Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Why Coalitions Matter

I will occasionally point out government practices in Europe.....which are often in conflict with democracy and stability.

The state government of Catalonia (a far-eastern state in Spain)....had a state election a couple of months ago.  Catalonia has been charged up for several years (a particular note for the past year).....on separating away from Spain itself.  The big reason?  The state makes a ton of money in terms of tax revenue, and then shares that wealth with the national government of Spain.  No.....they don't see what they contribute....coming back into their own state.  For them.....it's economic greed of the federal system in Spain.

So the Junts pel Si Party won big in October, 61 seats of the state legislature, of the 135 seats.  To run the state government.....they needed fifty-percent or more.....meaning a coalition government. Wherever you go in Europe, that's the general rule.

So, they've spent three months trying to talk the other parties which would give them a fifty-percent or more lead.....into accepting a partnership.

Yesterday, the final chance came, and the answer was no.

So, Catalonia will now have another state election (probably by the end of March).  No one says much over the voting public and how this might go.....five months after the last election.

The odds of a similar number of votes again?  Well.....yeah.....that's the general problem.  The Junts pel Si Party (the independence group who really wants Catalonia to separate from Spain) might pick up another couple thousand votes.  They'd have to win 68 seats to close out this argument and discussion.

The chance that this March election will result in the Junts pel Si Party getting only 65 seats and having to face another collation episode, and another failed government.....resulting in another election in September?  Well, it's possible to see a third election, and even a fourth election coming out of this.

Coalition themes are difficult to work out.  If you look at Hessen, my local state in Germany, the right-leaning CDU had to work up a relationship with the Greens.  Most people would have said it was impossible.  But somehow, the CDU came to agree to look the other way, allow some positions to occur that made the Greens happy, and the Greens had to moderate their themes enough to stay friendly with the CDU Party.  It's actually worked in Hessen. Some people would even suggest in the next national election....that the Greens could possibly partner up with the CDU there.

One the positive about coalition-building.....is that you can't dwell on negative commenting too much or build a strong negative position on any particular topic.  You have to worry about each election, and how your friendship must be maintained to some degree.

(spelling corrected)

1 comment:

Michael said...

Excellent post. One point:

"Collation" is the assembly of written information into a standard order.

I think you meant "coalition": an alliance for combined action, especially a temporary alliance of political parties forming a government or of states.