Israel’s Green Party was founded more than a decade ago, but has never won a Knesset seat despite the very low electoral threshold.1 The party’s chairman is the current deputy mayor of Tel Aviv, and polls are currently showing that the party could win as many as 4 seats in the next election.2
The party’s prospects could be helped by recruiting a “charismatic leader to head the list,” reports the Jerusalem Post:
Labor MK Ophir Paz-Pines has confirmed that he was asked to head the list, but has denied that he seriously considered the offer. MK Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad) has reportedly been approached by both environmentalist parties.
And therein lies a key factor that could harm the party’s prospects: there is a second green party being formed.
The new party will be co-headed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev professor Alon Tal and Eran Ben Yemini of the Green Course student environmental organization. …
Several hundred people are involved in putting together the party’s platform, which will encompass positions on all the major issues of the day and not just the environment. A source in the party said its positions and organization would be democratic and transparent.
Most of the green parties around the world that have secured parliamentary representation (and sometimes government participation) have presented a platform that spanned many issues other than the environment. And many have made a point of stressing internal democracy, which the older Israeli Green party apparently has not always been known for upholding.
- The threshold is currently 2% of the national vote. In 2006, the Greens won 1.5%, which was the highest percentage among the parties that failed to cross the threshold. [↩]
- It could “replace the Pensioners Party in the next Knesset as the dark horse that will win the support of young and disgruntled voters,” notes the JPost, in the article linked here. I previously noted the manner in which the Pensioners benefited from late-campaign strategic voting. Meanwhile, the Pensioners Party has recently split over some of its MKs support for a bill to raise–you guessed it–pensions beyond what the government (in which it participates) was willing to do. [↩]