Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’ left-wing government has withdrawn reforms of the body that appoints Spain’s judges, including those of the Supreme Court.
The climbdown is a victory for conservatives, who have for years blocked the appointment and elevation of more progressive judges through their control of the General Council of the Judiciary.
The council’s five-year term expired in December 2018, six months after Sánchez took power from the conservative People’s Party, but it has continued to name judges to Spain’s highest courts.
Supermajorities of three out of five lawmakers are required in both the Congress of Deputies and the Senate to install a new council, giving the center-right People’s Party and far-right Vox (Voice) — which together hold 40 percent of the seats — a veto. Read more “Conservatives Win Battle for Spanish Courts”
Regular readers know I’m not a fan of two-party democracy. It reduces politics to simplistic either-or choices. It encourages parties to radicalize their supporters and appeal to the extremes rather than the center. Multiparty democracy, by contrast, engenders moderation and compromise.
Multiparty democracies are superior on almost every metric: their voters show higher trust in government and each other; their electoral systems are more responsive to changes in public opinion; their economies are more competitive and their societies less divisive.
The coronavirus pandemic will likely necessitate mail-in voting on an unprecedented scale in the United States.
At least 4.8 million Americans have been infected with the disease. Almost 160,000 have died. America has 4 percent of the world’s population but so far suffered 23 percent of the world’s COVID-19 fatalities.
With the virus showing no sign of abating, requiring 100+ million Americans to vote in person, indoors, would be hugely irresponsible.
The New York Times asked 93 of the 771 Democratic Party officials who will be automatically seated at the convention in July — the so-called “superdelegates” — if they would vote for Bernie Sanders if the socialist emerged with a plurality, but not a majority, of the pledged delegates.
Only nine said they would.
Sanders’ supporters are predictably up in arms, arguing the party “establishment” is conspiring to overturn “the will of the people”.
Some are threatening to sit out the election in November if their man doesn’t prevail.
Republicans in the United States are ramping up their attacks on norms and institutions in pursuit of partisan interest. That is a danger to the whole country.
Journalists and universities have for decades been disparaged by the right as hopelessly biased to the point where only 15 percent of Republicans trust the mass media anymore, down from 46 percent two decades ago, and 73 percent believe higher education is going in the wrong direction.
The latest victim of this obsession is parliamentary democracy.
In the battle between popular and parliamentary sovereignty, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sided with the former and suspended Parliament, so it will have almost no time to prevent the United Kingdom from crashing out of the European Union without an exit agreement. Read more “Even Parliament Must Make Way for Brexit”
So much for the claim that Brexit was about restoring the sovereignty of British institutions.
According to a ComRes poll published in The Telegraph on Monday, more Britons would support Prime Minister Boris Johnson using any means necessary to take Britain out of the European Union than would oppose him — even if it meant suspending Parliament.
Of those with an opinion on the question, 54 percent of respondents said they agreed Johnson should do whatever it takes and prevent lawmakers from blocking Brexit. 46 percent disagreed.