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Post On Eve of Elections, Challenges to Spain's Democracy
Created by John Eipper on 11/08/19 4:40 AM

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On Eve of Elections, Challenges to Spain's Democracy (Jordi Molins, Spain, 11/08/19 4:40 am)

On Monday, in an electoral debate for the Spanish elections on November 10, the Conservative candidate Pablo Casado disclosed that in a private conversation, the Spanish Prime Minister, the Socialist Pedro Sánchez, told him that he knew the court rulings of the Supreme Court, both for the Catalan case and the Franco exhumation case, would happen during the electoral process, before the elections.

The Spanish government has not officially denied such an accusation, which shows how the separation of powers in Spain is dysfunctional.

On Tuesday, in a radio interview in Radio Nacional de España with Pedro Sánchez, and after a question of the journalist about how the Spanish government would bring Catalan President Puigdemont to Spain (as he pledged to do the day before in the electoral debate), Sánchez replied that he (the Executive) controlled the justice system, so he would do it.

Today, the three biggest associations of Attorneys in Spain have issued an official complaint to the Spanish Prime Minister, arguing they are independent and do not accept orders from the Executive branch.

Now the latest.  The Spanish caretaker government, just days before an election, and by Royal Decree (i.e. bypassing the Parliament) has issued a "Spanish IT Patriot Act," under which the Spanish government can for example shut down any webpage they want (the requirements are so wide that anything goes, according to law experts), without even needing a judge for those actions.

Spanish democracy is falling into pieces, and Spaniards are cheering.

JE comments:  Elections are just two days away.  Jordi, care to make a prediction?  What strategies are being pursued by the Catalonian nationalists?  Are they voting for the independence candidates, or boycotting the elections altogether?

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  • General Elections Tomorrow (Jordi Molins, Spain 11/09/19 3:10 AM)
    John E asked if I would make a prediction on Spain's general elections tomorrow (November 10th).

    Predictions in social sciences are often bogus, since they are not falsifiable. Having said that, and barring a surprise, the most likely scenario is a Pyrrhic victory by the Socialists. The Socialists will have to accept a Grosse Koalition with the Popular Party, or to try a minority government with the tacit nod by the Popular Party.

    For Catalonia, it does not matter which political party rules in Madrid at all.

    The only clear outcome out of these elections is a surge by Vox, the Francoist political party, with clear links to neo-Nazism.

    Eugenio Battaglia recently wrote:

    "In several recent WAIS posts about Spain, Francoism quite often has been described as an equivalent to Fascism or even Nazism: Nothing is more inaccurate."

    I assume Eugenio's comment refers to some of my posts. I would like to ask Eugenio when I have recently used the term "Fascism" to refer to Spain. A few years ago, Eugenio made the same comment, and by then he was right (I used to use "Fascism" as a general term to describe extreme right movements; not anymore).

    But in recent years, I believe I have tried to avoid the term "Fascism" and I try to use "Francoism" for the Francoists and "neo-Nazism" for the neo-Nazis instead.

    JE comments:  I too have stopped using "Fascist" in the catch-all sense.  Returning to tomorrow's elections, how can the Catalonian independentists be indifferent to who governs in Madrid?  Wouldn't, say, a PP government impose a heavier hand on the region?

    We'll be looking carefully at tomorrow's events.

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    • My Position on Catalonian Independence (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 11/11/19 6:57 AM)
      My apologies to Jordi Molins (November 9th); I was not referring to him when I spoke about Francoism/Fascism.  Regardless, I really appreciate Jordi's decision to not use "Fascism" as a general term, but I am sorry that my posts may have given him the impression that I was directing my objections to him.

      Unfortunately I have not yet made up my mind about Catalonian independence. I am in favor of the self-determination of peoples, therefore including Catalunya, but I have serious doubts as to whether the best solution would be the independence of the Republic of Catalunya.

      In any case, I am a foreigner and should not meddle in this controversy.

      JE comments:  I am also agnostic on Catalonian independence.  The issue of self-determination cuts both ways--can one people "determine" their destiny without impacting another?  Therein lies the rub.

      Yesterday's (November 10th) general elections in Spain yielded the results everyone expected:  a victory for the Socialists, but short of an outright majority.  The big news was the marked increase in support for the extreme-right Vox party, which is now the third most important in Spain.  (Podemos on the extreme-left has lost support.)

      Will out Spain-watchers comment? 

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