11:15
Reported

News Brief

  7/31/2013, Av 24, 5773

Rivlin Calls Elimination of Small Parties Undemocratic


Member of Knesset Reuven Rivlin (Likud - Yisrael Beiteinu) announced that he will oppose the initiative to raise the electoral threshold. The Governance Bill will be debated Wednesday, the last day of the Knesset session before the official summer recess begins. The bill seeks to raise the threshold from 2% to 4% meaning that parties must have at least 4% of the electorate to make it into the Knesset. In such a situation, smaller parties with only 2 or 3 MKs would not make the threshold. In Israel's past, the threshold was 1% and quite a few MKs were the sole representative of their party in Knesset.

MK Rivlin, a former Speaker of the Knesset said that raising the threshold would be undemocratic. He stated, "David Ben-Gurion [Israel's first Prime Minister] was indeed a great democrat, but realized that even with the reality of only a half million citizens in Israel, he had to set a low threshold to allow different groups to be heard and to be represented in the Knesset."

The Israeli multi-party system was built in order to make it possible for represent different ethnic and religious groups to be represented, as opposed to representing people by region or districts.