Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Another Israeli Poll

This Ha'aretz article answers some of my earlier questions about undecideds by indicating they have been placed according to past voting patterns and comments about which alternatives they were considering. That seems a really problematic methodology given the fact this is Kadima's first election, and it's the main political force out there. I think Kadima will win on policy grounds, but I have hopes for a few surprises come election time.

Meanwhile, is it just me or are Israelis pretty cynical about their leaders?
"The poll examined the public's approach to the three leading parties and three candidates for prime minister. The results indicate the public's negative attitude toward the Likud and its chair, Benjamin Netanyahu. Some 50 percent regard the Likud in a negative manner, and 20 percent regard it positively. Some 44 percent regard Labor with a negative view, compared to 26 with a positive view. Kadima gets the highest grade from the public - 37 percent have a negative view of it and 26 have a positive view.

"The public's view of the leaders is similar. Some 50 percent have a negative image of Netanyahu, compared to 22 who have a positive image of him. Amir Peretz's image is slightly better - 23 percent said they have a positive image of him compared to 43 percent who have a negative one. Ehud Olmert gets the best marks here, too: 39 percent have a negative image of him, while 26 percent have a positive one."

As someone new to following the details of Israeli politics, I remember Amotz Asa-El's comments about Israel entering a post-heroic age, and wonder if these negative ratings are the result. Aside from the negativity, one thing that stands out is that each leader's rating is within one or two percentage points of his party's. Is it just that Olmert and Peretz aren't as widely known, and hence their approval blends into their parties', or is there some deeper pattern at work about parties and personalities in Israeli politics.


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