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It's election weekend

by kcurie Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:17:40 AM EST

[This] sunday there are general elections in Spain.

The mood is weird. Everybody knows that the right-wing party PP (Popular Party) will win. In a landslide. But how big is this landslide going to be? Everybody says a huge majority.

[editor's note, by Migeru] The PP got the lead in voter intent in mid-2009. At that point both parties were tied at around 40%. The latest polls give the PSOE 30% and the PP 45%. However, the polls also point to a participation rate around 65%. Compared with the 2008 results (73% participation, 44% PSOE and 40% PP out of votes cast with 11 and 10 million votes respectively) this means that between nearly three million voters will sit it out, that the PP will gain less than half a million votes and that the PSOE vote will collapse to under 7 million votes, below its 2000 result. Also, the combined PPSOE vote will go from 61% of eligible voters to 49%. About 700,000 people more than in 2008 will vote for third parties. In terms of seats, out of a 350-seat parliament the move will be from 169 PSOE and 154 PP to maybe 195 PP and as little as 110 PSOE.
So is there anything to see?

Well, maybe the victory is shorter than expected. This is something to see. Alternatively, you can also check if all the polls are right and it will be huge loss for the social-democrats PSOE.

There is another little thing you can check: how the small parties will perform.

So here is a brief description of PP and PSOE positions and the small parties. Be aware, though, that the left is basically in the streets shouting "do not vote PPSOE". Unfortunately, all polls suggest that this is the sociological left, the one in the streets, you know.

[editor's note, by Migeru] Winning list by district:

fontpaged with minor edit - Nomad


The next president will be Mariano Rajoy, by default. Leader of the right-wing party for more than 8 years.He lost the last two elections. His future economic minister will probably be Cristobal Montoro. He has the same basic ideas as the german elite. So he will happily apply the mother of all fiscal contractions. Madrid is full of gossip about sending a message that Spain is with Germany, deflation and all.

It is highly probable that the PP rulers believe austerity and recession is what Spain needs. First, because it will keep the ECB and Germany happy, and second, second because...well because in right-wing world fiscal consolidations do not generate unemployment. We all know unemployment comes from unions and high wages... and maybe lack of credit. Keynesian multipliers be damned. Oh I forgot, and the labour market, of course, the labour market, which is certainly disfunctional but the noises are that they will follow the PSOE path making it more disfunctional. As we say in Spain, va a ser la leche.

[editor's note, by Migeru] There are, in fact, rumours that the first thing Rajoy intends to do after the elections is attempt to strike a deal with Merkel: brutal and swift austerity in exchange for liquidity. I have seen this theory put forward from two very different sources, both blogs. The fist is vozpopuli.com a right wing online publication.
The alternative being considered in the PP hearquarters is of a secret Rajoy-Merkel pact, which in essence would put Spain under a sort of German "protectorate" during the first part of Rajoy's tenure "lend me a hand, Frau Merkel, keep the ECB's liquidity bar open for me so Spanish banks and Cajas can help themselves to their hearts' content, and I commit to immediately set in motion those deep reforms, even without anesthesia, which will take Spain out of the markets' limelight”.
The second is El Pais, disparagingly called "the Social Democratic newspaper" by former social democrats.
an eventual PP government would, rather than try to coordinate with Italy, Greece or Portugal (or even France), try to take advantage of its ideological affinity with Merkel to, with the announcement of a sweeping programme of structural reforms and public expenditure cuts to meet the deficit objectives, sprint towards Berlin to establish the terms of a great pact: austerity and reforms in exchange for liquidity. The idea is that, while the reforms and cuts have their effect (in case they do) through productivity and (eventually) employment improvements, Germany and the BCE would give oxygen rather than strangle the Spanish economy, both as regards financing of the Spanish banking sector (with inevitably will remain "hooked" to the BCE for some time) as well as lowering the pressure on public debt (which only the BCE can undertake in this day and age, with its secondary market operations).
If to so widely different sources carry the same rumour, there may be something to it. I think Rajoy is delusional if he thinks Merkel will go along with it, or that if she does it will be of any help. But, then again, he's the guy who just two days ago begged the markets for a respite of more than half an hour in recognition of the fact that he will preside a new government and "deserves" a honeymoon period.
The opposition is under the order of Rubalcaba. He was the interior minister during Zapatero tenure and, lately, the vice-president. He has been making sense all the campaign, talking about the ECB role and even about how austerity "alone" is not enough. This is the most you can get from a social-democrat these days:austerity is not enough. In any case, the constant sentence against him on the left-corner has been "why did not yo do/say/defend this while you were in power?" The end of ETA terrorist group has been his major accomplishment, but nobody cares anymore.

[editor's note, by Migeru] One reason why Spain has a strong two-party system is that it has a sorry excuse for a proportional representation system. The d'Hondt system is used, with relatively small constituencies (one for each of the 50 provinces, with the number of seats roughly proportional to population but skewed towards the smaller provinces. Closed party lists mean that people vote for the party, not for the people who will end up sitting in the parliament. The parlamentarians owe themselves 100% to the party apparatus. There are a lot of 3-seat constituencies where the natural result is 2-1 and a third party needs 25% of the vote to guarantee a 1-1-1 split. One of Rubalcaba's happy campaigning occurrences which he could safely put forward since hot even he expected to win the election to have to try and implement it was to reform the electoral system to introduce something like the German system, with a combination of open-list local constituencies for a more personal relation between parlamentarians and voters, and national additional seats to ensure overall proportionality. Sadly, this will be consigned to the bin of history as an opportunistic proposal to try to attract the gullible disaffected PSOE left.
And from there we go to the smaller parties.

The three large minor-parties are the ex-communist-left-wing Izquierda Unida (IU), the splinter social democrats with a Madrid-centered vision (Union Pueblo y Democracia UPyD), and the a brand new green party (Equo). I do not know much about them,nor how they poll or what gossip surround them since in Catalonia the left-wing and green go together (Iniciativa per Catalunya-Verds ICV good polling) and UPyD has the field already occupied by PP and another small catalan party (Ciutadans CpC).

[editor's note, by Migeru] Izquierda Unida was the big loser in the polarization of the electorate that happened in 2008, and will be the big winner this time around, according to the polls. Between 2004 and 2008 the PSOE and PP gained 10-15 seats each and so the smaller parties all suffered. IU in particular ended up with 2 seats. This time around, they will get 8 to 10. Izquierda Unida and Equo have been vying for the indignado vote, but the 15M movement is actively resistant to being co-opted as a movement, while leaving individuals complete freedom. One source of conflict was the fact that IU absorbed with one of the old-guard green microparties and calls itself "Izquierda Unida - Los Verdes". Equo is a new creation. It's doubtful whether they will succeed in getting one seat in Madrid (3% vote needed). UPyD has been cementing its position after its success in the May municipal elections.
Regarding the small, really small, parties who may give a surprise by getting one or three congressmen I would count five of them. First, the animal rights movement is making a lot of noise (PACMA), the Pirate party (copyright issues) has a strong on-line presence in Catalonia, the Anticapitalists are fairly well organized around the country but quite never get through, the Empty-seat party (vote and we will send noone) is making a lot of noise arround the "indignados" movemenet and, finally, the fascist-racist groups are lately getting some media, voice and councils in some areas of Spain. Particularly, watch out Plataforma per Catalunya (PxC), the racist Catalan party. Yes, Catalonia has a bunch of small parties.

And finally, let's go for some interesting stuff regarding the natioanalistic right-wing parties in Catalonia (CiU), Basque county (PNV) and Canary Island (CC). They will all get representation, and all of them are keeping their votes or increasing them. There might be a surprise, though. Some polls suggest some movement towards the PP in all three areas (coming from left and right wing voters). Specially surprising is Catalonia where PP might be neck and neck with the CiU. If this is so, PP will win with a clear majority and will not need those parties at all. A pity since all of them share the same economic vision (PNV with some industrial touch). The key point, though, is the future discussion about fiscal transfers.

There is a large movement in some right-wing quarters to stop the demands of less financial transfers from Catalonia to the rest of Spain. Actually, a full recentralization is in the agenda given that the coming fiscal consolidation is a great opportunity to say that Autonomous Governments do not control the deficit. However, PP controls a lot of these regional government, and they badly need cash, so strong fiscal transfers will be needed from Madrid and Catalonia to the rest of the country (Basque Country has the right not to send fiscal transfers).. or there will be a lot of pain. Well, actually, there will be a lot of pain in any case, but changing the State structure is something that some PP members really want. The problem is that CiU is their natural ally, even if they do not need them. So nobody knows what will happen between two parties in full sync regarding austerity measure but with such a different interest regarding fiscal transfers. I t will be very interesting to see, then, the total votes of PP in Catalonia.

[editor's note, by Migeru] Outside Madrid and Catalonia, the big news will be in the Basque Country and Asturias. In the Basque Country, after the success of Bildu in the May municipal elections and the end of ETA's terror campaign a month ago, a new list called Amaiur is expected to get a really good result. Let's not forget in their heyday in the mid-90s the ETA-allied parties got nearly 15% of the vote in the Basque country (more heavily concentrated in Gipuzkoa around San Sebastian) and in the years when they were not allowed to run null votes were close to 10%.
As for Asturias, former PP bigwig and Aznar minister and one-time vicepresident Francisco Álvarez Cascos had a falling out with the local PP, formed a party and won the regional election in May, being able to form a government. In the general hey're running in Asturias and in Madrid. The name of the party is Foro (Forum)
Well... that is all, let us wait and see what Sunday brings.

[editor's note, by Migeru] The vote count can be followed live at http://www.generales2011.mir.es/ - results of past elections are at http://www.infoelectoral.mir.es/min/

Update: Total number of seats 350. Majority at 176.

[editor's note, by Migeru] Final results, with 100% counted:

Display:
So we will follow election day here... and via twitter (@kilocurie). I think Migeru will follow and post updates too.

Let'see what Sunday brings.  I have crossposted this diary to http://avionesdecercanias.blogspot.com/ with a brief spanish introduction.. I hope some people will join us.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat Nov 19th, 2011 at 06:31:52 PM EST
I love this strategy of the "left" - because the social democrats suck, let's hand power to the right and things will improve because of magical unicorns.

The utter failure of this strategy has been demonstrated by experiment repeatedly over the last 100 years. However, that seems not to diminish enthusiasm for trying it again. At some point, one wonders whether the class basis of the left, composed of professional intelligensia who depend on the state and corporations, does not determine this policy.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 07:30:15 AM EST
Nearly 30% of people who voted for the PSOE in 2008 will sit the election out in utter disgust and contempt at the PSOE's economic policies since May 2010 (which, in fact, have been for naught as far as the crisis has gone), topped by an insane right-wing constitutional reform steamrolled through the parliament as an emergency measure with little debate and no referendum, on the excuse that it would "avert a 'rescue' of Spain" (and look at Spain's bond yields now - so, also a failure on its own terms).

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 07:37:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly. And I recall very well Michael Moore saying the same things in 2000 about his "disgust" with the Clinton administration and Al Gore. After all, Clinton/Gore deregulated banking, chopped big holes in the social safety net, facilitated media concentration, and so on. So the correct strategy was clearly to sit out the election. After all, what could go wrong? And, clearly, after 4 years of the right, the public would be anxious to move radically left.

This theory has been repeatedly advocated and tested over the last century. Somehow it always ends up with the right further entrenched in power, more misery, more structural impediments to real change and weaker left.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 07:42:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because supporting the quislings has produced so much better results?

If you don't like what the left is doing, go out and fucking organise something different. That's what some of us are doing. But don't give us your whining little hissy fit that people don't get in line and vote for the lesser evil. That argument only works for so long, and you spent your quota a while ago.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 07:50:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it produces better results. Over 100,000 dead civilians in Iraq may not mean anything to you, but they do to me. During the Katrina debacle, when the National Guard was sweeping people away to secret prisons, Blackwater thugs were patrolling the streets of New Orleans with machine guns, and police on the Danziger bridge were engaged in slaughter, we saw the fruits of the stupid purism of the fake left.

The effects of a right wing government in spain will be ugly and long lasting.

By the way, Quisling cooperated with the Nazis - the right. He was disgusted with the weak, waffling, social democrats.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:00:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The interesting thing nowadays is that the Social Democrats seem to be, if anything, slightly to the right of the conservatives across Europe on economic issues...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:06:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Really? Consider event the pathological case of the British Labor Party under Blair and Brown and compare to the current government.

Or compare what a SPD/Green government in Germany would be doing with what Merkel is doing.

You think that the social democrats are to the right?

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:10:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I was thinking Hungary, Greece, it seems Italy,  and of course Germany. The current policy (minus perhaps the solipsism) is a continuation of the Hartz reforms. The internal devaluation in Germany started then, didn't it, under the leadership of the later-to-become Gazprom executive? That the SDP has now a chance to develop perhaps a backbone and stand up for the rights of the people who actually work for a living is a different issue, and has to do with the fact that in Germany there is now a significant threat from the left.

The creation of a serious left alternative, in fact a revived Social Democratic political presence, requires the destruction of most of the sold-out SD parties and building alternatives on their left.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 10:54:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or compare what a SPD/Green government in Germany would be doing with what Merkel is doing

A CDU government would not have managed to get the Hartz4 legislation through. Never ever. A CDU government would not have dared to take us into Afghanistan. We wouldn't have had 10 years of sinking wages, an import deficit, a war, the erosion of freedom in order to prevent terrorists who aren't interested in us anyway.  

by Katrin on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:11:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean the hundred thousand Iraqis Clinton killed with his sanctions? Or do those don't count because they were killed by someone with a D after his name? Or what about the couple of hundred thousand Yugoslavs that Albright got killed when she torpedoed the chances for a peaceful dissolution of Yugoslavia?

Are you really so delusional that you believe the Democrats don't start colonial wars for fun and profit?

If you want Democrats to start winning elections, you need to convince them to stop doing stupid shit like that.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:36:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Odd how "leftists" resort to right wing stories so quickly. If you want to equate Clinton's sanctions with Bush's shock-and-awe or pretend that Albright caused the Serbian campaign of genocide, go ahead, but don't expect me to applaud.

Obviously, Clinton's policies were often terrible, but Bush's were much worse and, furthermore, increased the structural power of the far right - worldwide.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:43:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You were the one counting bodies.

I suppose you might postulate an ethical difference between starving someone to death and giving him a bullet to the back of the head. I suspect that the dead guy would beg to differ.

Obviously Bush's policies were worse than Clinton's. Just as Clinton's were worse than Reagan's. Because that's what you get when you make triangulation the principal plank of your political strategy, and the left doesn't force you to include them in your triangulations.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:48:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The theory of "the left" that it can "force you to include them in your triangulations" by sitting out elections and sulking (or equivalently voting for symbolic parties) is the theory under debate.

In that Clinton was worse than Reagan (which is false, but what the heck), it was because Reagan succeeded in bringing about structural changes that increased the power of the financial and military sectors and assisted in organization of the far rights political apparatus. When one permits an unsatisfactory social democrat (like Carter) to be replaced by the right wing, the effects of this change do not disappear at election boundaries. Clinton had to operate in the world Reagan had made, just as Obama has to operate in the world Bush made - and just as some possible future less right wing government in Spain will have to operate in the world the PP makes.  The right keeps focused on power - putting in right wing judges in one step, building up a right wing bank regulator in another and so on. The left, fixated on its own disappointment, gives a multi-year opening to install Franco-ist officials in the bureaucracy to the right because the PPOE acted like nearly all social democratic parties act under pressure.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:58:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You sure as Hell don't force anybody to include you in their triangulations by voting for them no matter what they do while in office.

And I'll remind you that the most important institutional entrenchment of right-wing economic policy in Spain since Franco's death happened two months ago, under a PSOE government.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:05:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh come on. Voting is an exercise of political power, not a love affair. Rublaca promises to tax banks and protect the health care system and says that the indignants have a point. Yet that's "too late" for the disappointed lovers of the fake left.
by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:13:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
PSOE promised that before the last election too, and what they delivered was a constitutional change which will lock in right-wing economic policies for the foreseeable future.

If you believe that there is any structural, institutional gain from voting PSOE over PP, then you're kidding yourself. There is structural, institutional gain in voting for the post-communists. But prissy whiners like you who insist that anybody who isn't voting PSOE is effectively supporting the PP are not helping to get that point across.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:19:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Starts in 2020,

Unlike Germany, Spain will not specify the size of the deficit cap in the constitution. According to the draft, the new clause will merely say a cap must be set by either the European Union or, in its absence, the Spanish parliament. The limit could also be broken at times of recession or national crisis.

just marketing pr that means nothing.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 10:49:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would you mind sourcing your quotes?

This is from a diary of mine on the topic:

There's only one provision of the proposed New Article 135 (in Spanish) which will have immediate effect:
Los créditos para satisfacer los intereses y el capital de la deuda pública de las Administraciones se entenderán siempre incluidos en el estado de gastos de sus presupuestos y su pago gozará de prioridad absoluta. Estos créditos no podrán ser objeto de enmienda o modificación, mientras se ajusten a las condiciones de la Ley de emisión.
Credits to service interest and principal on the public debt of the various Administrations will be understood to be part of the expense account of their budgets, and their payment will have absolute priority. These credits won't be subject to amendment or modification, as long as they keep to the conditions of the law by which they were issued.
Update [2011-8-30 3:59:57 by Migeru]: The emphasised text is what's being added by the amendment.
The only provision with immediate effect is that paying the national debt takes priority over health care, education, unemployment insurance, national defence, etc, etc.

On top of this, the Socialis presidential candidate came out and tried to sell this to the public with the argument that it was "a pro-European reform". As if we're stupid.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:12:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's funny that there is a similar amendment in the US constitution, put there to prevent rejoining Confederate states from defaulting on the Union civil war debt.

Here's my quote source

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/aug/26/spain-constitutional-cap-deficit

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:00:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This will prevent Spain from defaulting on the Euro wars debt.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:03:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"But prissy whiners like you who insist that anybody who isn't voting PSOE is effectively supporting the PP are not helping to get that point across."

Indeed - because most people who are not voting PSOE are not voting left, they are just not voting, thus assisting PP. Arithmetic is so inconvenient at times.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 10:52:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Boycotting elections that are essentially undemocratic is also an act of political power.

If you have paid any attention to what was said in the squares of the indignados, you would know that.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:23:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is an act of political power - for the right.
They are more interested in actual power, not symbolic gestures. Except symbolic gestures by the left which result in actual power for the right.
by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 10:46:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The right already has power, via its ownership of the economy.

You seem to confuse the political process and the right's use of it to arrogate legitimacy of its entrenched power with the actual obtention of power itself.

I would suggest this undermines your analysis completely.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 06:32:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... proven over and over again in their effective engagement in the Republican primary process ~ their willingness to throw the occasional moderate Republican to the wolves in favor of someone toeing the radical reactionary lines of the moment allows them to exercise far more effective discipline over their elected representatives than the approach of the left, not getting started until too late to affect the make-up of the candidates on offer and then buying heavily into the blinkered media hyperfocus on Presidential campaigning.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 11:56:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... to filibuster much of that. So putting that entirely down to the Bush administration and none of it down to the cowardice of the Democratic Senators that is promoted by LOTE voting is oversimplifying quite a bit.

The PSOE certainly deserve to lose based on their performance. Demanding that people vote for failure because the primary rival part of government will do more damage in succeeding than the current party of government did in failing is a fine stand to make, but its unrealistic to expect enthusiastic support for that among the people let down by the current government's multiple and massive failures.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 12:05:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"cowardice" is not a useful term to describe the workings of political power.
by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:57:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you prefer "craven hypocrisy", I'm fine with that. Large numbers of Democratic Senators voted against their avowed principles, clearly due to an expectation that voting their avowed principles would substantially increase their risk of losing an election.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:02:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cowardice would imply they wanted to do something different, knew it to be the right thing, and yet voted against their own principles.  That seems hard to believe. One can see, for example, that Carl Levin from MI continues to push for military detention of civilians - even against the wishes of the Obama administration. More accurately, many Democratic party representatives are supporters of the national security state and happy to support their local corporate oligarchs. And the people who do vote tend to agree with them.

A habit I'm trying to cure myself of is the "left" habit of considering it "betrayal" or "cowardice" or some other similar sin when politicians act in accordance with their political interests/programs.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:27:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not state nor do not make the assumption that Senators have principles over and above seeking power and seeking to maintain power.

"Avowed" principles are what they say. Whether their avowed principles are in line with any deeply held personal convictions ~ well, I do not believe that we have any reliable means to determine what they actually believe, and a term which cannot be identified with an empirical observable is pragmatically irrelevant to the issue at hand.

The language of "cowardice" only assumes that they believe that they face greater risks of being punished from moving from center right positions to centrist positions than they do in moving from center right positions to further right positions. Or, in rare cases, greater risks of being punished from moving from centrist to center-left positions than they do in moving from centrist to center right positions.

Of course, under universal LOTE voting by the left, that belief is warranted so long as there the rival party of government is always even further right than they are.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:49:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with "craven" is that it distracts from issues of power politics to issues of celebrity character. The leadership of PSOE may well be craven, the leadership of the British Labor party might be corrupt, but the forces governing their decisions are economic, geopolitical and sociological. No? Railing about the perceived character flaws of political figures seems a distraction.

And it's peculiar to me how focused on national politics the "left" has become. Why are there not left wing mayors and regional/local officials making the case for radical politics in most western nations? It's quite interesting to see how much of an effect Laguardia had on New Deal politics - the populist mayor of a big city with a huge media presence.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:34:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to add, this is why Greens in France recently, DLinke in Germany, Working Families in NYState and others are so interesting.
by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:35:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Its your decision to view it as railing at character flaws, as that's not what I was doing.

I understand that that reading is more convenient for your argument, since pigeonholing what I said into a category for which you have an already established argument allows you to soapbox rather than discuss.

And while economic, geopolitical and sociological constraints determine the present terrain within with individual and community action takes place, it would be a quaintly 20th century approach to presume that they strictly determine the outcome, and to ignore the role of individual and community action in reproducing those constraints, and in so doing, shifting the boundaries of what is possible.

Take the US 2000 election, for example ~ the then members of the Green Party have every right to be upset at the strategic blunder from a Green Part perspective that Nader made in focusing his attention on swing states, when the tweedle dee and tweedle dum argument could have been made with far stronger total electoral effect for the growth of the Green Party if taken to the taken for granted states instead.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:04:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rootless2:
Why are there not left wing mayors and regional/local officials making the case for radical politics in most western nations?

Because the big conservative or the big socialist or liberal (depending on country) usually wins those seats too. But, in Europe it is more common to find small parties of any color locally then nationally, for the simple reason that it takes a smaller critical mass to gain local seats. And any party that is represented nationally is likely to be represented locally too. So I am at loss why you seem to argue that there is anything special in this regard with the french Greens or Die Linke in Germany.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 07:04:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sitting here safely in Paris, I would say that eight years of Bush were a good thing. Accelerated the eventual bankruptcy of the world's most powerful terrorist state, in the process isolating it perceptibly from the rest of the Western democracies and, more importantly, inflicting lasting damaging to the image our peoples have of it. Shining beacon no more, especially since the generation which know the War is slowly dying off.

A win-win as far as I'm concerned. And, it is ridiculous to speak of a left in America. There isn't one, aside from a marginal (and purposefully marginalized) group of intellectuals (Wallerstein, Chomsky, Perry Anderson, et c.), primaily in academia.  

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:15:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn right.

Bush's greatest achievement was fucking up in Iraq.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 10:04:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perry Anderson is English. Poor Brits. It's not as if they have a shortage of pomposity without him. By the way, if you want to read actual left-wing thinking, try E.P. Thompson's Poverty of Theory which concerns Professor Anderson quite a bit.

And it was a good thing for the far right, the global elites, and the "left". Which strikes some of us as an interesting sociopolitical phenomenon not unrelated to the class interests of "left" intellectuals.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 11:25:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Last time I checked, Perry Anderson was still teaching at UCLA.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 12:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What of Krugman then? He's left enough for me. Actually, reading his books, his position on many issues seems to coincide very much with my own.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 07:13:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the conventional far-right, right, center-right, center, center-left, left, far-left spectrum, Krugman is, despite his training and profession manipulating long since falsified social theories, somewhere ranging from center to center-left.

Given a right party that has elected officials attempting to take right wing actions under the cover of far right wing rhetoric, and a "left" part that has elected officials attempting to take center-right wing actions under the cover of center-left wing rhetoric, Krugman tends to be very useful in calling both the right wing out on their extremism and the center-right wing out on their actions failing to live up to their center-left rhetoric.

Of course, his economics is still neoliberal "in the long run", so there remains the genuflection to balanced budgets and loanable funds fallacies "in the long run" ... but he stretched out the Keynesian short run about as far as a mainstream economist can get away with stretching it, so as long as his attention is on the current situation through to the next half decade, there is remarkably little damage done by the long run neoliberalism.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:32:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, as you say, the roots of all structural misery were layed during Clinton's tenure.

Indeed, from a economic structural perspective any of the Bushes are doves compared to the Clinton times.

Tax cuts for the rich you can get rid off easily. Measures that define how economy (financial system included) works, much more complicated.

This has been a slippery slope for the last 30 years. We should have not did it. In some cases the so-called left did more damage than the right.

That being said, while I did not vote in the last elections (because I was away), I would have if I could. The brutal austerity that you see in Portugal was highly foreseeable (like EU/IMF/ECB troika on steroids, by option).

Anyway, I think it is time the social democracts follow the way of the communists, the anarchists... the way of the dodo. We need breathing space for something new. Precisely what, I do not know. But the old solutions are not working.

by cagatacos on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 12:14:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
something new seems overdue.
by rootless2 on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 03:36:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Therefore, let's vote for the old. That will encourage renewal.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 04:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What you call the strategy of the left is the result of lots of individual decisions. There is (afaik) no organised election boycott here, it is just that PSOE has done the opposite to what they promised and thus lost a lot of their support.

The strategy of the parties to the left of PSOE is to try to pick up those votes. You can blame them for not being efficient, but you can not blame them for not trying.

The real question is what the strategy of PSOE is.

In general, I think it is unconstructive to describe a party losing votes as if the voters was organised outside the party and decided to turn their back in an organised manner, while the party is just individuals, drifting in a sea of forces. I think the opposite is truer.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:06:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is why there is no left of PSOE party gaining votes.

But I don't see a lack of coherence in the "sit it out" party. That group is well organized, has access to media, and has a steady product throughout Western Europe and the USA.

Strangely enough, to use a OWS example, Michael Moore gets a lot of media coverage for claiming that the Obama administration has coordinated attacks on protesters and is a catastrophe, while activists of the Working Families Party do not ever get any air-time. It is almost as if the "left" of quietism is favored somehow by the corporate media over the left of coalition building.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:15:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So enligthen me, who in Spain are calling for an election boycott in Spain?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:19:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
from the diary just above:

Be aware, though, that the left is basically in the streets shouting "do not vote PPSOE".

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:23:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I did not read that as a call to boycott - I read it as a call to vote to the left of PSOE. But I guess it could be constructed that way.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:46:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me point out that the call is to vote for something else, more left-wing or more right-wing. Your pick.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:32:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Standing behind me in the line at the polls was a young couple. He kept going on about how representative democracy was a useless exercise, and so on. The basic 15M-movement they call it democracy but it's not and they do not represent us line. He voted. I doubt he voted PSOE, and I doubt he voted to the right of PSOE.

I also voted. I also voted to the left of PSOE. I also ranted about voting once a year and sitting at home for the following 4 years.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:06:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is why there is no left of PSOE party gaining votes.

Eyes wide shut, eh?

They are. Just not as fast as the PSOE is losing them.

If this surprises you, then you haven't been paying attention. And if you expect any other party or parties to be able to increase their vote share by a factor of five or so just because the PSOE is flipping voters the bird, then you must believe in Santa and magic ponies.

I suggest you familiarise yourself with the reality of parliamentary politics under proportional representation systems before you throw hissy fits at people who are actually doing something.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:25:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Compared with the 2008 results (73% participation, 44% PSOE and 40% PP out of votes cast with 11 and 10 million votes respectively) this means that between nearly three million voters will sit it out, that the PP will gain less than half a million votes and that the PSOE vote will collapse to under 7 million votes, below its 2000 result. Also, the combined PPSOE vote will go from 61% of eligible voters to 49%. About 700,000 people more than in 2008 will vote for third parties. In terms of seats, out of a 350-seat parliament the move will be from 169 PSOE and 154 PP to maybe 195 PP and as little as 110 PSOE.

Impressive! 700,000 more votes for 3rd parties! And some of these are right wing. Of course after several years of PP management, the centralization of power, and the encouragement of the Franco-sentimental-right, we should be on the fucking verge of a left wing tsunami! Keep holding your breath.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:29:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again: If you believe in quintupling the size of a party in a single election cycle, then you're sniffing glue, not engaging in political analysis.

If you think the left is ineffective, then go out and get involved. Don't whine that they won't line up and vote for someone who fucked them over less than two months ago. So hard that they might as well have voted for Angela fucking Merkel for all the good it did.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:41:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So they are handing power over to the right. Excellent!

I am involved in politics. However, more and more, I find that the functional basis of the "left" is to protect right wing power and divert opposition to fruitless symbolism and self-esteem therapy.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:45:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Getting the PSOE to stop taking marching orders from Frankfurt is more important, long-term, than the by this point minute differences between the PP and PSOE.

If you know a better way to stop the PSOE taking marching orders from Frankfurt than not voting for them, then I'm all ears.

Until then, however, I've just about had enough of your bullshit. Obviously it would be better if those people who don't vote for the PSOE this election were to all march in lockstep to over to vote for parties to the left of the PSOE. But some of us live in the real world, not some alternative fantasy where you get to build a complete, viable, fully functional left-wing coalition before you stop supporting the centre-right over the far right.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:53:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The correct way to keep the PSOE from drifting right is to elect more left wing local and national officials, build labor and other organizations, and convince the public to support alternatives. The incorrect way is to replace them with a party that will be even more committed to austerity and right wing nationalism.  One does not climb a ladder by jumping off it headfirst.
by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:01:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The correct way to keep the PSOE from drifting right is to elect more left wing local and national officials, build labor and other organizations, and convince the public to support alternatives.

Quite.

So why do you keep pissing on people who do that?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:07:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because that is not what they are doing.
by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:13:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And you know that how?

Or are you simply projecting the prejudices of the Beltway Dem establishment onto a European context?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:20:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That seems to be precisely what we are seeing.

It would appear this person's energy might best be spent fixing the broken political institutions in his or her own country before lecturing us about our own admittedly imperfect ones (level of imperfection of course varying by member state).

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:31:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the right wing is about to take power.
by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:49:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And obviously that can't be the PSOE's fault for alienating a good third of its voters? It clearly must be the left's fault for... what? Not being able to pull magic fairy dust out of their ass and go from being 4 % of the electorate to being 24 percent in the span of time it took the PSOE to convince those 20 percentage points that a PSOE vote was worth less than a piece of toilet paper?

Obviously, not being able to perform magic is a serious handicap for the left.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:53:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, so until a few months ago you relied on the PSOE to do the right thing? Really?
And all this time, the left has been busily having indignant meetings urging people to vote for leftwing parties that have been organizing?

You keep thinking that the Social Democrats manifest flaws are an excuse.

It's all their fault
We warned you
We said it would
end in doom

And now the right
will rule you
and we'll be gloating
in our room.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:58:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, so until a few months ago you relied on the PSOE to do the right thing?

No, but the majority of those who voted for them last time apparently did.

The left can organise, it can make propaganda, it can stand for election. But it cannot do Jedi mind tricks, and when the PSOE shoots itself in the head two months before the election, it can't scramble a response that will catch all the now homeless voters. Believing that it could is an act of pure wishful thinking.

And all this time, the left has been busily having indignant meetings urging people to vote for leftwing parties that have been organizing?

Yes. If you missed that, then you haven't been paying attention.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 10:05:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But PSOE was in trouble in the May elections.

http://www.nolesvotes.com/

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 10:16:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The PSOE electoral rout started in May 2010, when ZP capitulated to the European austerity strategy.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:02:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the point. Voting habits do not change so radically in two years that the PSOE abdication to right wing economic policies as imposed by the CDU and welcomed by the PP makes an anti-PSOE, anti-PP majority an electoral possibility.

With a 180 degree turn by the PSOE, with the requisite sacrificial lambs of PSOE supporters of the ECB colonization of Spain, it might be possible to reverse the outcome in a single election cycle, given how painful the years ahead will be.

Failing that, with a PSOE split and reconstitution of the colonial independence faction, it might be possible in a few election cycles.

Failing that, with the PP as a "Tory" pro-dependence party and the PSOE as a "Whig" pro-dependence party, a long slow process of party building lies ahead, similar to the long, slow replacement of the Canadian Liberal Part with the Canadian NDP.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:21:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
>Or are you simply projecting the prejudices of the Beltway Dem establishment onto a European context?<

That seems to be happening. Our american friend is just taking his blog comment feuds from the american blogs and importing them here.

A bit pointless, if you ask me.

by IM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:07:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, things are related in many ways: Blair followed Clinton as Reagan followed Thatcher. Merkel's economics theories are very much Chicago School - not in tune with the traditional economics of the German right. The collapse of the Social Democratic state in Sweden shows many similarities to the collapse of the FDR democrats in the US. Similarities in social structure produce similar (although far from identical) results - and of course these nations are all influencing each other. The long reign of Bush helped Merkel to power and helped Blair move far to the right and so on.

Not to mention that European "left" professors often drift West. The performance artist Zizek and the deeply confused David Harvey are both in New York, and today I learned that Perry Anderson is in LA.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:12:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<Actually, things are related in many ways:>
Yes and no. And many ways doesn't mean in all ways.

 >Blair followed Clinton as Reagan followed Thatcher.
Merkel's economics theories are very much Chicago School - not in tune with the traditional economics of the German right.<

Once upon a time I thought the same, But now I think she doesn't have an economic theory at all.

>The collapse of the Social Democratic state in Sweden shows many similarities to the collapse of the FDR democrats in the US.>

So the solid south of Sweden did what? More to the point: The social democrats in Sweden collapsed, but their state lives happily on. Of course you could argue that there are still in the Nixon phase.

Also, the whole thing happened thirty years later. So can it really be the same process?

>Similarities in social structure produce similar (although far from identical) results - and of course these nations are all influencing each other.<

Yes, but. That isn't actually true, if you look e. g. at the party system. In western Europe, Australia and Canada the main center-left party is a socialist/social democratic party. That isn't true in Canada, where the space is (or was) filled by the Liberals, and not true in the US, where the democrats are supposed to fill that space. So somewhat similar societies can get very different party systems.

< The long reign of Bush helped Merkel to power and helped Blair move far to the right and so on.>
Don't know about Blair; but he wasn't already that much of a left-winger in 1997. Merkel or rather her party actually did lose the election in 2002 because of their lack of distance to Bush. I don't think the eight years of Bush did help the german right one bit.

The academics you mention - I think you overestimate their influence on the european or american left a lot.

by IM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:51:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whatever you call them, the US Democrats are essentially social democrats. The parties are different, of course, but similar sociological processes can be seen. The transformation of the industrial proletariat into a shrinking minority that moved right in practice everywhere in the OECD in the 1970s, the creation of huge white collar working class segment (by working class, I mean of course a class that relies on wage income, not investment income) that tends to vote more right wing, the concentration of industry, the growth of finance, the increasing role of racial/immigrant politics, ... JK Galbraith had some interesting remarks towards the end of his life about how the success of essentially social democratic economic policies generates voting blocks hostile to social democratic policies.

In many ways, the proximate causes of the current economic malaise in EU and the US are the same and these are driving politics. Blair was a Clintonist neoliberal (in the American sense) when he came into office, but it seems to me that Bush enabled him to become entirely a creature of finance. One of the things the right seems to understand that the left does not is that power is cumulative. If Gore had taken power in 2000, Blair would have been confronting a US industrial policy, not enmeshing himself in US imperial adventures and the US would have been pushing back against the wild speculative activities of EU banks in the USA. So even small steps to the left or right in one nation will affect others.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:06:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But isn't it having it both ways? If you want to explain everything with deep structural processes - I think that is basically right - how can you at the same time invest a single election like 2000 with that much significance.

And in your expectation of Gore you almost talk like a stereotypical Obama critic: The president can do this or that. The amount of policy Gore could have effected with a republican congress would be somewhat limited.

Because aside from the socio-economic trends the structure of the political system, in this case the US, matters too. And the american system is resistant to change in an unusual degree. In many - not all - other countries meanwhile one parliamentary majority can change what another made.

One poster on Dailykos had once a sigline: The supreme court matters! Very valid in the context of discussing the value of any democratic above any republican president. Not valid in most other countries.

And so some of your arguments are not valid outside an american context.

by IM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:38:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Structure sets the probabilities, but events change structure. Under Bush, the USA lost 3million manufacturing jobs, built up trillions in debt, and accelerated a number of bad trends -including those Supreme Court appointments. Gore would not have created a revolution, but he would have trended in a different direction and that would have affected Blair too. Every action has an affect. Each local elected official changes some microcosm of the political world. The right knows this, but the "left" has a black and white view focused on the national power centers. The effects of the PP victory in Spain will be comprehensive and long lasting. All sorts of Franco-ist scum who kept in hiding will venture out and take charge of a bank here, a local court there, a military unit somewhere else.
by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:35:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The right knows this, but the "left" has a black and white view focused on the national power centers.

When formulating a critique, it helps to know of what one is speaking.

The European left contests elections at every level - municipal, regional, national, federal. If the American left does not understand that this is important, then I would suggest that you expend your efforts on educating the American left.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:06:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Read the diary again.
by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:17:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So in the end, your argument boils down to the Politician's Syllogism:

The left is losing. Therefore the left is doing something wrong.
This is something.
Therefore, this is what the left is doing wrong.

Please get back to me when you have a useful critique. And no, "vote for the lesser evil, because what could possibly go wrong (aside from having your constitution rewritten by DeutcheBank)?" does not qualify.

Fun fact: If the PSOE had been in opposition two months ago, the amendment that enshrined deficit terrorism into the constitution would not have passed. How's that for making the institutional structure more amenable to left-wing organising?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:42:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
of course it goes without saying that the PSOE in opposition would have bravely defied the EU because, well, because.
by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 11:01:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because, not being in power, it doesn't have to be as serious™.

Hey, the first time in 18 months that Zapatero said the EU and the ECB needed to do more about the crisis was at an electoral rally this Friday! That is, on the way out. I bet you they will be vociferous about it now that they're in opposition. Hence

In any case, the constant sentence against him on the left-corner has been "why did not yo do/say/defend this while you were in power?"
Read the diary.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:06:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But why is speaking ineffectually such a plus?
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 09:16:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because even if you cannot enact policy you can steer the debate in the right direction. The right wing understands this, but the left doesn't seem to. And it's the hegemonic, centrist party that needs to understand it. As JakeS never tires of pointing out, the right wing finds fringe extremists extremely useful to steer the debate, while the centre left finds radical leftists threatening, maybe becuase of a fear that the "unseriousness" will rub off on them.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 09:37:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They way one steers the debate in the right direction is by making the case, not by handing power over to the right which they will use to further limit the range of permitted discussion. JakeS has it backwards, however. The fringe right reserves 90% of its energy for advancing its own case and attacking the left and moderates. The fringe left, however, is all about attacking the "betrayal" of moderates and each other. One notes that the instances in which right wing extremists urge their voters to stay home are few and far between - and their enthusiasm for symbolic gestures is minimal. The right is about power, what remains of the left is often about striking a pose. Imagine that the PSOE had been in the position of the PP, running a campaign utterly bereft of concrete proposals. The sound of angry "left" demands for specific promises would be high pitched indeed. And yet, the right knows how to play the game -  even though their actual policies are not liked by a majority.
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:13:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought by "speaking ineffectually" you were referring to ZP and the PSOE making "the right noises" while in opposition.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:14:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would expect some clear examples, in the political space, in a European country context, preferably in a non-English official language country.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:15:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:21:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bwahahaha.

I believe JakeS is allied with the Socialistisk Folkeparti which is most definitely not fringe given their ability to get 10% of seats in the Folketing, 15% of Danish seats in the European Parliament, and comparable proportions in regional and local elections.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:40:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've discussed many things in the past with Jake, and to be honest, he is if anything much more pragmatic, and centrist, than the political strain of which I count myself as well as the political party of which I am a member.

My party has been in a number of governing coalitions and held a number of ministries over the past decades, including the last left-wing coalition here led by Lionel Jospin and the PS.

I don't think you have much background on what the European political left really looks like, else you wouldn't make such absurd statements.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:55:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My vast ignorance is of course obvious. To an ignorant person like me it appears that the finance right dominates the EU, that the weak SD parties have been swept away like dust and the most successful further left parties are struggling to break 15% of the vote. However, thanks to your instruction, I now know that, as usual, none of this is due to any tactical or analytical defect on the part of the left, it's all due to the perfidy of the Social Democrats.
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:23:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the Third-way Social Democrats in the 1990s agreed to gold-bug- and neoliberal-inspired institutional structures in the Eurozone. They then proceeded in the 2000s to undermine the social safety nets and to ride the Eurozone credit bubbles. When the crisis hit they shared the right-wing diagnosis, they protected TPTB like the right-wing and then they got fully on board with the Austerity™ out of Seriousness™.

The successful left wing parties polling around 15% did none of this.

And you suggest the right strategy is to vote for the Social Democrats even if you agree with the left parties.

In addition, given a Social-democratic hegemonic party of the left and an also-ran party of the left, what vote percentage would you expect the also-ran to get? Assume the right/left split is 50/50 and assume the hegemonic party beats the also-ran 2:1 and you get the respective 30% - 15% vote shares.

On what basis you thumb your nose at the 15% of the also-ran calling it "not successful? Under European PR systems, that 15% translates into seats in parliament as opposed to zero representation in Anglo-American FPTP systems.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:32:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not at all sure I know a solution, however, I am sure that 15% representation (or similarly a few "progressive" US congresspeople) is not success. Success is when you, you know, win. Losing and giving impassioned speeches, principled ones even, is not winning.
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:45:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite. And third-wayers have been winning... what, exactly?

Incidentally, I seem to have missed your undoubtedly enthusiastic endorsement of the chaps who mounted a primary challenge to Lieberman an election cycle or so back. Care to refresh my memory on that subject?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:23:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"3rd way" is a meaningless term either as a critique or a platform.

Your enthusiasm for Lamont (that was the name of Lieberman's opponent) at this stage is hard to fathom.

by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 04:27:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"3rd way" is a meaningless term either as a critique or a platform.

Sadly, the third-wayers disagree with the latter. Which fact falsifies the former.

Your enthusiasm for Lamont (that was the name of Lieberman's opponent) at this stage is hard to fathom.

I have no particular opinion on Lamont.

I have an opinion on the need to primary a useless waste of space like Lieberman. Lamont could be an almost as useless waste of space as Lieberman, but hey - lesser of two evils, right?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 04:45:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given a massive incumbent advantage in a thoroughly corrupted political system, primarying an entrenched incumbent like Lieberman is worthwhile even if the alternative is only moderately better ~ and, indeed, proved worthwhile despite failing in the end, as the backlash to the independent run meant that Lieberman was well advised to retire after the end of the term that he had won.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 at 03:33:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was the semi-official name of the political platform.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 07:22:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Historically, it was a name used by groups that claimed to be on neither side in the cold war.

Right now it is a kind of vague statement of semi-conservatives.

However, I think we are at a historical low point for information content of political labels.

by rootless2 on Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 at 08:17:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DLC: About The Third Way
On Sunday, April 25, 1999, the President Clinton and the DLC hosted a historic roundtable discussion, The Third Way: Progressive Governance for the 21st Century, with five world leaders including British PM Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Dutch PM Wim Kok, and Italian PM Massimo D'Alema, the First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and DLC President Al From.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 at 09:04:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here - from a non-english speaking country, no less.

http://www.irishleftreview.org/2009/06/17/left-polemicist/

by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:25:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland is non-English-speaking!?

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:36:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ILR are fringe left?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:37:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I denounce your hegoministic anti-lacanism
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 11:31:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's spelled hegemonistic I believe.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 11:45:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you try wrestling with autocorrect.
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 11:52:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your autocorrect contains hegoministic?

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 11:52:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no but it kept correcting to all sorts of even stranger words before i was able to get even an approximation.
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:16:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure and begorrah.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:37:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Look, the fact is that the PP vote is stable, they get 10 to 11 million no matter what, no matter what they propose or don't propose.

The PSOE vote oscillates between 7M and 11M because the left voters actually think for themselves and 1/3 of potential PSOE voters are not tribal so it does matter to them what the PSOE says or does.

The PP vote and the core PSOE vote conform to what Altemeyer calls 'right wing authoritarian'.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:22:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because unlike your Democrats, PES parties recognise (and use) a blocking minority.

There are various possible explanations for this, ranging from them being centre-left as opposed to the Democrats' centre-right, to blocking minorities being more difficult to form and the political system therefore not having evolved a consensus against using them.

But for the present purpose, the reason does not matter: The simple, and quite striking, reality is that throughout this crisis, Eurozone PES parties have been far more willing to use blocking minorities than governing majorities to push back against right-wing economic extremism. The contrast is remarkable. At least to anybody who has been paying attention.

It would help you form a cogent argument if you had passing acquaintance with recent political history on the continent you are attempting to describe.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 04:30:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How could I have overlooked the brilliant way the SD opposition has blocked austerity measures in ... um .. all those countries I don't know about?
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 09:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why, then, should we reward them with our vote?

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 09:20:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Votes are not rewards. They are political acts that should be done for advantage.

I vote for a somewhat weak local Democrat because I know that the voters in my locality would pick a much worse right winger if she failed. That's not a reward, it's self-preservation.

by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:06:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you want the local party to replace the bums with someone better you don't vote for the bums.

Because Spain doesn't have open primaries, the only way sympathisers can pressure the parties is at the general election. Even acquaintances who are members of PSOE admit that, as members, they have little influence on who the cadres and candidates will end up being.

And, in this case, it's beginning to sound as if ZP and his entourage believe that the severity of the crisis, the economic environment they have had to act in, and the pressures they received from the EU to enact certain policies exonerate them so even after the worst election result since democracy was restored in 1977 the PSOE leadership intends to steer the party into the next Congress. I'm beginning to suspect ZP wants to directly influence the choice of his successor even though he didn't even run for a seat in parliament this time around.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:12:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course a vote is a reward. Do ut des. And politicians all over the world do know that they have to reward their voters or at least fake a reward.

It seems to be a special pathology of the american democrats that they don't want to recognize that. Say what you want about machine politicians, but they did understand that.

(The american right tends to call Obama a Chicago machine politician. I always sigh: "If only!")

by IM on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:27:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What a peculiar claim to be made in the middle of a discussion of how PSOE lost an election by chosing Mrs. Merkel over their own voters.

The problem is not that politicians are playing the game wrong, however, it is that activists are. The program advanced by NoLesVotes is to "punish" the main parties by assisting the PP to take power.  

by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:13:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The main parties are punished by voting for the minor parties, in part because the absence of open primaries prevent people from "primarying" the socialists-in-name-only. That the right wing won is seen as an acceptable side effect of trying to vote out the bums on your own side.

But, also, in countries with adequate PR systems the left gets their seat share whether it's split 50-0 or 30-20, so there's no problem whatsoever with getting 15% of the vote.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:52:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you think it worked? To me, and obviously I may be wrong, you still have a duopoly, but the worse side is now in power - and as you noted the PSOE leadership is excusing it own performance as due to exigencies.
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:58:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The PSOE leadership continue to work at lowering the chances I'll vote for them next time around by being self-righteous about being bastards.

And your point is?

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 07:21:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
>The problem is not that politicians are playing the game wrong, however, it is that activists are.<

That is an assertion you should try to prove.

Do you also think the electoral losses of 2010(democrats) and 2008 and 2006 (republicans) can be blamed on activists playing the game wrong? I would blame the economy, at least regarding 2010 and 2008.

The conservative irish government lost power too; I and conventional wisdom would explain that with the economic conditions. What is your explanation, Fianna fail activists staying at home?  

by IM on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 03:21:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think your views are extremely coloured by experience with majority first past the post system. In a proportional system, it's very possible for a small party to achieve more influence by being in opposition than being in government.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:01:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How could I have overlooked the brilliant way the SD opposition has blocked austerity measures in ...

The French PS shot down a constitutional suicide pact not dissimilar to the Spanish one not so long ago. The Spanish PSOE rammed one through while in government. With procedural legerdemain that one could have called a coup d'etat if one had been inclined to be legalistic about it. So tell me again how voting for PES parties helps shape the institutional landscape in the left's favour? 'Cause I really want to know.

um .. all those countries I don't know about?

Not my fault you haven't been paying attention.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:35:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh you mean the "golden rule" of Sarkozy which was designed to be an election gimmick. How brave of them. Oddly, the US Democrats just defeated a similar rule without needing to be in opposition. Perhaps the difference is that neither France nor the US at the time were truly worried about bond markets and did not need to go as far as Spain:

. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/074c8362-d55f-11e0-bd7e-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1eMtHqIfg

Others, however, regard the amendment as an empty gesture, since it allows for debt and deficit limits to be exceeded in times of economic recession or emergency situations that threaten "the financial situation or the economic or social sustainability of the state"

by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:06:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<sigh> I expect you've got some evidence for that appreciation?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:15:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This appreciation:

rootless2:

the "golden rule" of Sarkozy which was designed to be an election gimmick
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:16:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IS that controversial?

PARIS -- President Nicolas Sarkozy has used the crisis over the euro and his relationship with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to set a potential political trap for the Socialist opposition less than nine months before the French presidential election.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/23/world/europe/23france.html

The measure is facing strong opposition from Socialists who say it's a publicity stunt in the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election.

http://www.france24.com/en/20110727-golden-rule-sarkozy-socialist-party-roma-controversial-trees-can al-midi?page=7

François Hollande et Martine Aubry répondent que la ficelle est un peu grosse et qu'ils ne se laisseront pas entraîner dans «une opération de communication».

http://www.liberation.fr/politiques/01012351213-la-regle-d-or-le-joker-de-sarkozy
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 03:45:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was all the same not "designed to be an election gimmick". It was and is requested by Angela Merkel. Sarkozy's main policy effort for months now has been to stay closely hitched up to Germany whatever happens. He would surely have liked to make electoral capital out of doing the Congress show at Versailles, but he would also very seriously have wished to comply with the German request. What really put the kibosh on it was the PS victory in the elections to the Senate.

Sore losers, the Socialists.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 04:08:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you think the Socialists are not telling the truth?
by rootless2 on Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 at 11:24:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're not reading what I'm saying. Which doesn't surprise me.

You know, if you're sincere, it's odd how you know every trick in the troll book.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 at 11:43:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is what you wrote:
<sigh> I expect you've got some evidence for that appreciation?

I then cited the NYTimes, the Socialist Party, and French TV.  If you don't like that evidence, I don't care.

by rootless2 on Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 at 07:08:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thread too narrow, so new top-level comment here.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 02:08:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rootless2:
Oddly, the US Democrats just defeated a similar rule without needing to be in opposition.

How brave of them.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:18:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The PSOE passed one while in government.

And now they're not.

Funny how that works.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:36:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The PP passed one while in opposition¹.
And now they're in government.

Funny how that works.

¹The collaboration of PP was necessary to achieve the needed quorum for constitutional amendments.

res humą m'és alič

by Antoni Jaume on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:42:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite.

One non-trivial difference: The constitutional amendment in question is core PP policy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:44:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The collapse of the Social Democratic state in Sweden shows many similarities to the collapse of the FDR democrats in the US.

Uh... what collapse? It's still the same old "socialist paradise" over here that it's been all my life, though it might never have been the utopian place that starry-eyed idealist foreigners might have conceived it to be. The center-right currently controls the government and is likely to keep doing that due to the weakness of the social democrats, but only by abandoning their old ideas and becoming third-wayist social democrats themselves.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 07:27:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i was under the impression that the government was privatizing rapidly and had only recently slowed the process because the far right is now a presence in the legislature and is worried about foreigners buying Swedish assets.

Perhaps I'm poorly informed.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:45:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There has been a general movement for deregulation and privatization in Sweden for the last 20 years. This has had certain positive effects (deregulation and privatization of telecoms and schools) and certain negative effects (deregulation of power market and railroads), of which neither have been earth-shattering nor system-changing. The entry of the populist right has indeed stopped some of the planned privatizations, which has been both bad and good, as some of those companies should really have been sold (Nordea, SBAB), while others absolutely should not (Vattenfall, except the foreign assets).

It's not a black and white picture.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 08:29:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No matter, it cannot be called "collapse of the Social Democratic state in Sweden".

Or actually, it could, and that's a very good thing. The Swedish welfare state is still in excellent shape, but the Social Democratic state, the so called "One party state", where the Party merged with state authorities, has collapsed. And good riddance!

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 08:31:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I get much darker picture of the situation from my swedish friends. However, they may be unusual swedes lacking the bubbly optimism that Swedes are famous for.
Or  they could just be wrong.
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:15:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, some of the more ideological pure Swedish leftwingers have an automatic response: that all privatizations by definition are bad. To me, that's just as absurd a view as the idea that all privatizations are good. Some things belong in the public sphere while some belong in the private. An astounding number of Swedish leftists held the in my mind absurd view that it was a bad idea to sell Absolut Vodka for a p/e ratio of 25-35 (or whatever it was in the summer of 2008. If you believe that was a bad idea, I suppose you might believe anything.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:47:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The local and regional elections were 6 months ago.
The PP vote gained 560k votes while the PSOE lost 1.5M (in terms of vote percentage, PSOE lost 1/5 of their share).
CiU gained 50k votes, IU 200k votes.

300 thousand votes went to the Basque independentist lists of Bildu in the Basque country. They got 35% of the vote in Gipuzkoa and won in Donostia/San Sebastian.

A new left nationalist party from Valencia got 180k votes.

A breakaway PP faction in Asturias got 121k votes (and in the regional elections they became the largest party).

UPyD, the party of a former Basque socialist leader, also contesting the municipal elections for the first time (the general will be their second), got 465k votes.

That's 1.1M votes to alternative left parties to compensate for a loss of 1.5M PSOE votes. Not bad.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:01:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 300 thousands for Bildu would not have gone for the PSOE, so they don't compensate the loss of votes for the PSOE.

While I did not vote for IU, I expected them to get quite a few more votes then at least in the vote for the autonomous communities. Municipal elections are a different breed.

res humą m'és alič

by Antoni Jaume on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:56:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again: If you believe in quintupling the size of a party in a single election cycle, then you're sniffing glue, not engaging in political analysis.

Though from the look of it, UPyD almost quadrupled its vote.  The unfair Spanish electoral system robbed them of the benefits of that massive growth, so they only got 4 more seats (taking them to 5, rather than the 15 - 16 they would expect in a fair system)

by IdiotSavant on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 05:55:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So they quadrupled their vote but quintupled their seats...

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 05:59:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Compromis also quadrupled their vote in their region (Valencia) going from 30 thousand to 125 thousand and winning their first seat.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 06:01:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The system sees to give regional parties like CiU and aimaru a major advantage over t national parties with a similar or even bigger vote share like UPyD or IU.
by IM on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 07:24:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
D'Hondt with small constituencies will do that.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:38:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I prefer a more proportional system, and one in with the electoral circumscription would be the autonomous comunity, even with the current D'Hondt rule that last point would give more proportionality. However that would not solve the fact that the lists are closed and decided by the party.

res humą m'és alič
by Antoni Jaume on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:42:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finland has proportional representation with closed lists, but the order on the lists is decided by voter preference.

So you vote for party X and candidate 7 on their list. This appears to give parties an incentive to include smaller movements - if one of their candidates is popular enough to grab a seat, it is probable that the party gained at least a seat by including them. Of course, it also means you might get some Big Brother-winners in parliament.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:50:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the same system in Sweden, except that there are minimum vote limits so as to make it harder for voters to change the order the candidates are put in.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:11:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And since the minimum vote limit is in percentage of votes the party gets, the larger the constituencies, the higher the limit.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 03:41:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A really stupid rule, in my opinion, and glaringly obvious that the political parties try to steal away power that rightly should belong to the voters.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 04:14:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Similar to the way in Australia the "simplified" Senate voting system is not voting parties in preference order rather than individual Senate Candidates ... but instead voting one party above the line, and then your preferences flow as directed by the party.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 11:09:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"I suggest you familiarise yourself with the reality of parliamentary politics under proportional representation systems before you throw hissy fits at people who are actually doing something."

It pains me to admit it, but Jake has for once a point.
You can't just take the american two party, first past the post system  and assume that everything in other western democracies works in the same way. Even in the UK, regional third parties are quite viable. Say what you want about the SNP, but voting for them instead of Labour is hardly symbolic.

So you assumption that voting for a non PSOE party on the left is useless depends on what party and in what circumstances.

generally I don't think you should transfer your slights with the american "left" here. We are not just convenient replacements for the sector of the american left you don't like, after all.

by IM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 11:48:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Voting for SNP or even De Linke is very different from voting for Ralph Nader in the US or for a splinter party in most of Spain.  I'm not against that at all. In fact, even in the US, there are places where third parties can and are effective. New York's Working Family Party is quite interesting. If you have a third party that is in position to win seats - why not?  My point was that the "plague on both houses" argument in favor of either sitting it out or voting symbolically, is a common argument. No Les Votes reads a lot like Michael Moore. I don't think it's a coincidence.
by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:46:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 >If you have a third party that is in position to win seats - why not?<

Then I don't get your point. What is your point?

 >My point was that the "plague on both houses" argument in favor of either sitting it out or voting symbolically, is a common argument.<

Is it? In my experience non voters, including non-voters who argue that all politicians are the same and equally useless are ideologically and politically all over the place. And hardly only common on the left.

In 2010 liberals did not actually abandon the democrats, but moderates, independents etc. And the groups who did vote in 2008 but not in 2010 were exactly the groups not terribly involved in politics anyway. Who sit out every mid-term election.

< No Les Votes reads a lot like Michael Moore. I don't think it's a coincidence.<

To get the idea you can protest with not voting you don't need Michael Moore. "If elections could change anything they would be illegal" is a lot older then your bete noire Michael Moore.

by IM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:06:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My point is that if your third party is NOT in a position to win seats "PPSOE" and "Gore=Bush" are programs that advantage the right.

The right has a very clear message: for its own adherents the message is to go to the polls, for the opposition the message is that voting changes nothing. They work hard to sell apathy and disillusion to the majority - which is naturally against them. When the "left" cooperates in this marketing campaign, as they do with consistency, there is one beneficiary. This is a struggle that Saul Alinsky wrote about in the early 1970s in the US.  And I think that, although the history of claiming its all a fake is a long one, the argument that "we're going to punish/show/instruct" an insufficiently successful social democratic party by sitting it out or voting for Mickey Mouse seems to me to be a product of the 1970s.

by rootless2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:24:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it's ok to vote for viable third parties, I'm not sure what all your hot iar is all about. Spain has many viable third parties, and on the left, IU got record seats yesterday. Many former PSOE ostensibly found their true home on the left, outside of PSOE.

This is true in Greece as well, which has a strong Communist party. In Germany, Die Linke. In France, Front de Gauche. In the Netherlands, the Socialist Party, in many ways a model for us all, whose former leader Jan Marijnessen led the party nearly to official opposition not so long ago with a record score. In Denmark, the Enhedslisten. In Italy, the PRC. In Ireland, Sinn Féin. Most here get my point, I imagine.

Even close to you, in Canada, the centrist third-wayism of the Liberals was crushed by another left party, the NDP, who virtually annihilated the Liberals in Québec and in the process became the official opposition.

Everywhere one looks outside of the money-corrupted US "democratic" system, there is a viable left alternative to Third-wayism people like you propose as "the only pragmatic way". Perhaps you should, rather than hectoring us about how we should vote in our own countries, start asking yourself why there is no left alternative in your own country.

Hint, it likely isn't because a large segment of the population don't want one.

Another hint: you are most likely part of the problem, and not the solution.    

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 06:15:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Consider France where you have these "viable" third parties. In the last presidential elections
35% center right Sarkozy
25% weak social democrats
18% more center right
4% biggest communist party

Impressive!
However in the legislative elections - the PCF reached a stunning 4%.  Considering that through much of the post war period they were at 20%, one sees that the wheels of history are moving inexorably in their favor.

Viable!

by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:15:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
seats in the parliament the PCF has, nor how many in the Senate.

You also neglect to mention how well the same charismatic LCR leader did in the 2002 election, a lot more than 4%.

I also notice you appear to have bought into the end of history meme, a bit hastily.

I finally would remark that the fortunes of the left rise and fall; the PCF has been stronger of course than it was in the last two elections. But it was also weaker, including in the post-war period.

Again, I'm not sure what your point is, and I am sure I am not alone.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:31:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To me it's remarkable how happy many "on the left" are with being marginalized. Comfortable with losing. Secure in their own self-evaluation as "correct and principled" and happy to blame others for their inability to mobilize the population. The West's Left of the 21st century. Ready to write critiques of policies made by others.
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:46:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The PES parties were actually functioning social democratic parties until the first half of the '90s. Where for "social democratic" you should read "the parliamentary arm of the labour unions." There really wasn't any "left of the PES" policy space worth talking about until the third-wayers took over in the two election cycles around 1990.

Then we had ten years of third-wayers, whom the left supported - as you argue it should. It didn't become adequately obvious that this was a cul-de-sac, both electorally and politically, until two or three election cycles ago.

Since then, the left in most of Western Europe has been bootstrapping an organisation that can catch the votes the third-wayers are shedding. But it's not terribly surprising that voters move from the PES to the left through an election or two on the sofa. You may find this flirtation with the sofa party counterproductive. I would agree. You may even find it disappointing. But you can't pretend that it is unexpected.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:26:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't argue the left should "support" third wayers. I argue that people should vote tactically and that the tactic of not voting or voting for a party that cannot win seats to "punish" is a tactic that has been shown to not work very well.
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 03:48:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The left overwhelmingly does vote tactically.

You will notice that it's centre-left voters who stay home, because they cannot bring themselves to vote for the left, and won't hold their nose and vote for the centre-right.

And... remind me again how enthusiastically you endorsed the primary challenge against Lieberman?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 04:04:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Liberman - you mean the critical vote that passed the most significant infrastructure investment in 50 years and the historic health care reform? That guy? I sent money to his opponent, however, I had little hope because the opponent had turned his campaign into a progressive joke and because the right voted tactically for someone they hated.  See how that works? They knew they could not win the seat for someone they wanted, but they could get a 50% win by denying the seat to the Democrat. That's why the right authors laws and the left authors papers about Lacanian interpretation of civil liberties (c.f. Zizek).
by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 04:20:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I see how that worked: The state went from being contested by an Independent and a Republican to being contested by a Democrat and the same Independent.

Net result: The Independent went to DC, the Democrats got practical experience in organising a campaign. If they learned from that and do better next time, that was a net win. If they didn't learn and won't do better next time, it was neither a win nor a loss relative to the alternative.

Considering how well you appreciate the importance of practical on-the-ground organisation for left-wing political groups, I would have thought that you would see the value in that sort of exercise.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 05:00:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My experience is the opposite.

As some here might have noticed, I am a member of the Swedish Pirate Party. Despite gaining no seats in national parliament elections, political successes to date includes having converted about 10% to a position of supporting legalisation of filesharing and having the EU Data Storage Directive postponed time and again, despite Sweden being one of the driving countries for enacting that Directive in the first place.

I think proportional elections make all the difference. Since all votes affects the seats, parties need to protect their flanks in another way and are therefore more sensitive to challenges, even if those fails to take away seats in the short run.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 04:40:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lefties.

I know more than a few and I don't know anyone who is happy about being out of power or who likes losing. We campaign to win, and we vote tactically in the second round. As for the party, it certainly criticises the right-wing policies being adopted by Sarkozy (and also by so-called social democrats like Zapatero in Spain) but also proposes policies and, when in power in coalition, enacts them.

I don't know anyone who feels marginalised either.

Again, you cut a ridiculous figure here, projecting upon people here, many of whom are in fact politically active and engaged, your phobias about US strawmen and women of your own construction.

Let me ask you: have you ever been in Europe even? And if so, for more than a two-week vacation?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 at 05:46:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've never left Borracho Junction Texas, my home town.  But, thanks to Fox, I have a good idea what happens in Europe and other parts of Africa.

There. Feel happier now?

by rootless2 on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 03:07:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Many European former communist parties are in the minds of many voters tarred by their collaboration and or political support of the Soviet dictatorship, and rightly so in my mind, unless they clearly and unequivocally condemn their history, and stop current support for such nations (Cuba, North Korea etc). Of course, this does not apply to all European communist parties (I believe the Italian communists stopped any support of the Soviets long before the fall of the Berlin wall, for example).

This is the conundrum of the left: while the more extreme left parties still can't make themselves see what awfulness they supported during the cold war and ask for forgiveness (keeping the large voter masses alienated), the end of the Soviet empire also made the more mainstream left (soc-dems) lose all belief in socialism, and replaced it with an absolutely theological belief in markets, everywhere and always, the so called third-way.

What is needed is either to have the extreme left once and for all clear out the skeletons from the wardrobes (which is unlikely until more time has passed and the perps have retired), or have the soc-dems accept that what they've been doing since 1991 to a large degree has been stupid. This is not very likely either, as we'll need to wait even longer until all those guys retire. This is especially clear as even with a golden chance, the collapse for the current model of global capitalism, a rupture of the same magnitude as that of the fall of the Soviet empire, the left has managed to do absolutely nothing. A free kick of astronomical proportions has been wasted.

So, what is to be done? I believe what is needed is mainly new ideas, new people. All the old forces of the left are either spent or contaminated or just out of touch. A fresh start is needed, to produce people equipped with the intellectual tools needed to deal with the world as it actually is (yes, this means they have to look at lots of graphs). This of course all sounds very fluffy, but I do feel that the ET is doing its part. Funnily, one of the main tools of spreading the new ideas, is the Financial Times, the world most secret source of subversive socialist propaganda. I suppose there's a reason they only let the elite read it. :)


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:29:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But you ignore how the french system, actually works: because you need as a rule two rounds, in the first round everybody can indulge his political inclinations fully. Here is the place to show your purity or make a protest or a symbolic vote.
More neutrally, you can vote your first preference.

In the second round then there is place for pragmatism and the voting for the lesser evil. And indeed:

Nicolas Sarkozy UMP    18,983,138    53.06%
Ségolène Royal    PS    16,790,440    46.94%

As you can see, Royal had no problems to gather the left and also got some voters from UDF or FN. Wasn't enough, but would the second round really been different if Royal got 31% in the first round like Sarkozy?

And the same game is played in parliamentary elections, but here in some constituencies the green or communist candidate will make it to the second round and then expect the socialist voters to vote for him. Mostly works.

I won't claim that  this is a perfect system, but the voters use it competent enough.

by IM on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:55:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I used the first round to show how marginal the left parties are - those to the left of the despised social democrats - really are.

It is inutile in the extreme to complain that the Social democrats have "betrayed" a left that has minimal public support.

by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 03:54:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first round of the 2007 presidential election was the least significant when it comes to minor party support on the left, because of what happened in the first round in 2002 - an election that showed that most people on the left would rather vote for someone else than the SocDem candidate...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misčres
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 06:13:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll just add that according to most opinion polls at this point, the only thing standing between the Greek left beyond the socialists and government, is a willingness to collaborate on a minimum programme. The numbers are there. The far right party leader now in government (with the consent of the "socialists", I note) is ringing alarms that Greece might become a "Cuba of the Mediterranean"...
Greece on the austerity disaster schedule is a year ahead of Portugal and Ireland, and perhaps a couple from the rest. Keep that in mind in the extremely unlikely scenario under which this whole austerity scheme doesn't collapse on all of us...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 04:52:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IU (united left) is left of PSOE and will go form 2 to 8-10 seats in the parliament.

Equo is a new green left party - they could pick up 1 or 2 seats.

UPyD is a splinter party top-heavy with formerly-PSOE-allied intelligentsia. It will go from 1 seat to 4 or 5. It's questionable to what extent they are to the "left" of the PSOE. Their original rallying call was opposing Zapatero's compromising stance with the peripheral nationalists. The fact that under ZP's watch ETA ended their terrorist campaign, as kcurie says in the diary, no longer matters much to anyone. UPyD is austere, just like the PSOE and PP, because they want to be "serious".

No right-wing party will gain seats other than possible the Catalan ugly party.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 12:57:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Equo is a new green left party - they could pick up 1 or 2 seats.

So there is no "old" green party? Why? Never been tried?

by IM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:16:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Never been other than splintered three ways.

They have been successful in Catalonia (Iniciativa per Catalunya - Verds) and Valencia.

The electoral system does not help. Spain has a proportional representation system but only just. It uses the d"hondt method with relatively small constituencies (average constituency size is 7, median is 5, a new party can only hope to get a seat in Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia which elect 34, 33 and 17 seats respectively give or take one seat).

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:32:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see.   Good for big national parties and regional parties. Bad for small and middling national parties without a regional concentration.
So in this case they will hope to get one in Madrid - big constituency and Valencia - traditional stronghold and hope if everything goes well to get another one in Barcelona.

Seems to rather discourage to build up a organization in, say, Galicia.  

by IM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:46:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Galicia is big enough to have a regional party, the BNG. The real problem is that rural, and lowly populated, provinces have each two seats, and that means that only the two main parties have a stand in them. And they lean mostly to the right, so it is to be expected that they may give two diputados to the PP.

res humą m'és alič
by Antoni Jaume on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Antoni

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:08:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Spain there are like 5 or 6 green parties. The only one relevant enough was in a coalition in Catalonia with the left.

Outside catalonia, the ex-communist structures prevented any kind of union.

Now, a big green party has appeared... let's hope it gets some representation.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:33:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Polls suggesting a seat for Equo in the new parliament make that a Valencia seat, not a Madrid seat. So the most visible party leadership fail to get in, and the Valencia seat is probably due to their alliance with the natinalist Compromis list.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:23:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So why has the "Left of the left" not capitalized on the decay of the PSOE as much as one would expect?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:04:55 AM EST
Because PSOE voters have a tendency to sit out elections instead of voting something on the left. Recall that they are not left-wing people, they are PSOE voters. Tradition.

Plus some POSE voters are going directly to PP, so there is not a lot of votes to take for the left-wing parties.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:33:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That tendency is not discouraged by the claims that they're the same, like PP=PSOE or PPSOE. After all if they're the same it may be good to have some alternance.

res humą m'és alič
by Antoni Jaume on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:06:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I voted. Well actually I voted myself. Weird sensation.
Now to crack the number about what the last participation numbers mean.

Oh I forgot. Participation is 2.5% behind 2008 elections. I need to crack some numbers.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:36:19 AM EST
are you running under?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:51:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pirata.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 10:10:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Any indications of the result so far?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:55:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2.5% less voters in 2011 than in 2008. And it was quite acrooss the board. Catalonia, Extremdaura, Rioja and valencia were the regions with a major drop. around 4%.

Making a simple projection, taking into account small movement in right-wing electorate we are talking about PSOE losing around 1.2 million votes.

If participation holds we are talking here a PP victory with 10.5 million votes and PSOE+IU parties around 10.5 million votes too. PP will win and complete majority depends on the distribution of votes. Remember that IU votes are heavily penalized given the law that distributes the seats in Spain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D'Hondt_method

However the 190 seats seem unlikely unless we are observing a massive transfer of votes from PSOE to PP in catalonia and Andalucia. And I mean direct transfer.

It could happen.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:55:40 AM EST
So. I hope Migeru confirms the numbers. But if everything holds, we are going to see a 68-69% participation election. We know from polls that almost all people sitting out are PSOE voters.

This means 3-4% less votes than in 2008. In 2008 PSOE got 11.2 million votes. So, we are talking here a baseline of 10 million votes.

PP voters will be back at the polls, with some increase from marginal voters and "I-vote-winners" voters. We are talking about 10.5 million.

So, we have 10.5 million for PP and 10 for PSOE. There will be some transfer to IU and Equo. So PSOE can end up with 9 million. If all of them end up in IU or EQuo hands, it depends on the distribution of those votes.

Given that the total number votes is going to be around 25 million, we are taling here about a PSOE loss of around 6-8%: less than the polls predicted but just around absolute majority. it depends on the distribution of the transfer from PSOE to other left-wing parties.

However, a relatively small number of transfers votes from PSOE directly to PP (a quarter millione would be enough) and marginal seats end up with PP winning in a landslide.

All in all, what I mean is, if PSOE voters do not vote for PP, then PP win is going to be large but not landslide.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 10:18:39 AM EST
First gossip polls in front of polling stations confirm the results above. Redistribution on the left give absolute majority to PP, but close.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 11:01:16 AM EST
Is there no such thing as a "populist right" in Spain that wouldn't be comfortable with hardcore austerity?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 11:05:30 AM EST
Absolutely. The key question is if they are all the 10 million votes of PP or just three-quarters of them.

But at least half of PP voters think hardcore austerity is super-good... no matter what and forever. The question is what happens with the other half if austerity touches them directly. A first round can be understood as paying the price for PSOE who overspent and brought Spain close to collapse.

A second round? God knows

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 11:11:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
participation at 18:00 H

Wow!!! just Wow!!! 58.5% . just two points below 2008.

This is really weird. the gap is closing. we cna end up with only 2% less votes. this means that the base for PSOE is the same number of votes than PP. Both of them around 10.5 million.

The key point now is how the trasnfers to the left-wing parties went.

PP majority is really up to the PSOE to PP trasnfers. How many new voters did PP got?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 12:08:55 PM EST
Sorry, the data above is just the first round of data at 18:00h.. I will check the final number....

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 12:10:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems is going to be a more normal number. 57%. This is 4% behind 2008. Which will probably hold at the end of the night at 5% below.

This confirms the midday data. It is going to be a 68-71% participation election.

PP majority seems real. How big? Again, depends on the direct transfers...

I really want to see how many PSOE vote ends up in PP hands.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 12:15:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How things stand?

well participation at 18:00h is 57.5%. We will see a 4% drop in participation at the end of the day. All of them PSOE voters. this is 1.2 million votes.

This means the ceiling for PSOE voters is going to be 10 million votes. PP has 10.5 votes guaranteed.  PP is going to win.

The question is by how much.

In order to reproduce the results from the polls, roughly one million PSOE voters should move to PP and another million to other left-wing parties. This would confirm the 11.5 million for PP, 8 million for PSOE (a 14% difference).

Is this really possible? Well, we will see, but I would bet that PP difference does not reach 10 points. Anybody wants to bet?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 12:32:34 PM EST
Ok gossip.. pure gossip but for what is worth. Poll

180 PP
120 PSOE
15 CiU
10 IU
5 PNV
5 Left-basque

With nobody else breaking the 5 threshold and a lot of small parties with chances to get one-three seats.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:45:25 PM EST
"The 5 threshold" is the number of seats needed to form your own parliamentary group.

A 3% vote threshold operates at the constituency level for seat apportionment. This is really only operative in the larger constituencies such as Madrid and Barcelona, where over 30 seats are elected.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:47:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The gossip surrounding a left-wing basque group is so loud that it seems a fact.

It is called Amaiur.. and we should have added it. Participation in Basque country is higher than in the previous election. The only area where this happens.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:55:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Participation increased with respect to 2009 in the Basque Country, and dropped in all the other regions.

This is presumably the result of abstentions or null votes becoming valid Amaiur votes.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:06:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:11:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should note it was a horrible rainy day in Madrid and I believe there were storms on the Mediterranean coast. That tends to act as a deterrent to voter participation.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:48:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it correct to state the seats being lost by PSOE are the "back-benchers" and the party leadership will retain theirs?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:50:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely.

All the leaders get seats.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:53:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DAMN it!!!

If the leaders had been thrown out they would have paid the price for their policies.  As it is, they won't and have no incentive too.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:12:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There will presumably be a PSOE party congress and an overhaul of the leadership. However, the presumptive frontrunner in a congress after a Rubalcaba rout is Carme Chacón, currently a minister.

Stalking horses might be people like Eduardo Madina, a young Basque socialist who hasn't been in government yet.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:15:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a closed-party-list system. The battle to get a "safe" position in a constituency list happens within the party.

A lot of dissident backbenchers knew back in September during the constitutional reform debacle that they would not repeat. Some people in the party leadership, or in the cabinet, had decided not to run for a seat again.

Zapatero is not running for a seat. The party's organization secretary, Jose Blanco, is. Rubalcaba, the leading candidate, will run for Madrid, but he holds no party or government positions so he doesn't have a position to resign after losing big tonight.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 01:56:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The gossip is official. I took the lower PP numbers, pol says that it could reach 185 seats.. but I do not buy it with this participation.

A pleasure


I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:04:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They say it is going to be a difference between 10 and 15 points... but I can not see how they are going to get this huge difference. Polls claim that IU is going to get a lot of votes , but still.

I still defend 180 PP and 9-10 points...

I take bets.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:11:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you accept peseta?

(We've got some lying around.)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:17:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They can be traded for Euros at the Bank of Spain...

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:18:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I accept pesetas... for sure.

PP below 181...

It is a very good bet... 20 duros?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Un café...

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:31:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Done.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:32:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's a mil pesetas note worth in real money?

(Also got three Canadian dollars, some Greek drachmas, about fifteen Deutsche marks, some Danish kroner, Irish punts, two Brit pound notes, a King Georgie the Second shilling, and a well used bronze piece from the Roman Emperor Constantine, if you wish to "open your options.")

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:53:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
6 euros.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:54:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bet is too rich for my blood, then.

(Yes, I AM a cheapskate.)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:13:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The RTVE poll appears to give 6/7 to Amaiur and 4/5 to the PNV so one of two interesting things might happen...

There could be two Basque Nationalist groups, a right wing nationalist and a left wing independentist.

Or the left independentists might take away the single Basque Group from the traditional PNV.

In any case, Amaiur would be bigger than the PNV according to the poll.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:17:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In a couple of months Amaiur beats PNV.. huge chances it is going to be the main force in basque politics for years to come ahead of PSOE, PNV and PP.

This is the first surprise of the night.. if it is confirmed.. but the gossip is very loud. They take it as a given.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:23:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this related to the end of ETA?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:56:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:01:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Imagine the fun of having a PP government in Madrid and Amaiur in the Basque county!

Amaiur is the largest group right now in the results from PV.

I imagine that they will long for Ibarratxe.

And look at Catalunya and Andalucia.  Spain is becoming a normal post-modern european country where identity politics are the rule.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:30:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems PP is not going to get to 11 million votes.. and still get the absolute majority.

Zapatero had 11.2 million votes... and did not get the absolute majority (176 seats is a majority).

As you can see the electoral system is really fucked up.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:34:31 PM EST
Yes, I think it's these rural provinces.

res humą m'és alič
by Antoni Jaume on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:38:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RTVE poll via El Pais:
PP     181/185 (154)
PSOE   115/119 (169)
CiU	13/15  (10)
IU	 9/11  (2)
Amaiur	 6/7   (-)
PNV	 4/5   (6)
UPyD	 3/4   (1)
ERC	  3    (3)
CC	 2/3   (2)
BNG	  2    (2)
FAC	  1    (-)
C-Equo	 0/1   (-)
GBAI	 0/1   (-)


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:52:18 PM EST
they are giving 30% votes for PSOE.. I really do not see how this is possible. thisi 7.2 million votes with 24 million cast..

I just can not believe it. I would bet it is around 7.5-8 million...leading to roughly 120 seats...but ei who knows.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 02:55:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How what is possible? This is replicating the 2000 election result:
PP   45% 183
PSOE 35% 125
IU    5%   8
CiU   4%  15


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:01:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thi sis 35%.. this is soemthing I see, but no 30%

In any case, it seems that it is possible, not because the votes go to PSOE but given that it has huge losses to the left.

Right now, at 15% counted PSOE below 110, but PP at 177.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:07:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:07:18 PM EST
Unfortunately Madrid numbers ar enot representative...Normally PP gets more seats as the night advances...

But Basque country number are almost definitive.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:10:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:14:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(Basque Country numbers)

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:18:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:09:43 PM EST
Ok I nailed this one :)

Canary islands is not in. this should give extra seats to PP, their seats are not even included.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:14:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:17:02 PM EST


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:21:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:24:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:29:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok Something important.

In all projections the Canary island seats are not even distributed. And there are 15 seats, normally 13 going to the major parties. One should add roughly 6 seats to each major party.

So, basically, now PP is between 175 and 179 this should be 181-185. this is just what the polls said. I just think it will end up in 181. This is 175+6.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:18:27 PM EST
Now with everything included

PP:  182
PSOE:111
CiU:16
IU:10
AMAIUR:7
PNV:5

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:29:29 PM EST
Awfull.

there seems to be a transfer of votes in Andalucia from PSOE to PP.

it is a nightmare.

PP with 185...

I think I was wrong... they do get 180, easy. I lost a coffee.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:33:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

This is astonishing.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:36:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is so huge I just can not believe it.

Gee.. how is this possible.. Gee

I was so wrong..With this PP gets 185...if there is nothing fishy there.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:40:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not fishi at all, it's solid.

The polls were predicting this, by the way. The PSOE was only supposed to win in Catalonia (and they didn't - CiU won there).

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:49:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the preliminary total voter turn out?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:10:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok. Until Canary Island set in 8 or 6 for PP, we will fluctuate a bit.

But it seems 183-185 for PP.

Damned!!!

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:35:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
¿Where was going PP to get 185 seats with 70% participation? I asked myself, not believing the polls.

Well, from the major vote transfer PSOE to PP in the history of Andalucia.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:41:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the matter with Andalucia?
by IM on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:46:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tired of being the vote granary of the PSOE. Chronically very high unemployment.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:47:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Equo got nada?
by sgr2 on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:49:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Green vote is hard to get in Spain, most people think that employment is prioritary respect to environment protection. They should have gone with IU-LV (Izquierda Unida-Los Verdes: United Left-Green).

res humą m'és alič
by Antoni Jaume on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:53:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Equo's number 2 was Inés Sabanés, formerly and for over 20 years the face of IU in the Madrid city council. I'm not sure how she got ejected from IU but Equo was never going to join IU after Sabanés became important within it.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:55:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Personal interpretations are the bane of small parties.

res humą m'és alič
by Antoni Jaume on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:01:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With over 50% counted, the vote percentage begins to be robust. Equo got 2/3 of the votes they needed to get seats (3%)



To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:53:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]

At over 70% votes counted this is pretty definitive.

Rubalcaba press conference at 22h in under 2 minutes time.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 03:59:53 PM EST
The results coming from Andalucia make it pretty simple. Accept the loss and move on.

So, PP loses votes in basque Country but gets voters directly from PSOE in Andalucia, and gets a little bit less of a quarter million there.. maybe. If people stay that way, how is going PSOE ever to come back.

I mean, would this 200 kvotes be PP voters forever....?

If so, it is huge.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:03:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regional elections in Andalucia before 5 months... That should be interesting.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:04:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We are having PSOE below 7 million votes.

The trasnfers to small parties is huge. But it is the 200 kvotes lost in Andalucia that kill them. We are talking about 8 seats here.

It would have been 179 for PP instead of 187... It is so important for PSOE to recover them back...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:09:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The PSC had never lost in Catalonia in a General Election.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:06:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But we are talking about a net trasnfer of roughly 50 kvotes here from PSOE to PP. MAybe 100 kvotes. It has been important , but not devastating.

A lot of PSOE voters wfromt he last election were CiU voters who did not want PP to win. this time they focused on CiU.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:12:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cadena Ser is making a lot of the results in the "red belt" around Barcelona.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:13:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Checking it. But it looked to me that it was 50 kvotes.

Important, but not huge.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:42:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:18:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jose Blanco celebrates "the first elections without terrorism".

PP wins elections.

Interior minister reports data:



To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:10:56 PM EST
Striking how local parties are rewarded, in particular CC-NC-PNC compared to IU-LV when it comes to seats/votes.

So two Basque groups then?

A question: the parties to small to have a parliament group on theri own, do they form a technical group, caucus with a larger party or what?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 07:44:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not striking... If you have 20% of the vote locally you'll do much better than if you have 10% of the vote nationally.

What's missing in Spain is some sort of additional member system on national party lists for overall proportionality.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 09:22:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sweden reserves 10% of seats for balancing seats after the districts are distributed (they are added to the standard seats of the districts in accordance with some formula that gives seats where the party that receives them were strong but got few seats). And that with bigger districts (in terms of seats), Gotland is the only one with just 2.

So when I see one party netting a seat per 0.05% of the total votes and another getting a seat per 0.64% of the total votes, in a system that is nominally proportional... lets say that is not what I am used to.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:45:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Congratulates PP for winning.

Over 72% participation shows strength of democracy.

PSOE loses with 7 million voters.

Talks of having governed during "the worst economic crisis we've known".

PSOE will lead opposition according to identity, values and convictions, and commitment to the general interest of the country.

Fighting the crisis should not mean a loss of social safety net. Defend universal public services, public and civil rights and equality. Asking that Europe be up to the current situation.

They start the way to recovering power.

There should be an ordinary party congress, as soon as possible.

Thanks all around.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:25:15 PM EST
Fighting the crisis should not mean a loss of social safety net.

Funny how that's only the case when they're in opposition.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:28:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe that means the PSOE is more useful in opposition...

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:32:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be a sad statement about their usefulness when in government.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:33:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My take is that parties are better when governing in coalitions. The first legislature of Aznar (PP) was less terrible than expected because their majority wasn't absolute.

res humą m'és alič
by Antoni Jaume on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:39:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We are going to get a very itneresting super majority.

With 10.5 million votes.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:43:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IIRC that is still under the threshold for constitutional change with only their votes. It was bad this summer when the PSOE passed the 'austerity' amendment with PP complicity.

res humą m'és alič
by Antoni Jaume on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:52:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PP will go from 10.3 to 10.5 milion votes at the end of the night, 2% more, and from 154 to 186 seats, 20% more. Interesting.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:44:23 PM EST
PSOE back to 2000 results.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:45:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep. 7 million.

It is amazing how 200.000 votes can flip 6-10 seats.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:47:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is going to be from 10.3 to 10.7 at the end of the night since Pp areas are late for the count...

So it is a 4% increase.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 05:27:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Humility, commitment, responsibility.

Addressing those who didn't vote for him: wants to be the president of all, including those who did not vote. Nobody must feel excluded from the common task.

Critical juncture which will determine the future of the country for decades. Men and countries must show their mettle. Most delicate environment in 30 years.

Immense and urgent task to face.

Give the Spaniards back the pride of being Spanish. This is a great nation but sometimes even great nations forget what they are and focus on small things.

Diversity is strength but diversity must be tied tightly to the whole.

Today more than ever our future plays out in Europe.

There won't be miracles, we haven't promised them, but when one works well good results come.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:44:45 PM EST
See also: 'Go back to sleep while I let the ECB/IMF/GS rape you.'
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 05:55:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
El Pais: Rajoy awaits this morning a key phone call from Merkel: In the PP this interview is considered the first step of a new era

(In Spanish - I don't think there's a need to translate more...)

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 06:22:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So which of the parties represented now in parliament are anti-austerity?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:49:31 PM EST
I can't be certain, but only UI-LV and Compromis are strictly more on the left than PSOE, Esquerra and BNG should too.

res humą m'és alič
by Antoni Jaume on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:56:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amaiur probably too.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 05:23:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:50:13 PM EST
It seem Catalonia shift PSOE to PP might well be around 80 kvotes. This is is rather significant.... the poitn is that it is only 1 marginal seats.

PP had 8, now it has 11 in catalonia, 2 of them given that PSC people stayed at home. 1 of them is due to the trasnfer.

Not bad, but not huge. In Andalucia, 200000 votes are much more important.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:54:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect the million votes for UPyD may be a permanent loss for the PSOE. This brings their ceiling down. But their floor stays where it was.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 04:59:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It makes a lot of sense. floor seems to be 7 million.

And PP.. will it be 10.5 million from now on and forever?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 05:06:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If dissatisfaction with PP over the next few years leads to some splintering off to right wing parties, would that lead to some differences in detail but not much difference in broad measure?

While the difference in broad measure would be if an economically sane centrist seeming party could wedge some substantial portion of their vote away?

If SPOE gets 31% of deputies from 28% of the vote while IU-LV gets 3% of deputies from 6% of the vote, it would seem the general challenge for a third party is getting up to the level of support where the threshold effects are not killing their proportional representation. That is, the impact of anyone by PSOE wedging away 10% of PP's vote (4% of electorate) would be substantially watered down by threshold effects unless they were mostly going to the same place and that same party was also picking up voters from elsewhere.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:00:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At the level of support the PP and PSOE get, their vote fraction losses translate pretty much proportionally to seat losses. The effect of neither of the two main parties getting more than 35% would be that smalled parties might get more seats at the margin by the d'Hondt method.

PP votes, nationally, are not going to go to IU, only to the PSOE or to UPyD.

There has been an attempt at reestablishing a European-style liberal party, but it hasn't been successful.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:58:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hadn't the impression that the notional wedge of 4% of the electorate from PP could go to IU, but thanks for confirming that. Trading voters between PP and PSOE does not change the electoral landscape, so the evolution of the electoral landscape from that direction would have to be from the Social Democrats.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 11:23:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But my point is that if PP and PSOE vote percentages go from 44%-28% to 36%-36% a party polling at 13% would get more seats.

In a 5-seat constituency the d'Hondt quotients would be

44 22 15 11 9 -> 3 seats
28 14  9  7 6 -> 2 seats
13  7  4  3 3 -> 0 sets

36 18 12 9 7 -> 2 seats
36 18 12 9 7 -> 2 seats
13  7  4 3 3 -> 1 seat

so a vote transfer from PP to PSOE could result in a seat transfer from PP to IU.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 11:51:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is d'Hondt? The party with the highest V/(s+1) gets the next seat and then its quota is recalculated because it's "s" has changed?

Yes, 13% there is the d'Hondt threshold effect ... but suppose that 13% was split 8% 4% and minor parties ...

36 [1] 18 [1] 18 [2] 12 [2] 12 [3]
32 [0] 32 [1] 16 [1] 16 [2] 08 [2]
08 [0] 08 [0] 08 [0] 08 [0] 08 [0]
04 [0] 04 [0] 04 [0] 04 [0] 04 [0]

The threshold for a minor party deputy there is 12%, the largest vote share divided by the plurality of 3. Hence the "regional" 3rd parties doing better.

That's why a wedge that shifts voters from the leading party in a district to a 3rd party that already has a toehold is particularly appealing under d'Hondt, since it reduces both sides of the gap to the threshold.

That's also why Sainte-Laguë, which uses V/(1+2*s), is more favorable to medium size 3rd parties:

36 [1] 12 [1] 12.0 [2] 07.2 [2] 07.2 [2]
32 [0] 32 [1] 10.3 [1] 10.3 [2] 06.4 [2]
08 [0] 08 [0] 08.0 [0] 08.0 [0] 08.0 [1]
04 [0] 04 [0] 04.0 [0] 04.0 [0] 04.0 [0]


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:31:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... mind, AFAIU, the Danes do not use the proposed 1, 3, 5, 7 ... divisors, but rather 1.4, 3, 5, 7 ... so in practice there's a higher 3rd/minor party threshold than the method as originally proposed.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:50:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
		 2000  2011
eligible voters 34.0M 34.3M
votes cast	23.3M 24.6M
valid votes	23.2M 24.3M
votes to lists	22.8M 23.9M
PP		10.3M 10.8M
PSOE		 7.9M  7.0M
IU		 1.3M  1.8M
UPyD		    -  1.1M
CiU		0.97M  1.0M


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 07:11:02 PM EST
Well, this is going to be quite a disaster.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:09:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So in sum, all left-wing parties gained votes compared to 2000 (assuming you count the PSOE splinter faction as part of the PSOE).

It would be interesting to see a time series of the last couple of election cycles.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:21:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking of putting together just such a time series.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:59:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UPyD is an odd beast - it basically represents the faction of the PSOE least comfortable with the decentralization of the State that has been effected over the past 30-odd years.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:00:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure it has been mentioned before here, but since W/P isn't much help, could someone repeat what exactly is UPyD (besides "progressive") and where does it stand on the austerity / democracy issue?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 08:26:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As much as I can make out of their electoral programme for this election, it was a reformist programme that ignored the elephant in the room ~ it talked about electoral reform, judicial reform, and on the economic front the elimination of redundant government activities and accumulation of what I took to be special purpose and special jurisdiction courts ... but I didn't see anything that I could understand to be about the frontal assault on the Spanish economy by the ECB, which I found odd.

OTOH, while some decades ago I was could read well enough to struggle through Cien años de soledad, rust has been accumulating for several decades and I am only guessing for most of that.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 11:49:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's probably because they lean liberal but know that the Social-democratic voters want something more left in the current economic climate. As far as I can tell they share the PSOE's "austerity, but not only".

One of their louder platforms this time around was universal public services (health care, education), also shared by the PSOE.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:02:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aha, but "austerity now, but not just austerity" is a policy guaranteed to fail them.

Its hard to see how they make headway under that banner, unless they shift attention from the need for a non-currency issuing state to run a balanced budget on a capital basis (current spending plus debt service), and instead add ECB reformism to their structural reform slate.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 11:33:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the austerity/democracy issue, UPyD would be "Seriously" austere and "radically" democratic.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:03:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems to me Wikipedia is pretty informative. What is not covered by the article, in your opinion?

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:18:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't describe the positions of the party since the crisis. I.e. what was mentioned about austerity etc above.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 07:09:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I will try to put together a diary. The gist of what I think I'll end up saying is that UPyD has successfully established the Left-liberal space but there are some dark (i.e., authoritarian) areas.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 07:12:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be nice to have a diary with an analysis of the results, prospects for the future...
by cagatacos on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 01:42:56 PM EST
The thread was becoming one-word-wide, so reply to rootless2:

You produced no evidence whatever for your assertion that the debt brake was designed as a gimmick. It was and is part of Merkel's requirements for eurozone partner countries in the German my-way-or-the-highway "solution" to the crisis. If you were following European affairs at all, you would know that.

I also pointed out that blocking it was facilitated by a considerable electoral victory for the PS and the French left as a whole, which now limits Sarkozy's power to obtain constitutional amendments. That victory is the culmination of a long process of winning and consolidating local and regional power. Hardly an image of the powerless "left" you excoriate, in which, to judge by your scorn, you include the French Socialists.

This is strange, considering that the PS is a centre-left party of government of the kind one might expect, in the light of your arguments here, that you would support. But finally, what is the "point" you are bringing to this discussion? Anything beyond "Go USA!" and "Obama Rah-Rah-Rah!"?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 02:07:25 AM EST
My response was to the note in the article that the "left" was telling people not to vote for either party - which I find to be a common argument both in the US and EU from people who think that withholding a vote from a social democratic party somehow "punishes" it and has some unclear political benefit.

As with the US Democrats, I find a lot not to like in the PS, but think that they are highly preferable to the existing alternative.

by rootless2 on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 03:55:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"My response was to the note in the article that the "left" was telling people not to vote for either party"

There was no such note in the article and you've been told that before.

by Katrin on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 04:05:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well
So here is a brief description of PP and PSOE positions and the small parties. Be aware, though, that the left is basically in the streets shouting "do not vote PPSOE". Unfortunately, all polls suggest that this is the sociological left, the one in the streets, you know.
Still, the contention is that there are ample opportunities for third party votes.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 04:25:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There were no calls not to vote for "either party" (i.e. neither party in the political spectrum). There were enough parties to choose from. It's what Rootless is distorting, and I admit I have developed an allergy against a certain kind of trans-Atlantic arrogance. It makes my fingers itch.
by Katrin on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 04:43:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Either implies "between two".
by rootless2 on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 11:14:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you had said "call not to vote for either of the major parties" we wouldn't be having this silly subthread. The other parties exist - they have representation at all levels of government from local to continental, and not just testimonially in the parliaments but also in executive functions (from mayors up to regional governments).

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 02:28:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly! So you could have said:
My response was to the note in the article that the "left" was telling people not to vote for two out of a dozen parties.

You didn't, because you wanted something to hinge your weird theory about the left on.

by Katrin on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 02:30:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I note that in most electoral districts it was known that the other parties would not obtain any representation.
by rootless2 on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:49:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but so what? In a 3-seater you know the result is going to be 2-1 no matter what because third parties don't poll above 25%.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:57:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the event, if I am not mistaken, relatively few voters passed from PSOE to left wing parties and even fewer seats were obtained - due to the voting system. Most disaffected PSOE voters apparently either did not vote or voted PP - or am I reading the results wrong?
by rootless2 on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 10:43:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know...

		 2008  2011
eligible voters 35.0M 34.3M
abstention	 9.2M  9.7M
votes cast	25.9M 24.6M
null votes	 0.2M  0.3M
blank votes	 0.3M  0.3M
votes to lists	25.4M 24.6M
PP		10.3M 10.8M
PSOE		11.3M  7.0M
CiU		 0.8M  1.0M
IU		 1.0M  1.7M
UPyD		 0.3M  1.1M


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 12:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you know why the quantity of eligible voters went down so much?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 12:45:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is easy: The number of eligible voters was deflated by the quasi gold-standard policy of the bundesbank.

Do you also want to know why the chicken crossed the road?

More seriously,

the PSOE lost 4.3 million votes.

Participation dropped by 1.3 million,
CiU, IU and UPyD gained 1.7 million,
and the PP gained 500,000 votes.

That still leaves a remnant, but that is probably somewhere in abstentions and blank votes and minor parties. So one half of PSOE voters did go to the left or regional parties, a third did stay home and only some voted PP.    

by IM on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 01:44:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I can gather from various anglo expat-pages lists of eligible voters are kept by local government. This might mean trouble for voters who become homeless.

SPAIN: Madrid Mayor Wants to Sweep Homeless Out of Sight - IPS ipsnews.net

Everyone on both sides of the argument is aware that the vast majority of the people sleeping rough and enduring the cold at nights are unemployed and homeless as a result of the prolonged global economic crisis. They are immigrants from Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, as well as large numbers of Spaniards.

So your snark might hold a bit a truth, austerity might have removed those voters from the rolls.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 02:48:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is rounding errors; the new basque left independentist party got 330 thousand votes and 7 seats, but I didn't list it because it got under 1M and didn't contest the last election; the new green left party got 230 thousand votes and no seats; and then there are a bunch of minor parties. Also, roughly 1M votes are registered while resident abroad and their votes may not have been counted, though estimates are that less than 1/3 actually voted.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 07:19:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think 1 million absentee voters are not included yet.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 07:06:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"But I note that in most electoral districts it was known that the other parties would not obtain any representation"

Priceless, Rootless. One couldn't make it up. Indeed, we sort parties into major and minor ones, and this depends on the votes they won. And you are quite right, small parties did not obtain representation everywhere. Now, who would have thought that.

by Katrin on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 01:24:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What percentage of deputies are from districts with four or fewer seats?

For deputies from districts with 5 or more seats, the third party threshold when the largest part gets 40% of the vote is 13.4 or less ~ and shifting your vote from one of the two major parties to any other party helps lower the 3rd party threshold.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 06:06:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And you complain about arrogance?
by rootless2 on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 11:16:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, you got that right.
by Katrin on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 01:26:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pointing out that you are repeating canards of which you have been repeatedly disabused can be called many things.

"Arrogant" is not one of them, unless you are using a highly variant thesaurus.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Nov 25th, 2011 at 08:49:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, my opinion, the PS claim, the NYT analysis, etc. all see it as a gimmick. So we could all be wrong.
by rootless2 on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 03:57:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I have no doubt that Sarko regards it as an election gimmick. But that says more about Sarko's understanding of economics and/or views of the constitution of the Fifth Republic than it does about the importance of killing that amendment.

Sadly, demented goldbuggery does not become harmless just because its proponents do not take it seriously (if they even understand it, which in Sarko's case is somewhat doubtful).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 04:04:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me see if I can learn the correct approach. Journalists consider it a gimmick, the opposition calls it a gimmick, Sarko himself may consider it a gimmick, but yet it is not a gimmick because if passed it locks the French government into a strict financial discipline that can only be relaxed whenever it is not wanted.  Outstanding!
by rootless2 on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:53:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think you can learn anything.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:57:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are still making out that the debt brake requirement from Germany is a "gimmick"?

I said in my comment above that Sarkozy would have liked to have made electoral capital out of it, certainly. And the Socialists' communication, understandably and to some effect, pointed that out.

But Germany's insistence on this and soon other changes at the level of treaty or constitutional law in eurozone countries is a serious matter. Forgive us poor benighted Europeans for seeing it as such.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 02:03:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's odd how the correct "left" interpretation requires one to take the supposed financial rectitude of the German government seriously.  Those of us ignorant foreigners, lacking the correct ideological methodology see that world-wide, the right is the party of massive public spending and debt - just only on things like bailing out banks and making irresponsible bondholders good and military equipment.
by rootless2 on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:56:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rootless2:
the supposed financial rectitude of the German government

No. Just the not-at-all-supposed obtuse arrogance of the German government.

But I'd be asking you to learn something, and that...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:59:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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