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By Marcia Drezon-Tepler

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The single constituency electoral arrangement with parties presenting country-wide lists did not provide for individual representation or grass-roots group input, and the citizen's political world view was that of party activity and party loyalty. The bureaucracy was subordinate to the parties which directed 29 30 INTEREST GROUPS AND POLITICAL CHANGE the ministries, and different ministries became preserves of specific parties. Distributing scarce resources, the bureaucracy accrued great power.

Groups took on the role the Right ascribed to them and did not rush to make a political realignment. By the 1981 elections. Labor had not revitalized itself. While the Alignment regained some places from the DMC's dissolution, the Likud tied with it at 46 seats, receiving the presidential nod to form a Government. Though the second Likud Government encompassed a controversial war in Lebanon that led to Prime Minister Begin's retirement, and encountered a severe economic crisis with triple-digit inflation, the electorate evidently still did not consider Labor the country's redeemer.

The Kneset is a 120 member unicameral body elected for four years. All citizens over eighteen years are enfranchised. Carrying over the system used during the pre-state period, the country forms a single constituency, and party lists compete and are seated according to proportional representation. Since no party ever has received a majority, Cabinets have all been coalitions. After elections, usually the head of the plurality winning party receives the mantle from the President to form a Cabinet (called the Government).

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