Politics and government

“Narrow, fragile, and right-wing-Orthodox …”

Israeli politics fascinate me far more than I understand the dynamics (which I barely do). Times of Israel’s editor, David Horovitz, has an interesting op-ed piece titled “Netanyahu promised a ‘better, more stable government.’ And we got this?” which has me wondering if estimates of our return to the polls for another election in 2 years are pretty optimistic.

Calling elections at the start of December, having fired his finance minister and his justice minister, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the people of Israel. “You, the citizens of Israel,” he told us all, “deserve a new, better, more stable government, a broad-based government that can govern.”

The 61-strong coalition Netanyahu finalized 90 minutes before his time ran out on Wednesday night can be called many things. Narrow, fragile, and right-wing-Orthodox come readily to mind. “Stable” and “broad-based” certainly do not.

I was hoping we wouldn’t find ourselves with such a right-wing-Orthodox coalition but perhaps it is only a matter of time before it collapses and the country shifts back towards a more sustainable center? I’m just guessing at that, though.

On the plus side all of these elections point to a working democracy (not necessarily functional without much longer term stability, but working in the sense that the system operates).

Image credit: Prime Minister and Defense Minister at Weaponry Display by the Israel Defense Forces, licensed CC BY-NC 2.0


Politics and government

Could the old Apartheid government have saved us from Zuma's ANC?

Someone I was chatting to after the 2014 elections, last week, made an interesting comment. He said that if the old Apartheid-era National Party had educated all South Africans better (and not just white South Africans), the ANC under Jacob Zuma would have had a more challenging time selling themselves with all the corruption in the ANC’s ranks.

Interesting argument but I suspect that if the old Nationalist government had education non-white South Africans better, that government wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. We may have dodged the Zuma bullet if Apartheid ended sooner but then again, it probably wouldn’t have been necessary for the ANC to have become what it became to defeat the old regime.