Saturday, November 27

Renew components in the democratic gear

Democracy is based on permanent movement. It is well known that it is an imperfect mechanism, a work in progress that it works better in certain conditions than in others and that it is subjected to changing situations of a historical nature, according to the civilizational stages and the global, regional and local mutations that take place in societies and nations.

The 20th century was marked by the dramatic struggle against totalitarianism and the world in the 21st century is far from generalizing democracy as a system of government. The threats are permanent and, beyond the persistent dictatorships, post-democratic authoritarianism seems to have installed itself in places like China or Russia, to have found a way to reach the masses in some European countries and to have become part of the fantasies of the right in the United States, to give a few examples.

Democracies face problems of representation and governance. And Spain is no exception. The reforms necessary to unblock the machinery of governance, which has practically seized with the depletion of the energy obtained from the Transition and the development of the 1978 Constitution, has resulted in some shakes in the field of political representation. Faced with the bipartisanship of the first decades of the recovered democratic regime, a multi-party system of still unstable contours has exploded hand in hand with the crisis.

Coalition governments, complex majorities in state and autonomous community parliaments, as well as in city councils, have clearly opened a new stage. Is it a sign of the obsolescence of the parties? Rather, it is a symptom of wear and tear. The parties are essential. There is no democracy without parties. Whoever claims otherwise is cheating. But their way of behaving can become quite dysfunctional, which leads to discredit and delegitimization in public opinion since, above all, they lose usefulness.

Two paradigmatic phenomena coincide in the political present of these days. The PP, a party of caudillista culture that has digested with great difficulty the implantation of internal primaries (innovation brought by the new scene we are talking about), is experiencing a tough battle between the central apparatus headed by Pablo Casado and the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, for the direction of the Madrid regional organization. One more episode in the crisis of the Spanish right, hostage to an extreme right that threatens rights and freedoms. In the spectrum of the left, the event convened in Valencia on November 13, in which the second vice president of the Government, Yolanda Díaz, will participate; the vice president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Mónica Oltra, the mayor of Barcelona, ​​Ada Colau; the opposition spokesperson in the Madrid Assembly, Mónica García, and the Ceuta deputy Fátima Hamed Hossain. They are examples, on the one hand, of the old partisan war and, on the other, of the test of a new mechanism of political harmony that, for now, lacks a concrete form.

The host of the event in Valencia, linked to the preparation of the Poble Valencià Initiative congress to be held in January, is Mónica Oltra, from the Compromís coalition, and the guests come from various formations: En Comú, Más Madrid, Movimiento por la Dignity and Citizenship and, in a way, United We Can (although Yolanda Díaz only has the card of the “party” par excellence). The leadership of a state-level force still to be defined and fairly solid territorial leadership are mixed. The chosen motto, “Other policies”, plays with the ambivalence of alternative forms of politics carried out by women.

Although the protagonists deny that it obeys the intention to promote the platform that Yolanda Díaz aspires to articulate, the matter looms over the initiative. It remains to be seen whether it can end up forming a new factor in the democratic game in Spain, capable of creating a left-wing electoral formula flexible enough to preserve the singularities of its components. In any case, it serves to make visible, albeit potentially, a plural political space whose existence many political scientists would not have dared to predict just a few years ago.

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