New parties can’t add spice to a new election for our patient voters

WHAT is set to be one of Spain’s shortest-ever General Election campaigns has begun, officially, and, as usual, once the clock struck midnight on the last day of October, political parties were ready to go with their poster-sticking.
They are not allowed by law to do so, until the campaign period begins, and, since the last election campaign at the end of 2011, genuine contenders for the leadership have been mounting up.
The right-wing PP and current, reigning, left-leaning PSOE (socialists) had stopped competing  against each other, by the 2015 vote, because centre-right Ciudadanos and left-wing independents Podemos, in coalition with United Left as Unidos Podemos, had burst on to the scene, the latter coming from nowhere to net five European Parliament seats in 2014.
The far right, in the shape of Vox, which had been in the background for a long time but never achieved Parliamentary representation, appeared as a genuine source of competition in the April elections.
Pedro Sánchez, the PSOE leader, had called the election to seek a mandate for governing after just 10 months in power, following a no-confidence vote against the reigning PP, because of widespread corruption charges against high-ranking members.
Now, the five has grown to six, with Podemos breakaway group Más País! (‘More Country’), led by former member Íñigo Errejón, expected to win at least a handful of seats with his pro-social policies. These include a 32-hour working week instead of the current 40 hours, as well as a minimum wage and State monthly pension of €1,200.
The party’s leader, styling themselves as more moderate left than Podemos, but further left than the PSOE, was in Cádiz earlier this week for his first-ever political rally as a presidential candidate.
Albert Rivera, of Ciudadanos, based his own discourse in Cádiz largely on the relatively
non-existent threat of Catalunya severing ties with Spain and going it alone.
His party’s manifesto includes higher wages, lower taxes, an end to widespread job insecurity, greater help for families and for would-be or actual parents, and a drive to make housing more affordable, for renters and buyers.
Vox leader Santiago Abascal sought to drum up fear of a “national emergency” and to convince his audience that the party was not “far right” but “representative of everyone in Spain”. Yet surveys earlier in the year showed that around 755 people in the country did not agree.
Pablo Casado, the PP leader, claimed that Sánchez had made it into the presidential hot-seat through a no-confidence vote, based upon “lies”, despite court cases that had already found PP members guilty of the corruption which forced the vote.
He also said that a vote for the PSOE would be a vote for Catalunya’s independence, on the grounds that the pro-secession parties in the region had backed Sánchez’s motion against the PP, and that Sánchez has always been set against allowing a legal referendum on independence in Catalunya.
Casado and Sánchez were at separate rallies in Sevilla, while Abascal was in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona province). United Left leader Alberto Garzón was in Madrid, along with Irene Montero, deputy leader and spokeswoman for Podemos and wife of its head, Pablo Iglesias.
Pablo, rather than being at a rally, was on the humorous, chaotic chat show, El Hormiguero (The Ant’s Nest), hosted by comedian Pablo Motos.
Iglesias referred to his failed attempts, and those of Sánchez, to reach a coalition deal after the April elections, which has led to their repeat, set for Sunday (10th Nov). He also referred to Errejón’s split from Podemos to form his own party.
“When you separate, things are often much better,” said Iglesias of Errejón, showing that he has no hard feelings.
“When you each have some space from each other, you have an easier relationship with each other. Our cardinal sin was to be too intense.”
In fact, Iglesias had previously admitted that Errejón was the political brains behind Podemos much of the time, and was “gifted”, with “high-IQ”, meaning that he was “inevitably frustrated” and would one day feel he had outgrown the party.
As for Sánchez, Iglesias does not seem to regard the PSOE as a direct rival, and he believes it is still possible that they could form a coalition.
His wife Irene called for her audience at the Madrid rally to “persevere” in their Podemos votes, so that, “after four general elections in as many years, the changes the country needs can finally happen”, while warning the “old two-party system” that Podemos was “not giving up”.
 Sánchez urged his listeners in Sevilla to “vote usefully”, to turn to the PSOE if they were undecided or were left-leaning, to avoid fragmented results that would end in yet another hung Parliament, which could hinder a stable government from forming.
But with the 2015 elections having to be repeated, through inconclusive results, most of the opposition agreeing only to the PP’s investiture to avoid a third vote, and April’s also having led to a hung Parliament, it appears that the end of the two-party system has also brought an end to any chance of the polls giving any one group an outright majority.
As a result, whichever party gains the most seats will have to work with at least one or even two or three others, to form a government.
But signs of Spaniards suffering “electoral fatigue” are already showing, however, and participation looks set to be at its lowest ever on Sunday!

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Posted by on Nov 8 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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