Spain will hold an election — for the fourth time in less than four years — on November 10. But there is little prospect that any party will emerge with enough seats to break the country’s political deadlock. There is a similar situation in Israel, where political parties are still struggling to form a government, after elections in September failed to resolve the stalemate that followed the April elections. So Israel now seems likely to end up staging three polls within one calendar year.

Welcome to the age of democratic deadlock. Countries call an election, only to find that it settles nothing. So they try again, but get the same inconclusive result.

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