Sunday, March 12, 2006

March Madness, Israeli style

Mah Rabu is proud to announce a March Madness prediction pool for the Israeli election! Enter by predicting the number of seats that each party will receive in the election on March 28. The winner gets to guest-blog here on Mah Rabu for a week! Entrance is free, but there is a suggested donation of $10 to the New Israel Fund or any other organization dedicated to making Israel the best it can be. (Of course, no one in the blogosphere will know whether you donate or not. Also, this pool is not affiliated with the New Israel Fund or any other organization.)

To enter: Send an email to mahrabu at gmail dot com, containing:
  • your name (or blognomen), by which you will be recognized in public if you win
  • a contact email address (this will not be published)
  • A list of 31 numbers, representing the number of seats that each party will win according to your predictions. The list of all 31 parties (in English alphabetical order) is below; your numbers should be submitted in this order. All numbers should be non-negative integers (0 is allowed), and should add up to 120; your entry will be disqualified if the numbers do not add up to 120.
  • Optional tiebreaker question #1: Among the parties that do not meet the threshold for Knesset seats, which one will come the closest?
  • Optional tiebreaker question #2: Which party will receive the fewest votes?
The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 27, 2006, 11:59 PM Israel Standard Time (4:59 PM EST).

The list of parties, in English alphabetical order, is below, taken from the Knesset website. The Knesset website also contains each party's list of candidates. The English site lists only the top 14 candidates; for the full lists, see the Hebrew site. The links below provide more information about each party's platform. For information on the parties that aren't big enough to have their own websites, the Wikipedia article on the election provides short descriptions.

In this list, an asterisk (*) in front of a party's name means that the party has representation in the current Knesset. The name in parentheses is the #1 candidate on the party's list (who will become prime minister if the party receives the most seats). A slash indicates multiple names for the same party (e.g. "Ichud Leumi / National Union"), and a hyphen indicates multiple parties that are running a joint list (e.g. "Labor-Meimad").
  1. Brit Olam (Ofer Lifschitz)
  2. Da-am / Organization for Democratic Action (Agvaria Asama)
  3. Gil (Eitan Pentman Rephael)
  4. Green Leaf / Aleh Yarok (Boaz Wachtel)
  5. Greens / Hayerukim (Pe'er Weissner)
  6. *Hadash (Mohammed Barake)
  7. Herut (Michael Kleiner)
  8. *Hetz / Secular Zionist Movement (Avraham Poraz)
  9. *Ichud Leumi / National Union - *Mafdal / National Religious Party (Benyamin Elon)
  10. *Kadima (Ehud Olmert)
  11. *Labor-Meimad (Amir Peretz)
  12. Lechem (Yisrael Tvito)
  13. Leeder (Alexander Radko)
  14. Lev (Ovadia Fatchov)
  15. *Likud (Benjamin Netanyahu)
  16. *Meretz (Yossi Beilin)
  17. National Arab Party (Muhamad Kanan)
  18. *National Democratic Assembly / Balad (Azmi Bishara)
  19. National Jewish Front / Hayil (Baruch Marzel)
  20. New Zionism (Yaakov Kfir)
  21. One Future / Atid Echad (Avraham Negusa)
  22. Party for the Struggle with the Banks / Halev (Eliezer Levinger)
  23. *Shas (Eliyahu Yishai)
  24. *Shinui (Ron Levintal)
  25. Strength to the Poor / Oz La'aniyim (Felix Angel)
  26. Tafnit (Uzi Dayan)
  27. *Torah and Shabbat Judaism / United Torah Judaism (Yakov Litzman)
  28. Tzedek Lakol / Men's Rights (Yaakov Shlusser)
  29. Tzomet (Moshe Green)
  30. *United Arab List / Ra'am - Arab Renewal / Ta'al (Ibrahim Tzartzur)
  31. *Yisrael Beiteinu (Avigdor Lieberman)
The winner will be chosen by the following algorithm: For each party, your predicted number of seats will be subtracted from the actual number of seats, and the absolute value will be taken. These absolute values will be added up to obtain your total score. The entry with the lowest total score will be the winner. If there is a tie, it will be broken by comparing the predicted number of seats for the party that gets the most seats. If the tied entries are equally close, we'll look at the party with the second-most seats, and so on down the list of all 31 parties. If a tie remains after this, it will be settled by the tiebreaker questions above.

Good luck!

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