Bader-Ofer Process


Bader-Ofer Process
   The popular name given to a 1973 amendment to the Basic Law: Knesset elections, providing a complicated formula for distributing "surplus votes" that frequently occur as a result of Israel's proportional representation electoral system. Based on the "d'Hondt" system widely used in western Europe, the Bader-Ofer process (named for the Likud and Labor-Alignment politicians who jointly sponsored the amendment) is the method used for allocating the share of the popular vote that went to parties that failed to achieve the minimum percentage required to win seats in the Knesset (the threshold was raised from 1 percent to 1.5 percent with the 1992 election; the threshold presently stands at 2 percent of the popular vote). A form of this system was applied in the 1949 Knesset election and in all elections since 1973. Between 1961 and 1969, the party with the largest "remainder" of votes won the vacant seat or seats. Approval of the Bader-Ofer amendment was forced through the Knesset by the Labor-Alignment and Likud over the objections of most smaller political parties, which charged that the formula favored the large parties and as such worked against the principle of equal representation.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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