Patterico's Pontifications

3/17/2015

Netanyahu Declares Victory

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:02 pm



It’s been a close one, but it looks like he’s won.

UPDATE: Not so close after all!

109 Responses to “Netanyahu Declares Victory”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Chuck Norris reelected Netanyahu.

    aunursa (932331)

  3. Israel and Netanyahu illustrate to me how my respect for normative conservative ideology and decent conservatives knows no boundaries, national or otherwise. I was sickened and even disgusted by the idea that the voters of Israel would make the same mistake that we in America made in 2008 and 2012.

    However, the very fact the vote was as close as it is makes me think of the overly narrow win of George “Compassionate-Conservatism” Bush over Al “Limousine-Liberal” Gore in the election of November 2000.

    We in the US dodged a bullet 15 years ago but got hit square in the face more recently, and I’m sure plenty of Israelites now also would be full of “shrapnel” (literally and figuratively) were it not for a life-or-death situation existing on their borders.

    Mark (c160ec)

  4. I read Metcalfe excerpts here: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/03/hillarys-email-defense-is-laughable.php

    okay, I give. H.C. broke the law.

    The Bush WH did not hide 22 million emails. There was a glitch in the archiving (don’t forget this was early 2000’s were such things happened to small and large business and gov’t). While doing an indexing retrieval was not possible, it was not clear if the emails were really gone or not. I’m pretty sure it was decided that if some email was really needed to be found , a needle in haystack method could be used. Also the laws on the books were not quite the same at the time.

    And lets say he did – what of it? First off, H.C. claimed that missing such email was destroying the Constitution of the USA. So you would expect her to be extra careful about maintaining emails.
    Secondly, two Wrights make an airplane but 2 wrongs do not make a ‘right’. It is like a burgler saying “but the other guy looted at Ferguson and didn’t get arrested, so leave me alone”

    btw: by all accounts, the SecStates under BushII forwarded all their emails to a SecState email account, from private and gov’t devices.

    seeRpea (b6bbec)

  5. All very good. This means Israel has a shot at making it past Presnit 404 alive and intact.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  6. It was a close election but Obama was the deciding factor.

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  7. It was not really that close. Likud has 30 seats to 24 for the lefties. The rest will be small parties.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  8. In a day of not very good news (which I will have mostly forgotten by tomorrow), this is great!

    htom (4ca1fa)

  9. The man with the Minus Touch™ strikes again

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  10. As we speak, Michelle and Valerie are “harshly disciplining” President Tiger Beat for failing to deliver the goods in the Israeli election.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  11. Bibi took an interesting gamble. He doubled down dared *his* side to vote for Likud. It seemed to have worked quite well, the smaller right’ish parties did not seem to siphon away nearly as much votes as predicted and may have gotten some of the left to vote way left.

    seeRpea (b6bbec)

  12. I found the updated part of the report particularly enlightening. OneVoice is a US 501(c)(3) organization run by Obama campaign operatives who apparently can’t keep from stepping on their cranks even if James O’Keefe isn’t around with a hidden camers.

    A big deal: Bipartisan Senate panel investigates Obama link to anti-Netanyahu electioneering *UPDATE*

    …*UPDATE*: Lori Lowenthal Marcus weighs in with a very useful treatment of the IRS aspect of this. What she points out is that not only is OneVoice’s campaigning in Israel a violation of its 501(c)(3) status; the purpose for which OneVoice actually received its most recent grant from the State Department violates its 501(c)(3) status.

    What OneVoice proposed to do was push, via an effort directed at Israeli voters, for a “two-state solution” — using the State Department money. Doing that entails pushing for a change in the laws of Israel, which do not currently recognize a Palestinian state. OneVoice’s 501(c)(3) status prohibits pushing for such changes in law:

    501(c)(3)S BARRED FROM ATTEMPTING TO INFLUENCE OR CHANGE (EVEN FOREIGN) LAWS

    You see, the Internal Revenue Code bars tax-exempt status from any non-profit that seeks to change or influence the laws of either the U.S. or that of any foreign country.

    This bar is categorical. “An organization that attempts to influence and advocates changes in the laws of a foreign country does not qualify for exemption from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Code.”

    On Jan. 29, Psaki flat-out admitted that the State Department grants to OneVoice were given to support “efforts to support a two-state solution.”

    Read more at http://libertyunyielding.com/2015/03/15/a-big-deal-bipartisan-senate-panel-investigates-obama-link-to-anti-netanyahu-electioneering/#KFPTVs9fsyP0JAuT.99

    I like Jen Psaki. She doesn’t know when to shut up. Once she gets promoted past a job that limits her to the words “Welcome to Hooters. Would you like a table” and then “Your waitress will be right with you” she has been promoted well beyond her competence.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  13. hmm, isn’t this the sort of campaign activity that the IRS LL was claiming that conservative groups with a 501c3 were de facto violating?

    seeRpea (b6bbec)

  14. Thank God.
    up yours obama

    mg (31009b)

  15. the next time antisemitic failmerica wants to tamper with an election they should do it more on the down low

    this was just too too obvious

    happyfeet (831175)

  16. This is me laughing like a crazed hyena, GFY Axelrod.

    DNF (946592)

  17. On 23 January 2013, La Stampa reported that Axelrod was helping Italian prime minister Mario Monti with his election campaign and had flown to Italy to meet with Monti ten days earlier. Monti’s coalition went on to come fourth with 10.5% of the vote in the Italian general election, 2013.

    this axelrod goofball seems to have a pretty crappy batting record overseas

    maybe he should focus on helping his ballerina friend survive his frightening upcoming cage match with formidable union thug Mr. Chuy

    happyfeet (831175)

  18. So … Likud ended up with 11 more seats than it had before.

    Am I the only one here that always thought the suggestion that Obama was going to outmaneuver Netanyahu in Israeli politics laughable?

    More than that, am I the only one that thought the suggestion that Hamas launching rockets at Tel Aviv was going to make a majority of Israelis go Left laughable?

    nk (dbc370)

  19. No, nk… but I hoped it was laughable vis-a-vis Obama’s hel… er interference. The Palestinians have ALWAYS been their own worst enemy.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  20. The man with the Minus Touch™ strikes again

    Kevin M (25bbee) — 3/17/2015 @ 9:47 pm

    Born under a bad sign… the sign of the god Feces.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  21. #2…aunursa! Norris threatens to open a 110 kilo can o’ WhupAss and seals the deal!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  22. Netanyahu is not Jack Ryan, burned out Goldman Sachs pervert; or Mitt Romney, burned out corporate raider; or McCain, deadwood who married hot beer heiress. But I don’t want to give Netanyahu all the credit. Israelis have not yet traded in their sense of survival for iPhones, Starbucks, and gay parades. Not enough of them to make a difference, anyway.

    nk (dbc370)

  23. Netanyahu is the guy the Israelis need to help keep them from wandering out in the wilderness. A type Illinois (or California) could’ve used decades ago.

    Romney in the 2nd round.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  24. The overall result is better than the alternative, but that’s like saying it’s good that Boehner is speaker rather than Pelosi; true as far as it goes, but that’s not very far. With Yachad’s 3% of the vote thrown down the toilet, and Bayit down to 8 seats, Netanyahu is free to give away the farm. He still supports a “two-state solution”, no matter what he said in a desperate throwaway line. And he has form; ask the residents of Chevron, or the former residents of Gush Katif, or the thousands of ordinary people in the “territories” who couldn’t get a porch added to their houses, how far he can be trusted. Meanwhile, Meretz barely made the cutoff and survives with 4 seats, so its 3% of the vote was not wasted, more’s the pity.

    The threshold system is ridiculous. With the bigger parties, any extra votes they get that they can’t use are not wasted; they have agreements to pass those votes on to a like-minded party that can use them. But if a list like Yachad doesn’t make the cutoff of 3.25%, all the votes it gets don’t go anywhere; they are thrown away and those voters are simply disenfranchised. This leads to a perverse calculus. If I were an Israeli voter I would have this choice: If I vote for Yachad and they don’t make it, my vote will have been wasted, and if my next choice, Bayit, comes one vote short of an extra seat it will be my fault. But if I switch my vote to Bayit and Yachad ends up one vote short of the cutoff, I will have caused all its votes to be thrown away, thus losing 4 seats for the right, and quite possibly giving government to the left. So the rational thing to do would be to stick with Yachad, and my vote would have ended up wasted.

    This is just unfair and impossible to justify. There’s no reason why Yachad’s 3% of the vote could not be passed on to another party that would represent its voters’ second choice, just as happens to the extra votes that the larger parties get. For instance Bayit ended up with enough votes for 8 point something seats; those extra votes will go to Likud, and may end up giving it that 30th seat that’s currently in doubt. Or, if a last minute surge in the count boosts Bayit’s surplus vote count above Likud’s, then Likud’s surplus will go to Bayit and give it a 9th seat. Thus votes are not wasted. This could easily be done for the smaller parties, but it isn’t.

    Better yet, they could adapt the Australian system, where no vote is ever wasted, every vote counts, and each voter can, if s/he likes, override the party’s recommendation for how that vote should be directed if the voter’s first choice can’t use it.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  25. Netanyahu is not Jack Ryan, burned out Goldman Sachs pervert; or Mitt Romney, burned out corporate raider; or McCain, deadwood who married hot beer heiress. But I don’t want to give Netanyahu all the credit. Israelis have not yet traded in their sense of survival for iPhones, Starbucks, and gay parades. Not enough of them to make a difference, anyway.

    You couldn’t be more wrong. Netanyahu is McCain. Or Lindsay Graham. Gives good speeches and then does the opposite. And yes, most Israelis have done exactly that.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  26. This may be a bigger loss for President Obama than some will say. (Supposedly) trailing in the polls, Prime Minister Netanyahu took a (desperation?) change, and declared publicly that there will be no independent Palestinian state on his watch. Then Likud, unexpectedly! surged. Post hoc does not always mean propter hoc, but I’d see it as very likely propter hocing in this case. At the very least, the Prime Minister can make the case that Israelis voted against allowing the establishment of an independent terrorist Palestinian state.

    The foreign policy Dana (f6a568)

  27. The Milhouse not related to Richard Nixon wrote:

    He still supports a “two-state solution”, no matter what he said in a desperate throwaway line.

    Really? It was the left’s contention that Mr Netanyahu was saying that he supported an independent Palestinian state, but doing everything he could to prevent one ever occurring. The left mostly believe that the Prime Minister simply told the truth in the end, looking for votes.

    And he got ’em! We can’t say, for certain, that the public change is why Likud suddenly surged, but that will be what a lot of people — including myself — will choose to believe.

    The contrary Dana (f6a568)

  28. The Milhouse who spells his name differently than President Nixon spelled his wrote:

    If I were an Israeli voter I would have this choice: If I vote for Yachad and they don’t make it, my vote will have been wasted, and if my next choice, Bayit, comes one vote short of an extra seat it will be my fault.

    As my vote for Mitt Romney was wasted, because Barack Hussein Obama won Pennsylvania, and thus took all of our electoral votes?

    There is no electoral system in which the votes that the losers get aren’t wasted.

    The Dana who can count (f6a568)

  29. The Dana who can count,

    I think Milhouse’s objection is that there aren’t preference-listing rules that transfer votes from a party that can’t make the 3.25% threshold. So, if a big party has 100 votes that aren’t enough to get it an extra seat, those votes will transfer to a second-choice party. But if a small party has 100 votes that aren’t enough to get it a first seat, those votes will NOT transfer to a second-choice party. It’s an inconsistent rule that disincentivizes voting for a small party as a first choice.

    At least that’s how I read his comment.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  30. The Milhouse not related to Richard Nixon wrote:

    He still supports a “two-state solution”, no matter what he said in a desperate throwaway line.

    Really? It was the left’s contention that Mr Netanyahu was saying that he supported an independent Palestinian state, but doing everything he could to prevent one ever occurring. The left mostly believe that the Prime Minister simply told the truth in the end, looking for votes.

    Yes, really. As I pointed out, he has form. He was against Oslo until he was for it. He was against Peres’s Chevron agreement until he implemented it. He was against the “disengagement” but stayed in the cabinet long enough to make sure it happened before cynically jumping out to lead the “opposition” to it. For the entire time he’s been in office his defense ministers have been demolishing the homes Jews build on uninhabited and unused state land, and even on land they actually own, while ignoring the massive Arab building program, also on state land. What he said in the last moments of an election campaign will not bind him the moment he finds it convenient to disregard it.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  31. At the very least, the Prime Minister can make the case that Israelis voted against allowing the establishment of an independent terrorist Palestinian state.

    Yes, they did. Unfortunately, they may get one anyway. And in the meantime nearly 10% of them voted for Kachlon’s populist (i.e. small-time socialist) economic policies, which he will now get to implement.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  32. There is no electoral system in which the votes that the losers get aren’t wasted.

    Australia manages it quite well. Almost every vote gets to elect someone, even if not the voter’s first or second or third choice. That’s how there’s a libertarian in the senate.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  33. Leviticus, exactly. Israel’s rule for transferring the extra votes the big parties get is rather primitive and inefficient, but at least it exists. Yachad (my party of choice, were I an Israeli voter) got about 3% of the vote, enough for 3 or 4 seats, but those votes will be thrown out.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  34. while ignoring the massive Arab building program, also on state land.

    Since I’m not well versed in Israeli policies and ideology, if Netanyahu is more of a squish-squish than I was aware of, yet generated quite a bit of opprobrium from the left (both in his country and in the West—certainly from fools like Obama), that’s merely another example of how philosophically corrupt or deranged prevailing liberal sentiments are in today’s era. It’s analogous to today’s “progressives” finding squish-squish Romney too rightwing for their tastes and things like a disquiet towards same-sex marriage as very reactionary.

    The saying that comes to mind: “This will not end well.”

    Mark (c160ec)

  35. It gives an incentive to the 3%ers to join together to become 6%ers at least? Just how far apart are your two choices you mentioned?

    nk (dbc370)

  36. Greetings:

    Seems to me that an appropriately modified headline from the Bronx of my youth would be something akin to “Israel to Obama: Drop Dead”.

    Meanwhile some in our Congress seem interested in having some kind of investigation into what the Obama administration and its too many minions were trying to do to Israel’s election and electorate. Elsewhere, our Sore Loser in Chief is going on in his version of full bore to undermine Prime Minister Netanyahu’s (who is far from a “yahu”) success by doing much more than damning with faint praise.

    I’m surprised that Eric Holder hasn’t opened an investigation of “human rights” violations..

    11B40 (844d04)

  37. that’s merely another example of how philosophically corrupt or deranged prevailing liberal sentiments are in today’s era. It’s analogous to today’s “progressives” finding squish-squish Romney too rightwing for their tastes and things like a disquiet towards same-sex marriage as very reactionary.

    Exactly. It’s like calling Chris Christie a TEA-partier.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  38. It gives an incentive to the 3%ers to join together to become 6%ers at least? Just how far apart are your two choices you mentioned?

    Yachad was already a bloc of separate small groups that got together to try to beat the threshold. But they were too “poisonous” for Bayit’s leader, who wants room to maneuver and compromise. It’s like McConnell not wanting Cruz or Lee on his team.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  39. same-sex marriages are recognized in Israel cause of Israel has a fabulous human rights record

    they are a shining example of human rights and stuff and this is why Obama hates them

    happyfeet (831175)

  40. Meanwhile some in our Congress seem interested in having some kind of investigation into what the Obama administration and its too many minions were trying to do to Israel’s election and electorate.

    From the point of view of Israeli election law, the Israeli courts said the US-funded anti-Netanyahu campaign was legal because it was just pushing a general Anyone-But-Bibi line, without endorsing any specific non-Netanyahu candidate or party.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  41. same-sex marriages are recognized in Israel

    Actually they aren’t, except for statistical purposes.

    they are a shining example of human rights and stuff and this is why Obama hates them

    True and true, but that’s not the reason. He’d hate them anyway.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  42. well then there’s work yet for Mr. Bibi to do for so Israel remains a shining beacon of liberty and equality in the middle east and et cetera

    but they’re definitely ahead of the game

    happyfeet (831175)

  43. re #43: one of Ben Gurion’s genius ideas was that only the Religious Rabbinate
    could provide Religious Matrimony assignment. The Israeli Court system would need to go way more over to the anti-Israel side for it to even challenge that fundamental setup and
    there are way more than enough secular Israelis who realize the purpose of the idea to avoid that for a few generations at the least.

    As for Milhouse – part of a tiny minority of Bibi haters. Look , you don’t stay in the public limelight of power for over 20 years , repel public fatigue and lead to a resounding victory without having an awfully big following of people who agree with your important points.

    Wonder if the Knesset will approve refurbishing the official PM residence now.

    seeRpea (b6bbec)

  44. “It gives an incentive to the 3%ers to join together to become 6%ers at least? Just how far apart are your two choices you mentioned?”

    – nk

    I get that, but at this point I tend to think any structural disincentive to voting one’s true preference is an exercise in the tail wagging the dog. In my opinion (from a “descriptive representation” standpoint) Legislatures exist to recreate the political beliefs of a people as accurately as possible. If that leads to an absolute inability to agree on anything, at least it’s the failure of a people rather than the failure of a system.

    Jamming round-peg voters into square-hole political parties misses the point, I think.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  45. a resounding victory for Netanyahu and Likud! a stunning defeat for Teh Won.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  46. Factionalism is a nation’s biggest enemy. A big, fat, comfortable country can afford to cater to the fringes more than a small country under siege can.

    nk (dbc370)

  47. factionalism is a problem but Israel has lots of helpful baristas available to help everybody #factiontogether

    happyfeet (831175)

  48. H8ers gonna H8! Whiners gonna whine. Revanchists gonna… revanch?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  49. if they didn’t vanch it right the first time there’s really nothing for it but to sack up and do it again

    happyfeet (831175)

  50. “Factionalism is a nation’s biggest enemy. A big, fat, comfortable country can afford to cater to the fringes more than a small country under siege can.”

    – nk

    That premise argues for the proliferation of parties, not against it, and PR systems are far better at proliferating parties than FPP systems like we have in the US. As Madison said:

    “The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other. Besides other impediments, it may be remarked that, where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonorable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust in proportion to the number whose concurrence is necessary.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  51. ? When faced with a common enemy, “Shut up, pick up your spear, and take your place in the line” is the only rational policy.

    nk (dbc370)

  52. Israel’s imminent danger is not internal oppression; it’s the enemy which surrounds it and wants to eradicate it.

    nk (dbc370)

  53. “Extending teh spear” works, too.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  54. My mistake: I’m not talking about Israel, I’m talking about the US. There may be good reasons for the Israelis to shy away from the anti-factionalist debates that a PR system produces. They need unified action more than a multi-party debate.

    The US, on the other hand, could use a lot more multi-party debate. If Israel’s existential threat is eradication, America’s existential threat is middle-age heart failure. We need to exercise more.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  55. 10. …It’s an inconsistent rule that disincentivizes voting for a small party as a first choice.

    At least that’s how I read his comment.

    Leviticus (f9a067) — 3/18/2015 @ 7:39 am

    You have a weird, entirely personal definition of the word “inconsistent,” I’ve noticed.

    Dictionary of Leviticus:

    Inconsistent:

    Adj. 1. Not conforming with my personal preferences throughout. “The police enforced a particular law in this situation and I agreed with the result, but when the police enforced the same law in this other situation I didn’t like the result. Therefore, the police are inconsistent.”

    Now, for the rest of us who don’t have our own subjective definitions of words we might say the rule is “unfair” in that voters who support tiny parties simply waste their vote if their party doesn’t reach the threshold, and a preference ranking system such as in Australia and Ireland (and almost no place else on earth, and there is a reason for that) would be less “unfair” to those voters.

    But if all parties are subject to the same rule then the system is not “inconsistent.” It just doesn’t conform with what you’d prefer to see, Leviticus, and how well things conform to your personal preferences is apparently your gauge for “consistency.”

    As far as proving a disincentive for voting for a small party, that is not true. It simply means small parties have to adopt different electoral strategies. That’s why the three arab parties and the communist Hadesh formed the Joint Arab List. If they had run their slates separately some or most wouldn’t have met the threshold. By forming a coalition they were the third biggest winners in yesterday’s election and some people are speculating they could play the role of kingmaker.

    This isn’t unique to Israel. As much as Milhouse is complaining about it, outside of Ireland I don’t know of a single European country that uses a voter preference ranking system. On the other hand at least 35 European countries (including such powerhouses that immediately spring to mind when thinking of Europe, like San Marino and Lichtenstein) use the electoral threshold system. And the reason for it is to produce more stable governments by preventing radical fringe parties from acting as disruptions.

    But the bottom line is that the threshold system is not “inconsistent.” You might be able to make the case it is “unfair.”

    At least if you define words like the rest of us have agreed to define them.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  56. “By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”

    – Madison

    By that definition, Congressional Democrats and Republicans represent a minority faction interested solely in their own entrenchment. Their interest is adverse to the rights of other citizens insofar as it is furthered by the elimination of electoral alternatives that other citizens desperately desire.

    It’s why gerrymandering is such a big problem. Again, Madison:

    “No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time; yet what are many of the most important acts of legislation, but so many judicial determinations, not indeed concerning the rights of single persons, but concerning the rights of large bodies of citizens? And what are the different classes of legislators but advocates and parties to the causes which they determine?”

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  57. Federalist No. 10 has to be one of the most remarkable pieces of thought and prose that any American has ever produced.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  58. nk wrote:

    When faced with a common enemy, “Shut up, pick up your spear, and take your place in the line” is the only rational policy.

    That’s what we hope the Palestinians do, while the Israelis pick up their TAR-21s. :)

    The Dana who supports a West armed to the teeth (f6a568)

  59. congrats to Bibi, now he has made mistakes, like the two prisoner exchanges, and the original stand down on settlements, but he’s learned from them

    narciso (ee1f88)

  60. now we’ve had 20+ years with the authority, ten with Arafat, and the rest with Abu Mazen, how likely is it, that it would be better with Dahlan, much less Barghouti

    narciso (ee1f88)

  61. “But the bottom line is that the threshold system is not “inconsistent.” You might be able to make the case it is “unfair.””

    – Steve57

    I’m not saying that a threshold system is inconsistent. I’m saying that a rule which allows surplus votes cast for big parties to go to a second choice but does not allow surplus votes cast for small parties to go to a second choice is inconsistent. There is a clear difference. And there is a clear disincentive, as Mulhouse’s comment demonstrates.

    “Gee, I’d sure like to vote for the Rhinoceros Party, but if the Rhinoceros Party can’t pull 3.25% nationwide then my vote disappears. Cast risk that! I’d better cast my first-choice vote for a party guaranteed to get over 3.25% – in which case my vote will go to that party, defeating the whole purpose of preference listing (which is to place your most narrow, hardline party at the top of your list and then moderate in descending order).”

    Wasted Vote logic psychologically coerces people into voting for the biggest party they find remotely palatable. As Milhouse points out, Wasted Vote logic can persist even in political systems designed to maximize party alternatives. The way to eliminate Wasted Vote logic is to eliminate wasted votes, which is why Milhouse is lauding the Australian system. I tend to agree with his sentiment on this issue.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  62. Seeing how Gilliard stole the previous round from Abbott, makes me doubt the efficacy of that system,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  63. Kevin M — “the man with the Minus Touch”; oh, of all of them this may be best!

    Milhouse — the ungameable voting system you want can’t exist because: math. (Arrow Theorum )

    htom (90eba5)

  64. now a question that could be raised, would a Feiglin or a Bennett be as successful as Bibi has been?

    narciso (ee1f88)

  65. I’m not saying that a threshold system is inconsistent. I’m saying that a rule which allows surplus votes cast for big parties to go to a second choice but does not allow surplus votes cast for small parties to go to a second choice is inconsistent.

    That is precisely what is consistent, given that all voters face that choice with eyes wide open. There’s nothing arbitrary about the rule. No voter gets to choose who gets their “wasted” vote. The voters for the big parties don’t get to choose that, since it’s the party’s leadership that makes those deals. Not the voters.

    25. …With the bigger parties, any extra votes they get that they can’t use are not wasted; they have agreements to pass those votes on to a like-minded party that can use them…

    Milhouse (9d71c3) — 3/18/2015 @ 6:55 am

    You are putting too much faith in Milhouse’s characterization of the Israeli system. Contrary to what he’s saying the threshold system Israel uses is not “ridiculous” and “impossible to justify.” He is apparently taking advantage of the fact that you, Leviticus, and many other Americans are unaware that the Israeli system is one of the most (if not the most) widely spread systems in the world. Precisely because it is anything but ridiculous, and is easily justifiable.

    The bottom line is that no individual voter gets to choose who gets the “wasted” votes. Not the people who vote for parties that don’t make the cut. And not the people who provide extra votes for parties that do make the cut. If the big parties get more than they can use, in that they have votes left over in the sense that the surplus is too small to get an extra seat themselves, they don’t ask the voters who should get those votes. The voters then, too, are entirely out of the loop. They’re not a party to those agreements the leadership makes. It’s one of those smoke-filled backroom deals that we complain about as being unfair.

    So why should the voters for small parties get to choose who gets their surplus votes when the voters who elect candidates and/or parties that exceed the threshold don’t get to make that choice?

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  66. OTOH, a system, that gave us Carter once, and Obama twice, has to be considered enemy action,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  67. In virtually every parliamentary system on earth, once the voter casts a vote the vote belongs to the party.

    If you have a problem with that, Leviticus, then you have a problem with the parliamentary system. As do I. But there is nothing inconsistent about the rule that the vote belongs to the party.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  68. narcisso @67, it’s not like I don’t have problems with our own system. Especially as amended over the years.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  69. ‘our system is the worst’ except all the others, as Winston might say today,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  70. In virtually every parliamentary system on earth, once the voter casts a vote the vote belongs to the party.

    I should have said in virtually every parliamentary system in Europe.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  71. “You are putting too much faith in Milhouse’s characterization of the Israeli system.”

    – Steve57

    Then dispute his characterization of its mechanics. Educate me. Is there not one rule for the distribution of surplus big-party votes, and another rule for the distribution of “surplus” small-party votes?

    I know for a fact that it’s takes a gross overgeneralization to characterize the Israeli system as “on of the most (if not the most) widely spread systems in the world.” If its as general as calling the Israeli system “a PR system,” maybe – but if there is any discussion of specifics (like particular thresholds, particular vote counting mechanisms, etc) then the Israeli system begins to look pretty unique – and understandably so, given Israel’s unique situation.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  72. Yes, there is one rule. Once the voter casts a vote, the voter no longer has control of who gets the vote. If the party gets a surplus of votes, then the party leadership decides who gets your vote. Not you. You lose control of your vote just as supporters of minor parties lose control of their votes once they cast it. Supporters of bigger parties don’t get to allocate their “wasted” votes to their personal second choices any more than voters for minor parties get to allocate their “wasted” votes to their personal second choices.

    That is one single, consistent rule.

    Yes, the Israeli system is unique in the sense that the combination of rules it adopts are a unique blend. No parliamentary system is exactly the same as any other. But the threshold rule it uses is far more widespread than the voter preference system Milhouse posits is the only system that isn’t “ridiculous” and “unjustifiable.”

    It isn’t the threshold portion of the Israeli system that makes Israel’s system unique. The threshold system is used by parliamentary systems worldwide. And it forces voters to vote tactically all over the globe, not just in Israel.

    There’s nothing unfair or inconsistent about it.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  73. Why should it only be the voters who support small parties that fail to meet the threshold who get to decide where their vote should go if their first choice can’t use them, Leviticus?

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  74. You know a lot of this stuff is done informally, right? Like Hillary telling her PUMA* votaries to back Obama in the general election in exchange for the SoS position?

    *Party Unity My Ass

    nk (dbc370)

  75. 69, 70. Plainly ‘our system’ is much too kind to power brokers.

    We do not kill even a piddling fraction of those necessary to concentrate minds.

    DNF (946592)

  76. But if all parties are subject to the same rule then the system is not “inconsistent.”[…] That is precisely what is consistent, given that all voters face that choice with eyes wide open. There’s nothing arbitrary about the rule.

    So a rule that says blacks shall be paid at one rate and whites at another is not inconsistent, because it’s published and all are subject to it?! Steve, you’re talking through yourhat. Votes for the large parties are counted; if they can’t be used by the voter’s first cohice they are passed to someone else who can use them, so the voter ended up electing someone at least somewhat compatible with his views. There’s no reason votes for the small parties couldn’t be treated the same way, but they aren’t; those votes are thrown away, and those voters end up electing nobody. That is inconsistent and arbitrary.

    No voter gets to choose who gets their “wasted” vote. The voters for the big parties don’t get to choose that, since it’s the party’s leadership that makes those deals. Not the voters.

    Israeli voters for large parties know where their party has directed its surplus votes, and by casting their vote they are agreeing to that choice. A vote for list A means “I want to elect someone from this list, and if that’s not possible then I want to elect someone from list B”. If the voter doesn’t like that, he can vote for some other list whose choices are more compatible with his wishes. Generally the party’s choices in this matter will reflect their supporters’ wishes, which is why in Australia, where voters do get a chance to second-guess them by voting “below the line”, hardly anybody does. But Israeli voters for small parties don’t get that choice. If the party doesn’t pass the threshold, its votes are not passed along to the second choice, they’re thrown out. That’s inconsistent.

    The bottom line is that no individual voter gets to choose who gets the “wasted” votes. Not the people who vote for parties that don’t make the cut. And not the people who provide extra votes for parties that do make the cut. If the big parties get more than they can use […] they don’t ask the voters who should get those votes. The voters then, too, are entirely out of the loop. They’re not a party to those agreements the leadership makes. It’s one of those smoke-filled backroom deals that we complain about as being unfair.

    They approve those agreements by casting their vote for the list. If they don’t like the deal their chosen list made they can vote for some other list. It’s not perfect, but it’s something. People who vote for small parties also know of and approve the deal their cosen list made, but if the list doesn’t pass the threshold they don’t get the benefit of that deal. All I’m saying is that they should be treated the same way the voters for the big parties are; if they can’t get their first choice they should get their second choice.

    So why should the voters for small parties get to choose who gets their surplus votes when the voters who elect candidates and/or parties that exceed the threshold don’t get to make that choice?

    They do, in the same way; by approving the deal the party made and registered.

    In virtually every parliamentary system on earth, once the voter casts a vote the vote belongs to the party.

    Wrong. It belongs to the neutral electoral system. The party can’t decide, after you’ve cast your vote, what will happen to it. The system will treat it according to pre-announced rules, and the party gets no say in the matter. But the system treats votes for large parties differently from votes for small parties; unused votes for large parties get passed along to their second preference, and get a second chance to be used, but unused votes for small parties don’t. And that is wrong.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  77. Seeing how Gilliard stole the previous round from Abbott, makes me doubt the efficacy of that system,

    Gillard didn’t steal anything; the voters didn’t give anyone a majority, and the Independents who represented their voters chose to support an ALP government rather than a Lib-Nat one. I’m sorry they made that choice, but that’s democracy for you. In 2013 the voters made a different choice, and Mr Rabbit got in, and has been doing good things, but the polls show that most voters don’t appreciate it and would rather “elect a leader and return to Egypt”.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  78. Wasted Vote logic psychologically coerces people into voting for the biggest party they find remotely palatable. As Milhouse points out, Wasted Vote logic can persist even in political systems designed to maximize party alternatives. The way to eliminate Wasted Vote logic is to eliminate wasted votes, which is why Milhouse is lauding the Australian system. I tend to agree with his sentiment on this issue.

    Except that even in Australia, where there has not been such a thing as a wasted vote in the memory of any voter, the “logic” still exists, and many people are still reluctant to support small parties for fear of “wasting their vote”. It’s puzzling how they can think that, but they do. I’d say that people who so misunderstand how voting works shouldn’t be allowed to vote, but instead they are forced to vote for fear of being fined.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  79. “Yes, there is one rule. Once the voter casts a vote, the voter no longer has control of who gets the vote.”

    – Steve57

    Serious question: if there were a rule in Israel that said “Votes cast for Likud shall be counted for Likud, but votes cast for Yachad shall not be counted,” would that be a consistent rule in your opinion?

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  80. Milhouse — the ungameable voting system you want can’t exist because: math. (Arrow Theorum )

    Arrow’s theorum relates mostly to the votes that end up in the one unused quota; the greater the number of seats being allocated, the smaller the quota, and thus the fewer votes don’t end up electing someone. Arrow also relates to the order in which candidates are eliminated, and showed that sometimes a candidate who was eliminated early had more overall support, counting preferences, than the eventual winner. This is true, but not terribly relevant. The bottom line is that in a preferential system only one quota of votes ends up not electing someone.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  81. i think when you win prime minister you should get cake

    happyfeet (831175)

  82. R.I.P. Andy Fraser, bass player for the group Free
    He’s all right, now.

    Icy (797871)

  83. Minhouse — in other words, the Arrow theorom can be ignored because you know that a system you prefere biases in ways you like? That could be any number of things;math isn’t one of them.

    htom (4ca1fa)

  84. LOL, forgive me.

    DNF (946592)

  85. There is perhaps a reason that those small factions lose out. Besides platform, the unwillingness to combine into a larger group to get past the 3.25% barrier indicates a fringiness of view that makes their participation in the Knesset unhelpful.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  86. Kevin M — “the man with the Minus Touch”; oh, of all of them this may be best!

    I wonder if Sheryl Bassey would sing the theme?

    S**tfinger
    He’s the man, the man with the minus touch
    A leper’s touch,
    Such a s**t flinger
    Beckons you to enter his web of spin,
    But don’t go in

    Golden words he will pour in your ear,
    But his lies can’t disguise what you fear…

    and so forth

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  87. 19. Since starting a Crossfit class five weeks back i no longer think but just throb in pain.

    Putting on socks is getting easier tho.

    DNF (946592)

  88. 81. “Yes, there is one rule. Once the voter casts a vote, the voter no longer has control of who gets the vote.”

    – Steve57

    Serious question: if there were a rule in Israel that said “Votes cast for Likud shall be counted for Likud, but votes cast for Yachad shall not be counted,” would that be a consistent rule in your opinion?

    Leviticus (f9a067) — 3/18/2015 @ 1:10 pm

    Since that’s not the rule why should I lend any credence to your straw man? The rule is that all eligible votes are counted. Eligible votes are those votes cast for parties that surpass the threshold.

    Such a horrible, indefensible, ridiculous system. Only antidemocratic hellholes would adopt it.

    Like that infamous gulag state. What’s that oppressive police state’s name again? It’s on the tip of my tongue. Oh, yeah.

    Switzerland.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  89. 87. There is perhaps a reason that those small factions lose out. Besides platform, the unwillingness to combine into a larger group to get past the 3.25% barrier indicates a fringiness of view that makes their participation in the Knesset unhelpful.

    Kevin M (25bbee) — 3/18/2015 @ 3:14 pm

    That’s precisely the justification for the rule Milhouse would have you believe is completely unjustifiable.

    Funny how the vast majority of parliamentary systems across the globe use the threshold system. I guess everybody except Australia, Ireland, and Milhouse are being ridiculous.

    Having read through Milhouse’s comments I see that no matter how he tries to dress it up, he can’t refute my point. In Israel individual voters can’t choose who gets their surplus vote. The party leaders make surplus vote agreements. They don’t consult the voters.

    But then in closed list electoral systems like in Israel, voters don’t get to pick candidates, either. Unelected party strategists and power brokers choose the slate of candidates. Then the voters can either take it or leave it. Just like the the surplus vote agreements. It’s a fait accompli. Voters don’t have a say in the matter; they’ll either take what they’re given and like it or they can sit the election out.

    So it’s not fair that voters who support marginal parties should get more choice than voters who support larger parties.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  90. Arrogant, incompetent, petulant, narcissistic… what’s not to like about President Barack Obama?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  91. He won’t do it but it would be fun if Netanyahu could find a way to tell Obama “I won.”

    DRJ (e80d46)

  92. Bibi should demand a bow.

    mg (31009b)

  93. DRJ, he could:

    A) Suspend all sensitive diplomatic communications with the US as well as intelligence sharing since the US apparently has no security regulations or laws in place that would prevent a Secretary of State from keeping that information on an unsecured, unencrypted, private server in her own house.

    B) Demand the US recall its ambassador to Israel for interfering in Israel’s elections.

    Like you I don’t think he’d do it, but it would be great if he he did. What’s more either action would be more than justified.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  94. Hmm. “Elections have consequences,” I seem to remember being said.

    Simon Jester (4041c5)

  95. The results speak for themselves. I know it’s fashionable to be all mad at Boehner ‘n stuff, but I do believe his invite for Bibi to speak to congress was brilliant. The invitation “controversy” forced itself into the national news and not only was a very important factor in raising public awareness of the upcoming election in Israel, but also shone a spotlight on Obama’s idiotic “negotiations” with Iran. That invitation and speech was a winner and president stompy foot’s childish behavior surrounding it proved that. It threw Obama/Valjar off their game for weeks and in the process also threw many Washington Dems into a tizzy about how to respond as well. Many chose poorly.

    elissa (2b4607)

  96. 94. Thread winner, anyone?

    Israel will survive nuclear winter.

    DNF (946592)

  97. Another thing that threw the spotlight on President Mean Girl has been his campaign apparatus and his State Dept. teaming with Israeli leftists to oust Bibi. How big of a story it was in Israel I can’t say. Some American leftists currently wailing and gnashing their teeth over Bibi’s victory have lamented that it was a huge story. They’re basing that on what their leftist relatives, who really wanted to oust Netanyahu as well, are telling them. And that it caused a backlash.

    Whether or not it was a huge story I can’t say, but it was a story and it does look like it backfired.

    In other words, it worked out as well as everything else Obama does.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  98. “…suspend all diplomatic communications …”

    Even better, pretend not to have already done that because of the ongoing security threats.

    htom (4ca1fa)

  99. My last post reminded me of something.

    40. …From the point of view of Israeli election law, the Israeli courts said the US-funded anti-Netanyahu campaign was legal because it was just pushing a general Anyone-But-Bibi line, without endorsing any specific non-Netanyahu candidate or party.

    Milhouse (9d71c3) — 3/18/2015 @ 8:27 am

    Which is once again in conflict with reality.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-election-2015/.premium-1.639158

    The Obama campaign strategist who could break the Israeli elections wide open

    The group V15, which denies that its motto is ‘anyone but Bibi,’ is working with U.S. political strategist Jeremy Bird to replace the government in March.

    During a stroll along Tel Aviv’s Lilienblum Street, it was difficult to avoid noticing that the ground floor of one office building had been converted into a campaign headquarters, packed with “Victory 2015” signs and young people wearing V15 campaign…

    The “Anyone But Bibi” line wouldn’t have been legal, and that’s why V15 has denied that was the line they were pushing. They had to maintain the facade that they just wanted Israel to have the best PM it could possibly have.

    Likud couldn’t make the case before the election that the US-fund “no we’re not really ‘Anyone But Bibi’ honest” anti-Netanyahu campaign was linked to any particular party, which was what they alleged.

    But the Israeli AG Yehuda Weinstein has said V15 could come under investigation after the elections to uncover the identity of the donors and the sums involved.

    So, no, it’s not like Israeli courts have declared V15’s activities legal.

    Steve57 (88b05c)

  100. but also shone a spotlight on Obama’s idiotic “negotiations” with Iran.

    A sign of just how idiotic, if not outright deranged, those negotiations are is best illustrated by reports that even certain countries in the Middle East (beyond Israel) are unhappy or nervous about the kisses and hugs that Obama has been giving Iran.

    Obama is like a character out of a very bad novel, perhaps a fable — a cautionary tale — about a country that committed socio-political suicide by voting into office someone along the lines of the US’s 44th president.

    Mark (c160ec)

  101. So. Are we “getting it” yet?? Are we understanding who OBAMA is yet???

    Gus (7cc192)

  102. Voters don’t have a say in the matter; they’ll either take what they’re given and like it or they can sit the election out.

    That is not true. They can start their own damn party and choose their own candidates. If we had that kind of system, the Tea party would have 100 House seats — assuming that such a Tea Party didn’t split into 19 irreconcilable factions as the religious parties seem to do in Israel.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  103. The present jew hating obama will join forces with the Untied Nations to rid all jews from Israel.
    The citizens should burn the United Nations to the ground or have it moved to Africa.

    mg (31009b)

  104. obama and npr they’re really doing all they can to prepare the battle space for a final solution

    yes yes yes elections do indeed have consequences

    happyfeet (831175)

  105. Remember the conclusion of ‘Scanners’?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/articles/tiki-register.php/trackback/register?page=1

    Being tiny means being comparatively hard to hit.

    Leader of nuclear power congratulates Beebs in Hebrew.

    DNF (2964fc)

  106. I wrote:

    He still supports a “two-state solution”, no matter what he said in a desperate throwaway line.

    The contrary Dana asked:

    Really? It was the left’s contention that Mr Netanyahu was saying that he supported an independent Palestinian state, but doing everything he could to prevent one ever occurring. The left mostly believe that the Prime Minister simply told the truth in the end, looking for votes.

    Lo and behold.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  107. Uhh, Milhouse:

    http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2015/03/is-obama-mainstream-media-stupid-deaf.html

    Is Obama & Mainstream Media Stupid, Deaf, or Biased? Bibi NEVER Said, ‘No Two State Solution’

    …The mainstream media was all over the story, OMG Netanyahu said he would block any Palestinian State, he said no two-state solution as long as he was Premier. Josh Earnest added his voice to the nonsense; he spoke of the administration’s concern about Netanyahu’s statement during Wednesday’s presser.

    Boy! It seems as if that that Bibi guy is nothing but a war monger! It was if Netanyahu was trying to feed the preconceived notion the media and Obama already had about him. Well it would have been —if it was true.

    It is very convenient for the media to take half a statement and spin it the way they want, but Bibi never said he didn’t believe in a two-state solution, nor did he ever say he would block a two-state…

    …That’s what the guy said folks. Not “no two-state solution”, or that “he would block a Palestinian State” but as long as they presented themselves as sponsors of terrorism there would be no Palestinian State, and based on that it will not happen on his watch.

    Those of us who listened to Netanyahu know he’s not “flip-flopping” now.

    If you think he’s “flip-flopping,” the title of the post at the link gives you three choices. Feel free to put a check in the block next to the one that applies to you.

    Steve57 (88b05c)


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