Wry & Dry

One thing Greeks do well is...

With PM Tsipras winning Greece's second national election this year, on Sunday, W&D was drawn to considering not the fact that incumbent Tsipras won.  But, rather, how does the Greek system manage all of these elections?

For example, the recent austerity referendum was organised in two weeks and occurred without a hitch.

How do they do it?  Well, obviously they have had a lot of practice.  And the 'they' is a joint-venture of the national government and a private Greek company: SingularLogic.

Hold the phone!  A private company?

You betcha.  SingularLogic has been in charge of electoral data collection, processing and distribution since 1981, although each voting place is under the administration of a local judge or lawyer. 

And the voting process is interesting (as well as mandatory).  Ballots are simple paper arrangements, with one ballot paper printed for each political party.  Greece has multi-member electorates.  Each voter selects the ballot they want, selects the candidates they want (placing a cross against the name - the number of crosses cannot exceed the number of vacancies in that seat) and drop it into the ballot box and discards the rest.  

By the way, unlike Australia where the lower house system is preferential, the Greek system is 'reinforced proportionality', whereby the party that wins the most votes is awarded an extra 50 seats (to take the total of seats to 300).  And small parties have to win at least 3% of the vote to have a representative.  The objective is to ensure government stability.  W&D considers that the Australian Senate needs something like this.

As a Greek taxi-driver observed on Thursday, "We just hold elections; it's about the only thing we are good at." 

* "That ain't a knife.  This is a knife".  Crocodile Dundee, a 1986 movie, starring Paul Hogan.