Classroom Politics

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De Madrid al Cielo

A few days ago I had my first taste of Spanish democracy, when one of my professors decreed that it was time to elect course representatives. For such a laid-back country, they really did overcomplicate things.

First, two people were selected to carry out the running of the election. The convention is that the first and last people on the register have to do this. Next, any potential candidates for the role were asked to make themselves known. We were electing two representatives in total, and exactly two people put themselves forward. Job done? Not even close. The election runners handed out little pieces of paper and explained that you could either write two, one or no names down. You could also decline to receive your paper, not hand your paper in, or most oddly, write names down and then request that your ballot be torn up. Interestingly, in a…

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