Thursday, December 28, 2017

Catalonia's PR election

The recent election in the Spanish state of Catalonia returned a pro-independence government. But most voters favoured continued union with Spain. Is this one of those first-past-the-post anomalies much decried by "fair vote" supporters of proportional representation?

Actually, no. Catalonia uses proportional representation, as Fruits and Votes (an electoral-systems site that is generally pro-PR) observes:
"the pro-union parties won more votes, but the way the separate parties’ votes were translated into seats by electoral system resulted in a pro-independence assembly majority. The voting result between the blocs was not even very close, those opposed to independence winning by about 4.6 percentage points. This sort of thing should not happen under PR"
In fact, it is not that infrequent.

Update, December 30:  Tom Morton offers a link to a Washington Post op-ed that expands on this issue.  Oddly, it is paywalled when I go to it, but not when Tom does, so try your luck.

Meanwhile, in Maclean's, true believer David Moscrop recently declared blithely that PR produces "fair " results, but predicts it will fail in Canada again because of "smear campaigns,' "lack of public education," or "arbitrary" rules. Yeah, it could not be anything serious that gives voters doubts.
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