A bit about our upcoming elections
No one can really discern a difference in the platforms of the four left-leaning parties (the nearly-defunct Kadima, Livni’s new party, the revived Labour party, and Lapid’s Yesh Atid) aside from the personalities leading them, yet they can’t seem to see eye to eye and agree to coalition. Actually, they don’t really seem to have platforms from what I’ve been able to tell. Yesh Atid stands out solely on its stance that it will politically disarm the ultra-religious and the freebies that flow their way, Labour makes slightly stronger claims that they will fix the housing crisis and soaring food prices, Livni is nattering on about peace with the Palestinians, essentially the only party to want to touch that particular no-winner, and no one is even bothering to listen to Kadima. I thought it was funny when Tiger Mike pointed to a bus ad and asked if it was a pro or anti Livni ad. It was funny because the picture used of her showed her pulling a face that was somewhere between angry and confused –not at all attractive –and anyone could be forgiven for thinking it was a picture being used by her opponents to make negative associations with her party. Alas, it was a pro-Livni ad and they obviously thought it was a picture making her look serious and strong when, in fact, it simply makes her look seriously and strongly constipated.
On the right-leaning side of the spectrum is the now-combined Likud-Israel Our Home party — the party in charge for the last four years so I won’t dwell on them. Further to the right, and drawing a lot of folks who feel that Bibi hasn’t been tough enough, is Naftali Bennet’s Habayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party. His party is largely distinguished from the Likudniks by the promise to engage in more building over the green line. He’s been trying to woo Likudniks by showing pictures of himself with Netanhyahu to sort of say, ‘yo, yeah, you like Bibi and so do I but you also want stronger support for the ‘settlements’ and so do I, so vote for me and it is still supporting Bibi.’ According to polls, his party will probably pull more support than Livni’s but that isn’t saying much.
Then we’ve got the various religious parties, the far-left parties and the Arab parties. They will earn their standard 2-6 seats, with Shas pulling in a couple more from those who reflexively vote that way.
The real battle will come down to Likud/Beitanu and Labour. After that, because Likud/Beitanu will score by far the lion share of the votes, will be the battle to form a coalition that has some chance of standing up for more than a few months. Despite the Bennet-Bibi pics* on Habayit HaYehudi ads, Likud would prefer not to coalition with them as a needed partner but would be happy to add them in if they forge a coalition large enough to not need their staying power. Bennet and Bibi do not, in fact, get along and Bennet would be constantly threatening to scupper the coalition if they were a linchpin of it.
*Bennet has been told by the court to knock off the duo pictures because they are misleading.