Monday, February 23, 2009

Women's Identity Politics Redux: 60 Percent Secular Women Voted Livni

Without Livni, Kadima would have probably disappeared. Gender identity vote kept it alive for another 4 miserable years, and now there are facts which prove it.

60 Percent of Secular Women Voted for Kadima
Kadima, the first party in Israel to use gender terminology as part of its election campaign, did exceedingly well among secular women who took part in the election: 60 percent of them voted for the party and its leader, Tzipi Livni.

According to a report in Ha'aretz's Politico, Kadima emphasized a feminist line in the final stretch of its campaign, whereas Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu was "machoistic." Pre-election polls confirmed these trends: 55 percent of Kadima's voters were women and 45 percent men, while the exact opposite was true for Yisrael Beiteinu, where 55 percent of the voters were men.

According to the report, there are no precise statistics regarding the number of women who voted for Kadima because in Israel, unlike the United States, no one has ever sponsored a large-scale poll of voter demographics that includes information regarding ethnicity, age and sex.

Pollster Kalman Gaier and Machon Smith did carry out one such poll, however, on Election Day, with the participation of 2,400 people who had already voted.

The poll determined that 60 percent of secular women voted Kadima, versus only 34 percent of secular men. 26 percent of traditional women voted Kadima versus 20 percent of traditional men. Among immigrants from the former Soviet Union and among voters aged 60 and upward there was no significant difference between the voting patterns of women and men.


She even managed to sneak through 26 percent of non-secular women. For those who aren't aware - the majority of Israel's Jewish population is secular, many are also atheists. That does not imply US's style liberalism though. Security and heritage do come first even for majority of secular society in Israel. I would estimate that although the liberal secular left in Israel has always been vocal - by the numbers it has collapsed and represent only a fringe minority.

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