Another excellent analysis from The Head Heeb.
March 1, 2006
However low Bibi Netanyahu’s fortunes may have sunk during the past few months, he’s now proven that he still has at least one thing over Shimon Peres: unlike the former Avoda chairman, he can win a rigged vote. A week or two ago, Bibi looked at the internal polls and decided that the Likud might benefit if the Central Committee gave up its power to choose the party’s Knesset list. The trouble was that any change to an open-primary system would have to be approved by the Central Committee itself, and the merkaz is known for guarding its privileges jealously. So after pondering the matter, he decided to call a committee meeting on 48 hours’ notice – thus ensuring that the only organized bloc of voters would be his own – and got the party rules committee to declare that the vote would be by show of hands rather than secret ballot. Both measures arguably violated the Likud constitution, but the party’s supreme tribunal upheld them, and sure enough, the merkaz met today and approved the change.
The vote is unquestionably a victory for Netanyahu, but I doubt that it will bring the Likud all the benefits he envisions. A Ma’ariv poll suggested that a switch to an open primary system would result in a six-seat gain for the Likud, but the number of people who say that they might vote a certain way if a hypothetical event occurs is rarely matched by those who actually do change their minds when it happens. Party governance isn’t exactly at the top of the agenda for Israeli voters this year, especially given … read the rest here.