When proportional representation goes awry


If there’s one thing proportional electoral systems are great at representing is a fragmented and unstable political situation. This isn’t a necessary result of such systems, but the current woes of Spain are a good example of certain tendencies attributable to them.

The Spanish constitution requires a majority of 176 representatives to form a government – a bar not met in the latest national elections. Few coalitions seem particularly viable as the nature of the current political climate has spawned a variety of (new) parties, each with their own hot-button and often irreconcilably niche issues.

Spain also possess a relatively combative approach to negotiations. The last incumbent PM was recently assaulted, albeit by a teenager, during the campaign. The example isn’t wholly representative on its own, though tempers are clearly high. But as an Argentine familiar with Spanish culture it’s also clear there is a confrontational slant to how interactions take place in these countries regardless.

Combine this with being the Eurozone’s 4th largest economy in a fragile state, and it is almost certain political risk analysts will be watching subsequent developments closely.

Let’s hope the Spanish economy can stomach the political instability of this result, never mind whatever manner of coalition (that no one explicitly voted for) emerges.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s