Saturday, March 20, 2010

So This Is What They Meant By A Pacto De Estado

Although there seems little chance of the two major parties in Spain reaching agreement over economic measures, it would be wrong to assume that they cannot unite around anything. Just recently we have had two examples of the PSOE and PP finding enough common ground to shoot down any proposals that threaten their monopoly on power.

First there was a proposal to limit the amount of time which judges on the Constitutional Court could stay on after their terms of office have expired. Given that this is a situation affecting several members of that institution it would have an immediate effect if adopted. The disagreement between PSOE and PP over the way in which to nominate successors has frozen any renovation of the body which is currently very very busy sleeping - no, I really meant to say deliberating - on the issue of the Catalan Estatut. Changing the members might mean that the decision on the Estatut goes into yet another decade; but anyway the PP and PSOE ensured it wouldn't happen.

Then there was the parliamentary commission set up to study the issue of electoral reform and the massive under representation of smaller national parties that results from the current electoral system. After two years of hard work the commission has agreed that reform is the candidates for the Senate will no longer have to be listed in alphabetical order. That's it, the major beneficiaries of the current system have unsurprisingly decided that there is no need to change it for something a bit fairer.


Lenox said...

On electoral reform, it would be nice to see the playskool element taken out of the system and parties allowed to field who they consider of merit on their lists rather than boy boy girl girl boy.

ejh said...

It would be more helpful if the party list system itself were to be abolished.

Graeme said...

The question of having open party lists is precisely one of the proposals that was rejected - along with everything else that suggested any real change to the system.