Thursday, March 12, 2020

Knesset March Madness results!

(Crossposted to Jewschool.)

Well, NCAA March Madness may be proceeding this year without fans in the stands, but Knesset March Madness 2020 is still proceeding normally!

The election results are now official.  Tzomet dropped out before the election, but here are the results for the other 29 parties:
  1. Likud 36
  2. Blue and White 33
  3. Joint List 15
  4. Shas 9
  5. United Torah Judaism 7
  6. Labor-Gesher-Meretz 7
  7. Yisrael Beiteinu 7
  8. Yaminah 6
  9. Otzmah Yehudit
  10. Otzmah Liberalit-Kalkalit
  11. Kol HaNashim
  12. Pirates
  13. Mishpat Tzedek
  14. Yisraelist – Zechuyoteinu B’Koleinu
  15. Ani V’Atah
  16. (tie) HaBerit HaMeshutefet
  17. (tie) Seder Hadash
  18. Koach Lehashpia
  19. Mitkademet
  20. Da’am Green Economy One State
  21. HaLev HaYehudi
  22. Shema
  23. Bible Bloc Party
  24. KaMaH
  25. Adom Lavan
  26. HaHazon
  27. Manhigut Hevratit
  28. Kevod HaAdam
  29. Peulah L’Yisrael
As we keep repeating essentially the same election over and over, the top scores in the prediction contests keep getting higher and higher, as the results become more and more predictable.  But there were still no perfect scores this time – there were still some changes from last time that participants had to predict (e.g. the gains for Likud and the Joint List, and the losses for Labor-Gesher-Meretz).

But before we get there, let’s talk about the tiebreaker questions.  Once again, the first question (“Of the parties that do NOT win seats in the Knesset, which will come closest?”) was very straightforward.  Otzmah Yehudit wasn’t close in either direction: it came in far below the threshold to get into the Knesset, but far above any of the other unsuccessful parties.  Most of our entrants got this one right (though some predicted that Otzmah Yehudit would make it into the Knesset).  The second question (“Which party will get the FEWEST votes?”) was harder.  No one predicted the “winner”, Peulah L’Yisrael (which didn’t run in the previous election), or the “runner-up”, Kevod HaAdam.  So honorable mention goes to DMH in DC, and Eliana Fishman in Washington DC, who both picked perennial last-place finisher Manhigut Hevratit, which got the fewest votes of any party that anyone picked for this question.

Now to the overall Knesset prediction results!  We had a tie for second place: Eliana Fishman in Washington DC and Samantha Brody in Teveria, Israel, both scored an astonishing 116 out of 120.  So we go to the tiebreaker questions.  Eliana Fishman picked Otzmah Liberalit-Kalkalit (which came in second among the parties that didn’t make it into the Knesset), and Samantha Brody correctly picked Otzmah Yehudit, so Samantha Brody is our runner-up!  Congratulations!

And in first place, Isaac Brooks Fishman in Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, correctly predicted 117 out of 120 Knesset seats, the highest score in the history of these prediction contests!!!  Congratulations!!!!

We asked our champion for a statement, and he writes:
There is no god but God, and Yeshayahu Leibowitz is the Messenger of God. Now for my next prediction: The winner of the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary will be Eric Swalwell.

Thanks to everyone for playing!  If the newly elected 23rd Knesset somehow forms a stable government that manages to last its entire term, then we’ll see you again on Tuesday, November 5, 2024 (yes, that’s the same day as the US elections).  Otherwise, we might do this all over again in a few months!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Knesset March Madness 2020!!! (sigh)

(Crossposted to Jewschool.)

Do we really have to do this again?  I guess we do, don’t we.   We just had September Madness a few months ago, and April Madness before that, but now Israel is (for the first time ever) approaching its third election in less than a year.  So that means we have to hold another Knesset prediction pool.  Maybe everyone is sick of it at this point, but such is the price of democracy.  But you should totally enter the contest even if you’re not feeling it, because if everyone else decides to sit it out, you can win by default!  Do you have opinions about whether this election is going to turn out the same as the previous two, or different?  Here’s a chance to put your money (no actual money required) where your mouth is.

So here’s how it works, yet again:

How to Enter: Go to the March Madness link and put in your predictions for how many seats each of the 30 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, and American Jews are encouraged to vote in the World Zionist Congress election.

The Rules (for the real election): The 30 parties have submitted ordered lists of candidates. Here is the full list of candidates in Hebrew, and a list of the parties in English. On election day (March 2), 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, the Bible Bloc Party wins 33%, and Manhigut Hevratit 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: the Bible Bloc Party gets 40 seats (so the top 40 candidates on its list are elected), and Manhigut Hevratit 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 Bible Bloc Party list) enters the Knesset. It is mathematically possible for all 30 parties to win seats in the Knesset, but many experts consider this unlikely.

The Rules (for the Knesset March Madness pool): The deadline to enter is Sunday, March 1, 2020, at 11:59 pm Israel Time (4:59 pm EST). 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 (Manhigut Hevratit 80, Bible Bloc Party 40). I predicted 60 seats for the Bible Bloc Party, 50 for Manhigut Hevratit, and 10 for KaMaH. Then my score is 90, since I correctly predicted 40 seats for the Bible Bloc Party and 50 seats for Manhigut Hevratit.  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.

Maybe we’ll put up a post soon with descriptions of all the parties and links to their websites, or maybe we won’t, because it’s mostly the same as last time.

Good luck!!!!