Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Knesset March Madness 2021 results!

 (Crossposted to Jewschool.)

Thank you to everyone who participated in Knesset March Madness 2021!  Now that the election results are official, we’re also ready to announce the official March Madness results.

The Democratic Party (no relation to the American party of that name) dropped out, but here are the results for the other 38 parties:

  1. Likud 30
  2. Yesh Atid 17
  3. Shas 9
  4. Blue and White 8
  5. Yaminah 7
  6. Labor 7
  7. United Torah Judaism 7
  8. Yisrael Beiteinu 7
  9. Religious Zionism 6
  10. Joint List 6
  11. New Hope 6
  12. Meretz 6
  13. United Arab List (Ra’am) 4
  14. New Economic Party
  15. Rapei
  16. Pirates
  17. Ani v’Atah
  18. Hatikvah L’Shinui
  19. HaMapatz HaHevrati – Pensioners
  20. Mishpat Tzedek
  21. Tzomet
  22. Am Shalem
  23. Seder Hadash
  24. KaMaH
  25. The Impossible Is Possible
  26. HaLev HaYehudi
  27. Atzmeinu
  28. Bible Bloc Party
  29. Olam Hadash
  30. Brit HaShutafut
  31. The Israelis
  32. Shema
  33. Da’am Green Economy One State
  34. Manhigut Hevratit
  35. Ma’an
  36. Hetz
  37. Anachnu
  38. Kevod HaAdam

Let’s go first to the bonus tiebreaker questions (just for fun, because we didn’t have to use any tiebreakers this time to determine the winner).  On the second tiebreaker question (“Which party will get the FEWEST votes?”), honorable mention goes to April Madness 2019 champion Aaron Weinberg of Washington DC, who successfully picked out Kevod HaAdam from a very crowded field of very minor parties.  Kevod HaAdam finished with 196 votes, just barely behind Anachnu with 220 votes and Hetz with 226 votes.

The first tiebreaker question (“Of the parties that do NOT win seats in the Knesset, which will come closest?”) was tricky this time.  A lot of people predicted that one or more of the parties that in the end did make it over the threshold were not going to make it over the threshold.  So on this question, we had votes for Ra’am, Meretz, Blue and White, Religious Zionism, etc.  But in the end, everyone who was anywhere close to the threshold reached the threshold; no one just barely missed it.  So the correct answer to this question was the New Economic Party, with 0.79% of the vote (well under the threshold of 3.25%, but well above all the other parties that didn’t make it).  Honorable mention goes to March Madness 2020 champion Isaac Brooks Fishman of Washington, D.C., who (along with our winner and runner-up; see below) correctly picked the New Economic Party.

So that leads us into the overall results!  As we said above, a lot of competitors fell short because they predicted that some of these parties weren’t going to reach the threshold, even though all 13 of these party lists made it into the Knesset.  This is the largest number of party lists to be elected to the Knesset since the 2003 election (when the threshold was only 2%, so it was easier for smaller parties to get in). (That only counts party lists at the time of the election, and doesn’t account for Knesset factions splitting up after the election.)  Our top finishers correctly predicted that all 13 parties would be elected, and made their picks accordingly.

In second place, congratulations to Eliana Fishman of Washington DC, who correctly predicted 108 out of 120 Knesset seats!  We asked her for a statement, and she writes:

I urge everyone to register for Hishbati: A Non- and Anti- Zionist Beit Midrash, because Israeli election results are easier to digest once you’ve rejected Zionism!

And in first place, one point ahead with a score of 109, congratulations to our 2021 March Madness champion Jonathan Gruenhut of Jerusalem!!!  We also asked him for a statement, and he wrote (back on Friday, when he first found out that this was the way things were going):

I’m too overwhelmed with shabbat/Pesach prep to worry about partisan politics right now.  We’ll see if anyone can form a coalition.

In the meantime, as always, judge every person favorably (Avot 1:6).

Thanks again to everyone for playing!  If this election results in a stable government that lasts its full 4-year term (LOL), we’ll see you again on Tuesday, November 11, 2025!  Otherwise, keep watching this space to participate in the next Madness contest sometime sooner!

Sunday, March 07, 2021

Knesset March Madness 2021!

 (Crossposted to Jewschool.)

It has been an entire year since the last Israeli election!  This is the longest such gap since three elections ago!  But all things must come to an end, and so the next election is coming up in about two weeks.  That means that (following March Madness 2020, September Madness 2019, April Madness 2019, and all their predecessors) it's time for Knesset March Madness 2021!!!!  If you're feeling excited about the election, this is your chance to show that excitement by entering this prediction contest!  Or if you're feeling more depressed or fearful, this is your chance to distract yourself by pretending it's all a game.  Either way, all are invited to submit your predictions!

For the fourth time in two years, here's how it works:

How to Enter: Go to the March Madness link and put in your predictions for how many seats each of the 39 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 (or 33 NIS) 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 39 parties have submitted ordered lists of candidates. Here is the full list of candidates in Hebrew, and a list of the parties in English (linking to those same candidate lists in Hebrew).  Wikipedia also has partial lists of candidates in English.  On election day (March 23), 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 Anachnu wins 1% of the vote, Atzmeinu wins 33%, and Ani v'Atah wins 66%. Then Anachnu 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: Atzmeinu gets 40 seats (so the top 40 candidates on its list are elected), and Ani v'Atah 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 Atzmeinu list) enters the Knesset. It is mathematically impossible for all 39 parties to win seats in the Knesset.

The Rules (for the Knesset March Madness pool): The deadline to enter is Monday, March 22, 2021, at 11:59 pm Israel Time (5:59 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 (Ani v'Atah 80, Atzmeinu 40). I predicted 60 seats for Atzmeinu, 50 for Ani v'Atah, and 10 for The Impossible Is Possible. Then my score is 90, since I correctly predicted 40 seats for Atzmeinu and 50 seats for Ani v'Atah.  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.

Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!