Tel-Aviv University The Haim Herzog Institute for Media, Politics and Society

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A number of alternatives may be proposed to the current broadcast format:

  1. The American format, by which political parties buy air time as they see fit, from their election budgets. That way they can weigh the worthwhileness of broadcasts, which would be placed in time slots adjacent to other commercials.

  2. A format by which a time kernel, say ten minutes, would be allotted to each party in the week before the election. In its time kernel, a party could present its candidates and program, and its response to the challenges facing Israeli society.

  3. A mixed format, involving time kernels and purchase by each party, at its expense, of broadcast time.

  4. Finally, interactive discussion platforms, such as the Internet, through which voters and candidates could discuss current issues, should be encouraged.

Televised Debates

Televised debated between candidates have considerable informative value. They enable voters to become acquainted with the candidates and their programs, their positions and outlooks, and permit the clarification of issues. At present, debates are optional, not obligatory; whether debates are held depends on the wishes of those involved, and it must remain that way. The danger exists of televised debates rendering public discussion shallow, and of their degenerating into the amusing spectacles of verbal brawls. The possibilities of encouraging quality election debates (including for municipal government) should be studied, with the aim of maximizing the information made available to voters.

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