Predictions Thread: The Jerusalem Envelope
Ever since Long Island businessman Morris Talansky’s testimony that he gave Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert more than $150,000 cash in envelopes, it looks like Olmert’s days are numbered. But what’s the number? You decide.
In the comments, post your predictions in response to the following questions. If you get it right, then you’ll be able to gloat that you knew it all along, and there will be proof.
1. What will happen to Olmert?
- (a) Olmert resigns before he is formally charged with anything.
- (b) The Knesset passes a vote of no confidence in the Olmert government. (Note that this requires a majority of the Knesset to agree on a new prime minister. That’s why this hasn’t happened yet even though Olmert’s approval ratings have hit 3%, lower even than George W. Bush: Olmert’s opposition on the left and the right won’t agree on an alternative. So this option is only likely if Olmert’s own party, Kadima, turns against him, and a majority of the Knesset supports someone else from Kadima as prime minister.)
- (c) The Knesset votes to dissolve itself and hold new elections.
- (d) Both b and c: The Knesset votes to hold new elections, AND passes a no confidence vote so that someone else is prime minister in the meantime.
- (e) Olmert is indicted, and resigns pursuant to his pledge to resign if indicted.
- (f) Olmert is indicted, and doesn’t resign.
- (g) Olmert is not indicted, doesn’t resign, and the whole thing blows over.
- (h) Something else: ____________
2. If Olmert resigns, when does he resign?
- Pick a date, or “N/A” if you don’t think he’s going to resign.
3. When will the next Knesset elections be?
- Pick a date. In the event that early elections are not called (and the last time this happened was 1988), the next regularly scheduled Knesset election will be Tuesday, October 26, 2010 (one week before the U.S. election), so pick a date no later than that.
4. If Olmert resigns, what happens next?
- (a) Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni (Kadima) becomes the next prime minister, keeping the current Knesset.
- (b) Someone else from Kadima becomes the next prime minister, keeping the current Knesset.
- (c)A new coalition is formed without Kadima, led by Labor and Likud. (Note that Defense Minister Ehud Barak, leader of Labor, is not a member of Knesset and is therefore ineligible to become prime minister.)
- (d) New elections are held.
- (e) Arcady Gaydamak buys the Knesset.
- (f) Something else: ____________
BTW, if Olmert resigns from the Knesset, he will be replaced by economist Dan Ben-David of Tel Aviv University. Any opinions on him or his work?