Beyond the Cusp

December 11, 2014

Vote Your Conscience and Ignore the Polls and Potential Coalition Possibilities

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As elections approach there will be party primaries followed later by the general elections. How we vote in each level of the election cycle may surprisingly be a parallel to Psalm 26:2 and the different translations from the original to the modern day. The modern translation states something along the lines, while retained the flavor to the original and having the essential difference, “Lord, try me and test me; look closely into my heart and mind.” The original translation stated, “Lord, try me and test me; look closely into my heart and kidneys.” How this relates to voting in primaries and general elections and which goes with which, well read on.

 

There is always the temptation to vote with our hearts which very few are capable of avoiding without, according to most modern thinking, the discipline of our minds. Ancient Jewish teaching may teach a different lesson which might also have its place in our modern world. But first how can we differentiate how to choose our votes between primary elections and our votes in general election. Let us first assume that we are choosing a righteous manner for our votes and not some cynical use where we attempt to damage a party we would never give even a thought of supporting in the general election, as none amongst us would ever choose such a deceitful path. There is a basic difference between primary elections and general elections. A primary election is where as a voter we are free to vote for anybody we desire as it is supposedly a measure of our most honest desire, especially in a parliamentary election where our choices will determine the order of the party card which it will present listing its representatives for office and if those you choose make it high enough on the list, then you get your own little piece of representation in the government. In the general elections you are not really voting for a person as much the party which you feel will serve you and the nation the best. Of course if you are fortunate to have any of the people you voted for in the primary elections head the Party ticket, then if your party is tapped to form a ruling coalition and they succeed, then your primary choice will likely be the Prime Minister and you get to feel vindicated, otherwise we must simply feel satisfied if we are able to get any of those we voted for in the primary elections seated in the government after the elections.

 

The primary elections is the place for voting purity where you listen to your heart and then refine your choices with the filter which is the kidneys which remove the impurities and assures that the blood carries sufficient red blood cells transporting oxygen to the body, assures that chemical and mineral concentrations are within the proper limits and are the organ which receives approximately twenty percent of the blood pumped by the heart from each beat. Thus using the heart and the kidneys we take our desires and refine them such that they perform the best in producing results which reflect the honest desires of the combination of everyone’s individual preferences in composing the tickets presented before the general electorate. Further, in most primary elections in a parliamentary system many parties allow for each ballot to contain more than one selection to be tallied and each party has their own manner for tallying the ballots cast. In some you receive a ballot with a set of positions for each member of the party to place the names of their preferred candidates’ names. Then the votes are counted and, where appropriate given weight depending on position if appropriate, and the tallies then decide the position on the party’s slate each candidate will be placed. If their party receives as many or more mandates than their position on the slate, then they will be placed in the government and if their position is beyond the number of positions, then they go home instead.

 

There are those parties where they have an established slate of members which stand and their primaries are scheduled independently from any election cycle but are held at set intervals. These parties thus do not hold primaries simply because a government has been dissolved but simply hold elections periodically and this can lead to them placing the same slate before the voters with the same leader at the head of the ticket thus allowing for the exact same presentation on the party’s slate to stand for more than a single election if the elections are held prematurely before the end of their scheduled term such as the elections currently being faced in Israel. Parties can also decide on new slates for each election having them chosen by a select committee which could be decided by ballot, decided by executive selecting committee or by any system which the elites of the party might choose as long as the rank and file members agreed to such a method for choosing the ballot and the steering committee no matter how unfair such systems may appear to outsiders. When the elections approach all parties slates are revealed to the public and then the elections are held and the people vote.

 

During the general elections we have only a single vote which we will most likely give to the Party we prefer or to the party whose person heading the party slate we most desire to be the Prime Minister. Whichever party is amongst the top vote recipients and with the greatest probability of forming a viable coalition, that party and candidate for Prime Minister is tapped to try and form a ruling coalition and if they succeed, then a government is formed, and if they fail then the next most likely candidate for Prime Minister and their party are given their opportunity. Should nobody be capable of forming a coalition, then new elections will be forced to be held and the entire cycle is repeated. When we vote in the general election, we are still given an initial impetus to vote in a particular manner by our hearts which is tempered by the logic and other mindful considerations from our minds, which places the deciding voices of the public before the separate parties of combined tickets such as the one be being formed by the Labor Party and Tzipi Livni and her party. What makes this a heart driven decision is that Labor stands to gain the equivalent of possibly as many as four seats but if predictions are accurate the presence of Tzipi Livni and her party will only produce at best three and most likely two additional seats. The Labor Party is likely to grant Ms. Livni as many as four or potentially five seats depending on the total number of mandates received by the combined blocks. This will mean that Labor will likely receive less additional seats than the number of slots they will be giving to Tzipi Livni and those in the leadership of her party. This will probably prove to be a great deal for Livni and not so much for Minister Hertzog and the Labor Party. Since there may be other parties reaching agreements where they combine tickets or agree to either both be included in any government or neither be included such as was done in the last election with Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett making an agreement that either both parties or neither party would enter the government forcing Prime Minister Netanyahu to agree to include both parties in order to reach a coalition and may have been part of why the coalition failed prematurely. The different potential combinations and the fact that our usually favored party might decide to team up with another party with which we have a high degree of revulsion would make our support for our usual party problematic. This is why our vote in the general election requires more than just the heart, but the kidneys purifying the decisions of the heart is not likely to be helpful in choosing when the parties make agreements with those we refuse to give our vote to under any normative situations, thus instead of the purifying kidneys we substitute our minds to massage and shape the feelings of our hearts. By using our minds to shape and adjust the dictations of our hearts we might find we are capable of voting for our usual preferred party despite their compromising their purity and positions combining with some we do not honestly desire to prefer and reward with our votes. Thus in the general election we still initially choose with our hearts but use our minds to determine if our party will remain sufficiently pure no matter those they share power with in order to maximize their representation in the government after the elections. Thus we temper our hearts with the logic and power of our minds in the general election contrasting the purifying our primary selections of our hearts by filtering all with our kidneys and that is the major difference between the primary voting and our general election casting of ballots. So, which translation of Psalm 26:2 do you believe best represents your own election thinking for the primaries and the general elections and for what reasons?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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