Palestinian democracy (Khalid, Danite, Tulip) - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Ben Gurion
    • 18.09.05 | 21:21 (IDT)

    Palestinians have a chance to outdo Israeli democracy. They are starting almost from scratch. The Israeli model was Britain, with a powerless head of state, a powerful prime-minister, and direct elections to Parliament. The last item means that the country is divided into districts and winner takes all in each. In reality, since our first elections were held in January 1949, even before the borders were determined in the various armistice agreements, and while the male population was still under arms, it was impossible to have direct elections and we opted for party-list elections for just the first elections. People vote for prearranged party lists. The number of representatives is proportional to the number of votes. Since then, the Knesset refused to change this terrible system. It is safer for each MK to run not under his own merits but under his party's flag. The result is that the Knesset is not very responsive to the people. Party members respond to whoever organizes the party list. In the Likud, this is the Likud "center", some 3000 people who are out to get benefits from the state and interfere with legislation that might reduce their power. Corruption is widespread, well-known, and well lamented. The Palestinians will now run a much better Parliamentary system; half the people elected directly and half on party lists. The still existing problem is the much too powerful president. I take it that this is a remnant of the Arafat regime, and follows the Islamic tradition of "rulers", Sultans, Emirs. What you need to do, Khalid, is to get rid of the president's office, at least his powers. England has a fine democracy and is not agressive as the US. The US is too powerfu nowadays, it has nobody to balance it out. Palestine will be far from it. Think of Europe as your model. It is a good and successful model. A hearty good luck. BG

    from the article: Of course, Egypt is to blame
    First published 00:00 18.09.05 | Last updated 00:00 18.09.05
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