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Simplified Spanish Politics: One thing is for sure: New Elections

Simplified Spanish Politics: One thing is for sure: New Elections

The reason for not writing about Spanish politics since my first post is because there frankly has not been any new installments to the procedure until recently.

The Spanish legislative system is organized as a bicameral parliament whereby citizens vote for the representatives of the Senate and Congress of Deputies (which holds most of the power in the bicameral decision making process) through proportional representation of the provinces. These representatives in turn vote for a President of Government which would be their Prime Minister. But before the voting for a President of Government can occur, the political parties represented by the Senators and Deputies must form parliamentary groups due to the fact of the diversity of political parties. The most recent election of representatives produced a situation of “impasse” in which 7 different political parties with a considerable number of representatives were voted in and no clear majority was available to vote in a President. This is the reason why nothing has come about in the months since I last wrong about this situation. Political parties are not very disagreeable. Every political party has a distinct agenda in which their constituency must rely on them to fulfill, for example the Podemos party led by the hippy Pablo Iglesias has a left leaning platform agreeing with PSOE on this matter yet one of its main provisions is that Catalonia should decide its independence. Due to this divisive issue that no other left leaning party agrees with, combined with the fact that Podemos holds 44 seats in the Congress of the Deputies, the situation of impasse has persisted.

Once a parliamentary group has decided they could gain enough of the representatives’ support to vote one of their own as President, their proposed candidate meets with the King of Spain, Felipe VI, to discuss the possibility of being invested in. This procedure is simply a formality given the fact the King doesn’t hold any actual powers, all his decisions are authenticated by corresponding bodies of the government. The leader of the political party then makes a speech in front of the rest of the Deputies and Senators, setting up his plan of action and requests their vote. Once this has taken place, the voting begins. If the invested candidate doesn’t receive the absolute majority in the first round of voting another voting session will take place 48 hours later and if he doesn’t acquire the simple majority in the second round then back to drawing table. If no new president is voted in within 2 months since the first investiture session then new elections are called by the King of Spain.

This is the situation Spanish people find themselves in, their representatives were unable to agree upon a candidate thus new elections on June 25th will take place, in the hope of a different turnout (and not so obstinate representatives).

After onlooking this procedure first hand in Spain, I found it satisfying that in the US we don’t have a multiparty system. Given how difficult it is to come to an agreement with two bipolar parties, I couldn’t imagine adding a third to the mix.

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