Some "Crazy Talk" About The Election Results
Exit Polls like this one, above, were wrong.
Election results (all but the Army reported):
Kadima-28 Knesset seats
United Torah Judaism - 6
To sum it up “old people vote!” or perhaps “show me the money!” works better?
So it’s like this. Likud and Labor – more often than not are the two largest parties. But the old timers who were used to voting Labor or Likud were fed up with Labor and Likud. They didn’t want to vote for either. And they certainly didn’t want to vote for Olmert. (Sharon they might have.) But they definitely were upset about their pensions getting cut. And they received an ad in the mail about a party that will guarantee to help them – risk-free-for-90-days-or-your-money-back - get that pension restored. Sweet! A party that will help them get their money! “Well, if I’m not thrilled about voting for anyone anyway, I might as well get some money rather than not vote.” And old people ALWAYS vote. Young people – the Kadima supporters don’t, though they tell pollsters they do.
Consider this: Kadima is outwardly celebrating an “overwhelming victory.” But internally they are crying. Only 28 seats? Is this the same party that the day they were formed claimed to be able to garner 74 seats? And just last week even the lowest polls handed them 35 seats. So what happened to those other 7? Surprise! Old people vote.
Kadima did pull in votes from everywhere though – but if it doesn’t play its cards right its fate will be like that of the Shinui party. It will become merely a fade. As I waited on line – on a short line – to vote a heard a lady on her cell phone, “yeah, I don’t know who I’m going to vote for either – I don’t know, I guess Kadima.”
“I guess Kadima” might be a start but doesn’t get you very far in the long run.
The media seems to be ignoring another winner: Shas. Shas will be the third largest party in the 17th Knesset and it looks like any collation out there will need to include them. But Shas beware – you only have 8 or 9 solid seats. The others came from people fed up with UTJ, NRP, and even Labor. Many of those that voted for you are scared you will join a Kadima lead coalition. If you do – you’ll probably lose votes next time around. If you don’t and let the shaky left trip and tumble you’ll become even stronger next time around when you can even lead – yes, lead a right wing government. It’s like this. If Deri wants to – he could be prime minister. Crazy talk, huh?
Lieberman definitely pulled in some Shiniu voters. Pundits had written off Lieberman long ago but as the forth largest party – with the ability, like Kadima to pull voters from labor (yes, Labor!) and certainly from Likud - he remains as serious a force as ever to reckon with. Lieberman has everything to gain by leading the opposition if Shas joins the coalition.
NRP claims it lost two seats to “Marzel’s stunt.” I don’t think they did. Most Marzel voters seemed to be significantly fed up with NRP – and would either not vote at all, or vote for someone other than NRP. Still, perhaps NRP could have gotten another seat. Imagine the ridiculously unheard of scenario of NRP inviting Marzel in and Marzel accepting? If that ever happened NRP might be sitting a lot prettier than they are today.
UTJ seems to reliably pull in 6 seats no matter what. They might be happy about holding on to their six seats but truth be told their continuants’ population is growing dramatically and so should their number of mandates. Perhaps some of UTJ votes ended up in Shas’s lap and almost certainly many UTJ voters didn’t vote.
Meretz is another big loser. They were counting on, as predicted, 5 seats or even 6 (with a charadi woman in the sixth spot). The fact is the only people nuts enough to vote for the “looney left” are students. (Traditional lefties vote Labor or if not, Kadima.) And as we said before students have a habit of voting in telephone polls but not at the ballot box.
The Arabs pulled in 10 seats even though exit polls had them at 4-6 seats. Why way off like that? Guess what? Arabs, like everybody else, lie to exit pollsters. In any case it’s probably better for the right that the Arab parties hold those extra six seats than Kidima hold then– as the exit polls originally predicted. See, now Olmert has to decide on the unpopular step of inviting them into the coalition which could hurt him in four years…err did I say years?
I meant in four months when we once again have early elections.