Talk:Politics of Spain

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There are some inaccuracies on the page, that follow from a Spanish nationalist political perspective. Instead of giving here the opposite view from a Catalan perspective, let me just mention this:

1) The Constitution of Spain states that the Nation is formed by nationalities and regions. The concept of Nationalities was introduced as a political pact between different political views, so it is paramount to understand the social and political Structure of Spain. Lacking to mention it cannot be explained away by forgetfullnes.

2) Therefore this sentence is also lacking precision: "17 regions covering all of peninsular Spain", or calling reions the "Basque and Catalan regions" when they are (even officially) Nationalities is also a political bending ofsocial and political reality.

Moreover, there is no mention of the different official languages in Spain. The "Languages" entry does not exist while they are part of the political structure. Eleven million Catalan speakers (see Catalan_language) are again conspicuously ignored.

Please, add this information to the article. That's how Wikipedia works! DavidWBrooks 17:09, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I've just added a section covering this issues. I also have changed some words that were not English: now it says "territorial constitutions" instead of "autonomy statutes" since "statute" is not a correct English translation. (User:Enrix 20:30, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)


One of these days I'd like to write something about Spanish football and politics. -- Error 01:47, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)


I think most of the information in section FACTS should be moved to the Spain article because generic information such as the official name fit better in the generic article. Any objection?

Habbit 08:25, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I have heard of the concept of "talante" with reference to modern Spanish politics. Can anyone living in Spain comment on its meaning and use? Does it mean something like "listening to each other"? Is it important enough to merit inclusion in this article? thanks for any help.BrainyBabe 20:08, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Yeah it's something like that, like willingness to reach consensus with as many people as possible. Zapatero made this term popular after Aznar's second mandate, in which, due to his parties' absolute majority at Congress, he was able to legislate without the need to negotiate with other parties (which, as you can understand, they did not appreciate!). :) Cheers Raystorm 17:15, 2 January 2007 (UTC)


The common dictionary translates 'Talante' as mood. 'Buen talante' can be translated as 'willingly'. But in the actual spanish politic, words 'Buen talante'(good mood) are ironical references to the actual prime minister, Rodríguez Zapatero. In his opposition time, he used them to mark a virtual diference between him and the previousminister, Aznar. This one, in his second time in governement, he took decisions with the opposition of every other parties (but the absulute majority in votes.


It's interesting that the history of Spain's first (and longest-lived) elected government since the declaration of the republic is accorded one line, while Aznar's centre-right PP government lasted only half as long but requires quite a bit more than twice the space. Felipe oversaw the most enormous changes to take placein public life west of the Iron Curtain; it was also dominated by strong personalities and, finally, by scandal. Perhaps this article suffers from some bias in its political orientation?

Rebellion vs. Terrorism[edit]

As an Spaniard, I'd like to point out that neither ETA nor the GRAPO are considered or even referred to as "rebels" by any Spaniards. Being both well-known terrorist groups, I think the more reasonable thing to do is to mo ve the contents of that section into the "Terrorism" section.

Hi, please read Wikipedia:Words to avoid#Terrorist, terrorism. To quote from that page:
  • X is on the U.S. Department of State's "Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations" list.
  • X, identified by the Y government as responsible for the PQR suicide bombings [or "who claimed responsibility for the PQR suicide bombings"], is classified as a terrorist group by A, B and C [countries or bodies].
  • Countries A, B and C regard X as a terrorist group [because...]
Not encyclopedic:
  • X is a terrorist group.
  • Y, leader of the X terrorists, ...
  • After a rapid military response, the X terrorists abandoned the hostages.
Get it? —Khoikhoi 02:34, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

OK, understood, but I still think it's not appropiate. Sue me LOL. What about merging both sections under a different title then?

Like what? —Khoikhoi 21:27, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Uhm. That's a tough one. If "terrorism" is verboten, I can't think of any. I'm still in favour of unifying both sections, though, I'd like to make that clear, because Spaniards regard both ETA, GRAPO and Al-Qaeda as terrorists.

I think I'd better leave that to other readers. It's just that I am a Spaniard myself and it upsets me to find GRAPO and ETA under the "Rebellion" section.

Well, you might try militant or guerrilla. Also just nationalist might work. Remember, you can say "it is recognized by Papua New Guinea as a terrorist organization", but you can't say, "it is a terrorist organization". —Khoikhoi 22:17, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

I imagine Militant or Guerrilla are both acceptable. I wouldn't use Nationalist, though, because there are many political parties that defend Nationalism in Spain through legal means and with minor exceptions (Batasuna, political branch of ETA) they have always condemmed violence.


In the first paragraph of the section on ETA, a translation is given as Basque Homeland and Freedom and in the third as Basque Fatherland and Liberty. Since these mean basically the same thing is there an official translation so just one can be used? Cameronlad 12:23, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Peer review requested for Madrid article[edit]

A Peer review has been requested for Madrid, the article about the capital city of Spain. Please feel free to edit the Madrid article to improve it and/or leave a comment at Wikipedia:Peer_review#Madrid. EspanaViva 19:02, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Important notice[edit]

The government section of the "Outline of Spain" needs to be checked, corrected, and completed -- especially the subsections for the government branches.

When the country outlines were created, temporary data (that matched most of the countries but not all) was used to speed up the process. Those countries for which the temporary data does not match must be replaced with the correct information.

Please check that this country's outline is not in error.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact The Transhumanist .

Thank you.

Peer review requested![edit]

To all interested persons :P

I've listed the Monarchy of Spain article for peer review because…

My eyes have been on it too long and not enough views that have generated comments! lol. I have watched the page for a year looking to see if there were improvements, but none. So, this past summer I started editing the artical answering questions that I myself would have for the Spanish monarchy. There are other sections I wish to add (such as the Monarchy, media, and the people), but before I go further I wished to get comments on what is present.

Thanks, ♦Drachenfyre♦·Talk 07:05, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

1985 Judicial Reform[edit]

See Talk:Judiciary_of_Spain for discussion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:10, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Recent changes in Electoral process[edit]

I tried to keep as much as possible of the recent changes to this section [1]. However, I had to edit most of it, even if I tried to keep the gist of it (which is basically that Spain has effectively developed a two-party system). Yolanda González (author of the source cited) is not explicitly explaining why Spain has a two party system, but rather, refuting the idea that the current electoral system tends to disfavor the two largest parties -mainly the People's Party (PP) which, according to the article, was the most vocal in this matter. The article makes three main points:

  • PP is -or was in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 elections- the party that benefited the most from the current system, ergo, refuting the idea that the PP was underrepresented;
  • the 3% threshold for representation is practically ineffective, due to the disparity in population among provinces (what she calls the "myth of the 3% barrier"); and that
  • blank votes do not directly benefit the most-voted party (again, a complaint of PP, being the second most voted party in the 3 elections studied), but rather make it harder for smaller parties to attain the 3% threshold (by effectively reducing their percentage of votes).

The article does not support the following points:

  • that the 3% threshold "effectively eliminate[s] a lot of small political parties" - as mentioned above, the author actually claims that the 3% is actually ineffective; the "effective" threshold is actually much higher in less-populated provinces, and hence at the aggregated national level.
  • that the small number of constituencies as well as the "not so large" number of seats in Congress make it harder for small parties to be assigned seats - the article makes no mention at all of the number of constituencies or seats as a cause of the existence of a "two-party system". The only mention of the number of seats is in reference to a comment of Izquierda Unida which proposed to add 50 seats to the Congress to be assigned using the entire territory as a unique electoral constituency or circumscription (keeping the assignation of the current 350 seats unchanged). Needless to say, the article does not make any comparison of the Spanish electoral system with Israel's or Italy's (something that technically constitues WP:OR);
  • that D'Hondt method favors larger parties in comparison with other electoral methods - which may be true in practice in Spain, but the article actually says that D'Hondt formula is "not a problem" per se. Quoting from the article "The same sources affirm that this is not a problem with the D'Hondt's formula. 'The real problem is the lack of proportionality in a system that was made to benefit majorities something which was good at the beginning of the [Spanish] transition [to democracy]...'". In fact, the articles ties it back to the divergence in population; quoting from the article: "the D'Hondt's formula, used in the assignation [of seats], makes the results of the lesser-populated constituencies less proportional than those of provinces such as Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia [the most-populated constituencies]".

In any case, I base my edits on the only source used (which was already used in the article). But if there are other sources that say that Spain specifically developed a two-party system due to the reasons mentioned above, then, of course, the text can be added back.

-- dúnadan : let's talk 17:24, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for pointing out the problems. I agree that the edits that I did were not well sourced, and thus looked like WP:OR. It is the case because I was sort of too lazy, and just put the old links here as the source for what I wrote. And thus the source that I cited here does not support what I wrote. (indeed they look like irrelevant.)
Though the points that I wrote were not supported by the source that I cited in the last edit, but for sure the points are all well-documented in academic research. So, I went back to my university library yesterday, and found some books supporting what I wrote. I would put the points back, with all the useful references, and try to incorporate the lines that you have written. Let's see if there are further problems. Salt (talk) 14:53, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

To use a link that does not support a statement is laziness at best, dishonesty at worst. In any case, I prefer to trust in your honesty when you used the new sources. However, I am a bit concerned on whether or not the statements that you are making constitute WP:OR, or rather WP:SYN, as I have access only to some of the books you cited in the nearest public library (I will like to review the rest as time and availability permit). My concern is whether the statements you are making could be advancing a position from a synthesis of material, if they are making value judgements about Spain, which the source itself does not make. For example, one of the reasons cited as the cause of the formation of a two-party system in Spain is the D'Hondt method, which "slightly favors the major parties...". Does the source truly say this, that is, that the D'Hondt method is causing the formation of a two-party system in Spain? Or is it rather a critique of the D'Hondt system in itself, and then, you are making the value judgment in relation to Spain? (In other words, does the source itself make the statement about Spain in particular or not?) A critique or evaluation of the D'Hondt formula should be made in the article of the D'Hondt method itself, not in the articles of every single country that applies it, unless the method in itself is relevant to the country, which in the case of Spain, it is presented as a cause of the effective formation of a two-party system. The same may apply to several other statements that you were making with and without a source.

For now, I will only edit some language and grammar. -- dúnadan : let's talk 04:01, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

No, no, no...I think I need to clarify a bit. I was not trying to use the old source to support my new points. If you trace back all the edits, you will find that the sources support the sentence:
"Also, due to the great disparity in population among provinces, it is not the smaller regional parties that tend to be overrepresented, but rather the two largest national parties."
And I use the sources to support my new sentence:
"Spain has effectively a two-party system and regional parties and small national parties do not process significant political power".
I agree that the two sentences are not the identical, but they are also talking about the two largest national parties are over-represented instead of the small parties. That's why I used the old sources to support my new sentences.
But I do not use them to support my further claims, i.e. the reasons explaining why the system would cause a two-party system. I am lazy because I just use the old source to support the sentence in the last paragraph, but do not find new sources to support my newly added points. I meant I am lazy only in this sense. I admit it is a problem, but it is not a problem of dishonesty.
Anyway, whether I am honest or not is not important to the article. But I just want to clarify when my integrity is being challenged. Let's move to the article.
Concerning the points you raised about WP:SYN, you can check the book if you have doubts. But maybe I can type a few sentences in the books, so that you can see I am not committing WP:SYN.
For example, it is said on Elections, Electoral Systems and Volatile Voters (p.67) that "It [Spain's electoral system] is among the most disproportional PR systems, thanks to the combined use of the d'Hondt formula and, in particular, one of the lowest district magnitudes in Europe."
And in Electoral Engineering (p.86), it is said that "notably Spain with a mean ENPP [Effective Number of Political Parties] of 2.7 due to small district magnitude."
I think the above two sources directly state that Spain has a limited number of effective political parties because of d'Hondt method and small district magnitude (number of seats per constituency), without committing WP:SYN. If you still have doubts regarding other points here, you are encouraged to go and check the sources yourself. Salt (talk) 18:00, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply, and for the explanation. I didn't mean to be disrespectful in my comment.
With regards to the article, like I said before, I do not see any problems with referenced statements, and while I might not be able to check all the sources myself, I do trust in what you've shown above. (I have to say that the sources you provided and that I have access to are excellent. I've enjoyed reading and learning more about electoral systems in general, and the Spanish case in particular).
From all I've read, though, I think that the creation of a two party system may not be caused by 5 stand-alone points, but rather by the combination of all, some of which are actually derived from the others. Do you think we can consolidate them?
For example, correct me if I'm wrong, but I see that the main point is "small district magnitude" (which is in line with what Pappalardo and Baldini say). The others are in a way related:
  • The relative small 'size of Congress' causes a small district magnitude. A larger Congress would increase district magnitude.
  • The ineffective 3% threshold for representation in Congress is a cause of small district magnitude in smaller provinces. A larger Congress would increase district magnitude allowing the actual threshold for representation in the provinces concerned to be closer to the 3% established by the electoral law. Moreover, the "ineffectiveness" of the 3% threshold is caused by the large disparity in the population of the electoral constituencies, which happen to be the provinces.
  • The D'Hondt method by construction favors larger parties (whether in Spain or not, and whichever the number), but its effect is magnified in smaller constituencies, where there is a smaller number of seats to be assigned. Hence, "[The Spain's electoral system] is among the most disproportional PR systems, thanks to the combined use of the d'Hondt formula and, in particular, one of the lowest district magnitudes in Europe".
Or perhaps can all of it be summarized as malapportionment?
It should be noted though, that this 'disproportionality' was created purposely to ensure stability during the Spanish transition to democracy, to avoid the parliamentary fragmentation and political instability that preceded the Spanish Civil War, as Álvarez-Riviera points out.
-- dúnadan : let's talk 16:26, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
As a side note, would you be interested in creating/collaborating in a new article Electoral system in Spain? From all the sources you cited there is enough material to create a good article. -- dúnadan : let's talk 16:26, 5 May 2012 (UTC)