TLR 156 – Next Up
This issue continues the political discussion presented in the previous issue and that commenced in TLR 153. The starting point this time is the expected outcome of the general election on Tuesday and how it might translate into a stable coalition that will enable Netanyahu to get done the things he wants done, but also not to do the things he doesn’t want done – in terms of both domestic and foreign policy. The analysis of which parties he would prefer as his coalition partners and on what terms differs quite considerably from the consensus view.
Once the new government is in place, the most urgent and most important item on its ‘to do’ list is to legislate the 2013 budget. I present a detailed discussion of this topic, which is of great importance to everyone involved in business or financial activity, even if they profess no interest in politics. Technically, much of this discussion belongs in Macro-Economics rather than Domestic Politics but, on the eve of a general election, these two overlap to a even greater degree than usual.
The assumptions made and the conclusions drawn about the upcoming budget lead to a consideration of the likely lifespan of the next government. My conclusion is that it is the next government’s success or otherwise in dealing with domestic issues, first and foremost the supply and price of housing, that will be the primary factor determining its longevity – and not its handling of the country’s fraught security situation or its foreign affairs.
The primacy of domestic issues is, in fact, the key feature of the current election campaign. It is an unprecedented development in Israeli politics, startling even to most Israelis but surely amazing and even incomprehensible to many foreigners. The obvious questions – what are the causes of this change in the public’s concerns and priorities and why have security issues become secondary – will be addressed in the next issue.
B: Domestic Politics
Part 2: The day/ month / year after
a) The next coalition
b) The next budget
c) The critical issue between now and the next election