Do turkeys vote for Christmas in Southern Europe? The tiny impact of the economic crisis on institutional reform in Spain

GT 2.1 Los efectos de los sistemas electorales

Pedro Riera Sagrera (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
José Ramón Montero Gibert (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Sesión 1
Día: miércoles,18 de septiembre de 2013
Hora: 15:00 a 17:30
Lugar: E10SEM05

Although Spain has been one of the European countries more badly hit by the economic crisis, only some minor institutional reforms have been adopted in the last five years. In 2008, a parliamentary commission was appointed to recommend keeping or changing the electoral system at the national level. The commission’s final decision, largely conditioned by the positions (and the parliamentary strength) of the two main parties, was not to reform the rules of the game. However, further deterioration of the economic situation and the emergence of the “15-M Movement”, one of its main demands being a profound change of the electoral system, brought back the issue to the political arena. Despite several proposals of electoral system (and more broadly, institutional) change during the last two years, the result has been so far “no modification” of the institutional framework. In this paper, we examine the causes and motivations of advocates of institutional reform in Spain, analyze the nature and extent of the proposed changes that are on the agenda, evaluate their likelihood of being passed in the near future, and discuss some electoral-reform proposals which have nonetheless been presented by regional governments.

Palabras clave: Electoral reforms, institutional reforms, economic crisis