Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bet Shemesh Election Over. Now What ?

All the votes for the election have been counted and confirmed. Abutbul took the Mayoral race quite handily. Despite some people's fears the world has not ended. Abutbul will now has the challenge of forming a broadbased coalition

Some of his biggest problems may come from those who got him elected. Gimel launched a strong campaign that "all" the Gedolim hold that all Jews must vote for Abutbul and Gimmel. These people beleive that "all" and "our" are interchangable concepts. This could mean they are not will to compromise with other members. This could pose a tremendous challenge as Abutbul belongs to Shas who has their own Rabbinic council for making political decisions. Those who got him elected hold 8 seats and he needs to keep them happy.

In cases of conflict having a broader coalition is a good idea. There is no reason to think that B'Yachad will not be given a great deal of influence to make sure the council remembers to cater to the non-Haredi as well. Keeping the 3 biggest parties happy is all he needs to govern. He can also reach into the little parties on issues where his position differs from Gimmel.

Gimmel and their Rabbinic leadership put a tremendous amount of effort into railroading Tov in the hopes they would not win a seat. Tov catered to the 'American' Haredi leanings in Gimmel. One description was Haredi who don't like having their Rabbi's telling them how to vote. Tov also served as a party to cater to the issues of the Rama. They have a lot of potential without much experience. If the two parties can resolve their differences they may be effective at those who felt disenfranchised by the status quo.

The biggest loss to Bet Shemesh was Chen losing their seat. They have done a ton of good on city council over the last 5 years. There was a tremendous feeling that people should not vote for them because they would not win a seat. They only missed by 46 votes. This should be a lesson that sometimes when people over anlayze and vote strategically they end up with a worse outcome than what they were trying to avoid. Hopefully this lesson will be remembered in future elections.

In the end the city is better off with a change in leadership. The question is how much good can the new city council bring.

Abutbul 12103 or 46.72%
Lerner 7365 or 28.43%
Vaknin 6439 or 24.85%

Gimel 5
Shas 3
B'Yachad 3
Dor Acher 2
Likud 2
Mishpacha Achat 2
Avoda 1
Tov 1

Note: Rabbi Myers spoke about some issues that his congregation was upset about in context of the election.

1. In response to the complaint about the litter and noise. The election is just a giant colour war with a bigger budget.

2. Rabbi Kornfeld claims he never said that all Jews were obligated to vote for Gimmel and Abutbul. Everyone needs to consult with their own posek. When Rabbi Kornfeld was shown the letter with his name on it, he said someone took artistic license with his election endorsements.

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