Election fever, Israeli-style.

I’m sitting in my office, listening as every single person who leaves for the day calls out in the hallway: 

“Happy voting!”

“אל תשכח להצביע מחר”

“!ללכת לקלפי, להצביע ולהשפיע”

“Vote wisely!”

At lunch, I walked past a lively discussion on the strategy of voting and throughout the day have been pepper-sprayed with water cooler conversations, Tweets, Facebook statuses, and I.M. chats on the topic. 

But the way I feel right now is this: if only the politicians had discussed the elections – and more importantly, their platforms – as much as we all did today. If only their passion seemed as strong as our indecision.

On one hand, I know who I don’t want in power. On the other hand, I don’t know who I do want in power. And the Israeli election is so complex: it’s not just two parties, one rep, badda bing, done. It’s more like, 30 parties. A list of reps for each one. The top of the top three who could become prime minister. Their nondescript platforms.

To vote for a small party with a specific platform, or to vote for a prime minister with a specific personality? To vote for socio-economic rights or security issues? To ignore the religious factor? To trust again or to have blind faith?

Whereas the recent American election seemed somewhat two dimensional – or maybe even three dimensional – this Israeli election is about 2348743 dimensional (and counting). 

What happened to just voting for your leader?

Israeli election coverage from YouTube and Channel 2.

Here’s something new and different: Israeli television channel ערוץ 2 and YouTube seem to have teamed up to bring us (Hebrew) coverage of the 2009 Knesset elections campaigns.

The campaigns have begun, although they’re obviously not as exciting or inspiring as the American ones this past year. Fair enough. But it is interesting that the major parties and news outlets are trying to take pages right out of the elections handbooks of the American elections culture:

  • Shas is using Twitter (and from what I’ve heard, annoyingly so) and has adopted Barack Obama’s “Yes we can” slogan.
  • Ehud Barak of the (dying) Labor party accepted an invitation to participate in an Eretz Nehederet skit last night.
  • Bibi of Likud apparently carbon copied Obama’s website style for his own website.
  • I’ve repeatedly seen plays on the phrase “Yes we can,” in headlines, blog posts and websites.
  • Eretz Nehederet is, of course, having fun with all the jokes.

Not sure where Kadima is in all this. Maybe they’re feeling the heat and thinking of a controversial right-hand (wo)man pick.

Back to the new YouTube-Channel 2 page: It’s kinda cool to see all the comments and users involved this way, via the internet. Of course, everything comes to Israel after it goes through the States first, but maybe we can hope that some of the more stupid elections aspects will not follow.

However, poor candidate choice apparently always will.

Look at that jobless punim.

The Kadima primaries began this morning and will end in about 40 minutes. We’ll know who gets the prize possession of being Ehud Olmert’s successor (in technicality and not job skill, we hope).

I wonder what he’s got planned as soon as he’s off-duty… Maybe he and Bush will go to Cancun together, smoke cigars.  Buy some property. Who knows.

(ynet)

Register to vote by absentee ballot.

Recently, the Australian residents of Israel had the opportunity to vote by embassy or by mail in their federal elections. It got me thinking – since I live with an Australian citizen – about the 2008 American presidential elections coming up (come on, everyone else is talking about it this early).

Then tonight I found a posting about registering to vote on Janglo: visit the Overseas Vote Foundation website and receive information and steps to register to vote. Easy and efficient.

Why can’t mainland, non-absentee voting be the same?