Israelis can only look on with envy at a country where a majority government is still very much the norm. In its 63 years of statehood,
has never had a majority government. And if the electoral system doesn't change, it never will. We are blessed with an abundance of small parties, each wanting a much bigger slice of the pie than its size warrants. Israel
, the situation is quite different. There is no proportional representation where candidates enter the House of Commons simply because they are high enough on the party list. Rather, they have to fight tooth and nail in their constituency (riding) in order to win a seat in the House. Here they are much more accountable, for they have a constituency to respond to after they are elected and are just not another number on a party list. This is apparently why small parties have so little influence in Canadian politics. It is one thing to collect votes throughout the nation in order to build up your total percentage of votes. It is quite another thing to obtain enough votes in one specific riding to defeat the candidates of the big political parties. The Green Party did it in one B.C. riding in this election. They put all of their efforts in getting their leader elected there. But while that one seat in the House will provide more opportunity for their voice to be heard, they still have little leverage. Canada
You’d think that
would have learnt its lesson by now and would be ready for an electoral change to help it out of this political quagmire. But there is no sign that this will happen soon, and I will let you in for a little secret as to why it won't. Israel
Israelis love to argue. They will do anything for a good argument. It is said that if two Israelis argue, there will be three opinions. A two or three party system offers too much stability for the Israeli mentality. How could the whole Israeli population fit itself into just two or three political parties? Where is there room for the chaotic diversity that Israelis are so fond of? Israelis have a natural flair for creatively creating infrastructures which will ensure discord. And the Israeli electoral system is just one example. If it didn't exist, they would have to invent it.
You might think that Israelis would think twice about voting for a political party that has little chance of passing the 2% threshold. But just try to tell them that they are wasting their vote and see what an argument you'll get. And while Canadians have apparently voted for stability, there appears little room left for argument. Now where's the fun in that?