About time-bombs: Post-Script on Democracy

n Part 5 of my papers, where I characterised  the haredi as as time-bomb, I  also commented about another potential time-bomb: namely,  Israel’s seriously  dysfunctional- not to mention expensive,  proportional representation electoral system that has led to the formation of the current government of  high rope “stumblers”.

Well,  those  in Israel who wish or advocate  the country  to adopt instead the first-past-post electoral system might be interested in the outcome of the general election of this past week in the Province of Ontario in Canada.

Ontario’s population is 14,951,825 and its legislature has 124 seats.

The election was contested by four parties: the governing party; two  parties with hope  of  forming the next government,   while a fourth party hoped to get some of its candidates elected.

The voter turnout at the election was a historical low of 43%. The governing party got re-elected with a commanding majority of 83 seats.

As a veteran Canadian pollster pointed out, the new governing party managed to secure 70% of the seats and 100% of power by winning 41% support of the 43% of the voters which equals just fewer than 18% of the voting population.

The province did get a stable majority government while the remaining 82 % of the voters ended up with  21 seats and once again, hopeless about getting their party to form the government.

Commenting on the outcome of the election, Toronto political scientist Mel Cappe said:”…proportional   representation systems have a tendency to give extremist fringe parties a greater platform than they’d get otherwise.”

Interestingly enough, he illustrated his statement by pointing to Israel, “where ultra-Orthodox or ethnically based parties frequently make up part of governing coalitions…” Josh Rubin, ”18% of Ontario voters handed Doug Ford a majority government. Whether that’s a bad thing, depends on who you ask” Toronto Star, June 3, 2022

Hence, the critical challenge facing those who demand major electoral reform in Israel is to formulate an electoral system that embodies a successful or a viable  marriage between the two electoral systems,  including the variants of proportional voting.

Israel has a super abundance of  outstanding brainy people who excel in inventing, discovering, devising algorithms  to address and solve problems in a wide range  of fields. Surely, they would be the ideal candidates to devise an algorithm to fix the electoral system in a manner that would  leave the other abundance of  Israeli chronic “kvetchers” (whiners, complainers, those who kick up a fuss; stink or raise the roof) speechless, for a change.

About the Author
Doğan Akman immigrated to Canada with his family. In Canada, he taught university in sociology-criminology and social welfare policy and published articles in criminology journals After a stint as a Judge of the Provincial Court (criminal and family divisions) of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, he joined the Federal Department of Justice as a Crown prosecutor, and then moved over to the to civil litigation branch . Since his retirement he has published articles in Sephardic Horizons and e-Sefarad and in an anthology edited by Rifat Bali titled "This is My New Homeland" published in Istanbul.