Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni proposed yesterday during a meeting of Kadima’s ministers to change the Israeli election system to the Danish method, where the voter has more influence on the order and list of the candidates during general elections to the Knesset.
The Danish method allows the voter to rank the order of the candidates, as well as the party, which allows the voter to have a greater say in the results of the elections. This method will greatly reduce the influence of the parties’ assemblies on the order of candidates, and places it in the hands of the general public. The main advantage of this method is reducing the influence of “vote contractors” and sectorial interest groups. The system is especially good for candidates who have wide support in the general public, but do not seem to get support within the assemblies.
The method used in Israel today calls for a general public vote of one party, whose members were predetermined by the different party assemblies. The party with the most seats in the Knesset gets to assemble the government.
Livni had been studying the Danish method for a few months, and during her recent visit to Denmark she met with local experts and discussed the advantages of the system.
Foreign Minister Livni left for New York yesterday where she will attend the UN General Assembly meetings and will meet with 20 heads of state and foreign ministers from all over the world including Canada, Holland, Sweden, heads of the EU and more. She also has planned meetings with four Arab foreign ministers from Egypt, Qatar, and possibly Oman and Mauritania as well.
In Washington, Livni also met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor Steven Hadley, Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff, and Vice President Dick Chaney. Livni also plans to meet with the congressional leadership and will speak in front of the Washington Institute and the AIPAC senior leadership.
In her meetings, Livni will stress that any new Palestinian government must adhere to the three basic conditions stipulated by the international community: recognition of Israel, recognition of past agreements, and renouncing violence and terrorism. She will also discuss the implementation of resolution 1701, and the need to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue.