Rajoy’s armour-plating against strong, divided left?

Spain’s Vicepresident Sáenz de Santamaría anticipated “second generation reforms”.

“The first generation reforms were useful to overcome an extreme situation approaching economic bailout,” she asserted at Complutense University summer programs on Thursday. The government plans to work on technology and innovation investment schemes, optimization of European Structural Funds for youth employment and public-private partnerships.

PM Mariano Rajoy put forward a modification in the procedure of mayors’ elections, according to the most-voted candidate.  What interests lie behind? Former PM Rodriguez Zapatero turned down this idea. Now, the Socialists are going through a crucial renovation and want to answer to this real threat. Minority parties have long advocated for changes in the electing system that currently favors the two-party model. But both of them have ignored them. The proposal comes up after European elections showed a very fragmented political scene and a grave punishment for PP’s conservatives in office and PSOE’s progressive politicians.  Aren’t coalitions democratic ways in politics?

Young people are impressively leading a process shaking-up all we understood by politics in Spain up to this point. They’re doing it election after election as a generation –  full of energy, ideas and hunger of changes – that increasingly gets more relevant in constituency. Voters are forcing a death blow to the bipartisanship. This model is over and those who remain rooted to it will fizzle out.  Some believed time would assuage social anger as it goes by and the weariness channeled by bleeding the two big ones would gradually lose ground. Not in the least.

Even if citizens’ frayed nerves wind down every now and then, after adopting hard measures in power and growing apart from its voters, the PSOE looks like it will never manage to end its poor run of form. Maybe the crisis made the centre go left-wing. The progressive Spain needs new, charismatic faces with powerful messages to go back to PSOE. It’s a widespread debate how to retrieve trust and reach voters.  The role of this party in the upcoming years necessarily entails a left turn, showing more progressive viewpoints.

In this scene, left-wing parties are bound to find common ground and get along as this political range is more and more fragmented. Specially because in Spain, gathering strengths, progressive parties are majority indeed, and defeat conservative ruling PP. If a political reform sets the most-voted candidate as the winner of elections, conservatives may usually take office even when progressive options come majority but not united from elections. The time when PSOE represented the big, strong, alternative party for left-wing Spaniards is over.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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