Haveil Havalim, the weekly Jblogosphere wrap-up is live…
It’s election time, people, and you know what that means….gooooo, cynicism!
You see, my loyal readers, it works like this: whichever party gets the most votes on Tuesday gets the first shot at forming a coalition with at least 61 seats. This system can be problematic-parties pull out of the coalition, taking away a majority, and the coalition crumbles. A lot of people in Israel question whether this is still the best form of rule. I mean, the Knesset coalition is kind of like a game of Jenga…EXCEPT THAT JENGA’S A GAME!!! We’re talking about a government here!!!
With Jenga, the thing can topple, you say “awww brother!” and five minutes later, you’re laughing about it over a gallon of Chunky Monkey. These are our elected officials!!! Do we really want a new leadership every time a new season of “24” comes on?
So it’s my first election in Israel which is exciting. Good thing a friend told me that I need to go vote in Tel Aviv (my old residence) or I would have had no idea. I also was completely in the dark about election day being a day off. I’m glad I figured that out now as opposed to walking around my office after 2 hours saying, “Where IS everybody???” Yet another way to spot the American.
So who am I voting for? To my surprise, it was an easy decision and probably the quickest decision I’ve ever made in any election ever. A couple of Saturday nights ago, a few of us went to an event sponsored by Jpost. There were representatives of nine different parties there, saying a few words about their platforms (or lack thereof), some of them more impressive than others. For example, in his opening speech, Benny Begin of Likud (Menachem’s son) made sure to criticze Kadima about 10 different times while not saying a single thing about what his party stood for. Way to completely turn us off, dude.
That paled in comparison to the guy from Shas, the religious Sephardic party. B’ima sheli, would it have killed them to send someone who could actually speak English? Dude couldn’t put together a subject and verb if you spotted him both a subject and verb. He reminded me of the Andy Kaufman character from “Taxi”, Latke, but with worse English. He also continued to employ the most pathetic campaign strategy ever, stealing You-Know-Who’s “yes we can” line. Seriously? You guys really want to go there? “Yes we ken end we ahl-redy did!” Oh G-d, make it stop.
Anyway, the best speaker in my humble opinion was Rabbi Michael Melchior of a small party called Hayeruka-Meimad. They’re a combination of two parties, Hayeruka (the “green” party) and Meimad, an acronym which means “Jewish state, democratic state.” In contrast to a lot of the speakers who were negative, overly critical, and in-your-face righteous, he was positive and simply acted like a human being you’d want to place your faith in. I’ve heard his name in the past and that he’s a good, reputable person so why not cast my vote in someone I like who’s going to take a stand for issues that are too often overlooked in this country? And why not feel good about my vote, which I’m actually casting for someone, instead of walking out of the booth thinking “ugh, I can’t believe I actually just voted for ________?” And if they don’t get any seats and we’re stuck with the same kind of government we’ve had for the last how-ever-many years?