tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Israeli Election 2009: Mayhem edges Chaos at the tape

To the victors go the spoils;
the losers, their pants are soiled.
--William Shakespearey

The results are back from Israel's 18th Knesset elections race. According to exit polls:

is the surprise winner, having come from behind to defeat Chaos. In third place, Raging Hatred, while Absence of all Reason finished a distant fourth, just ahead of Medieval Tyranny. And at the back of the pack we have Blind Aggression, Wistfulness, the Party Formerly Known as the Communist Party, Oppressed One and Oppressed Two, and finally, Kill 'em All and Let G-d Sort 'em Out.

It will take some time for Mayhem to form a coalition government, and it will need an Absence of All Reason to function, along with some Medieval Tyranny. But look for Chaos to try to form its own majority bloc also with Medieval Tyranny and some Raging Hatred, and then Kill 'em All and Let G-d Sort 'em Out.

Okay here are the actual exit-poll results of the 2009 Israeli Knesset Elections, for which almost 65% of the country's 5,278,985 eligible voters case a ballot:
Kadima (Mayhem): 30 seats
Likud (Chaos): 28
Yisrael Beitenu (Raging Hatred): 15
Labor (Absence of All Reason): 13
Shas (Medieval Tyranny): 9
United Torah Judaism (Blind Aggression): 5
Meretz (Wistfulness): 5
Hadash (ex-Communists): 4
3 each or fewer to Rahm, Balad, Jewish Home and the National Union
The Knesset factory:
Churning out unruly coalition governments since 1948

Tzipi (aka "Could be Worse") Livni, head of the Kadima party, will get first crack at forming a coalition government. She'll be Israel's second female Prime Minister. [Note: the first one, Golda Meir, was once described by David Ben-Gurion as "the best man in the Israeli government" -- so she may not count.]

Sorry, the Marijuana Holocaust Survivors Party did not win enough votes for a seat in the Knesset. Maybe next time, dudes.

"Voting in Israel is, in fact, a lot like going to the dentist. For days before you mull it over, you worry. You deny, you hope for the best. There's a nagging ache that you hope will not turn out to be what you fear. You wonder whether it's worth doing this at all. The bottom line: While the best you can hope for may be no better than the way things are now, the worst may be catastrophic. In the end, then, what is the difference between voting in Israel and going to the dentist? [Avigdor] Lieberman."
-- Ha'aretz blogger Bradley Burston

Finally, don't despair, democracy watchers, for the end of the 2009 Middle East election series. More is on the way. Algeria has a presidential election on April 9. Yemen will hold Parliamentary elections on April 27. Iran votes in June. So does Lebanon. The Palestinians are due for a vote or two before the year is out.

[Update Feb 11: For final official ballot tallies, click here.]

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