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PostWhat Does Andalusia's VOX Party Stand For? (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 12/05/18 2:32 pm)
The December 2nd elections in the populous Spanish region of Andalusia might only have been an irrelevant regional result with the usual victory of the Socialists, who have been the ruling party for almost 40 years. The Socialists did win, but not enough to form a ruling government. The unexpected outcome was the emergence of a new populist ultra-conservative and traditional party (I prefer not to call them "left" or "right"): VOX (from Latin vox = voz (Spanish) = voice). This event makes it an issue worth commenting.
The strong showing of VOX is important, because unlike in other European countries, this kind of political ideology was never present in Spanish politics or institutions before. It may mark a national trend in the future.
I consequently did some research on their political ideas and proposals. Here's a summary:
--Unity of Spain. This principle is a basic territorial proposal. Specifically, they claim it is immediately necessary to suspend Catalonian autonomy in order reestablish the constitutional order in that region.
--Constitutional Reform to suspend the current Autonomous decentralized structures in order to reduce bureaucracy and fiscal expenses. They propose eliminating the Senate.
--Unity and centralized health and educational system with same rights, services and programs for all citizens.
--A general reduction in taxes.
--Strong support programs for small and medium companies, and R& D initiatives.
--Subsidies for the more vulnerable sectors of society.
--Strong reform of laws and regulations to investigate and hunt down corruption.
--Closing mosques and the expulsion of Muslim fundamentalism. More control of the borders to prevent terrorists. Preventing the entry of Turkey to the EU.
--Immigration control according to the economic needs of the country and the willingness of the immigrants to integrate into Spanish society.
--They do not claim to be Eurosceptic, and nothing from their program reveals any particular idea against the EU.
--They claim that society has been discriminating against men, and they propose eliminating some current laws that are considered too feminist.
As can be seen above, these tenets are not irrational; on the contrary they seem to respond to the anger of significant social sectors regarding the current situation. Nevertheless, these tenets are obviously radical, populist, reactionary and with a strong dose of Nationalism. Most of their postulates and proposals are almost impossible to accomplish. They are mostly shared with other European ultra-conservative "right" parties except, in this case, they are not anti-EU, although they criticize some of the EU's immigration policies.
In conclusion, VOX offers more of the same populist-nationalistic formulas arising from the socio-political-economic crisis. These are much the same basic causes and motivations of the ultra-radical populist "left" party Podemos, the other extreme political option.
It remains to be seen if VOX will grow enough to be of national significance in the future.
Just as a note of ironic humor. Below is the image of Andalusia's current Socialist president Díaz, in shock after the election, being comforted by former Spanish socialist presidents Zapatero (right) and González (left).
JE comments: As we saw this morning with Carmen Negrín, Spaniards never lose their wry sense of humor. See below. There's much to comment on the VOX agenda, but for now I have an editor's dilemma: do the VOXistas prefer to spell their party in ALL CAPS or as a normal proper noun? I've seen both styles in print--as with PODEMOS/Podemos.