Monday, October 22, 2012

Whats up with the single issue parties?

You may have noticed that there are a number of political parties that focus on a single issue. There is the green leaf party that wants to legalize marijuana, the pensioners party that advocates for older folk, "Man's Rights in the Family" Party that campaigned pro-father and anti womens rights. Obviously a single issue party would be disastrous for the country if they actually won an election, but that is not the goal of single issue parties.

I would call these parties the anti-Feiglin, who we will get to in another post.

To understand this single issue phenomena, you have to understand how Israel's parliamentary system works. There are 120 seats in the Knesset and the government is formed by the party able to form a coalition of at least 61 seats. The party with the most seats gets the first chance to try and form a coalition, but doesn't always succeed. In the last election, Kadima had more seats then the Likud, but they wouldn't compromise on their positions so they could not build a coalition. The Likud was able to bring in a coalition of parties and formed the government.

Small parties, such as the Green Leaf only care about one thing. They are willing to be part of a right wing or left wing platform as long as their one issue is handled. Instead of getting all their members to join a single party and work their way up and try and change the party platform to support their issue they have an easier way. Run on a single issue, get 2 seats and announce that any ruling party that wants their 2 seats has to support their one goal.

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