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Israeli Elections 2013.

The balance of power will be held by a political party headed by a television presenter (the son of a another media type) who has promised everything (education, health, housing) to everybody – and who is known (even to his actual supporters) as “Pretty Boy”.

Anyone want to explain how Representative Democracy is a good thing?

16 Comments

  1. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    What struck me as truly remarkable was the willo’ the wisp nature of political parties in Israel. Kadima was apparently the biggest party in 2009, it failed to win a single seat this time. You have to fancy Yesh Atid will go the same way next time when ‘Kilroy’ fails to deliver much.

    One third of Israelis who didn’t bother voting apparently ‘get it’

  2. Paul Marks says:

    Yes – and this was a high turn out (by Israeli standards).

  3. Paul Marks says:

    Actually Kadima got just over the 2% threshold – but your point is still valid. The voters just want something-for-nothing, and when they do not get something-for-nothing they go to someone else.

    The Prime Minister was a brave soldier, a successful businessman, a strategic thinker and writer, and has a IQ of 180. And has a family tradition of fighting the socialists – his father did it all his life, and his grandfather was one the principle enemies of the Jewish “Bund” (socialist workers union).

    Yet – in politics he has to trade promises for votes, like a whore on a street corner. He looks disgusted (with himself and everyone else) most of the time, he should consider leaving politics (it is not a respectable job).

    Says Paul the hypocrite.

  4. Mr Ed says:

    If your population is infected by parasitic tapeworms, your options (in political terms) are:

    1. Be a tapeworm.
    2. Be devoured by tapeworms.
    3. Hope you are infected by a less ravenous tapeworm and struggle on.
    4. Work to eliminate tapeworms.

    Those who do not vote may aspire to 4, but they get 1-3 nonetheless. Some may wish 1, but lack the connections. The system is set up so that not participating confers no benefit (other than the political class fretting about ‘engagement’.

  5. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    Mr Ed, that is a quite brilliant analogy if I may say so.

  6. NickM says:

    Paul,
    My (limited) understanding of Israeli politics is that you always wind-up with a coalition so Bibi is not (to use your term) the only whore on the street. I do wonder though about Bibi and his late brother Yoni who must cast a long shadow. I assume you have seen the movies. Gor blimey “Operation Thunderbolt” was something else. And whilst the ground commander was killed and also an elderly Jewish lady “was disappeared” by Idi Amin’s wonks all the right folks got hit. PLO, Red Brigade, “The King of Scotland”. How different from that clusterfuck in Algeria. What I really liked was the sheer chutzpah and indeed moxie of it. Obviously the Israelis got help from the Kenyans (because they were pissed off with Amin crapping in the next garden along) but the Israeli strike was just cool beyond belief. I mean if it wasn’t for real you wouldn’t believe it.

  7. Paul Marks says:

    Nick – Bibi did many brave things himself (it is not just his brother – and father, and grandfather and…..).

    He was a member of the same unit as his brother – but he was not on that operation.

    My point is not against Bibi – it is against the SYSTEM.

    But Mr Ed made the point better.

    Was government spending higher or lower (however you want to measure it) at the end of Ronald Reagan’s time than it was at the start?

    It was higher.

    Was taxation higher or lower at the end of Mrs Thatcher’s time than it was at the start?

    It was higher.

    And on and on…..

    Ronald Reagan was a good man – not a bad man.

    M. Thatcher was a good person also.

    As is “Bibi”.

    The problem is the basic system of politics itself.

  8. Schrodinger's Dog says:

    Paul,

    At 6:06pm you wrote: “The voters just want something-for-nothing, and when they do not get something-for-nothing they go to someone else.”

    I would nominate that for the Quote of the Day, if this site had one.

  9. NickM says:

    Paul,
    If things go backward (so to speak) even with good people at the wheel then where does that leave us? It is a worrier. Bibi is though a warrior and that is what Israel needs. Clearly. There is absolutely no point even attempting to “engage in dialogue” with the likes of Hamas because they ain’t shifting from “We want you all dead”.

    To quote JRRT, “What can men do against such reckless hate?”. Theoden knew the answer after Gandalf freed him from the influence of Grima/Saruman.

    Mr Dog,
    We do have a QOTD. I shall consider it.

  10. Paul Marks says:

    On the military point I agree with you Nick.

    To have someone like “Tipsy” (as I pronounce the ladies name) as Prime Minister of Israel would be mass suicide (clue – the Economist magazine people would be overjoyed).

    However, on the economic point – it leaves us facing de facto bankruptcy in the Western world.

    Yes – I actually believe the stuff I have been banging on about for years.

  11. John Galt says:

    “Was taxation higher or lower at the end of Mrs Thatcher’s time than it was at the start? It was higher.

    I’m not going to out-and-out say it, but on what measure(s) would you base this assertion?

    Because I was there and that’s not how I remember it.

  12. Mr Ed says:

    @ John, trustworthy economic thinker. VAT was higher at 15%, up from 8%. Nigel Lawson reduced personal the income tax higher rate, and the Zeitgeist was of a shift from direct to indirect taxes, as if that were, of itself, a good thing.

    As spending went up every year under Thatcher, and mad schemes proliferated, I suspect that the tax take was larger, even if it felt lower.

  13. Paul Marks says:

    Tax as a percentage of GDP John. Or any other measure.

    It was the Howe budgets that did it (early on) – Nigel Lawson actually did a good job on the fiscal side (although NOT on the monetary side) government declined (as a percentage of GDP) under Lawson.

    People forget the early years of the Thatcher government.

    A massive increase in taxation, out of control government spending (the accepting of all those Labour promises on government sector pay from the “Winter of Discontent”) and a lack of Labour market reform – by that waste of skin, James Prior.

    It was the worst recession in British history – worse than what hit in 1929.

    And (in the ex industrial cities of the north) it is still blamed on “free market Thatcherism”.

  14. Paul Marks says:

    One trick (that a Federation can play) is to transfer various things to lower levels of government – and not fund them.

    That is what Canada did.

    And it worked – it saved Canada (at least for a time).

    “But that is dishonest Paul”.

    We are talking about politics are we not?

    “Good News! You now have total power over ……”

    “Great – and you are going to give us the money to fund……. hey where are you going COME BACK!”

  15. Paul Marks says:

    A good point on Social Security tax ruined by a lot ranting about Reagan the “warmonger” and so on.

    We will never know what Reagan would have done if head controlled the House of Representatives – because he never did. Speaker O’Neil controlled it.

    But certainly there was no “entitlement” reform under Reagan – they continued to grow.

    Indeed new “entitlements” were added.

    For example – free education for illegal immigrants (Supreme Court judgement in 1982).

    And free “Emergency” health care for everyone (Congress passed a Act after a lot of propaganda stories in the media about pregnant women being thrown into the street) – forcing private hospitals to do XYZ .

    So the cost of private insurance continued to explode.

    As did the number of illegal immigrants.

    Hardly “libertarian free migration” when they come for free education, healthcare and other goodies.

    “There should be amnesty and strict protection of the borders” is the song we hear so often now.

    Actually it has already happened – in 1986 (well the amnesty part – which is the only part that is real).

    And so the long death of the United States continues.

    And the Frankfurt School of Marxism (sorry “Critical Theory” and “Social Research”) dance.

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