For some reason lately I keep finding reasons to send something to the Fair Vote discussion list, even while I am having to find reasons to stay interested in Fair Vote.
Somebody did not like something Rick Salutin wrote; it was about political parties. It was part of a series. I have not read the whole series, but I read the section about Spain and local assemblies. Then Rabble published it. Read it there; http://rabble.ca/columnists/2012/07/rethinking-democracy-part-3-spains-15m-movement-links-assemblies-politics
As you may have noticed, I am big on local assemblies and locally based democracy. Ever since Spain's economic crisis and popular resistance, I have had a reason to notice Spain besides the bullfights. Ole! Animal rights fanatics, kiss my round roast. Moo!
I am not as pessimistic as Salutin about the benefits of voting reform. However, I get tired of people who talk about getting a proportional voting system as though just that one thing is going to solve everything that is wrong.
I have noticed that countries that have made a lot of progress at subsidiarity and developing local assemblies, are pretty much the same countries which have highly proportional voting systems. Locally based government seems to come out of consensus legislative systems. It does not seem to come out of single member systems.
I do not think that the reason for this is hard to understand; single member systems create ward heeler systems, which undermines community government. Everything local has to go through the ward bosses office. This person may or may not be the actual elected official.
Oops! Another reason why AV is not an option in civic politics. I do hope this does not draw comments from you know who.
One other thing; Spain has had a very sad history with political parties, especially of the left. A good read is George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia". It describes how in the Spanish civil war of 1936-39, the country was lost to fascism. The people wanted democracy, but the left political parties were as interested in fighting each other as in fighting the fascists.
It is good to read that this generation of Spanish have small use for "comrades" and will not let them take control of resistance to the new fascism.