For three days this week, the Knesset turned into a piece of reality television - with the enthusiastic assistance of MKs.
It began on Monday, when Justice Minister Tzipi Livni was suddenly deluged by phone calls from MKs asking her to urgently convene the Ministerial Legislation Committee, which she chairs, to reconsider its decision to oppose a bill by MK Ilan Leibowitz (Shinui). She could not understand what all the fuss was about, until someone finally explained: Channel 2's new reality television show, "Leader Needed," had asked its two competing teams to each adopt a piece of legislation and advance it. The "girls' team" chose Leibowitz's bill. But because of the government's opposition, it had no chance of passing. Team members therefore began pressuring MKs - who in turn pressured Livni to reverse the decision.
Meanwhile, coalition whips Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) and Eitan Cabel (Labor) were having troubles of their own. Their job was to get the bill defeated, but many coalition MKs, hungry for media exposure, were only too happy to dance to Channel 2's tune instead. "If we don't manage to defeat this bill," groaned Sa'ar, "then it seems we really do need a leader."
In the end, they succeeded: Leibowitz's bill was defeated by eight votes. But many coalition MKs honored their promise to Channel 2 and skipped the vote.
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