Vicente Serrano * ||
Member of Alternativa Ciudadana Progresista
On February 14, we have an appointment at the polls in Catalonia. The outcome is expected to be uncertain and, beyond the fights or conjectures about the internal things of our autonomous community, the new configuration of the Catalan parliament will determine, whether we like it or not, the political evolution of Spain.
The change of the PSC candidate, not precisely because of an internal democratic process that they boast of having, has been a shock to the Catalan political landscape, leading to speculation about a change in the expected behavior of the Catalan electorate.
The more than foreseeable return of abstentionism to positions prior to the procés has been broken, causing the attempt to postpone the elections sine die – it is not the first time that I have denounced the tortuous use of electoral dates as a tool for political manipulation. Finally, the maneuver has been thwarted by the Supreme Court of Justice of Catalonia-TSJC.
Another thing is that the “Illa effect” is sufficient to strip secessionism of political hegemony in Catalonia. The open unknowns are many.
Will participation in these elections be similar to the regional elections of 2017? After 155, abstention fell below 21%: there was an agitated social moment, with massive anti-nationalist demonstrations such as had never been seen in Catalonia. Today, however, and after the long and deep narcotization that nationalism itself and the “left that exists now” have generated, a discouragement and unease is perceived among voters that make it difficult to recover a level of participation like that of those elections , close to 80%. Which would be a necessary, although not sufficient, condition to be able to break the aforementioned hegemony of secessionism.
It is indisputable that the pro-independence bloc is in a continuous fighting for a leading place in the secessionist sector and surely many naïve people will be pleased, but that is something only temporary and reduced to the electoral cycle: cockfighting, but once they have the pen controlled they will distribute the trophy among themselves. The pro-independence bloc is solid for the future. One of the historical principles of that bloc has been to embed itself in all ideological tendencies with the aim of maintaining hegemony, and they have really done so since Pujolism took the reins.
Another thing is to know if the constitutional bloc really exists . It could be said that it exists only in the collective imagination: that is, only among the voters of those parties that are included in that bloc, but not among their leaders. Because, while we can say that between the leaders and the voters of the pro-independence bloc there is a clear communion of the project, in the “constitutionalist” the disparity is total.
Let’s talk about the socialist Illa project. In his coalition proposal with the Comuns ignores, hides, his intention to include ERC in his business. He knows perfectly well that if he comes up with that proposal, his “effect” disappears. The socialist voter in Catalonia is not nationalist ─majority; its leaders, including Illa, yes. Illa, if he can, will repeat the Frankenstein Government of Madrid.
The Comuns voter is not nationalist either, although it is still kidnapped, clouded, by a romantic concept of the “right of the peoples” and a certain “anti-Franco” Manichaeism in which it does not include the most neo-Francoist of all which are the nationalists-catalanists, political children of Pujolism and biological grandchildren – mostly – of the mayors “of the counties” of the pro-independence Movement.
Ciudadanos squandered their 2017 victory out of stage fright and is paying the consequences. It is clear that it will drop from its 2017 ceiling, but it may also improve its 2019 disaster, even if the Illa effect tries to steal its portfolio. It is unlikely that Comuns would agree to a coalition with them, even if it was the desirable one to corner secessionism. It will not happen! The PSC ─Illa, with its dialogue song─ seems little interested in dialoguing with those “constitutionally” closest.
In Catalonia we have a storm of a thousand devils, a Matrix, from which there seems to be no way out. We can engage in an electoral repetition with the probability of entering a repetitive cycle with no way out, the Groundhog Day of Catalonia. The electoral system is, today, a hindrance that prevents us from getting out of the quagmire, but the Spanish political class is fixed gear and prioritizes its privileges to the common good. The deformation of the voters’ will, in this system, generates dependent majorities of spurious minorities at the state level, while at the regional level it over-represents the nationalists… a continuous blackmail of democracy.
Can you imagine that after the election of the MPs of Parliament, in two weeks, the President of the Generalitat would be elected by popular vote between the two heads of the list with the most votes in the inaugural session of the Parliament ? We could find the solution there… Imagine choosing between Illa and Aragonès or between Illa and Borràs.
Meanwhile, one thing must be clear: Catalonia is mostly constitutionalist and secessionism is a minority, although it has many sources of power. But if we stay at home on the 14F we will give them the parliamentary majority. Today abstentionism is laziness and that is what we cannot afford.
Vote. Vote, even if you have to put a clamp on your nose. The mask helps.
Nou Barris, Barcelona. Saturday 6/2/2021
Author of THE REAL VOTE – Publishing House EL VIEJO TOPO