Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Knesset April Madness 2019!

I know there haven't been any posts on this blog in years, but we're bringing it out of cold storage for... APRIL MADNESS 2019!!!  The Israeli election is coming up, and in the tradition of March Madness 2006, February Madness 2009, January Madness 2013, and March Madness 2015, we announce our fifth Knesset prediction pool!

How to Enter: Go to the April Madness link and put in your predictions for how many seats each of the 43 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 43 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 (I haven't seen an official source with the lists of candidates in English, but here's an unofficial list from Wikipedia). On election day (April 9), 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, Na Nach wins 33%, and Justice for All 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: Na Nach gets 40 seats (so the top 40 candidates on its list are elected), and The Justice for All 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 Na Nach list) enters the Knesset. It is mathematically impossible for more than 30 parties to win seats in the Knesset (so at least 13 will be left out).

The Rules (for the April Madness pool): The deadline to enter is Monday, April 8, 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 (Justice for All 80, Na Nach 40). I predicted 60 seats for Na Nach, 50 for Justice for All, and 10 for Yashar. Then my score is 90, since I correctly predicted 40 seats for Na Nach and 50 seats for Justice for All.  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!!!!