Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ariel Sharon is done. As of this moment he is still alive, but he will not be able to continue to be Prime Minister, and an acting PM has taken over the job. I wish him good health, but the prognosis isn't good.

The man shook up the entire political establishment and has left the scene before it stabilized again. What happens to his party - Kadima? Kadima and Ariel Sharon were the same. The major reason for people to vote for that party was so that Ariel Sharon would be prime minister. Its only real pledge to the voters was 4 more years of Arik. And now no more Arik. Kadima doesn't even have a candidate list made up. There were no plans for any procedure to do so. Sharon was just going to make it up himself based on who would get the most votes. Kadima doesn't really have any branches in the country or any regular members. All it is right now is a bunch of politicians that are led by a man who is certainly out of political life as of now.

In national elections Sharon would have swept the floor with both Netanyahu and Peretz, and now what? Ehud Olmert as prime minister? Olmert isn't terribly popular. He has the reputation of being a slimy bastard. Ideologically he is probably very similar to Sharon and has been acting as his mouthpiece for the past 3 years. But he doesn't have Sharon's military background to be much of an authority on security matters. He has also been implicated in several major corruption scandals. Netanyahu is probably even worse. he is an incapable prime minister with a terrible personality. Completely egotistical and lacking any real principles, his only interest seems to be personal gain. When he lost the election to Barak in 99 he just quit politics and only came back when Sharon brought the Likud back to power. Peretz has no experience on the national level. He is a labor organizer and has risen to prominence through the Israeli national labor union organization. His political and economic ideas are half-baked. So, effectively all the current choices for prime minister - Peretz, Netanyahu, Olmert - are shitty. If Silvan Shalom had won in the Likud then there would be at least one reasonable candidate.... But he lost to that moron Netanyahu. If Peres won in Labor, ....... Come to think of it Olmert isn't that bad when compared to his alternatives. Question is whether he will actually be in charge of a credible real party, or whether Kadima will start to fall apart in the coming weeks. Its hard to see some of these personalities going back to the Likud so soon after they made their dramatic departures, but in Israeli politics these things are doable. Israelis, like Americans, have very, very, very short memories.

This is going to be an interesting election... If they actually do happen. So much uncertainty and Knesset members that are sure to lose their seats. Without Sharon there is a chance for a national unity government that could come together to prevent elections in 3 months.


Blogger E$ said...

What about Ehud Barak? Is he still in politics? He has an extensive military background, but I am not certain of his political stance.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

He is lurking around the Labor party, plotting and strategerizing his comeback. He'll probably come back the next time there is a shuffling of the chairs, or whenever Peretz fails. Barak isn't very good. For all his defense experience he botched the major events during his reign. The withdrawal from Lebanon was not meant to be as sudden or chaotic as it was. Before coming to Camp David he lost all his domestic allies and couldn't guarantee the Knesset passage of any agreement achieved. I would say that put him in a weak negotiating position. And finally when the intifada struck, instead of cracking down hard, he gave an ultimatum and then backed down. In other words he was a terrible prime minister, though granted that the system as it existed at that time - the separate votes for PM and for the Knesset - was a terribly unstable system and was partially responsible for his downfall. Overall, it might be better if that man stayed away from power.

8:02 AM  

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