Saturday, January 26, 2008

Letter from Spain: The Partido Popular and the Spanish National Elections

This is the second in a series of letters from AMDG at La Yijad en Eurabia, and concerns the upcoming Spanish elections on March 9th.

Spanish demonstratorsIn my previous letter (Who is an Ally Against the Jihad?) I referred to the key facts of Spanish politics. First, the result of Spanish national elections is determined by the vote of the “volatile left” a group of two million voters that vote for the PSOE, but only when they want to avoid a government by the right. Secondly, the Popular Party (PP) is not acting as an ally in the fight against Jihad.

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon suggested that it was preferable to influence the leadership of the Partido Popular rather than to try to build up a large third party in Spain. I agree, but I still think that the best way to influence the PP is by building a small party to their right. I will dedicate this post to the next national elections on 9 March and the following one to an investigation which could this third party or parties be.

What can we expect out of the next national Spanish elections? As indicated in the previous letter, only a small percentage of the electorate changes their vote. With the exception of around half a million voters (the so-called “centre”), people vote election after election for PSOE or PP. They would not change their vote, but would not vote at all if they feel uncomfortable with their usual party.

Spanish elections

Is the left feeling comfortable with Zapatero? No. He got many extra votes after the 11-M bombings. Some of Zapatero’s initiatives have been begrudged by his electorate. He has opened a “dialogue” with ETA; he is yielding to the demands of nationalists (“moderate” secessionists). As a result, it is very probable that the PP will get more votes than PSOE in March.

But it is also very improbable that the PP will have a majority. In that case they will have to resume the horse trading with the nationalists, who have been raising their stakes since 1977. This may tear apart the PP, because their followers will feel extremely disappointed. This is, of course, a speculation.

Who is who in the PP? The leader is Mariano Rajoy, a registrador by profession. Registradores run private but official registers on real estate. Any real estate transaction is not really definitive until it has been registered. In order to become registrador (or a notary) one must pass an exam after preparing for it for several years. That is, they are some sort of mandarins. Rajoy is a true blue one. Serious, reliable, professional, but, as a politician, he completely lacks “the force of demagogic speech” that Weber mentions in his classical lecture “Politics as a profession”:
- - - - - - - - -
The genuine official, even a political official, conducts his business sine ira et studio (at least formally, as long as the vital interests of the ruling order are not in question). To be passionate, on the other hand, is the element of the politician and above all of the political leader. ‘‘Since the time of the constitutional state, and definitely since democracy has been established, the demagogue has been the typical political leader’’ (96). The current state of affairs is a ‘‘dictatorship resting on the exploitation of mass emotionality’’ (107). Next to the qualities of will, the force of demagogic speech has been above all decisive in the choice of strong leaders.

He does not have the gift of demagogic speech. He is not a born politician; he was simply handed Aznar’s legacy, who appointed him.

Who are the other leaders in the party? First of all, we should be aware that there are two PPs: one leaning to the centre, the other to the right. Please note that I link to Wikipedia as a basic but not definitive reference.

On the centre, we have, first, Ruiz Gallardón, the mayor of Madrid. A born politician, beloved by the media, especially the “progressive” media (EL PAIS…). Culturally a lefty, always singing a dissonant note against the party. He has been openly declaring during the last three years that he is waiting to succeed Rajoy. This would be the end of the PP as we know it; it would split.

Gallardón does not have a lot of sympathy within the party. He had been pleading to be included in the lists for the next elections. Last week, Rajoy decided not to include him. It was the news of the week. By the way, in Spain, the party proposes the list of candidates for each territory.

Secondly, Aguirre: The chair of the Madrid regional government. Popular, beloved by the voters. Poses as a libertarian, and increases spending… She has been countering Gallardón in the last few years. It was she who actually forced Rajoy not to include Gallardón in the lists.

Then, the so-called regional barons. They are the leaders of regional areas (either chair the regional government or lead the opposition). Most of them are “progressive cons”. A couple of them, Matas (Spanish) and Piqué, have resigned in the last year after internal party conflicts or disappointing results in the polls. They were actually an affront to their conservative voters. Let us hope that this natural purge continues.

They main conservative voice in the PP is Mayor Oreja. The former Minister of Interior, now in the European Parliament. I would consider Vidal-Quadras the second one. He was leader of the PP in Catalonia, opposing the nationalists. He was dismissed by Aznar when he had to compromise with the Catalan nationalists in 1996. He is also now parked in the European Parliament. They are too far from the real party power to be able to succeed Rajoy, when the issue will be topical.

Coming back to the approaching elections, surveys indicate that the PP and the PSOE would get a similar number of votes. I think that the PP will have a few more seats in Parliament than the PSOE, but they will have to count on other parties, and they will sell their support at a very high price.

Let us see in six weeks.



VinceP1974 said...

Does anyone know if there's a RSS feed for all comments ? I know there are feeds for each individual article.

Lugundum said...

Thanks for the article, AMDG. Is the immigration a topic in your forthcoming election?

An article on illegal immigration to Spain

X said...

Vincep, try here. It's linked at the top of the page too. :)

Zonka said...

If you want a real RSS feed of GoV comments try This Link

X said...

Much better. :)

Afonso Henriques said...

" was preferable to influence the leadership of the Partido Popular rather than to try to build up a large third party in Spain. I agree, but I still think that the best way to influence the PP is by building a small party to their right."

And who would vote in such party?
In Andalucia and Extremadura the people vote always left wing, the Basques wether in the Basque County or in Navarra have already theirs right wing political parties (aka Nationalists), In Catalonia and Aragon the same, the same to Galiza.
Only in Castilla people would vote for such party but even there, very few people would became so far right... the gross majority would continue to vote PP or PSOE even the United Left would have more votes!
The solution is not create a new party but to influence PP for two main reasons:
a) Spain is not a Nation and it is divided by Nationalities (Basques, Catalans, Galicians, etc). After the civil war in 1936-1939 that divided Spain even further, we got (more) two Spains, one left wing, the other right wing. Spain is the most divided European Country. Spaniards as general would not trust a Spaniard Nationalistic party because, taking Spain as a whole, you can not be much more Nationalistic than the PP. From then on you will have to (ab)use force to control Spain.

b) The right wing Spaniards can be extremely right wing without being Nationalistic (aka anti immigration/ pro Europe (and I don't mean the Union)).
A recent inquire reveled that one third of high school Spaniards wanted to see expelled from the countries all the Muslims and all the Gypsies; one fifth wanted to see expelled from the country all the blacks and 15% wanted the Jews and the non white Latin Americans to be expelled from the country.
We are talking of 15-20 years old kids who have been since birth brainwashed with marxist/socialist propaganda. I think that this kind of popular will will and can turn the PP more right wing. It has to start from the people, otherwise it will not succeed.

I could not read the follow and remain quite:

"Is the left feeling comfortable with Zapatero? No. He got many extra votes after the 11-M bombings. Some of Zapatero’s initiatives have been begrudged by his electorate. He has opened a “dialogue” with ETA; he is yielding to the demands of nationalists (“moderate” secessionists). As a result, it is very probable that the PP will get more votes than PSOE in March."

Tough it is probable that PP will win the elections (or not) and that is true that Zapatero only made it to government with Bin Laden's help, the Spanish left is not all that uncortable with Zapatero. The Spanish economy is doing well and Zapatero did not implemented any rough measures that I heard of, many Spaniards are happy with its "bravery" to re-write the Spanish History with the historic memory bill and as so, the ETA dialogue is not all that prejudicial because when Aznar stopped to negociate with ETA he was criticised by that.

It is deplorable that you continue to label the Nationalists as moderate secessionists. In your blog you stated that no people can have the right to selfdetermination, it elucidated me about your world views.
It is sad to see what is happen in the Basque County and in Barcelona. Why is Barcelona so filled with Pakistanis? And other immigrants too... there are Historical neighbourhoods of Barcelona where you can not spot one Catalan. Well, less votes to the "moderate secessionists" isn't it?
In Giupuzoca and Viscaya more than 2 million people have since 1975 voted in the National Basque Party (which has won all the elections)under promisses of independence from the Spanish State. They are still "spaniards" and, as they made their region one of the wealthiest of Spain, they are working for all Spain. Just like the Flemish in Belgium, the difference is, Basques are a minority. That party is not violent neither do many Basques support ETA, though their "selfdetermination" is denied.

"Rajoy as a politician, he completely lacks “the force of demagogic speech"

Yes, specially in Spain it matters a lot.
Though, Zapatero was even more flacid than Rajoy. He was labeled as "insosso", remember?
So in that confrontation, Rajoy is not a handicaped.

I think the PP will win, but I can also see a PSOE united left coalition, so...

VinceP1974 said...

Zonka, thanks

AMDG said...

Thank you Lugundum, not as much as the topic deserves; still, I understand that it is something the big parties can not avoid. I will address the issue soon.

The main topic will by the economy. After 4 successful years, the conjuncture has suddenly changed.

Anonymous said...

Afonso, what reason would Spanish youth have to expel the Jews? Beyond which there arent very many Jews in Spain to expel.

Afonso Henriques said...

That primary anti semitism, essecialy.

Merged with a sense of "the Jews control the World" that is stronger in Spain than in any European coutry (that I know of).

You know how the muslims conquered Al Andaluz?
With the help of the Jews who are the ones who also killed our Lord.

You know, after 2000 years of Catholic demonisation of the Jews, when you have a History of direct conflict with them, mingled with the traditional Latin "Machismo", the number is not that bad...

AMDG said...

I see you go on, Afonso.

The current Spanish public opinion has nothing to do with the public opinion in the s. XV. The strong anti-Israel mood is comparable to the strong anti-USA mood and has the same reasons: the rabid leftism of media and academia.

Spain was the latest country to expel the Jews. The other European countries had done it before, because of that it has the biggest Jewish population, and the most successful. Never before, after diaspora, had they been as influential and successful as in Safarad (their name for Spain). And the Spanish people resented that influence and the cryptojudaism of converts.

Please do not forget that I am still waiting in my blog for evidence on some of your statements concerning current policies, not past history.