For the first time in history, the Spanish political parties have not reached an agreement to create a government after the State level elections. After several months of political uncertainty and two failed attempts to invest Pedro Sánchez, the candidate of the so-called “Social Democrats”, Spanish citizens are facing a new political campaign.
Why have the political parties not reached an agreement after the first elections?
Firstly, it is really important to stress that the elections held in December 20th drew a completely new scenario in the Spanish Parliament. For the first time since 1982, neither PSOE (Spanish Social Democrat Party) nor PP (Conservative Party) had not reached enough deputies to form government by their own with absolute majority or with the support of the Basque and/or Catalan nationalist parties. Two new political parties standing for democratic regeneration appeared in the Parliament with much more strength that what expected PP and PSOE, breaking the traditional bipartisanship system: Podemos plus regional coalitions (Left Party) and Ciudadanos (Liberal Party).
The result of the elections was: PP 122 deputies, PSOE 91 deputies, Podemos 69 deputies, Ciudadanos 40 deputies. The other 21 deputies were distributed between the regional parties, and the Unidad Popular received two deputies.
This result showed that neither the right block (PP and Ciudadanos totaled 162) nor the progressive block had enough deputies to form a government (PSOE and Podemos totaled 160) being the majority 176 deputies. They needed more support.
Actually, there were two possibilities to change the government. The first one was to form a PSOE and Podemos government with support of the nationalist parties, but as the Catalan regionalist parties are currently standing for independence, PSOE was completely against negotiating with them. The second one was a big coalition between PSOE, Podemos and Ciudadanos. In fact, PSOE dealt with Ciudadanos and they tried to invest Pedro Sánchez with abstention from Podemos, but it was impossible due to the big differences in the contrary economic models proposed by Podemos and Ciudadanos.
Finally, there were voices from PP and some from PSOE asking for a big coalition reproducing the German Groβen Koalition but PSOE refused that because a big part of their electors could be very disappointed.
What has changed from the last elections and which are the possible scenarios after 26J?
The most significant change from the last elections is that Unidad Popular and Podemos have agreed to make a common list, which name is Unidos Podemos (Together We Can). This fact means that although Unidad Popular had just two deputies, they got more than a million and half of votes, a result of the undemocratic Spanish electoral system. However, the polls do not foresee a very different result from the last elections. Although, what really can be stressed is that Unidos Podemos can push PSOE in to the background.
Then, the hypothetical scenarios after the 26J elections would be:
Groβen Koaltion (PP & PSOE)
This is the most expected government by the economic establishment and the EU, because they will implement the EU policies and economics cuts without complain and will keep the current neoliberal system.
Progressive government (Unidad Popular and PSOE government)
If the polls hit the target, right now both parties could have enough deputies to govern Spain. This would be natural in the Southern Europe wave of progressive governments like in Greece or Portugal. However, right wing and neoliberal medias are campaigning against them saying that communism is coming back again.
A priori, no one wants this scenario because it would mean almost one year without a government. But in fact, this would probably mean the definitely Pasokification of the PSOE.
What is the role of the Green parties in this political scenario?
The two main Green political parties in Spain are running together with Podemos. In the case of Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds (Catalan Green Party), they are together in the Catalan progressive coalition En Comú Podem (We Can in Common). And Equo at State level is together with Unidos Podemos and in Valencia and Galicia with the regional progressive coalitions.
However, there are some benefits and some drawbacks for participating in these progressive coalitions. For the benefits, the most important thing is to take part of a transversal political progressive movement, which stands for social justice, economic redistribution, more democracy, political regeneration and fights against the privileges of the establishment. The biggest drawback is that the Green parties are not campaigning alone and their ecological discourse don’t appear at all during the public meeting and neither are the ecological issues being included in the main campaign topics.
Nevertheless, now we have the option to change history together with other social movements and progressive political parties to reach a more social and fair society.
By Adrià Belenguer, a member of Catalan Young Greens and FYEG Executive Committee and you can follow him on Twitter @ABelenguerSoria