Much ink has been spilled (and keystrokes typed) lamenting the inability of Israel’s elected leaders to form a government, let alone keep one together. The negative byproducts of this include national embarrassment, apathy and disillusionment across the voting populace, governmental stagnation, waste of public funds on multiple elections, endless media coverage and speculation every time a politician clears his throat, and repeated political campaigns in which we are forced to vote for the party we dislike the least, due to lack of substance and compelling leadership. Other than that, it’s great.
I would like to offer an easy solution that would be sure to end the gridlock and prevent a situation like this from happening in the future. It’s unlikely to be implemented for the simple reason that those with the power to implement it (the elected leaders) are the only ones who would stand to lose from the idea. But perhaps, against all odds, a groundswell of support from the people these leaders are supposed to represent and serve, across all political lines, will allow the idea to gain traction.
A law should be passed that if a group of elected leaders fails to form a government, and a new election is required, then all those who were elected will be ineligible to run in the new election. Your party got four seats? The top four people can sit the next round out. Your party got thirty-five seats but couldn’t pull it together? So long to all of you. If a new election is needed, every single candidate from every party will be new blood.
I also have a hunch that if such a system were in place, our sitting politicians would magically find the ability to work through their differences and form a government — for the sake of the people, of course.
Aside from the politicians who would stand to lose their jobs, at least for one election cycle, who would be against this idea? Do you really believe that any or all of these people are so indispensable that we cannot find great new talent to take their place, unentangled by political intrigue going back decades, and hungry to make a difference?
Considering how things have gone, I think it’s worth finding out.