New Hope for a Change in the System of Government

The corona plague attacked Israel when it was suffering various pre-existing conditions. One of the most severe among them was governmental instability. A fourth election in two years is the height of the ongoing and extended governance crisis that harms the running of the country. The high turnover rate of governments and ministers, the disconnect between the elected officials and the people, the uncertainty in government, and the multiplicity of governmental ministries and ministers harm the quality of life and pocketbook/wallet of each of us. The time has come to change the system.

The principle underlying the new system will be accountability of the elected officials to the people and the strengthening of the citizen’s sovereignty, all while ensuring the integrity in the public sphere.

Central action:

1. Limited rather than unlimited tenure

Menachem Begin z”l taught us the “extended government is a danger to the liberty of the nation and the ethics of its children…It leads to corruption.”

 

These words of Begin are also true of a Prime Minister, and even mayors, who in the current legal environment may remain in their positions eternally. The current system enables them to amass too much power, which corrupts government.

 

New Hope will limit the tenure of a Prime Minister to eight years and the terms of mayors to two terms. Mayors will be able to be elected to a third term only if they receive a super-majority of over 50% of the voters’ ballots.

 

In this way, we will ensure governance free of corruption and we will return public trust in its elected officials.

2. Giving power to the citizens and representation to all parts of the land

The current electoral system creates a situation wherein members of Knesset elected by the people are not accountable to the people at all. Members of Knesset are elected on party lists, and the result is a disconnected regime and the lack of responsibility of the elected officials to the electorate.

 

New Hope will change the electoral system in Israel such that a portion of the members of Knesset will be elected in today’s system and a portion will be elected personally in district elections.

 

The new system will strengthen the bond between the representatives of the people and the people, enhance personal accountability of Knesset members, and bring about governmental stability.

3. Greater empowerment of local authorities vis a vis the central government

Local government has the ability to function in the best manner on behalf of its residents. This fact was shown clearly during the corona plague, during which local governments demonstrated tremendous executive ability and provided effective solutions for the needs of their residents, from little children in kindergartens to the elderly in assisted living facilities.

 

An absurd situation exists in Israel whereby the central government holds the authority but is unable to execute while local government has the ability to execute but lacks the authority to do so. The status of the local authorities in Israel is weak.

 

New Hope will institute historic reforms in the relationship between local government and the central government. It will transfer authority to local government that until now have been in the hands of the national government. It will incentivize local governments to function independently and enable them to operate in a manner that serves their residents in the most efficient and effective way possible.

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