If you want to know something about the condition of Israel’s elections system, you should pay attention to a media report from a few days ago: hundreds of young people employed by hamburger chain Burger Ranch have decided to unionize, thereby joining the rising tide of unionization in the country.
Anyone who thinks that the social protest has waned and that there are no more demonstrations is simply ignoring what is happening in the workplace. The protest is found there, and it is affecting Israeli politics in the upcoming elections and after them. This wave of unionization at workplaces not only heralds that employees now think that they can protect their rights only through common action. It also challenges the distribution of income in the country and the economic rules of the game which have characterized the socioeconomic regime that has prevailed since the early 1990s.
There is considerable disquiet about the distribution of resources between individuals and groups, and it hard to see how this can be swept under the carpet for four more years.
Some people will assert that even if these arguments are correct, and the elections will ultimately be about Iran, which means that the results are a foregone conclusion. That may be the case, but the Israeli public has learned that the man who really makes this decision is the US president, and that all the local chatter is mere background noise as President Barack Obama called it.
Who to believe?
There are other expressions about what most of the Israeli public is going through. For example, the “Globes” Consumer Confidence Index shows a plunge in economic and personal security. This isn’t the first time that uncertainty and crisis are leading to post-election government decisions, but in the past, this was conducted under clear rules of the game: lifting of oversight and reducing regulations; liberalization; lowering of quotas; budget cuts; and tax reforms. This time, it seems that the situation is very different. The various political parties will compete over who will restrict the tycoons more.
The question, of course, is who to believe? On this point, we can assume that the political parties and candidates will have to offer the public a clearly set out economic platform, and whoever cannot do so will be in an inferior position.
At the end of the campaign, in three or four months, there will elections, after which a coalition government will be formed. In the absence of an approved budget, the government will operate under the one-twelfth regime, or monthly budgets based on the 2012 budget, and only amounts approved in the original budget can be spent. Since a new government will only be established in March or April, the country will operate under an inflexible budget for months…Read More>>