Kiss me, I voted

toppage_logo_es

For more than a century, American progressives have argued with each other over the utility of third parties running candidates in simple plurality voting systems. The few examples of successful third parties have often relied on fusion voting or at-large seats in legislative bodies.

I recently sent in my absentee ballot for Spain’s elections for the European Parliament and I thought some readers of this blog might be interested in how party-list proportional representation works.

The first thing to know is that parties in Spain are actually membership organizations with more-or-less coherent platforms and disciplinary powers. Jimmy Weinstein use to say that he had no problem voting in the Democratic Party because the Democratic Party does not exist — and I think he  had a point. You could argue that parties in the U.S. aren’t really parties at all. Their candidates don’t represent anything in particular other than the preferences of primary voters, many of whom vote in open primaries and none of whom pay dues.

When Spaniards choose their representatives in the European Parliament, they vote for a whole list of candidates from a single party. Candidates on that list will be seated depending on their rank and the proportion of the total vote received. The ballots themselves are long lists of names, with a party name and logo on top. These are bound together in a booklet from which the chosen list is ripped out and put into a sealed envelope.

The ballot booklet offers quite a range of unusual political options. I’ll list just a few:

The Humanist Party, a new agey left-leaning party associated with the writings of Silo.

The Solidarity and Autogestion [worker self management] Internationalist Party. My guess would be it stands for solidarity, autogestion and internationalism.

The Phalange (Falange Española de las J.O.N.S), the old Francoist party.  Not gonna link to them.

The Authentic Phalange, a party that considers itself more true to the original vision of la Falange.

The Anti-Bullfighting Party Against Animal Abuse. This party has the best logo: a bull studded with banderillas, spewing blood.

There are several regionalist and nationalist parties (all of which I consider stupid), two different versions of the Green Party, a variety of far-left parties including a couple of Trotskyist parties and many more.

The main left-wing alternative to the social democratic Spanish Socialist Workers Party is the United Left, which is a Communist-led coalition.

At any rate, while the two main parties still dominate national politics, the whole process is bit more exciting than the USA’s Red Team versus Blue Team.


Be the first to comment


Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump

February 17, 2017 · $20.00 USD

Location: MayDay Space
Where: 176 St Nicholas Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
When: Friday, February 17th at 6 PM to Sunday, February 19th to 4 PM

Political Context

This Presidents’ Day weekend, the Young Democratic Socialists will gather for our annual winter conference in New York City titled Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump. We did not choose the name lightly. In doing so, we call for leftists to collectively confront Trump and Trumpism at every possible opportunity. When a Trump administration attempts mass deportations of undocumented workers, when it attempts to register Muslims or roll back worker protections, when it attempts to take away reproductive, LGTBQ, civil, or any other rights, then we must militantly resist to prevent such measures.

To succeed, this must be explicitly socialist resistance. With liberalism having repeatedly shown itself incapable of combating the far right, it is now the time for socialists to openly declare our place in building the mass, multi-racial, and working class movement necessary for defeating the Trump administration. In this struggle, millennials will play an outsized role. That is why this conference comes at such a critical time—together we must create spaces for democratic and strategic discussion, spaces to gain organizing skills, and most importantly, spaces to form networks of young radicals for the future struggles ahead. These spaces will only come together if socialists come together. Join us this Presidents Weekend and help ignite the movement to defeat the Trump administration, continue the political revolution, and build the socialist alternative.

Key Deadlines

  • January 8th: Travel Scholarship for Air Travel (for application see below)
  • January 15th: Travel Scholarship for Non-Air Travel (ex: bus, car, train, etc.)
  • February 3rd: Early Bird Registration Ends - Tickets prices go up from $5 to $10
  • February 10th: Free Housing - We have limited free housing. You need to first register, then you will be sent an application for free housing.

Apply for a travel scholarship here! (First Deadline January 8, 2017)

Check out the working program (subject to change)