[pp.int.general] Social r-evolution in Spain - #spanishrevolution (Rok Andr?e)

Antonio Garcia ningunotro at hotmail.com
Sat May 21 13:26:00 CEST 2011

> Date: Sat, 21 May 2011 11:32:30 +0100
> From: cabalamat at googlemail.com
> To: pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
> Subject: Re: [pp.int.general] Social r-evolution in Spain - #spanishrevolution (Rok Andr?e)
> On 20 May 2011 14:40, Josef Ohlsson Collentine <josef at collentine.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> 3. We understand your need to find speakers and classify the
> >> unclassifiable, but again: the only spokesman for the camp is the daily
> >> plenary assembly, and the only official statements are his records, which
> >> you can see in the bloghttp://acampadabcn.wordpress.com /
> Just wondered if you could clarify some points.
> In <http://acampadabcn.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/acta-20-maig/> it says
> (point 1) that you want to reform the electoral system because d'Hondt
> favours big parties. Is the problem the 5% threshold that is (I think)
> used in elections in Spain? Obviously any threshold would help big
> parties, but d'Hondt in itself is reasonably proportional in itself,
> provided the total number of seats at stake is reasonably large.

Not everyone (with the guts to push through a majority decision in an assembly) does know how the electoral system in Spain really works. As you say, d'Hondt only slightly shifts vote counting in favour of seats for the biggest parties slightly. The biggest problem is the combination of the 5% treshold with a myriad of very small constituencies... as this favors the parties that are big enough to field candidates in most or all constituencies and gather more than 5% of the vote in them. If you are not able to field candidates in sufficient constituencies and have them get more than the 5% treshold... you can simply not gather sufficient valid votes to be counted. That is why regional parties like CIU (Convergence and Union, catalan nationalists) do better than some national parties like the lefty IU (Izquierda Unida, United Left)... because they get more > 5% constituencies and far less wasted votes in < 5% constituencies.

So, national parties who have to gather as many +5% constituencies in the whole country are at a disadvantage if they are not big enough to do so easily, while regional parties fare better getting more +5% constituencies in their region of influence, and waste less votes elsewhere.

Now, in those local elections that will happen tomorrow, while not everybody understands my anger... I am really mad at the initiative #nolesvotes that surged from the dictatorial approval of Sinde Law... because pushing the people to vote anyone but the three culprits PSOE, PP and CIU... without giving clues to benefit one single party... might just as well be an organized propaganda stunt paid for by the enemy.

Mathematically... if it causes each and every little party to consider there will never be a better occasion to share in the votes... there are municipalities where more than 20 compete... and one can think extremely that if 20 parties receive each 4,99% of the votes... theorethically 98,80% OF ALL VALID VOTES, IF GOING TO PROTESTING... can end up in the democratic WASTE BIN. Like they never voted anyway, legally endorsed by the system!

And nobody is being smart enough to try to work around that!

> (Incidentally, we recently had an election in Scotland using a system
> with an approximately 5% threshold; this resulted in about 12% of
> votes being wasted. If there was no threshold, PPUK would stand a
> decent chance of winning seats.)
> What does "Votos en blanco" mean? My best guess at translating it into
> English would be "blank votes"; evidently it is a term of art in
> Spanish elections.
> -- 
> Philip Hunt, <cabalamat at gmail.com>
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