Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bayit Yehudi Process

Primaries are underway for the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) political party. This post should have proceeded our endorsements, but things don't always get written that way.

During the last election, 4 years ago, the NRP (National Religious Party) changed its name to the Bayit Yehudi, and was supposed to be a merged with the National Union. That merge didn't happen and the national religious community punished the parties with a total of 7 seats. With a merged list, we are expecting much wider support and 10-12 seats in the coming Knesset.

One of the changes to the Bayit Yehudi in this coming election was the democratization of the party. Previously, joining the party and participating in formulating its policies was in the "old boys network" style. With the democratization, the public has awoken, and over 50,000 voters have paid 40 shekels (or 25 discounted for young members)  to become official voting members of the party. Everything is going to be voted on, including: local elections, central committee, knesset members and head of the party.

On Nov 6, the party members will choose a party head. There are 3 people running, Naftali Bennet, Zevulun Orlev and current head Rav Daniel Heshkovitz. We feel that all 3 candidates are highly qualified and have a lot to offer. We are backing Naftali Bennet for party head, as we feel that he has the energy to lead the party and the country to much needed change.

On Nov 13, we gather again for elections for everything else. This gives the newly elected leader 1 week to throw his support behind different ideas and give direction to the party so it is more clear who to vote for in the other votes.

Our village has 13 seats on the on the local board. The 250+ party members will choose those 13 candidates. The board will then choose who is on our list for city council. They will also determine direction and set goals for what we hope to accomplish locally.

We also have 4 seats on the central committee. The central committee determine direction and set goals for what we hope to accomplish nationally.

Finally, we are voting for the Knesset list. I believe there are 15 people on the list and the top 5 have a realistic chance of getting in. This is because we are expecting 10 seats and splitting them with the National Union representatives who are not chosen democratically by their party members.  We support Jeremy Gimpel for Knesset.

For the Knesset voting, each member has 5 votes. The 1st person on the list gets 4 points, 2nd person 2, and the last 3 people 1 each. The order of voting is very important and the 1st person on your list has 4 times the weight as the 3,4 and 5th person on your list. We recommend putting Jeremy first on your list and we don't really care who else gets in. They all seem to be highly quality people.

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