Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Elections for the 17th Israeli Knesset


With election booths open, many questions will be answered by the end of the day. These elections, seemingly pivotal have been met with large measures of apathy and a lack of focus on issues. Some are calling these elections a referendum on the ideas of disengagement, past and present, some are not.
There are those who see Kadima's ascension to power as a foregone conclusion, and there are those who are not so sure.
My predictions are as follows....
Voter turn-out will not be as low as expected, I don't think they will be that high, but I do not think they will be as low as 55%. Kadima will not do as well as expected with about 32-34 mandates. Labour will come second with 19-20 mandates and likud a more distant third with 15 mandates. The surprise will be Yisrael Beiteinu who will come fourth with 12 mandates followed by Shas and NRP/NU.
Olmert will have a workable coalition and the right will not have enough for a blocking vote. Netanyahu will step down as Likud party head and will probably be succeeded by Silvan Shalom, who it is not inconceivable to be part of a Kadima led coalition that will redraw Israel's borders.
My only impartial advice is to get out and vote. These elections are crucial for all Israelis across the political spectrum. During the coming years if someone is unhappy with Israel's policies and didn't vote, they will have no excuses and their opportunity will be lost.

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