Israel, Politics

Knesset September Madness 2019!

I know, it seems like we just had April Madness!  But thanks to an unprecedented second Knesset election in the same year, we’re back again a few months later for our sixth Knesset prediction pool…. SEPTEMBER MADNESS 2019!!!!!

For those of you who participated in April Madness, this is going to seem repetitive, but, well, reality is seeming repetitive right now.

How to Enter: Go to the September Madness link and put in your predictions for how many seats each of the 32 parties will win.  All predictions must be non-negative integers (0 is allowed), and your predictions must add up to 120. (For reasons discussed below, it is impossible for a party to win 1 or 2 seats, and unlikely that a party will win 3 seats.  However, if you choose to hedge your bets and guess that a given party will win 1, 2, or 3 seats, that is a legal entry in the contest.) Entrance is free, but there is a suggested donation of $10 to the organization of your choice dedicated to making Israel the best it can be. (If you win, feel free to share which organization you chose and why.)  Israeli citizens are encouraged to vote in the actual election as well.

The Rules (for the real election): The 32 parties have submitted ordered lists of candidates. Here is the full list of candidates in Hebrew, and lists of the parties in Arabic and English. On election day (September 17), Israeli citizens will go to polling places in and near Israel, and vote for a party (not for individual candidates). All parties that win at least 3.25% of the vote will win seats in the Knesset, proportional to their share of the vote.  For example, suppose the Pirate Party wins 1% of the vote, Democratura wins 33%, and Adom Lavan wins 66%. Then the Pirate Party wins no seats in the Knesset (since they were below the 3.25% threshold), and the other parties will proportionally split the 120 Knesset seats: Democratura gets 40 seats (so the top 40 candidates on its list are elected), and Adom Lavan gets 80 seats. If vacancies arise later in the term, there are no special elections – the next candidate on the party’s list (e.g. #41 on the Democratura list) enters the Knesset. It is mathematically impossible for more than 30 parties to win seats in the Knesset (so at least 2 will be left out).

The Rules (for the September Madness pool): The deadline to enter is Monday, September 16, 2019, at 11:59 pm Israel Summer Time (4:59 pm EDT). When the final election results are published, each entry will receive a score based on how many Knesset seats were predicted correctly. For example, suppose the results are as in the above example (Adom Lavan 80, Democratura 40). I predicted 60 seats for Democratura, 50 for Adom Lavan, and 10 for the Bible Bloc Party. Then my score is 90, since I correctly predicted 40 seats for Democratura and 50 seats for Adom Lavan.  The entry with the highest score wins!

Ties will be broken based on two tiebreaker questions:
1) Of the parties that do NOT win seats in the Knesset, which will come closest?
2) Which party will get the FEWEST votes?

The tiebreakers will be resolved in this order: exact match on question 1; exact match on question 2; closest on question 1 (if you picked a party that DOES win seats, you’re out of consideration for this one); closest on question 2.

Sometime soon, we’ll put up a post with descriptions of all the parties and links to their websites.

Good luck!!!!

(UPDATE: Zehut has dropped out, so there are only 31 parties.)

2 thoughts on “Knesset September Madness 2019!

  1. It’s not actually possible for all 32 parties to get seats in the Knesset. You can’t get in unless you have at least 3.25% of the vote, and a maximum of 30 parties can get that much – a 31st party getting 3.25% of the vote would exceed 100%.

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