Continuing a theme of party-list construction that I have been following with respect to the elections (now complete) in Palestine and (upcoming) in Israel, The Head Heeb notes that the formal announcement of Kadima‘s party list will take place later today. Jonathan says there will be few surprises:
Overall, it’s a mix of Sharon cronies, Olmert cronies, high-profile refugees from major parties, and a bit of something for everyone else. And a party tipped to win 40 seats actually has room to provide something for everyone, with the list including alumni of five parties and array of backgrounds.
Another good example of how a major party, operating within a closed-list form of proportional representation, balances a slate of potential legislators to appeal to its various constituent groups and/or to use candidates’ personal reputations to send a message about the party as a whole. Israel is one of the world’s purest examples of a closed-list PR system, and the only one among the established democracies to used closed lists in a single nationwide constituency, resulting in very long lists. Because allocation of seats to parties is strictly proportional, parties have good estimates of how many seats are “safe” and where the marginal list positions are (i.e. ranks that will palce candidates on the cusp of losing or winning depending on how well the party ultimately performs in the election), and they thus can construct their legislative delegations according to the balance of factions, interest-group representatives, and personal characteristics that they seek.
Jonathan notes that both Sharon and Olmert tried to recruit some Arabs to the list but only one is in the top 50 list ranks (Deputy Education Minister Majali Whbee, at 18th place). He is a Druze.