It wasn't though. I didn't have any strong feelings. There was nothing I really wanted. In fact, I had to be prodded into doing it at all.
Local elections here remind me of high school class president elections. Basically, it's like a big popularity contest, as if nothing really important is riding on this. Sure, we all want a nice prom and good cafeteria food, but we don't actually know anything about the people who stand there and say that they want us to vote for them, except for their faces and their tag lines.
The most obnoxious tag line I saw this election season was something like "vote gimmel and get". Get what, you ask. Well, the poster had all these hands in the air reaching for something. Handouts? Whatever. It was tasteless.( Collapse )
Anyway, I don't really care how it turns out. It's mildly interesting, but I don't feel like I have much stake in it. I don't have any sense that anything will actually be any different due to my vote.
Petach Tikvah is a nice city, actually, despite the bad rap it gets. We have nice parks. Some nice little museums and galleries that almost no one knows about. We have some rather decent schools. In fact, I'm rather fond of D's school. We have nice community centers. We have lots of public art -- and yes, a lot of that has gone up during the campaign period, but they'd been putting new things in place for at least the last year and a half. They are building a light rail system that looks nice in the posters by the construction zones. We have excellent medical facilities, cute main street shopping areas, a large mall and some big box type shopping in another area. People who make fun of Petach Tikvah clearly haven't actually been here any time recently, or else they are too stupid to realize that Tel Aviv might be a nice place to hang out on Thursday night, but it's not as great a place to raise a family.
I don't know who's most responsible for all the good stuff here, and certainly no one campaigning made any attempt to inform me (or any other voters as far as I could tell) of the real work they were doing. It was all "blah, blah, blah! I'll make it better!" with no description whatsoever of what "better" meant or how they were going to go about that.
I take that back. There was one
bit of campaign material that I saw that seemed comprehensive at all was in Russian. So, maybe I should have voted for "Petach Tikvah Beiteinu
" (Petach Tikvah is Our Home) and hoped that what is good for the Russian speaking population of Petach Tikvah is good for me, too. (Eh, no. If they'd had the same pamphlet available in Hebrew, I would have
read through and considered it, though.)
So, here's a little message to all you future Israeli candidates for whatever, and political parties of all stripes. Israel is one of the most Internet connected countries on the planet. We have lots of language groups represented amongst our citizenry. Next election, don't just tell us to "vote and get". That's BS. Use Social Media. Use the Net. Use volunteer translators. Reach out and tell us what you are REALLY going to do. And make it a two way conversation. Use that same technology to listen to us.
Cuz you know what? If you don't, you are going to continue to frustrate the best of us, and the brightest and most marketable are going to continue to flee to "more civilized" countries where even if they can't vote they can still talk to actual representatives and have a say in the little things about their real lives. And all the work put into bringing in North American and European born Olim will be for naught, too, because we do have a choice of where to live, and a lot of us really do prefer a real democracy over a place we can call "ancestral home".
And if you want partners to make Israel better and stronger, well you just can't get that by playing the popularity card. You have to do that by engaging the people.