Voting system I n BRITAIN elections are governed by the system of First Past the post, which means that the public chooses one candidate or perhaps several by marking the possible list with a cross. When an elected candidate resigns or dies, there has to be a new By Election. These By Elections often show the changing trends in public opinion. In Spain Proportional Voting is the norm, which means that the public votes for a closed list of people representing a political party and the Law of Hondt is applied to give the proportional share out to all the parties. In the event an elected member of the party dies or resigns, then the next person in the list occupies that person's place, and no By Election is needed. However, what can happen is that an elected person can decide to resign from a particular party, but not give up his or her seat, and there is nothing the party can do about it as the seat does officially belong to the individual, not the party. The proportional voting system gives the opportunity to smaller parties to be elected and have a representation on the local or insular councils, or in the central or autonomous parliaments. This would seem to be fair. However, if no party has an over all majority, a hung parliament results and so the different parties shuffle around making pacts and possibly the most voted party does not get into power. That is the case in the Balearics. The public does not always understand why the party they have voted for have linked up with other ones. The other strange thing is that you can have the case where the smallest party leader manages to obtain more power than the others because its vote for President or Mayor is so important. That is the case with the Majorcan council where Union Mallorquina leader, Maria Antonia Munar, is the president with very few seats. In this case, it would be fairer still if there were to be a second time round voting, as occurs in France, whereby the small parties have to join forces with the larger ones and therefore the public can decide which large party to choose with that small party support. Just to recap here, it is very important to remember that to vote people choose a paper with the list of candidates for a particular party and put this paper into an envelope without writing anything on the paper. No cross, no tick. Also it is important to remember that to be able to vote you have to be on the electoral roll and as there has been some confusion on how to do this I shall repeat: 1. Be on the local Padron de Habitantes. To do this you must be a householder, either with a House Deed or Rental Contract. You do not need to have a residence permit despite the fact that some councils continue to insist on this. They should be referred to the Spanish Oficina de Estadisticas. 2. Sign your wish to vote in Spain, if you did not vote the last time in 1999.