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Israeli Politicians Use of the Internet Election Campaigns – March 2006 Sharon Haleva Amir.

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Presentation on theme: "Israeli Politicians Use of the Internet Election Campaigns – March 2006 Sharon Haleva Amir."— Presentation transcript:

1 Israeli Politicians Use of the Internet Election Campaigns – March 2006 Sharon Haleva Amir

2 Israeli Governmental System President Ceremonial Head of the State Judicial Authority Courts System Legislative Authority Parliament-Knesset Executive Authority Government Prime Minister Head of the State In Practice

3 Israeli Electoral System Israeli Elections are based on nation- wide proportional representation. the voters vote for a party list, and not for a particular person on the list. the number of seats which every list receives in the Knesset is proportional to the number of voters who voted for it. Qualifying treshold is 2%, which means a party must receive at least 2% of the votes in order to be elected.

4 Israeli Electoral System 2 The Elections are being held every four years.nevertheless, the Knesset or the Prime Minister can decide to hold early elections, and under certain circumstances can serve for more than four years The Knesset – Israeli Legislative Parliament is constituted of 120 members (MK). In the last Knesset (16th),13 Lists were elected. asphttp://www.knesset.gov.il/main/eng/home. asphttp://www.knesset.gov.il/main/eng/home. asphttp://www.knesset.gov.il/main/eng/home. asp

5 Israel’s exposure Rate to the Internet 40% of households in Israel were connected to the internet in 2004 (compared to 28% in 2002) /publications/indic- tech_heb.pdf

6 Israeli Elections Via the Internet –Politicians Side Parties Sites. Internet Campaigns - Electoral Propaganda in the Home Pages of Leading Sites. For the First Time : Candidates publish their own personal Blogs. Candidates all across the political spectrum are using this new medium to reach their voters

7 Israeli Labor (Haavoda) Party Site

8 “Kadima” (Ruling Party) Site

9 Right wing “Likud” Party Site

10 Internet Campaigns – “Shinui” Party in Ynet Homepage (the leading Newspaper in Israel)

11 “Dov & His Friends” Dov Henin’s Blog – Israeli Communist Party (“Hadash”)

12 Baruch Marzel’s Blog – Right Wing Extremist Candidate

13 Hagar Zimmerman’s Blog – “Green Leaf” party supports legalisation of soft drugs

14 “Shelly Yechimovitz – the Diary” Haavoda (Labor) Candidate Blog

15 “Yahalom in a public mission” – Shaul Yahalom’s Blog – “Mafdal”: A National Religious Party

16 Israeli Elections Via the Internet –Citizens Side Political Forums Talkbacks Chats Citizens Political Blogs Supporters Sites. Virtual Support Demonstrations

17 Politicians appear in a video chat, talking with members of the political community in a leading Israeli newspaper

18 Talkbacks – Internet users respond to current affairs articles

19 Citizens Political Blogs : Menora Hazani – a settler represents Right wing voters, Ilanit Suisa– represents Left wing voters Abigail Bechler- represents Mainstream voters

20 A Private Site of Likud Supporters

21 A Virtual Support Demonstartion “Kadima” Party

22 Internet as an Electoral Tool The Internet presence in electoral campigns is well noticed. Most parties and candidates use the internet to reach citizens without the need to use mediated mass communications media.

23 Internet as an Electoral Tool – Advantages to the politicians The Internet sets no limits of time and space for the political players to lecture their platform. The Propaganda Laws which reffers to classical mass media (Radio, TV, Journalism) do not apply to the internet, thus the political players doesn’t have any legal limitations.

24 More Advantages to the political players Politicians use the net to preach their own opinions and platforms. Interviews of politicians by opinionated journalists are less important to them; Thus, politicians do not need to face profound or prying questions. Good for politicians – Bad for Democracy

25 Internet as an Electoral Tool – Advantages to the citizen/voter It exposes citizens to many opinions whenever they want to. It lays the foundation to deliberation. It enables potential voters to interact by , Forum or Chat with the politicians, effortlessly. It empowers citizens to become active players in the political game.

26 Main Disadvantages of the Internet as an Electoral Tool Although Internet is very prevalent in Israel, wide scale populations don’t have access to the net. Themes published in the Internet reach mostly Israeli natives, middle class, well educated people. Thus the Net doesn’t represent equally all the opinions and all the sectors in the population.

27 Some Critical Insights Theoretically, politicians usage of the internet empowers citizens, advances deliberation and opens another communication channel between politicians and citizens. However, many of the blogs don’t include talkback / forum options.

28 Critical Insights - 2 Election Campaigns motivate politicians to court potential voters. After the elections, presumably most MK will not continue to write their blogs. One sided / short termed blogs don’t contribute empowerment or participation on behalf of the citizens but rather constitutes another unilateral communication channel for the politicians.

29 A Bit About My Planned Research A Comparative Research Content Analysis of MK websites (Israel). Content Analysis of MP websites (UK). The connection between legislators websites to Participatory Democracy and Deliberation – in theory & in practice.

30 Interesting Links Citizens' Empowerment Center in IsraelCitizens' Empowerment Center in IsraelCitizens' Empowerment Center in IsraelCitizens' Empowerment Center in Israel english gateway to the knesset websiteenglish gateway to the knesset websiteenglish gateway to the knesset websiteenglish gateway to the knesset website The Israel Democracy InstituteThe Israel Democracy InstituteThe Israel Democracy InstituteThe Israel Democracy Institute Israeli Politics Blogspot - A monthly newsletterIsraeli Politics Blogspot - A monthly newsletterIsraeli Politics Blogspot - A monthly newsletterIsraeli Politics Blogspot - A monthly newsletter Ynet News Elections Site (Online English Newspaper)Ynet News Elections Site (Online English Newspaper)Ynet News Elections Site (Online English Newspaper)Ynet News Elections Site (Online English Newspaper)

31 Thank You


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