Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Bearing of Leadership: National and Religious Parties, Let Your Platforms Bloom

The newly revised National Union party in Israel is a breath of fresh air. Five parties joining into one is essential to not only serve to consolidate political power for the parties involved, but to offer true democratic choice to the voters of Israel. When there are dozens of parties running, having parties that stand for more than a single issue is a vital prerequisite for such to occur.

The reason why there have only been three parties that have actually led an Israeli government, despite the fact that hundreds of parties have been created over the past sixty years, is because only a handful bothered to make a political platform broader than one or two issues. Just as when voters look for leadership qualities in potential heads of state and those candidates who lack that charismatic aspect never seem to get into the real contest because they usually lose support long before the elections arrive, so too voters look for parties that seem competent enough to handle all the affairs of state, not just their pet issues. This is true for any party.

Because of the natural variety of opinion to be found in a mixture such as the new National Union party offers, they are bound to be more ready to represent a broader knowledge base and finer leadership qualities than other national parties have in the past. Consequently, they should garner more votes than any party on the right has in a long time; which is the opposite direction that the new Jewish Home party is currently going in. By giving extraordinary weight to former National Religious Party members, they are currently giving the appearance of a party that is trying to cling to a smaller base of political issues.

Likud did a similar thing by marginalizing right wing elements in the party, and only after that did they start to fall in the polls. But this sort of behavior does not simplify or purify the image of a party to the voter, rather it destroys the demeanor of leadership that a mainstream party must present if it is to become an upper echelon party in Israel's political future. If you are in a political party on the Israeli political right or true political center (Left wing Kadima, please sit down), then take my advice and let your political platforms bloom with diversity.

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