16 December 2015

Elections in Spain: The End of an Era


A recent headline in Spain’s digital newspaper El Diario announced that, according to spokesperson Pablo Casado of the right-wing People’s Party (PP), Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had “won the debate he didn’t attend.” Rajoy happens to head the PP. 

The debate in question was organized by the prominent Spanish paper El País ahead of the country’s general elections on December 20. Rajoy had refused to grace with his presence the other participants: the leaders of the PSOE, Ciudadanos, and Podemos—the three political parties that appear poised to take second, third and fourth place, respectively, in the elections, at least according to an opinion poll by the state-funded Center for Sociological Research. (Other pollsters have warned of the extreme unpredictability of the outcome.) 

It is of course the function of spokespeople everywhere to warp reality in favor of whatever product they’re selling—otherwise they’d be out of a job—but Casado’s declaration of victory in absentia is particularly misleading. After all, the real loser on Dec. 20 will be, hands down, the two-party system that has traditionally dominated Spanish politics, of which Rajoy’s PP constitutes one half. 

Additional delusions surface in Casado’s claim that it’s wrong to assume that “new politics are better than good politics,” the implication being that the “old politics” are automatically good. Consider the fact that it was none other than the bipartisan stewardship of crippling austerity measures and home evictions in the aftermath of the financial crisis—itself also incidentally a hallmark of politics as usual—that spurred the eruption of Podemos in the first place. READ MORE AT TeleSUR ENGLISH.