A respected public opinion poll posed a Nixonesque question: From which politician would you buy a used car? The answer was stunning: not a single politician reached the mark of even 10%. Except one who would be trusted by a massive 34% of potential voters: a certain Nobody.
This was not the only question to which the voters showed a marked preference for this mysterious candidate. When asked with which candidate they would like to spend an evening, only 5% preferred Shelly Yachimovitch, and even the smooth Binyamin Netanyahu attracted only 20%, while Nobody easily headed the list with 27%.
Whom do you trust most? Again Nobody won with 22%, followed by Netanyahu with 18%. Who cares most for you and your problems? 33% voted for Nobody, followed far behind by Shelly with 17% and Netanyahu with only 9%.
I have never met this Nobody. I don't even know whether he/she is young or old. Why did he/she not set up a new party, seeing that it would be a shoo-in?
Since it is too late to enter the fray, it is absolutely certain that Netanyahu will be the great victor. He will be the next Prime Minister. He simply has no competitor.
IN MANY languages, including Hebrew, one speaks of the "political game." But, as far as I know, nobody has yet devised a real game, even for children.
I have taken the trouble to do this now. I hope that it will help some of my readers to wile away the time on a dull evening when there is no "reality" show on the screen.
The game is on the lines of Lego. Each block represents one of the parties. The aim is to set up a government coalition.
Since the Knesset has 120 members, you need 61 to set up a government. You might feel safer with 65, at least, since a number of members are always carousing around abroad and have to be frantically called home for critical votes. Israelis like to travel around the world, especially if somebody else (like the Knesset) pays for it.
For creating a coalition, you should observe the following principles:
First, your own party must be strong enough to overcome any possible opposition within the government itself.
Second, the coalition must be balanced, so that you will always be exactly in the middle on any issue.
Third, it must include enough members so that no single party is big enough to blackmail you by threatening to leave the government on the eve of a crucial vote.
Some unfortunate candidates for the prime ministership in the past have found this job so hard that they had to ask the President of the State for an extension of the time allotted to them by the law.
Actually, this is the most important of all decisions you will have to make until the next elections, including decisions about wars and such. If you get it wrong at this juncture, your government is sure to meet disaster somewhere along the road.
THE POLLS show that this time you will have a comparatively easy job. It will depend on your abilities how successful the outcome will be.