Tel Aviv Conference Reveals Public Outcry for Electoral Reform

On November 26, 2009 CECI hosted a major conference at Tel Aviv University focusing on government stability, Israel’s  political system, and electoral reform.

The panel included numerous politicians and members of academia:  MK Reuven Rivlin – Speaker of the Knesset (Likud), Professor Jacob Ne’eman – Minister of Justice, Professor Daniel Friedmann, former Minister of Justice, MK Tzipi Livni, Head of the Opposition (Kadima), MK Ophir Pines – the former Chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee (Labor), Professor Joseph Klafter – President of Tel Aviv University, Professor Noah Levin-Epstein – Dean- the faculty for Social Studies, Tel Aviv University, Professor Izak Katz – Maagar Mohot, Professor Zeev Segal, Head of the Program for Public Policy for Managers- Tel Aviv University, Professor Gideon Doron, Chairman of the Israeli Association for Political Science, Tel Aviv University, and CECI Founder – Izak Parviz Nazarian.

Among the event participants were prominent business leaders, members of CECI’s Economic Forum for Government Stability, and government representatives.

During the conference, CECI presented the results of an important public survey on stabilizing Israel’s political system:

57% of the population support reforming the government system, out of which 46% of them support transitioning to a Presidential System (similiar to the American system).
59% of the public indicated that they don’t feel that the government is acting on their behalf.
80% believe that ministers need to be appointed based on their skills.
15% support the continuation of the current political system in which the ministers are appointed based on coalition necessity and not their professional qualifications.

During the panel discussions, the Minister of Justice Jacob Ne’eman announced, “The government is not stable and that is not good.  “He added that Ministers should not be MKs, but they should be professionals (insinuating the importance of the separation of powers). He believes that Israel needs to return back to the “2 Ballot Election System” and though that is not perfect, it is better than the current system. “It is important that the government serve for 4 years.  It is the best immediate solution so that certain sectors in the society do not determine government policy.” (Ynet website)

During discussions, the Minister of Justice — Jacob Ne’eman, Head of Opposition –Tzipi Livni, and the former Minister of Justice – Professor Daniel Friedmann called to bring back the “Direct Election System” for the Prime Minister in order to secure government stability.  The hope is that the Prime Ministers will be able to implement and execute policies within their 4 year term without having the interruption of establishing a new government. (Live broadcasting- Reshet Bet radio station)

Please click here to find more information about the survey.

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