The politics of electoral reform abolition: The informed process of Israel's return to its previous electoral system

Gideon Rahat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines the process that led to the repeal of Israeli electoral reform (1992-2001) and compares it with that of reform adoption (1987-92). The most significant difference between the two processes is in the kinds of information that were available in them. In the politics of reform adoption, information was susceptible to manipulation and its supply was a crucial part of the struggle itself. In the politics of reform abolition, the real consequences of reform were constantly unfolding. This substantial difference resulted in other differences - not in type but in extent. First, while both were ongoing processes in which coalitions of supporters and opponents had to be built and then rebuilt several times, the cohesion of the camps throughout the struggle for reform abolition was higher than in the struggle for reform adoption. Second, while office-seeking successfully served as a basis for understanding the behavior of most parliamentary actors, the actual perceptions of its exact contextual meaning was dependent upon different available information. The two processes also had two common characteristics: power was diffused in both arenas of the politics of reform and in both instances the selection of the right timing proved to be necessary for successfully promoting the initiatives against veto players who were interested in preserving the status quo.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)43-64
Number of pages22
JournalPolitical Studies
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006

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