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PostA "Grand Coalition" for Spain? (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 07/26/23 3:42 am)
I cannot help but express my thoughts on the outcome of the July 23rd elections in Spain. I share Consoly León Arias' concerns, but not Ángel Viñas's enthusiasm.
There was a nearly 70% voter turnout. The center-right PP party won in both votes and parliamentary seats with 33.05%, followed by the Socialist PSOE party with 31.7%. The far-right party VOX and the far-left coalition of 16 groups, SUMAR, both obtained 12.39%. The remaining votes and seats were distributed among minor parties of various ideologies, but primarily nationalist or separatist parties from the Basque Country and Catalonia.
With these results, neither a right-wing coalition of PP and VOX nor the left-wing coalition of PSOE and SUMAR can form a government. The latter would not demand any particular concessions from the PSOE, except to radicalize some of its policies and to participate in the government. However, the nationalist separatist parties are key to forming a government and a parliamentary coalition with the PSOE, and it is not even remotely possible for them to do so with the PP. This is the concerning scenario that Spain faces.
It is presumed that PSOE would continue its poor economic policies into the next administration, with high debt and public spending, high fiscal deficits, tax increases, an expanded number of public employees, bureaucracy, and sweetening or manipulating unemployment data, with the twisted and perverse figure of "fixed-discontinuous employees," without counting on the imposition of chaotic and sectarian social laws.
The serious scenario that Spain could face also stems from the fact that the PSOE, in order to obtain the votes of these parties, would have to accept the conditions that they have already openly formulated--namely, holding binding independence referendums and granting complete amnesty to their political leaders who are on the run to evade their political responsibilities, or ceding more decentralizing powers and autonomies to weaken Spain's institutional unity and social homogeneity.
If the PSOE were to accept this condition, the referendum would not only violate the constitution but would also threaten Spain's institutional unity and territorial integrity. Regardless of the outcome, which anyway has little chance of success in the current social conditions, it would produce an impossible-to-reverse legal precedent and would justify recurrent repetitions in a perverse cycle whenever it was capriciously requested by nationalist factions.
For the institutional well-being of Spanish society, it is preferable that such a coalition does not occur. A coalition between PP and PSOE, something unprecedented in Spanish politics, would be preferable. Another possibility is that other elections take place or that some of these parties decide to abstain to favor the election of the other. Unfortunately, these scenarios will not occur because Pedro Sánchez's has no scruples or limits when it comes to staying in power.
JE comments: There is more and more buzz about a "grand coalition" of the PP and the PSOE. Imagine our Republicans joining forces with the Democrats. Such "unity" governments tend to surface only during times of extreme crisis, such as the UK in the 1930s. Presumably, Sánchez would have to yield the top job to Núñez Feijoo, which isn't the kind of thing Sánchez would do.
Ángel Viñas (next) shares further thoughts on Spain's political future.
Spain's PP Cannot Go Beyond its Francoist Past
(Angel Vinas, Belgium
07/28/23 3:53 AM)
Discussion of a "grand coalition" for Spain is irrelevant. The PP and PSOE have been at loggerheads for years and years. What an American observer may think about their alleged similarities is also irrelevant. I don't find many, but I'm not prepared to go to the barricades on this point.
It's true that between the two major parties, they cover the vast majority of the Spanish population, but this a factual statement, not a political or ideological one. It's like saying that between Democrats and Republicans they cover the majority of the American population. You can't draw any political conclusion out of that fact.
I've come to another conclusion. It has been a coincidence that one of the "chapters" I'm publishing in InfoLibre is out today:
I detect a surprising continuity between some parts of the Spanish Right in the 1930s and today's.
What does this mean? That Spain has become a very pluralistic society but the Right is still stuck to their idea of a homogeneous Spain. This is not the case. During the Franco years it was artificially "unified" by force and repression. That time has been over for many years. Only the Right has problems (existential problems) in recognizing it.
JE comments: Talk of "continuity with the 1930s" gives one cause for alarm. Even more frightening for this American observer is the thought that the United States presently is looking like Spain in the 1930s.
So we should put to rest our discussion of a Grand Coalition of the PP and the PSOE. Five days after the elections, there is still no peep about a working coalition. The ostensible winner of last Sunday's vote, the "mild-mannered" conservative Alberto Núñez Feijoo, must be scrambling to cobble together the support he won't be able to find.