Things happen in the Congress of Deputies. Some transcend and others do not. The contempt of the Vox leadership for the presidency of the Lower House occurred last Tuesday, due to the refusal of one of its deputies to leave the plenary session after being expelled according to the Regulations, it was broadcast live on the parliamentary channel. And the video with the subsequent affront in the corridors of another far-right parliamentarian, Macarena Olona, to a journalist who asked her opinion about what happened in the plenary hall immediately jumped onto social networks.
What no one could see is the private conversation between the president of Parliament, Meritxell Batet, and the spokesperson for Vox, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, which took place in the office of the former at the request of the third state authority. Neither is the statement to which the ultra deputies submit every week to the parliamentary informants, whom they accuse of being “sectarian” for their questions. And much less the concern that runs through the corridors of the old Palacio de la Carrera de San Jerónimo among the groups with which a new escalation of the Abascal party of two directions is considered: on the one hand, the systematic erosion of the institutions and on the other , the constant provocation to the media.
After the summer holidays, the extreme right “has decided to tighten its dialectic between elites and bases”, perceives a socialist. Vox does not participate in rounds of negotiation between parties, does not sign institutional statements, does not recognize the authority of a government that it considers illegitimate and, now, neither that of the presidency of the seat of national sovereignty. Everything is part of its determination to place itself in a differentiating framework from that of the establishment. In other words: on one side is politics and on the other, they. “There is only Vox left”, they repeat grudgingly in their speeches.
“They intend to show that they are something else, but with regard to what and at the expense of what,” asks the Secretary of State for Relations with the Courts, Rafael Simancas, for whom the strategy, although it has been in crescendoIt is not new, since since it came to Parliament it has done nothing other than “deteriorate democratic coexistence and undermine institutions.”
A turning point
It is happening and the rest of the parliamentary groups fail to agree on a response that will put a stop to the escalation. What happened this week has marked a turning point in the behavior of those of Abascal in Congress. Until now, according to sources from the Table, it was mostly the PP bench that received the most calls to the order of the presidency each week, the group most willing to have a fuss and with which Batet has held the most private conversations since the Legislature began. to try to deflate an excessively tense environment. Now it is Vox who takes over with an incident that, although it may seem a consequence of the heat of a debate, was later shown to be responding to a premeditated strategy.
Several spokespersons agree that if it was serious that the ultra deputy José María Sánchez called the socialist deputy Laura Berja a “witch” when she defended from the rostrum a legal reform to punish the harassers of the clinics where abortions are performed, much more so that the leadership of his group “ordered him into contempt.” In fact, the Vox parliamentarian collected things from his seat after the person who held the presidency at that time – the socialist Alfonso Gómez de Celis – asked him to leave the hemicycle, it was his spokesman, Espinosa de los Monteros, who ordered her to return to her site.
“You stay because we do not abide by either the Chamber’s Regulations or the legitimacy of its president. We are different. And we are here to wear down the institutions and alter the democratic coexistence,” is what the deputies of the other groups who came understood to tell Espinosa to his deputy when he invited him to continue sitting on the bench. So far in a democracy, there are only two precedents for expulsion from the chamber. The first was the popular Vicente Martínez Pujalte. The second, the Republican Gabriel Rufián. Neither questioned the order of the presidency. And neither did the deputy of Vox Macarena Olona this same Legislature when she was sanctioned with the expulsion, not from the plenary session, but from the Permanent Delegation.
Erosion of institutions and deterioration of democratic coexistence linked, in the opinion of a parliamentarian from United We Can, to the constant questioning of civil rights is the watchword of a far-right populism that took time to reach Spanish institutions and that today marks sometimes the future of the political and parliamentary agenda.
The concern in the rest of the political formations is maximum, after VOX has taken a qualitative leap in its escalation and its leader, Santiago Abascal, already speaks openly of “slapping” the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonés, or his parliamentarians defend it is vehemently necessary to give the squatters a “kick in the ass”. How to isolate the extreme right? The question hovers through each corridor of the Chamber without the spokespersons of the different groups agreeing on the answer or trusting the least that they can reach a common position on the matter, as occurs in other EU countries.
“The PP will never go into isolation, since it tries to seduce VOX voters, and therefore it believes in the obligation to follow in the footsteps of its extremism. Therefore, the rest of us can only maintain a firm discourse of delegitimization of their positions and the permanent denunciation of their policies to put them in evidence ”, argue from the Socialist Group.
They are not yours!
The Republicans, led by Gabriel Rufián, have begun to rehearse another response this week, which involves not responding to the interventions of the Vox deputies and using their turn to question their voters, especially the working and working class where the far right has long penetrated.
“How bad is politics! Too bad that Congress is! So I invite you to make the following reflection: that we challenge your voters, especially your working-class voters, the mice who vote for cats. How is it possible that there are so many working-class people who vote for these people, who vote for the extreme right? They are not yours, “said Rufián from his seat in a new dynamic that he plans to maintain over time.
Democracy is in danger when the different political parties are not capable of isolating extremisms is a very repeated phrase among parliamentarians, but it seems that it is difficult to put into practice, based on what is seen, heard and voted on. in Congress week after week. PP and Citizens sometimes have no qualms about assuming Vox’s own positions, much less relying on them to maintain governments in autonomies and municipalities. But it is also evidence that the PSOE is not bothered by making the ultra party great either.
There are those who, like the nationalist parties, are in favor of cordoning off the extreme right “without contemplation”, which is not the same as emptying them – since they have three million votes – but rather preventing them from entering governments and undermining the institutions. But that would require, they admit, a big political exercise that would imply letting the most voted party govern. But like everything else, this formula would have a harmful angle, they warn from United We Can, which is “the possibility that they will become the only alternative to the ‘establishment’”.
In reality, all groups agree that the sanitary cordon, like those in France or Germany, is not enough to deactivate the extreme right, but it can serve as a palliative to visualize that Vox cannot be treated as a party more, and “much less normalize it as the right has done in Andalusia, Murcia or Madrid.” Territories all of them where, in addition to the fact that the PP governs thanks to its votes, it has assumed as its own some of its political positions with the false mantra that there is no difference between Podemos and Vox when it comes to justifying alliances.
There are sociologists, who also draw attention to the impact that the emergence and the Vox discourse already have among a part of the young electorate, who have internalized the presence of a far-right party on a political board where years ago xenophobic or xenophobic attitudes were unthinkable. openly contrary to minority rights. An X-ray that is already undoubtedly seen among the bases of the ultra party, where thousands of adolescents who commune with ultra propaganda orbit, perhaps due to the absence of good public policies that have generated a feeling of forgetfulness among the population.
Reversing the “attractiveness” of those who offer simple solutions to complex problems, apart from media support, is only in the hands of the rest of the political parties. And, at the moment, in Congress they have not found the formula to apply. Nor in political journalism. Some by excess and others by default, the one who dances the least to the sound of the music or the little number that Vox plays every week. Out of political interest, out of fear, laziness or disability. Namely. The only certainty is that they are still there, well accompanied and cheered by their media trumpeting. Neither politics nor journalism have found the potion that prevents the deterioration of democratic coexistence and the minimum standards of institutional respect.