Political geography in practice II: Israeli electoral reforms in action (2022)


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Political Geography

Volume 11, Issue 6,

November 1992

, Pages 563-578

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The paper reviews public debates in Israel during the past four years to reform the electoral system, laying out the issues and the obstacles to putting reform into practice. It examines several proposals for electoral reform, in particular whether districting is a practical possibility within constraints laid down by a committee comprising senior members of the two largest political parties—Likud and Labour—and proposes a districting plan that meets these demands. It then presents a series of simulations in the hypothetical constituencies, relating to disciplined and undisciplined voting for party candidates, analysing some possible effects of districting on the results of Israeli elections. The paper outlines the relative benefits and drawbacks to the principal political actors, the parties.

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There are more references available in the full text version of this article.

Cited by (6)

  • Constituency interests without constituencies: The geographical impact of candidate selection on party organization and legislative behavior in the 14th Israeli Knesset, 1996-99

    1999, Political Geography

    The Israeli political system has recently undergone dramatic and significant structural changes, including the introduction of a new method of candidate selection known as primaries. This article focuses on this new method of candidate selection, which drastically reshaped the connection between the parties and their members, their voters and their representatives, and as a result completely undermined the organizational infrastructure of the parties that adopted primaries. This article describes the reforms that were enacted, assesses their ramifications and focuses on the geographical significance of the innovative aspect of constituency representation by individual parliamentarians, which the primaries injected into the unitary political parties, electoral system and political infrastructure in Israel during the 14th Knesset, 1996–99. In doing so, this article points to a lacuna in the political science literature concerning the relevance and consequences of candidate selection—i.e. intra-party elections—on political geography. The article argues that intra-party electoral reform is not only significant, but, from a political geography perspective, can prove to be as meaningful and consequential as systemic electoral reform.

  • Keeping a distance-Israel at 50

    1999, Political Geography

  • The non-Jewish vote in Israel in 1992

    1994, Political Geography

    In the Israeli general election of June 1992, non-Jewish voters comprised 12.3 percent of the electorate. Theoretically, this would be sufficient to elect 15 non-Jewish members to the Knesset if there was a united effort to elect only Arab representatives. However, three Arab-supported parties took only 4.88 percent of the valid vote and won five (4.17 percent) of the 120 seats in the Knesset. This understatement of potential electoral strength is due almost entirely to low voter turnout, unfocused voting patterns among non-Jewish voters who, in addition to voting for the three predominantly non-Jewish parties, also cast their votes for the full range of Jewish (Zionist) parties, and the inability of the Arab parties to agree on distribution of their surplus votes among themselves. It would not be improper to say that the distribution of the Arab votes in Israel defies statistical explanation. Statistical analysis of the voting shows that it is extremely difficult to explain or predict the electoral behaviour of the Arab population in Israel, as neither geographical nor socio-economic variables reveal any clear pattern. This study indicates the need for detailed investigations relating directly to local and neighbourhood effects in the Arab vote in Israel.

  • On the shores of the "moribund backwater"?: Trends in electoral geography research since 1990

    2011, Revitalizing Electoral Geography

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View full text

Copyright © 1992 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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What is electoral reform UK? ›

Electoral reform is a change in electoral systems which improves or worsens how public desires are expressed in election results.

What are the main arguments of the electoral reforms society? ›

1. to reproduce the opinions of the electors in parliament and other public bodies in their true proportions. 2. to secure the majority of electors shall rule and all other considerable minorities shall be heard. 3. to give electors a wider freedom in the choice of representation.

What electoral system should Israel use? ›

Israel has an electoral system based on nation-wide proportional representation. In other words, the number of seats that each list receives in the Knesset - the House of Representatives - is proportional to the number of votes it received.

What are the steps of the electoral process? ›

  • The Requirements.
  • Step 1: Primaries and Caucuses.
  • Step 2: National Conventions and General Election.
  • Step 3: The Electoral College.

What is Electoral Count Act reform? ›

ECRA would reform and modernize the outdated 1887 Electoral Count Act to ensure that electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state's public vote for President.


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