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The Greek election results are in, and despite a few silver linings, the result is dispiriting for anyone who considers themselves either socially or economically progressive.

The Greek conservatives won the biggest share of the vote with 39.8%, and thanks to the ridiculous nature of the Greek electoral system they get a bonus 50 seats in parliament by virtue of finishing first, meaning 2 in five votes was enough to win them a clear majority in the parliament.

Without the 50 bonus seats, they would obviously still won the most seats, but they would have fallen well short of a majority, meaning they would have needed to form a national unity government with Syriza, or sought the support of at least three of the minor parties that finished between 3rd and 6th.......



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jul 8th, 2019 at 01:44:46 PM EST
Not more ridiculous than the French 2-round FPTP system, where a bit over 32% of the vote in the first round resulted into an absolute majority of seats (350 out of 577) for Macron and his La République en Marche (LREM) party.
by Bernard on Tue Jul 9th, 2019 at 08:21:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most countries with PR systems have mechanisms to favour larger parties somewhat, allegedly to discourage a splintering of parties and make it somewhat easier to forge a governing coalition.

Those mechanisms can include excluding parties which don't achieve a minimum threshold of the vote - 3% in the case of Greece, to having top two run-offs in a second round of voting. In Ireland's case the average size of a constituency is 4 seats, which requires a 20% of the vote +1 quota in any one constituency to be sure of getting a seat.

However the single transferable vote mechanism means that often parties with say, 10% of the first preference votes, can gain the last seat if they can edge up towards the 20% mark by gaining transfers from smaller parties and candidates as they are eliminated. Thus at the last election there were a plethora of smaller parties and independents gaining seats in particular constituencies. Nevertheless Fine Gael, the largest party, got 32% of the seats with 25% of the first preference vote.

Giving a bonus of 50 seats to the largest party, as in the case of Greece, seems a bit extreme, however, specially if there isn't much of a difference in size between the two largest parties.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 10th, 2019 at 12:40:14 AM EST
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