaning most, she went left to the Meretz no man’s land of political oblivion.
Of course the reasoning is simple enough, they are going gaga for Livni on the far left. The glowing media and support is akin to a warm embrace, comfort food for a very weak slim win. Further, the ideological platform she is pushing in negotiations falls squarely in the Meretz camp. Thing is she accomplishes more than just alienating the right in a move like that, she also alienates the left, or in this case Labor party’s leader.
Struck by lightning (Barak)
Barak himself as Prime Minister already flirted with the Meretz platform 10 years ago, it cost him his job. Why on earth Livni thought he may enjoy flirting with that platform openly again, especially in light of his already low opinion of her - all in order to secure her the PM job is beyond me?
Being 1st out of the gate to reinforce the common view that she has sacrificed every principle of her Likud roots, and now even Kadima’s own charter is not a genius play. The notion that this is Sharon’s heir politically we are seeing is as I stated divine comedy. The empress has no clothes so far. Judging by the media roundup below, no one is as of yet tossing her any either. If anything, there’s a concerted effort to challenge the legality of her win within Kadima forming now, and a possible flirt between Labor & Likud on a power sharing agreement. Anyone get the feeling Livni wants to share power and rotate the big PM chair? Me neither.
Livni is not the only one who can form a govt
She is dominating the media, but President Peres can be approached by other factions to form a govt. Peres & Olmert are now racing to get things squared away, Peres may even delay his trip to the USA for the UN general assembly to keep the paltry Livni momentum going. The last thing he wants is to come back in a week or so and be presented with a government option that does not even involve Livni, a national emergency government of the left & the right which leaves out the so called center party and Livni entirely..
Look at this math..
Labor 19, Likud 12, Israel Our Home 11, Shas 12 = 54
NRP 9, UTJ 6, Pensioners 6.
Either of those last three added is enough to secure a slim majority without Kadima, Meretz or elections, and the pensioners and UTJ are easy enough addons. With all the freed up Kadima portfolios it is darn right near a jamboree where everyone gets to keep their corrupt cozy seats, and even get a few juicy new ministries. It is a Kadima nightmare scenario..
Even Assad has a better opinion of Livni than Barak (Haaretz)
Comptroller mulls corruption probe of Kadima primary
(Jpost on the race rift exploding)
Barak – ‘Israel needs nat’l emergency gov’t’
(Jpost on a Labor Likud power sharing agreement)
Olmert: I have decided to resign as prime minister of Israel
(Jpost, everyone assumes Peres will appoint Livni)
Labor sources: Barak seeks early general elections (Haaretz)
Mofaz supporter calls for recount of Kadima primary (Haaretz)
Livni says Kadima will continue to lead Israel (Ynet)
Hitting the brakes
The last link shows Livni is already backtracking to ‘National Unity Government’ talk, meaning that her plans to maintain the current coalition seem stalled entirely, she assumed she could just patch together Olmert’s coalition and tack on Meretz for more seats, but you know what they say about the old adage assume? When you ASSUME you are ‘Making an ASS out of U and ME’.
She better not assume she is guaranteed to be the party leader being offered the shot at forming a govt either, as by displaying further hubris she may be in for a surprise. She also assumed she would landslide the primary, and she assumes she will landslide a general election too..
How many times in one week can you ‘make an ass of yourself’ is the real question?
No Credibility, No Mandate, No Sweeping Adoration.
The tally is in and Livni has won by a mere 431 votes, instead of 49% to 37% as projected by every single outlet of big media in Israel last night, Livni’s lead is actually 1 measly percentage point. 43.1 to 42% - Shocking. It smells so corrupted I feel the need to shower. Worse, there were ‘voting irregularities’ last night in the arab sector (as usual) pushing Livni which may have clinched it for her – on top of her poll closing shenanigans.
A trend is developing, big media is pumping agenda driven polls in election after election to push their own horse. We saw it with Olmert, we saw it with Livni, and now we saw it even in the exit polls which declared Livni the winner before voting even ceased, studios closed down for the night, reporters went home and they drove Mofaz home as well in disappointment – but that wasn’t the story it seems.
These results combined with the blatant manipulation by media, the blatant manipulation by Kadima to force polls open even longer at the last minute for their Princess Livni is a travesty and a mockery. Forget the fact that Israel’s new PM is decided by less than 20,000 people / votes – Now it is not even decided by those 20,000 it seems out of our 7 Million, it is decided by someone else entirely like some third world country, a true Banana Republic.
Livni has no mandate that much is clear. She is not the adoring savior shoved down our throats by our media with fictitious massive 20% victories over her rivals, and 20% electoral projected landslides in national elections, she will not sweep anything in national elections as I posted previously and that is precisely why we will be denied them. She has a zero success rate and that was proven again last night beyond her Foreign Ministerial failures.
Enough with this farce
Where does Kadima go from here? Our PM refuses to vacate, his replacement is coronated like a queen, negotiations & concessions steam forward with no mandate, now not once but a second time it seems, state affairs are not dealt with.. We are ruled it seems like a brothel – By a bunch of greedy corrupt prostitutes and their media pimps. Now Shas & Labor have seemingly even dropped their pre-requisites for remaining in the coalition, meaning nothing has changed at all.
Now that it is proven Livni is far from a winner the left’s GoldenGirl clearly cannot deliver, and the last thing that can be allowed is elections to drive this failure reality home.
Update: Lonely Planet
I’m feeling kinda gothca’d, which is why I seem to be the only person beefing about this, the media in Israel is seemingly skipping right over the whole debacle above. Contrast this to the Bush Kerry results 4 years ago where similar exits told a similar story and there was shock afterward, there was quite a bit of talk in the media about jumping the gun. Following some Clinton miscalls in this US election cycle, media again in the US looked at the need to restrain themselves..
Where are the opinion pieces in Israel with similar tones? The election was called across the board and was overshot by about 10% – a full 1/4 of the vote, it certainly affected the vote itself as well. If I find some dissent I will link it. Further, if I was feeling like a bastard I would contrast YNET political reporting last night which was gloating & filled with exhilaration, with the muted fare available today..
Thank Goodness SD does the phenomenal groundwork here, I thought I might be losing my mind. The Nissenbaum shot and the WP quotes are instant classics.
UPDATE Sep 19: Mofaz’s Exit from Politics
Mofaz has dropped a shocker, his exit from politics. Many are carrying on with the same scorn he received in the campaign, calling him sore loser etc. But I see it differently, he was indeed robbed, a victim of racism and ugly class rivalries in Israel amongst other things, and if he stays he benefits not himself so much, as Livni who’s party and who’s own experience looks paltry without him..
The Jerusalem Post analyzes the situation today, they’ve clearly been reading some high quality material ; )
[...] The Kadima establishment, they lamented on his behalf, had set him up to fail. Livni was the golden girl, to be crowned come what may. After decades of military and public service, he had been misrepresented throughout the campaign as a murky political operator and Likud hawk, and his popularity relentlessly undermined by skewed and baseless polls.
On primary day itself, when he still had a good chance of victory, the Mofaz camp further complained Thursday night, he was quashed by a combination of disqualified ballots, extended voting hours and the reprehensible broadcast of exit polls falsely showing an overwhelming Livni victory – an appalling breach of democratic norms that could only have persuaded those Mofaz supporters still waiting to cast their ballots that they were wasting their time and should head home. [...]
Phew, it is not such a lonely planet after all..
Big thanks for making Kadima Primary day the Hashmonean’s biggest traffic day in a while. I also saw that Jameel had an excellent post on the polling fracas, nice one – Both the Jpost full article and the Muqata look at polling are worthy reads.