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Back to its splendor – reforming the rules of the game of the Knesset

Researchers
Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg , Itamar Popliker
Cite As:
Trajtenberg Manuel , Itamar Popliker . Back to its splendor – reforming the rules of the game of the Knesset Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2020. https://www.neaman.org.il/EN/-Back-to-its-splendor-reforming-the-rules-of-the-game-of-the-Knesset

We lay out here a proposal for reforming the rules of the game that govern the behavior of the members of the Knesset (MK’s), in light of the diminished trust of the public in the Knesset. We identify three main failures: the lack of real debate, the fact that MK’s don’t seek wide consensus but just the minimally required plurality, and the proliferation of private members’ bills.

The key proposal is the introduction of a novel index of the “law’s strength”, reflecting the extent to which a law proposal receives wide approval. This index will set both threshold requirements to pass laws of various degrees of importance, and to change or annul laws in the future. Each MK’s will periodically receive a “grade” according to the strength of the laws she manages to pass, which in turn should incentivize her to introduce higher quality proposals and seek wider consensus. In addition, we suggest setting quorum requirements for holding plenary discussions, limits on the number of private bills that can be introduced in every term, and limits to the authority of the Government’s legislative committee and to the extent of the coalition disciplinary rules.

All of these proposals are intertwined, and thus should be implemented in tandem.

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