Sunday, August 1

Change regimen

Isabel Díaz Ayuso has once again put into circulation the thesis of “regime change” as an objective of the Socialist Party in power, with the aim of preventing the PP from re-occupying the presidency of the Government. Based on this thesis, José María Aznar developed the strategy against the reform of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia after the PP lost the 2004 elections.

History repeats itself for the PP. Pedro Sánchez, like José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, intends to cement a bloc not only with Catalan and Basque nationalisms, but basically with them, in order to make it impossible for the PP to win a general election again. Without a ” reasonable ” presence of the PP in Catalonia and the Basque Country combined with a considerable increase in the number of seats in the Congress of Deputies of the various nationalist parties and especially of the Catalan and Basque nationalist parties, the ruling party of the Spanish right cannot reach an investiture majority.

Faced with a strategy of this nature on the part of the Socialist Party, there is no other alternative than an opposition without reservations of any kind. As of 2005 the PP launched a strategy of total confrontation against the reform of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia. He excluded himself from the debate on said reform both in the Parliament and in the Cortes Generales and focused his opposition to it on a collection of signatures throughout the territory of the State and, above all, on the unconstitutionality appeal before the Constitutional Court.

This opposition ended up being successful. After the 31/2010 ruling of June, the PP would manage to dismantle the “tripartite” of the left in Catalonia in the regional elections in the autumn of that same year. In 2011 it would prevail overwhelmingly in the municipal and regional elections in May and would obtain an absolute majority of 186 seats in the general elections in November.

But the success of 2011 would be exhausted in a legislature. Since December 20, 2015, the PP has not been able to re-articulate an investiture majority that was also a government majority. In 2016 Mariano Rajoy was able to repeat as Prime Minister thanks to the abstention of the PSOE, thus dissociating the majority of the investiture from the majority of the government. Said disassociation would be made visible in the 2018 vote of no confidence and has been confirmed in the 2019 elections.

The PP seems willing to go back to its old ways and focus its opposition to the government, now not only from the PSOE but from the “coalition”, on the Catalan question. The National Government depends on parties that “hate Spain,” according to Isabel Díaz Ayuso. The right, the right, have to prepare for a head-on clash against that combination of the left and nationalisms, surreptitiously described as a kind of “Anti-Spain.”

In parliamentary terms, such a strategy does not seem to make much sense. In the first decade of the 21st century, the PP had a much higher presence in Catalonia and the Basque Country than it does now and, furthermore, we still moved within the bipartisan framework that had presided over the evolution of the political system since the first democratic elections. The PP could think of reaching an absolute majority by itself in a general election. As it actually happened.

It is clear that this is no longer the case. The anti-nationalist strategy in general and the anti-Catalan strategy in particular does not seem to have a chance of success in a general election. Even more so if such a strategy has to be developed with the brutality that competition will demand within the parties of the Spanish right to capitalize on it for its own benefit.

The thesis of “regime change” inexorably leads the Spanish right to resort to constitutional bodies that are not the result of the election by citizens, in order to prevent the parliamentary majority from being able to constitute a government that can exercise power. The Spanish rights, especially Vox and also the PP, will be permanently going to the Constitutional Court, the courts of justice, the Court of Accounts, the Central Electoral Board, to trip up the government action.

We are seeing it now and we are going to continue to see it with more intensity in the two long years that remain in the legislature. Both Vox and the PP have made a bet that cannot have a positive result through the exercise of the right to vote. It is something similar to what is happening to the Republican Party in the United States. I hope I am wrong, but I am afraid that the next elections will take place in a terrible climate.

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