Welcome to Kadima's well-oiled machine
It is afternoon at the Kadima voting station in central Tel Aviv. The sun is beating down on volunteers working for Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. A small plastic table has become a war room, the volunteers' cell phones are in constant use. The goal: to bring as many Livni supporters as possible to vote. The means: badgering Kadima members to leave their homes and cast their ballot for their favorite candidate.
Two taxis and a volunteer driver have been enlisted for the task, and from time to time they drop off party members. The volunteers pore over their rolls to update the picture. Those who have already voted are crossed off, those who have not get a phone call. "Livni's organization is excellent. When I see how the other organizations are functioning, I'm filled with pride," volunteer Israel Megiddo says.
Next to them, a single Mofaz volunteer, Sarah Arha, hands out stickers to those who come to vote, but "most people come with their minds made up."
Megiddo points out that while their phones are heating up from overuse, Arha's phone is silent, after falling into a toilet. He notes disparagingly that while Livni's campaign is based on volunteers, Mofaz's activists are paid.
Arha sees no reason to apologize. "I'm a single mom and I need the money. I came to work." However, she also added: "It's about time the Sephardim are in the government a little."
Hen Cohen, who is working for Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, agrees. "All the candidates together don't have the experience Sheetrit does.
The Sheetrit polling station monitor, Eyal Shapira, says: "We know who comes in, and we report to headquarters by list number. Sitting here with flyers isn't enough."
Sheetrit's sign is upside down and cast aside. When Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a Livni supporter, came by, he could not decide whether to replace it. "Look how much they put into the sign," he said. "I feel bad."
When a Sheetrit campaign worker later tried to stand the sign up at the entrance, Livni's workers scolded him, saying that it was blocking their table.
No representative for Public Security Minister Avi Dichter was anywhere to be seen, and there was no one to urge his supporters to come and vote for him.
Suddenly a man on a bicycle shows up. "Did you come to vote?" Arha asks him, and tries to figure out who he's going to vote for. "What difference does it make," the man responded. "Anyway in three years we'll be calling him a thief."