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  #1021  
Old 12-23-2015, 05:35 AM
Aristocracy
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke of Marmalade View Post
SnowBirds,

the answer is not easy, for example the European Union consists of 28 countries and all of them are different due to their historical background. Some of them have 2 parties only, some of them are more or less democratic and tend to rule with absolute majorities, most of them have more parties because when people get unhappy they tend to elect smaller parties (what is the case in Spain now - due to the financial crisis) that usually form a coalition with one of the bigger parties. For example in Germany we have 2 big established parties but one rarely gets absolute majority so most of the time there are coalitions with a third party (liberal/right-ish, left-ish, green) or with each other. The smaller parties have to make 5% of the votes to get seats in parliament and if the coalition building is successful, the government will usually last 5 or 6 years before the next election turnus. If it collapses, new elections will be on the cards sooner.

Like in Spain, the parties usually campaign around the country but the process by far not as long as in the US, where the campaign goes on for almost 18 months. I think in Germany its 6 months and people like it as short as possible, its more quick and easy, regarding the choice of candidates too.

In Spain, there are now the established parties PP (conservative, with president Rajoy who keeps majority despite losses) and PSOE (socialist, and unlike in Germany these two parties do not have a relationship that would allow a coalition). Due to the crisis a lot of people turned to the left-ish Podemos and liberal/right-ish Ciudadanos, so there are 4 parties now instead of 2 to form a government.
Rajoy will be in charge of forming the government first because his party got most votes and he is president, but that could change quickly if he doesnt find a stable solution of coalition with (some of) the other parties. Felipe will have talks with all of them to see where they stand.

Hope this helps to answer your questions.
Thank you so much DoM, you have answered my question about the number of parties in Spain. In putting the name to the party it has now helped me identify who is who where as before it was confusing. I did know that there was 28 countries in the European Union, I just did not know how they work or even if they do work together for lately I read somewhere in one of my many newspapers that I read there was talk of some country wanting out of the Union and that there was actual problems in the EU, if this is incorrect please let me know. Having names to parties make it easier for me to understand and putting the name of the person in charge of each party makes helps me identify who is who.

JMO is that with 4 parties in Spain maybe it would be easier for parliament to form a government or as I put it, take care of business. Not much gets done with just a 2 party system as I have seen here and don't want to get started on my government.

Can you answer one more question, how are parties formed? Ex: a man or group of men/women get disgusted with their government, they form a political party, then they write down say in their ledger the names of members, ideas and what the party stands for, they give it a name, a logo, they elect a person in this party to be in charge, then what? Do they register it some where, does the government require so many members be in a party, how does it get on the ballot, how do they let the people know that a new party is formed and is running for parliament? And elections, who sets the date for elections? The current PM or the King/President?

I don't mean to bother anyone here with all these questions, it is just I want to learn how this is done. And I don't know where else to go to get answers from people that I believe are honest with me..........this forum is very informative and I have seen that there are many very intelligent, brilliant and well educated people here so I guess you could say I am picking their brains for information so that I can only learn.

Thank you DoM
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  #1022  
Old 12-23-2015, 05:55 AM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland
In Switzerland we have another - very democratic - system. We have a lot of diffrent parties - 3 big ones and about 5 smallish to small ones.

There is the 'Ständerat' - where the people of each Kanton elects its represantatives directly in. Then we have the 'Nationalrat' - where also the people of each Kanton elect directly the 'Nationalräte' in. In the Nationalrat the number of seats ist distributet on the Kantons proportionally to the population; in the Ständerat each Kanton has 2 Seats and each Half-Kanton 1 Seat.

The Nationalrat then votes every 4 Years (or when a 'Bundesrat' gives up his/her place - but then only for that place) 7 Bundesräte, they form our Goverment. Each Bundesrat has departments to lead (Finances, Military, Social, Economy etc.) Every Year the President of the Bundesrat rotats. The rota is guided by servingtime in the Bundesrat. The elected Bundesräte are deciding in the group, who is taking which department. They can switch responsebilities for departments, when ever they like / agree on. Also here is a seniority-principle at work.

The 7 Bundesräte (elected by Parlament) are from 4 diffrent parties - depending on there strength in Parlament - which means that the 4 biggest parties form together our Goverment.

So we do not have a party who governs and an opposition - but a goverment of consent - all together have to find a consent.

On the same principles of consent also the goverment of Kantons, Cities and Communen functions.

And if people are dissatisfied with something, they can form inititives, partitions, or demands directly to the concerned govermentbody
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  #1023  
Old 12-23-2015, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nice Nofret View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland
In Switzerland we have another - very democratic - system. We have a lot of diffrent parties - 3 big ones and about 5 smallish to small ones.

There is the 'Ständerat' - where the people of each Kanton elects its represantatives directly in. Then we have the 'Nationalrat' - where also the people of each Kanton elect directly the 'Nationalräte' in. In the Nationalrat the number of seats ist distributet on the Kantons proportionally to the population; in the Ständerat each Kanton has 2 Seats and each Half-Kanton 1 Seat.

The Nationalrat then votes every 4 Years (or when a 'Bundesrat' gives up his/her place - but then only for that place) 7 Bundesräte, they form our Goverment. Each Bundesrat has departments to lead (Finances, Military, Social, Economy etc.) Every Year the President of the Bundesrat rotats. The rota is guided by servingtime in the Bundesrat. The elected Bundesräte are deciding in the group, who is taking which department. They can switch responsebilities for departments, when ever they like / agree on. Also here is a seniority-principle at work.

The 7 Bundesräte (elected by Parlament) are from 4 diffrent parties - depending on there strength in Parlament - which means that the 4 biggest parties form together our Goverment.

So we do not have a party who governs and an opposition - but a goverment of consent - all together have to find a consent.

On the same principles of consent also the goverment of Kantons, Cities and Communen functions.

And if people are dissatisfied with something, they can form inititives, partitions, or demands directly to the concerned govermentbody
Okay, first let me Thank you for your info on your government and now the questions...Katon, what is this? I think a town, city, area, or district of people? I am just guessing here so please forgive my ignorance.

Could you tell me what these 3 names mean? In guessing I think the first 2 are names of parties... and the last is an elected official who is in office????
Ständerat'
'Nationalrat'
Bundesrat and if this is an elected official they only serve 4 years, wow, that to me is amazing. And there are only 7 who are elected by Parliament and each of these has the responsibilities of taking care of a department within the government and they can rotate their duties when they like. Now is your Parliament elected by the people and how long does a member of Parliament serve? And all members of Parliament are from the 3 large parties and the 5 small ones, right? And from there Parliament selects 7 Bundesrat to head up different departments within the government. What happens if the 7 Bundesrat do not all agree on something, does it then go back to Parliament to sort the problem out?

It has been many decades since anyone has agreed on anything in my government and I can tell you that there are so many disgusted people in my country right now, the whole political system is now a joke and very broken and one of the problems is that no one wants to talk about it or even acknowledge it, very sad!

I hope I am understanding this for if not, please correct me. And a huge Thank you for doing this for me.
Happy Holidays
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  #1024  
Old 12-23-2015, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SnowBirds View Post
Thank you, yet the words in bold is what has me confused, A party, what I don't know is: how many political parties are there in say Spain? Here in the US we have 2 only(sad) so are there more then 2 and if so, do they have names? Can anyone group of people just form a political party and if so, how does the political party(the parties) get on ballots so that their candidates can have the chance to be elected to parliament.

What sometime is hard to understand is that people talk about a person in the party and yet I get the impression that is the name of the party, the person's name, doesn't the party as a whole have a name and would they be either a republican, democrat, independent or monarch?

Here we have 2 parties, republicans or democrats and nothing else but there should be more then 2. Is that they way it is for the parliaments of Europe, only 2 parties, republicans and democrats?

I am find this very interesting as with what is going on here, it shows that there is a huge need for more then 2 parties and wonder how many parties are in a country in, say Spain? If there are 3 or more, then how do they get together to hold elections all the time, must the current PM put that to a vote within the present parliament or can he just state that on such and such a date there is going to be an election for what ever reason?

I do understand now that the people elect the parliament being all the parties that are running for office and that the majority party gets to put their PM in office and then form a government, yet the only confusing part for me is The Parties, just how many parties can there be running at one time, do they campaign around the country like here in the US? I have never really taken an interest in political elections before but what is going on in Spain and here has sparked an interest. So I am a novice in this and all your information is very helpful, Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

I know my questions must sound silly but they are coming from someone who knows almost nothing about politics so this is a learning process for me about European government and how they are formed.

First of all, the United States does not have only two parties. In addition to the Republican and Democratic parties, there are other parties like the Green party, the Libertarian party, and many others . Most Americans just don't notice them because they are not represented in Congress and their presidential candidates typically get less than 1 % of the national popular vote, although sometimes a third-party candidate gets more than that.

In Europe on the other hand, most countries (if not all) have more than two parties with seats in parliament. In the United Kingdom, however, where members of parliament (MPs) are separately elected by simple majority vote in single-member districts, one of the two major parties, i.e. the Conservative party or the Labour party, normally wins an outright majority of seats in the House of Commons and forms the government alone. In that scenario, the smaller parties like the Liberal Democrats, or the Scottish Nationalists, have in practice very little national influence and the system becomes in practice close to a two-party system. On the other hand, in countries like e.g. Belgium, the Netherlands, or Denmark, MPs are elected by a system known as proportional representation where each party, sometimes subject to a minimum threshold, gets a number of seats proportional to its share of the aggregate popular vote. Under that system, there are normally many parties in parliament and none of them has an absolute majority. Coalition governments then become the norm and small parties have a disproportionately big influence as they sometimes hold the balance of power.

Spain specifically also uses proportional representation, but based on regional, rather than national electoral lists. Since the different regions are not represented in the lower house of parliament in exact proportion to their respective shares of the national population, it may happen that a party which wins far less than 50 % of the national popular vote can still win more than 50 % of the seats in the lower house. That used to be case in Spanish politics where one of the two main parties, i.e the center-right PP and the center-left PSOE, used to win alone either over 50 % of the seats or slightly under 50 %. That balance was shattered in this election because new parties both on the left (Podemos) and on the right (Ciudadanos) took votes respectively from the PSOE and the PP, leaving both with fewer seats. Those new parties grew in support mostly after the 2008 economic crisis due to the frustation of sectors of the Spanish society with the traditional parties. In addition, however, to the new parties, there are also many other smaller parties that already existed before , including the former Communist party (which is now part of the so-called United Left) and various nationalist parties that contest elections in the Spanish regions like Catalonia, the Basque Country, Galicia, etc.
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  #1025  
Old 12-23-2015, 09:27 AM
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Kanton = federal state in the 'Confederatione Helvetica' = Federal Republic of Switzerland

Bundesrat=Goverment is elected by Nationalrat=Parliament -which is elected by the people (proportianal to inhabitants of a federal State = Kanton).

der Ständerat = Senat is elected by the people; each Kanton has 2 Ständeräte - so small Kantone with very small population have the same amount of Ständeräte (2) like the biggest Kanton, with about 1/3 of all Swiss people living there (Zürich).

The Bundesräte serve without timelimit - but every 4 years there is an election. Normally the same Bundesräte are getting reelected - in the last 60 years only two Bundesräte wherent reelected.

By fare most of our politicians have a job; there are not very many full time politicians. In the last Years the Bundesräte stoppt working for the time beeing.

To get a consent is a valued highly in Switzerland - on all levels in the political System. Consent and activ participation and a miliz system on the political level. The idea is, that a great part of the population participates and is involved in the goverment on every level. So consent and teamwork is ensured.

If you want your law get passed - you have to make it palatable to as many as possible - and if your opponent has a law - you can also participate in the formulation of it. They need your consent, as much as you need theirs.

The good thing is: with extreme positions you go no where in Switzerland - everything must be balanced. The downside is - everything takes a loooong time to get decieded on - but in the end everybody can live with the compromise achieved.
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  #1026  
Old 12-23-2015, 10:41 AM
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In short: the monarchy was no item in the election campaign, the Partido Popular of the current Government remains the biggest fraction in the Lower House. Their fraction in the Upper House (the Senate) holds a majority. Conclusion: the monarchy will not be affected by this election result.
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  #1027  
Old 12-23-2015, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nice Nofret View Post
Kanton = federal state in the 'Confederatione Helvetica' = Federal Republic of Switzerland

Bundesrat=Goverment is elected by Nationalrat=Parliament -which is elected by the people (proportianal to inhabitants of a federal State = Kanton).

der Ständerat = Senat is elected by the people; each Kanton has 2 Ständeräte - so small Kantone with very small population have the same amount of Ständeräte (2) like the biggest Kanton, with about 1/3 of all Swiss people living there (Zürich).

The Bundesräte serve without timelimit - but every 4 years there is an election. Normally the same Bundesräte are getting reelected - in the last 60 years only two Bundesräte wherent reelected.

By fare most of our politicians have a job; there are not very many full time politicians. In the last Years the Bundesräte stoppt working for the time beeing.

To get a consent is a valued highly in Switzerland - on all levels in the political System. Consent and activ participation and a miliz system on the political level. The idea is, that a great part of the population participates and is involved in the goverment on every level. So consent and teamwork is ensured.

If you want your law get passed - you have to make it palatable to as many as possible - and if your opponent has a law - you can also participate in the formulation of it. They need your consent, as much as you need theirs.

The good thing is: with extreme positions you go no where in Switzerland - everything must be balanced. The downside is - everything takes a loooong time to get decieded on - but in the end everybody can live with the compromise achieved.
Now I understand it, your Kanton is like a state in your country like we have states in this country. When I read that it made sense to me about how your government works. It seem that the people really take an interest in making sure that the government cooperates not just within itself but with the people. As you said, consent and teamwork.

I think that your politicians in having a real job outside of the government role that they have is highly commendable for IMO it helps them face the problems of the people for they are among the people each day and can hear and see the problems.

How I wish that could happen here, but knowing the American people, that will never happen. The number of people voting in each election decreases for there is a lot of very unhappy and disgusted people in this country. The majority of people that I have spoken with do not vote any longer, they just have given up on their government as I have. One vote no longer means anything anymore, sad.

What you have written here is something I would like, it seems things run more smoothly in your government. I know that nothing is perfect in life, no government, no person, no organization or party, but with the consent and teamwork, it seems like Switzerland works well.

Thank you for taking the time to explain all this to me. I really appreciate it for I am very interested in how the countries of Europe work because my country no longer works for the people.

One thing, one time I flew over the mountains of Switzerland and was amazed how beautiful they were and to this day I can still see them in my mind. Being a country girl at heart, I am so looking forward to visiting those mountains one day and at anytime of the year.
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  #1028  
Old 12-23-2015, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
First of all, the United States does not have only two parties. In addition to the Republican and Democratic parties, there are other parties like the Green party, the Libertarian party, and many others . Most Americans just don't notice them because they are not represented in Congress and their presidential candidates typically get less than 1 % of the national popular vote, although sometimes a third-party candidate gets more than that.

In Europe on the other hand, most countries (if not all) have more than two parties with seats in parliament. In the United Kingdom, however, where members of parliament (MPs) are separately elected by simple majority vote in single-member districts, one of the two major parties, i.e. the Conservative party or the Labour party, normally wins an outright majority of seats in the House of Commons and forms the government alone. In that scenario, the smaller parties like the Liberal Democrats, or the Scottish Nationalists, have in practice very little national influence and the system becomes in practice close to a two-party system. On the other hand, in countries like e.g. Belgium, the Netherlands, or Denmark, MPs are elected by a system known as proportional representation where each party, sometimes subject to a minimum threshold, gets a number of seats proportional to its share of the aggregate popular vote. Under that system, there are normally many parties in parliament and none of them has an absolute majority. Coalition governments then become the norm and small parties have a disproportionately big influence as they sometimes hold the balance of power.

Spain specifically also uses proportional representation, but based on regional, rather than national electoral lists. Since the different regions are not represented in the lower house of parliament in exact proportion to their respective shares of the national population, it may happen that a party which wins far less than 50 % of the national popular vote can still win more than 50 % of the seats in the lower house. That used to be case in Spanish politics where one of the two main parties, i.e the center-right PP and the center-left PSOE, used to win alone either over 50 % of the seats or slightly under 50 %. That balance was shattered in this election because new parties both on the left (Podemos) and on the right (Ciudadanos) took votes respectively from the PSOE and the PP, leaving both with fewer seats. Those new parties grew in support mostly after the 2008 economic crisis due to the frustation of sectors of the Spanish society with the traditional parties. In addition, however, to the new parties, there are also many other smaller parties that already existed before , including the former Communist party (which is now part of the so-called United Left) and various nationalist parties that contest elections in the Spanish regions like Catalonia, the Basque Country, Galicia, etc.
Mbruno:
Your comment really helped me to understand, first I did not know about the other parties in the US for as you said, they are not noticed and I bet most Americans like me have never heard of them. I am not a republican nor a democrat, I don't believe in following one party and doing as they say, I am what most refer to as an outsider or someone who thinks for herself, independent.

I do know about the Conservative Party and the Labor Party in the United Kingdom and remember how when Scotland wanted to be free from the Parliament in England there was much distress and anger among the people of Scotland for they felt they were not heard nor represented in Parliament. That was all due to under representation and that problems in Scotland were not being addressed by members of Parliament, (if this is wrong please let me know) yet the people of Scotland voted to stay in the Union.
This I find very interesting...proportional representation...I have never heard that term before (yet don't we have something like that here, each state gets so many seats in the house and senate yet it is not working here). I also see that in Spain due to the crisis how the people got together and created 2 other parties that in a sense upset the apple cart of the PP and PSOE,(I so wish that would happen here) and now that I have names to these parties and who is the head of each of these parties I can identify who they are and what is going on.

I am going to be following this in Spain for I want to see the outcome and how the people are going to benefit from this 4 party system.

As I have said, this is very new to me and maybe my questions don't make much sense to anyone, yet now I find this very interesting learning about the governments in European countries. Learning is a very good thing, a person is never to old to learn something so Thank you very much for all your help in my endeavor of learning and understanding all this.
Happy Holidays
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  #1029  
Old 12-23-2015, 05:22 PM
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It is not a 4 party system in Spain and it actually has never been a 2 party system either. Spain has always had a variety of parties but -like in many countries in Europe- it are mainly Labour (PSOE) and the Conservatives (Partido Popular) who outnumber all other parties. The PP is the party of the current Prime Minister, Mr Mario Rajoy Brey, the PSOE are Labour, Podemos is a left-wing progressive "protest" movement and C's (Ciudadanos) is a progressive centre party.

These are the parties in the Lower House (350 seats):
123 PP
90 PSOE
42 Podemos
40 C’s
12 En Comú
9 Podemos-Compromís
9 ERC-CATSÍ
8 DL
6 Podemos-En Marea-Anova-EU
6 EAJ-PNV
2 IU-UPeC
2 EH Bildu
1 CCa-PNC

And these are the parties in the Upper House (the Senate, 208 seats), the PP alone having more senators than all other parties combined:
124 PP
47 PSOE
9 Podemos
6 ERC-CATSÍ
6 DL
6 EAJ-PNV
4 En Comú
2 Podemos-En Marea-Anova-EU
1 Podemos-Compromís
1 Cambio-Aldaketa
1 CCa-PNC
1 ASG
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  #1030  
Old 12-23-2015, 05:40 PM
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The Spanish monarchy is not threatened at this time. The monarchy is of the few things that still unites Spain.
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  #1031  
Old 12-26-2015, 01:14 PM
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I think IF Podemos (left) are able to prove themselves in governing and become the strongest party in Spain in the next decade or so, I am sure the voters will ask for a referendum on the monarchy and get it.
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  #1032  
Old 12-26-2015, 02:17 PM
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Yes, if a party would enable it, then it would be Podemos.
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  #1033  
Old 12-26-2015, 04:04 PM
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Spain's TRF what is your opinion on the future of monarchy? They think that the Spanish monarchy is at risk?
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  #1034  
Old 12-27-2015, 03:52 AM
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The monarchy will not face any difficulties from the established parties PP and PSOE as they are part of the 'old' system that JC created.
If these two parties should vanish/change dramatically over the next decades or be replaced by leftist parties like Podemos probably in coalition with other extremist-ish parties the chance is very high that there will be a referendum and a republic. But my guess is that this will take another 10, 20 years so there will be the reign of Felipe VI but no Queen Leonor.
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  #1035  
Old 12-27-2015, 05:00 AM
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It needs a major re-do of the Spanish election system (a re-drawing of the electoral districts and distribution of seats) and that needs a change of the Constitution which is a long and complicated process.

The Partido Popular is needed in the Lower House for a qualified majority. The same party holds the absolute majority in the Upper House. So it is practically impossible for Podemos to make constitutional changes. That is also not their priority anyway. They focus on a leftist economic agenda. We have seen in France (first septennat of Président M François Mitterrand and now during the first quinquennat of Président M François Hollande) that lefties can storm into a parliament on a wave of support, have a lot of crispy fresh progressive ideas, even obtain an outright majority but that already in the first or the second year of a term the popularity tumbles down to never-seen depths. Economical reality is not the same as free dreams during a campaign...

Morale of the story: the constitutional building is robust. It needs a robust and lengthy mandate by the electorate to make far-going constitutional changes. We can say that Podemos got extra votes because they promised a referendum. But it is also possible that when the choice is really, really there, people flock to unitarian parties because the overwhelming majority of the Spaniards and a small majority in Catalonia itself does not want a separation at all... Podemos still has a long way to go.
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  #1036  
Old 12-27-2015, 05:56 AM
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Plus. People tend to be pretty conservative, regardless of their otherwise day to day political standing, when it comes to voting away old symbols. Especially if these symbols work, like the royal family.
Also, people need an anchor in a time of change.

It's akin to being politically far left wing and a devout Catholic at the same time. Many people can easily combine both. In such a case they may wish for reforms within the church, but not abolishing it.

So if the royal family is doing their job, why abolish them?

On another note, let's say the Basques and the Catalans gain independence. Is it possible that there would a kind of commonwealth or confederation with the Spanish Monarch as head of state for all of them? - It would perhaps placate those who are not in favor of independence. Not to mention that countless families have strong family ties between these three countries.
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  #1037  
Old 12-27-2015, 06:22 AM
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If Podemos establishes itself as one of the main parties and governs it will be as the new PSOE. They've already mellowed considerably to attract voters, they are the PSOE biggest problem. They'll need to settle into the establishment if they wish to govern, and they want the government badly enough to overhaul their political program. They started as the Spanish Syriza and their program now is just to the left of PSOE.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:34 AM
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And now Ana mentioned Syriza: in the end Tspiras ousted Varoufakis and the more extreme factors and see... e-ve-ry-thing enforced by the EU has been swallowed, by the very same Syriza... The next elections will then see Syriza loosing approval because the electorate realizes they were not the miracle cure they hoped for...
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  #1039  
Old 12-27-2015, 09:48 AM
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Unfortunately or fortunately people are always looking for the changes that will get better their life in all countries. Now if they are successful or not is another sad story.
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  #1040  
Old 12-27-2015, 02:15 PM
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Can someone who knows spanish tell us how extensive does the '#adiosfelipe' comments on twitter, following the king's Xmas address seem, in following and outrage..?
Is it just the 'Podemos' followers tweeting, or a more general trend over the past couple of days..?
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catalonia, future of the monarchy, juan carlist, juan carlos i, royalist, spain, spanish nobility, spanish royal family


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