Friday, October 07, 2022

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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Israeli ballotJerusalem, October 7 - A voter who finds that none of the parties likely to garner enough votes in Israel's next parliamentary elections dovetail with his political and social agenda voiced his intention again today to cast a ballot for one of the alternative lists that stand no chance of meeting the electoral threshold, a move he describes as "a statement" and "a protest against the corrupt people who control the system," and believes, against all evidence, that the statement or protest will somehow make a discernible difference.

Guy Shoham, 30, informed relatives, coworkers, and friends at multiple points over the last several months of his plan to vote for one of the small, special-interest parties that stand no chance of meeting the electoral threshold, a figure that sits in the tens of thousands. He has told anyone listening, and several more who were not, that he has had it "up to here" with the established political parties, the cookie-cutter way in which politicians attempt to attract votes, the consistent triumph of form over substance, and the system's chronic cowardice to address the core challenges that Israel faces. The best way to effect change, he has argued, involves voting for one of the fringe parties that no sane oddsmaker sees reaching the threshold, instead of giving one's precious vote to parties that will continue to favor their careers and positions over the long-term public good.

"It's the right thing to do," insisted Shoham. "Only if I vote out of the box will the powers that be get the message that I'm not interested in their games or self-contradictory agendas. Only by taking completely futile measures that no one of any consequence will even notice, let alone respect, can I hope to convey my frustration and disappointment to them."

In previous elections, Shoham has preferred the strategy of placing a blank ballot in the envelope, signaling his distaste for any of the parties registered for that contest. In the interim, however, he acknowledges what he calls a maturation of sorts. "I can't just say nothing when my voice gets a personal invitation to speak," he admitted. "So I bit the bullet, ideologically, and this time around I've found at least two parties with narrow enough areas of concern to match my own sensibilities, and I'm prepared for the complexities of one of those parties making into the Knesset, the compromises that might be necessary elsewhere, ideologically speaking, to get those issue areas addressed. Let's see what happens when the Legalize Prostitution Party falls only 27,000 votes short of the threshold."



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