Sánchez changes his mind, again

sanchez elections

Fernando González Urbaneja | That Pedro Sánchez changes his mind is not news, it is part of his way of doing politics. It is one of the assets he employs to achieve the desired end, which is none other than power, dressed up as a progressive programme, one of those concepts that can be used for whatever is needed, an empty signifier. Sánchez makes no secret of this ability to rectify according to circumstances, and he insisted on this throughout the campaign with the argument that he does not change, only the contexts change.

What is being talked about these days to obtain the investiture through an alliance at the extremes has nothing to do with the proposals of the election campaign. Within the PSOE, in its federal committee or in its internal debates (are there any debates?), there has been no pronouncement or doctrinal or strategic indication of what is being proposed these days. We are faced with sovereign, sovereign, undiscussed and uncontested decisions by the winner of the primaries, who has imposed his dictates on the party with no dissenting voices other than those of those historic, elderly gentlemen (Felipe, Guerra, Jáuregui, Redondo…) who, according to Sánchez’s spokespersons, no longer represent anyone.

There were PSOE voters in 2016 who reneged on their vote when Sánchez suddenly, without consultation or explanation, handed himself over to Iglesias’ Podemos, which gave him the votes of his own and close deputies (ERC and Bildu) that gave him a majority. Some of those voters did not forget and avoided voting PSOE last July. Others forgot or forgave it to keep VOX at bay.

Those same voters are now faced with decisions of their chosen one that they do not share, that they do not understand and that put them in the doldrums. Is this the price to pay to retain the Moncloa? Can the Spanish socialist bear it without breaking down in contortion?

What is being plotted these days is how to disguise it so that it doesn’t look like what it is. The demands of the independentistas are clear and well known. Their surprise is that they can achieve what they want without the risk of breaking the law and with the advantage of adapting the rules to their convenience and with the expectation that the interpreters of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court presided over by Cándido Conde Pumpido, will endorse the executive without exercising the power of containment entrusted to it. Pedro Sánchez can do whatever suits him because there is no one to stop him. Yesterday he said this, today he says that, and tomorrow he will say whatever suits him. It is a way of doing politics dressed up as “statecraft”.

About the Author

Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja
Over 30 years working in economic journalism. Fernando was founder and chief-editor at El País, general editor at the business daily Cinco Días, and now teaches at Universidad Carlos III. He's been president of the Madrid Press Association and the Spanish Federation of Press Associations. He's also member of the Spanish press complaints commission.