Reach Alcance Edition 20 | ‘Electoral Systems’

Reach Alcance Edition 20| Gibraltar | Campo de Gibraltar | Editorial: Martín Serrano

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This October will see two major elections of relevance to our region, but which are fundamentally different. On the one hand, we will have the Gibraltar elections with all eyes set on the 31st October UK withdrawal date from the EU and on the other the campaign for the General Election in Spain which is set to take place on the 10th November.

Gibraltar’s traditional system seeks to guarantee stability. Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo believes that Brexit requires a government with an electoral mandate and the capacity to meet challenges which will affect the entire region; not just Gibraltar, but the hinterland also.

This is the same aim that Prime Minister Johnson wants for the UK but which is now at risk following the set-back of the Supreme Court judgment on the prorogation of Parliament and its subsequent re-opening and which is once again looking at options to a savage and uncontrolled no-deal separation from the EU.

It is encouraging that in Gibraltar the views and desires of the people have been sought without fear that party political interests could shred the democratically expressed wishes of the voters.

Reach Alcance Edition 20
Reach Alcance Edition 20

In Spain there was a long period of stability nurtured by a de facto two party system which sometimes called on the support of Catalan or Basque nationalist parties in exchange political benefits which have eventually led to the current territorial instability.

The arrival on the scene of insurgent parties with inexperienced leaders has shattered the bipartisan system and also created instability as it is no longer enough for a party to win a general election in order to be in government for four years by just appealing to the statesmanship of Congress.

The tactical irresponsibility among the parties has sorely aggravated the electorate. This hurts democracy, it weakens it and allows populist parties to gain ground. The Spanish system needs to be reformed so that votes are of equal value in Andalucia as they are in Navarre.

And so whilst on the 17th of this month Gibraltar goes to the polls in the certainty that a solid government will result, in Spain and much to the sense of anxiety of the people, many are asking themselves whether or not the gates of stability will finally reopen on the 10th of November.

Reach Alcance Edition 20| Gibraltar | Campo de Gibraltar | Editorial: Martín Serrano

What do you think?