Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Israeli Elections or Living in a Banana Republic
My wife, our little baby, and I went walking last night to vote in our local Israeli Municipal elections: mayor and local council seats.
When we presented our identities my wife was told she could not vote; someone else had already voted under her name and identity number.
While I suspect fraud, and have some reasons for suspecting fraud, for the sake of argument, lets say it was an error of some sort. Mistakes happen in every part of life, including elections. However, the comedy of errors that followed have cemented in my mind the complete lack faith in the Israeli government as an elected government.
She was told she could not vote.
I asked the officials if she could have a provisional ballot, a vote that goes into a box with other discrepancies to be dealt with later, but at least not to deny her vote entirely. No. Nope. No you can't vote. Too bad so sad.
I asked if there was a form to complain or make a record of this event. No. Nope. No forms. Too bad, so sad.
I asked if there was someone, an official to speak with. No. Nope. No one you can speak with. Too bad, so sad.
We were advised to file a complaint with the police. The policeman in the hall would not take the complaint. The 2 policemen in the squad car outside would not take the complaint. We could go to the central station in the next town to complain. And you must go in person because they don't handle complaints over the phone. Because at 9 pm at night, with a baby that's what we're going to do, go to the next town to the central police station to file a complaint. I wonder how people without a car, or suffering mobility issues, seniors, how do they handle these issues?
Mistakes happen. But these elections reveal the truth of Israeli elections, they are not fair. There is no system of checks and balances. There are no official reports of discrepancies and no system in place to deal with these issues whatsoever. Israel is not a democracy, it is a banana republic.