The Republic that we want

April 2014 Edition

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HEADLINES :

Survey: “THE REPUBLIC THAT WE WANT

  • What characteristics should have the III Spanish Republic?
  • What should be its fundamental principles?
  • What should be its referents?
  • What should be its priorities?
  • What laws should be enacted?
  • What laws should be repealed?
  • Etc … etc …¡Vote!

FOR AN SPANISH FEDERAL REPUBLIC FROM THE PEOPLE TO THE PEOPLE

Analysis:

Also:

  • The Cadiz Constitution, 200 years later– Faustino Martinez, Complutense University, Madrid.
  • The 1st Spanish Republic of 1873: Why didn’t work?” – Arturo del Villar, spanish writer
  • ” The Italian Social Republic (1943-1945): A Fascist Republic ” – Roberta Mira, University of Bologna, Italy
  • Keys to Covenant of Left Parties in Spain ” – Daniel Ayllon, journalist from “La Marea” newspaper, Madrid
  • Paul Preston and the Spanish Monarchy ” – Vicent Navarro – University Pompeu i Fabra , Barcelona .
  • 1975 -2015 : Forty years of the Bourbon monarchy in Spain2015: Will we have a Monarchy Referendum in Spain (At last!)?

“The Megaphone”:

2004 – 2014 Felipe de Borbón Anniversary Wedding :

2 Book Reviews:

  • El fracaso de la Monarquía” – Javier Castro Villacañas
  • “Los mitos del 18 de julio” –  Ángel Viñas

Email: destinorepublicano@gmail.com

Twitter: @destinorepublic

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             The text will be available in the next days. Sorry for any inconvenience.Thank you.

“The Republic that we want”- Survey

150px-LibertyEqualityorDeath

The Republic that we want”- Survey

Introduction

After 40 years under a dictatorship, Spain shyly started walking towards democracy. Looking at what we used to have, we achieved a lot; looking at all the way that remains ahead, we astonishingly realized that we were already starting to acquiesce in the minimums and almost had resigden to the “demo” (a sort of  simulation of democracy…) but now we are going for the “cracia”, for the power of the people.

No crown, no heir, democracy means people”.

The Republic

Republic comes from the latin term “res” thing, that is public, which belongs to the “populus” or people,  it means that the people holds the power, and they  temporary  delageate it on their representants. This is an essential difference betwen monarchical governments where the attribution of sovereign is lifelong and often, hereditary.

One essential characteristic of a  republican government  is the constitutionally stablished ,power divission into three different ones according to their specific functions: an administrative body, represented by the  Executive Power, a “law making one”, called Legislative Power and another one whose mission is applying those laws in the specific cases where their aprreciation is needed, the Judicial Power.

Other characteristics of the Republic, are:

  • All citizens are equal before the law .
  • The governors must be responsible before the people who chose them, for their acts of governance.
  • The need  that every act of governance is public (transparency); which means that those must not be secret, but expounded to the citizens so that these can be controlled.  

The essential pillars of the Republic

The three essential pillars of te Republic according to Aristotle are:

  • The power divission and its reciprocal control.
  • The political active participation  by the citizens. These means, thetransparency of every State act, the instruction on basic aspects of  politic culture  and the exigence of liabilities to the governers.
  • The representation of every social class inside the government institutions with equal attributions and prevalence of none.  (Access  to those judgeships must be restricted, and they will necessarely be collegiated according to the affected field, the magistrate must belong to the class he/she representates and be chosen exclusively through their vote).

It must be considered that for Aristote, the supreme aims of any form of government should be:

  • Freedom = Equality (“we only are free among equals)”
  • The  realization of justice and common good.
  • The full realization of human cognitive skills development (for which he judges necesary the fulfilment of the two prior points, following Socrates‘ essential concept [GOOD=TRUTH. According to which  good is equal to  truth and bad to ignorance ]
  • Out of this, we can deduce that if we are only free among equals there must not be a governing class, but every class must govern equally

Republic and Democracy

The term democracy comes from the ancient greek (dḗmos, which translates as “people”) and κράτος (krátos, which translates as “power”).

This way, republic is the governance of the law; while democracy means the governance of the people.

Thus, democracy admits gradation, meaning that there can be forms of government that are closer to the idea of Equality = Freedom; since laws are made for citizens and by citizens.  

Democracy’s basic definition: in order that a government can be considered minimally  democratic, it needs to have at least: male and female universal suffrage; free, competitive, recurring and correct ellections; more than one party; and more than one source of information.

In the sphere of the democracies that are above that minimum treshold, it is necessary to annalize how far they have gone or can go in the process of the finest fulfillment of the two main objectives of the ideal democracy: freedom and equality

A quality democracy is the one that develops satisfactorily the procedures designed to favor freedom and political and social equality, and whose public policies meet the demands of the citizens.”

Democratic Development: Political participation mechanisms

It’s not just about voting every 4 yearswe have to demand, we have to get involved, we have to supervise,  we have to compel that responsabilities are assumed, we have to be awake, we have to listen, debate, get informed, we have to “fight” for democracy!

These are some ways of direct participation, they are mechanisms of opinion and public ellection.

  • Popular initiative: The right given to the citizenship to present draft legislation proposals before the correspondant public institution.
  • Referendum: A direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to eiter accept or reject a particular proposal or to revoke or not a norm already in force.
  • Popular consultation: The mechanism trough which the President, the Governor, the Major or other governing personality can ask a question about a general domain, about an issue of national or regional relevance, etc. to the citizens so that they can formally state their opinion.
  • Open cabildo: The public meeting of the district or municipal councils or local administrative boards where inhabitants can directly participate in order to debate matters of public interest for the comunity.
  • Impeachment : The political right by which citizens can remove a Governor or a Major from office.

         The survey will be published after the summer or once a significant sample is           obtained.  At the end of the survey, you must press the “finish survey” button to remain registered responses.  See abreviated list of related terms after the survey (Look below for more information)

Link to survey: http://cort.as/9gSv 

THE REPUBLIC THAT WE WANT-  Survey:

Abreviated list of related terms (links available):

I CHOSE: I, REPUBLIC

                      WE DON’T WANT TO BE SUBJECTS, WE WANT TO BE  CITIZENS:                      WE CHOSE REPUBLIC.

BYE MONARCHY: WE CHOSE  REPUBLIC.

WE WORK TOGETHER FOR THE SPANISH FEDERAL REPUBLIC!

Thank you very much for your participation!

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Twitter: @destinorepublic  

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CÁDIZ CONSTITUTION, 1812-2012: THOUGHTS ABOUT A BICENTENARY

CÁDIZ CONSTITUTION, 1812-2012: THOUGHTS ABOUT A BICENTENARY

Constitucion_1812_primera_pagina

Cadiz Constitution of 1812, cover page and page Nº 1.

Faustino Martínez Martínez

Law and Institutions History Dept.

Law School. Universidad Complutense, Madrid

 

We can unequivocally asset that there are two irreconciliable visions that entrap every historian: the one of the past time which they try to study; and the one of the present time from which the investigation is carried.  We can then say, that there is one Cádiz Constitution of 1812, dated at that point in time; and many other interpretable Cádiz Constitutions, which have been read and outlined through 19th, 20th and now 21st century.  There is a Cádiz Constitution that deputies and public personalities who support it tell us about it in their texts; and there are other Cádiz Constitutions which spring from this first one, that result in individual, partial and partisan lectures of it and become contemporary versions of the original which rarely match the spirit and the soul of the one they refer to. We must finish with the protagonist rolesome historians have given to their interpretations and constructions have taken the leading role, later used as basis for different speeches that always aim to justify the present through the past. This means, anticipateing modern constitutional solutions to preconstitutional times, projecting contemporary creations to past times; seeking to obtain bigger dossis of legitimacy using time as a means. Our mission is not to participate in Cádiz’s legacy, it is not to interfere in its creation and development, neither is it to reproduce the most relevant debates or controversies supporting one or the other;neither then is it to conect that past with our present, but to observe it, analyze it and understand it and place in its own moment in time; since there is where it has to be and from where it needs to be looked at in order to deeply understand it in its purity. Cádiz belongs to the past, it is no longer here and it is not for us, it does not exist other than as an aniversary. It must be understood according to its own constitutional culture and not according to the constitutional culture that will later appear. We must remember it the way it happened inasmuch testimonies allow it.  We must go back to that past if we want to understand what happened then between 1810 and 1812.

Simply opening any exemplary of the Cádiz Constitution we can tell that we are in front of a Political Constitution of Spanish Monarchy. Just the title gives us enough hints about the direction the investigation will take. Political Constitution meant, back then, that it is not the only way to present a constitutional text at that given time. The adjective (political) goes a bit further; it defines the essence of that noun (Constitution) that it accompanies indisociably. There is a so called political Constitution, associated to the freedom called the same way, thus we can draw that there are other types of Constitution different to this one (militar, fiscal, ecclesiastical,etc.). These ones would be, in teory, excluded of the dynamics that the text from Cádiz wants to represent. Its goal is not political and, in the same context, neiter is it to assure the political freedom, which is in the first instance the goal of the so called political Constitution. That is its main purpose. To guarantee political freedom and to strenght it through constitutional ways. Later civil freedom of the individuals who form the Nation will come too, but firstly, political context is needed in an ultimate way. Political context with its power and authority, with its governmental moderation, its public happines as te goal of every action, its citizens obligations before their rights, with obedience, attatchment and submission.  All these creates the main basis, the national-monarchic sceme in order to get political freedom back and to ensure it for the future, after years of oblivion and shame. Deep down, the Nation, more than the individual, is waiting for the rehabilitation of all those domination relationships that come together with the liberty that the birth of the Constitution implies. And Nation has just appeared showing itself. Freedom is defining it again in a solid way and using little adjustments. This so called freedom, understood in hispanic terms, i.e. in catholic terms, means unconditional acceptance and observance of every mandate issued by the sovereign authority properly trained and potentially legitimate, inside the ethic channels (religious, i.e. catholic) that work as foundation of the whole public structure. They mean the articulation of a complex net of power, rights and obligations that respond to some particular exigences, to a very specific vision of that freedom, closer to teological ideas of preconstitutional times than to the open and extenden individual spaces that freedom means today in its contemporary meaning, definetely a constitutional one. Sections 13 and 14 of the Constitution will be clear about this and throw light upon what wants to be rebuilt: Nation’s happines, welfare of its individuals and moderate Monarchy, as the political culmination of the whole thing and as a guarantee of the efectiveness of that freedom. From the Nation, including the individuals, unlit getting to the solidified form of power. This adjective, for that matter, does not longer calify the noun, but it has a deeper role: it introduces public references of obligation, obeisance and submission through which future constitutional life will go. It all, according to the right path that constitutional life had came through before or the one it should have. Avoiding abstractions, the pursued goal is not etheral freedom, without conditions and pure, but one which is the accumulation of many specific freedoms. Some of them in different forms, articulated arround the main idea of political freedom which is the only one able of leading the Nation, and within it, the individuals that conform it. A freedom made to assure the foundation of the National Monarchy which presided the whole constitutional design before ensuring spaces of immunity for each and every single citizen.  Political freedom is the source of the remainig freedoms, but it is not individual but national (at least in the first instance) and it is not natural but historical.  A type of freedom, at the service of power, not of the individual, citizen or subject. Catholic freedom focuses on the acceptance of what legitimately stablished authority says, instead of focusing on liberty on its own. It is the ability to obey or disobey, to do what is right, in accordance with free will, but always in the frame of prior institutional channels which end up predeterminating it in an extreme wayprecio, pp. 37 ss.olaiedad.  en su momento por J.  pokl. The Constitution -and to assure it suffices to read sections 4, 67, 8 and 9, with its extention to section 366 – is seen in terms of obligations instead of rights, in terms of obedience instead of immunity or exepmtion, in terms -we must insist- of ancient freedom instead of modern freedom. The particual idea of equality, shaped by codes which were just old recopilations a bit more stilysh, more perfect and more complete; as well as an unique power which was completely absent, along with corporations and forums of all kinds which were not erradicated from the social and political scenario, neither did that help to strengthen the liberal charm of the text of 1812.

But it is too, a Constitution that protects a kind of political freedom adressed to a specific subject, and here is where we find another relevant component: Spanish Monarchy (not te Nation, which appears in consequence, comprehended within the first one, where the king is the head of the State). This implies that it is a Monarchy of the Nation which, consecuentely, has to be called monarchical Nation without any doubt. This places us facing a complex institutional and territorial scenario, which is at the same time, more than a perpetual form of government, built up in History, which is unavailable for most of the people, and is deeply entrenched in the political spirit of those men and women and those territories. Monarchy is more than that, more than the traditional weaving of public and private people, corporations, provinces and territories arround the monarch: it is the definition itself of the hispanic political essence. It is its soul as it has been for years now. The Constitution is the Monarchy’s Constitution, because looking at Spanish history, Monarchy is and the sole possible and fasiable constitutional way. We can conclude that the Constitution is Monarhy itself and it cannot be any other way without breaking the historical path and pervert the spirit of the political comunity. If another political form was adopted, Spain would dissappear as it is now. The existance of a different thing would start. A new historical subject would be borned, not Spanish anymore, it would be different, and as such, unpredictable, out of control, out of the paths that History has defined to define the borders of the political power with certain dossis of regularity, measure and order. This is the foundamental part of the Constitution, without which the text could never be understood as a whole. What is done in Cádiz is a kind of Constitution that is adressed to a specific subject (the Monarchy). But, what Constitution does actually spring during those years? What is the debate about? What are they exactly fighting for, if there is womething they actually fight for? We need to look to Cádiz’s immediate past to understand what is taking place.

The essential key stands in the perspective through which the complex material created from 1810 to 1812 has to be examined. That world of the past which evaporated to the eyes of many contemporary and dissapeared for coevals in an obvious and unforgiveable way. Those who decided to agree a sort of an organized and gradual dissolution from the past, an exhausted continuity or about to be, and this way decided to create or imagine a new universe, for which they put together many pieces, used many materials, instruments and elements taken out of tat same past which was about to dissapear. They started to built a new cosmos out of the waste, left overs and reminiscences that were left of the old regime, the only one they knew well. The result can hardly be called “this” or “that”.  Cádiz is an exotic place that is presented as a remote location, far away, unknown: it appears as a being without time, difficult to frame in an specific era, the one that finished or the one that started to open. The world in Cádiz turned arround that duality of temporal scenarios that approach together, that touch each other and distort themselves, and somehow, they get mixed up. Past and present hold hands because the constitutional horizont was built without defining any censorship with the most immediate or most recent past. Not only there wasn’t any break (and the nonexistance of any clause in the text of 1812 that erased the past is an evidence) but the text stablishes a fruitful dialoge with it, inviting the past to participate on the constitutional experience that back in 1810 started to grow in a new shape, with a new strength, method and system. The whole legislative work done in Cádiz mut be regarded through this prism: past and present overlaped, mixed, melted together, resulting in an open and natural relationship betwen past and present. Betwen today and yesterday, betwen 1812 and gothic, medieval or modern times; or even the immediately preceding royal and ministerial despotism times: Law from the past was still Law from the present. The basis were the same. That was the ususal. Yesterday was still today. That is how the legal order of Common Law worked; i.e., a traditional, teological, jurisprudential, open, plural, cumulative and sedimentary regulation. A cliche itself and full of them.

If there is not past neither present from a legal point of view, if the ancient Law is present no matter the time when it was formulated, if pieces of this puzzle are not taken away but mixed together and these does not birng up new general norms or universal guidelines; if nothing is rejected from that legal scenario, since everything is part of the same old prescriptive and cumulative order, of a traditional and sedimentary kind (comming from a theological approach); an uncertain and abstract order subjected to the probabilities that jurists, judges or kings determine; if this whole aforementioned scenario is the general picture of the Spain  of the Old Regime we cannot, neither should we, under no circumstances, look at the process that started in 1810 from the optics of what came afterwards: the positivist, legal and state perspective. A pure legal paragidm and its consequences are not useful to approach that opposed reality. An effort has to be made in order to understand what happened before and see how that “before” influenced what was done later. If we keep all these in mind (and above all, the lack of isolation between past and present, but its more or less pacific coexistance; as well as the persistance of the legal order and its recovery through improvement or correction), the vision of the Constitution of 1812 has to change in a clear and notorious way. It is not a new Constitution what is presented in Cádiz. It is an old one, historic, traditional, buit out of the habits, with pieces of the past and employing structures and institutions taken from a former reality that samed to be falling appart. A Constitution that had no derogatory clause because it lacked power enough to cancel the historic flow that defined and nourished it. What was done -and so they say those who were there , specially in the wellknow Preliminary Disourse made by Constitutional Comission that drafted the project of the Constitution in 1811- is to asset old laws and institutions, recuperate them, made them stronger and assure the aplication of the monarchical and catholical model that Spain had had since medieval times. Through this process this whole structure is given a new appearance that makes its recognition easier and avoids possible masking or ambiguity at the immeadiate future. The past is not only a source of power and institutions; it is the model of what has to be done in order to avoid the risks that degeneration had caused in modern times That is why the past is useful: because it is the source where everything that must exist is found, and, at the same time, it is the teaching that avoids possible digressions. The various pieces that integrate Cádiz are not an invention of the Courts, nor of their deputies; they are a creation of History, they are pieces that identify with the past, thus God is considered to be their creator. Creator of the Courts as well as of the whole political frame to which his creatures give now a new order. Lets think about the begining of the constitutional text, where, using a usual enacment formule from the Old Regime, it mentions the king Fernando VII, who is so by God’s grace, not by the Constitution’s grace (which comes second). This hierarchy is not pacific nor neutral, it is indeed full of legal and political meaning: the king is the supreme authorityon Earth, but undeniably owes his power to this Almighty God, “Father, Son and Holy Ghost, creator and supreme ruler of society“. By means of History, where the Constitution gets inspiration from, we have come to the Theology which is the founder of the political-legal order, the resulting consitutional order accepted by all men who conform the Nation, and whithin it, the Monarchy. It is a sort of reminiscence of the Old Regime, where a political model that was criticized and obsolete still can conditionate the norms. It still can make old schemes preveal disguised with new words and new concepts, which will quicly get old from a pragmatic and legitimate point of view.  In vane. Those words and those concepts do not innovate at all, instead they resemble the the past. The legal order that they belonged to was not something that could not change or be modified. The Law from the Old Regime was about to evolve too, however, its divine origine (i.e. its absolute perfection) buit mechanisms of self regeneration which always ment the addition, never the subtraction or disappearance of legal elements so that they could be part of the al ready defined order. Everything was already created. Men just had to foutind out about that Law in order to improve God’s creation or just correct the impurities that human activity could have introduced in God’s plan. This way the process that leads to Cádiz is conceived: the old leads to the slightly reformed, improved or corrected kind of old; that seems to be new but cannot be. The past goes through a recomposition process.  Nothing is lost on the way; nothing is ignored; nothing is distroyed or dismissed; nothing changes substantially. Everything remains under different words. On the other hand, its existance is strengthened. And this way a persistance that allows to follow the spirit of the new era is assured. And this is how it is done, this is how society acted. Take back and assure the continuity of what has been restored. The past invades the present in an uncontested way. There is not any horizon of future expectations.

Cádiz and its Constitution have been looked at form the distorting perspective of romanticism of the 19th century as well as from the eyes of liberal historers. These researchers, loyal to this adjective that defined them, wanted to see in Cádiz the logical order of the regime in which they were living, so they did not hesitate to transform the absolute failure of 1812 into a successfull liberal mith. At the same time, they criticized the Old Regime, bluring it untill it was completely unrecognizable. Neither the Constitution was any liberal culmination, nor the Old Regime was the chaos they want us to belive. Cádiz wanted to be seen as the source of the prevailing ideology in Spain during the most part of the 19th century. From this unfair optics, it is not surprising that the most part of the liberal creed later, at the begining of the 19th century, belonged to a primeval ideology looking at the very well defined preferences of their first written declaration in 1812. This distort vision is the sin of misunderstanding the Cádiz taxt and considering it as a liberal and democratic Constitution, when these adjective and noun hardly match those times neither those minds. The Constitution that was adopted the 19th march 1812, later spread and sworned all along the Spanish territories, can hardly be considered as a real constitutional text, neither a revolutionaryly constitutional understood in its most current way; we cannot see that this text was rationally and firmly written; neither founded on nature-based values, abstract values that conform self-evident truths. We cannot say that it was created by a constituent power that worked freely and respected the Nation’s wills, without any duress or conditions, no exigences from the middle class, the religious community, historians or other traditional spheres.  It is not a modern Constitution if by such idea we understand a rational and prescriptive Constitution, made out of te abstract truth, a result of the willingness of the subject who wants to create it and establish with it a new political order, free, global, complete, without bondages. Facing the new born and free Nation and the constitutionalised Reason, architect of the whole system, Cádiz oposes History to God as powerful and exclusive constituent factors, derivated from a strong catholic shield that banned any difussion outside the fronteers and at the same time avoided any external contamination. This is: facing the constituent avant la lettre, History raises above everything, and a Divinity claims its ownership based on the necessity.  And this happens this way because of the role played by the Spanish Enlightment (Jovellanos might be its role model), which was reformist before revolutionary.

The enligtment mentality ment looking at the past as the salvation, as the myth where everything was lovely but over time only had corrupted, so a depuration was needed (polically, historically, etc.). And this process wa never constituent, at most, it was reconstituent or reformist, more or less deep, but never stoped relaying in the essential pillars where the past was settled. On the first place, the regeneration of the Monarchy was seeked, wit all the attributes that defined it; a reappeareance of it but without eraseing it from the legal or political scenario. Monarchy had to be taken back in its purest version, in order to be adjusted to the comming times later so that its continuity was assured over years. Together with the Monarchy came many elements derivated from it and essential to sttle it and assure it in the right way.  We must use the 1812 glasses to look at every detail of what was being defined on that date and that would affect the Spanish Monarchy destiny. There was a common political belief shared by every important men and deputoes on that irregular corpus they were about to define the constitutional wolrd they wanted to bring back.

If we stick to the aforementioned premises, the most relevant new element is the absence of a real constitutional power at the General and the Exceptional Courts (inaugurated in September 1810) as an original and illimitated power with residence in the Nation. Out of this, we can conclude that the Constitution of 1812 cannot be called a modern constitution given the amount of impossibilities we identify within it. Firstly, the impossibility of a Nation in a completely liberal style (the conjunction of free and equal citizens, a fully democratic, equal and free civil society is missing) that has to be reduced to the existance of a Nation in th terms of the Old Regime, dominated by the religious, military and legal elite. This is not a free Nation neither founded on the value of te individual, but integrated by old bodies, with a political scenario that silences people, where current citizens are never present in the decisions that are adopted. Out of this first, comes the second impossibility: the lack of a real national soverignity with the omnipresent shade of the Monarch that underlies in each and every line of the constitutional debates and sections. What leads us to a kind of cooperative, broken and shared soveraignity, not to a soveraignity exert exclusively by the Nation. Finally, out of the two previous points, the impossibility of an absolute freedom of the diputies. The means of representation used to write the script for the future since Cádiz does not reverse anything from the past, but it stands on it and uses it as the support to achieve its objectives. It is a Constitution written with open doors to the past and to everything that the past ment. Only slight changes are made in order to make it effective, valid and unassailable so that it can overcome crisis as severe as the one taking place since March 1808. As fas as possible, the essence of the Monarchy has to preveal and should not be modified. This is what is done since 1810 and what culminates on March 1812. At any point, as it happeden in France with the revolution, did the fathers of the Constitution have the will of breaking with the past, of starting from scratch and send past to the pit of History, of listing all those elements that there would not be in Spain any longer, of explaining that derogatory effect that is visibly lacking.   In the Spanish case, there is not the intention of setting a censorship; on the contrary, we can easily identify in its very different elements (form of government, citizenship, religion, territory policies, etc.) the presence of History tat could not be rejected possible way. A presence that could not be fought without risking to lose the uniqueness of Spain as a Nation and as a Monarchy.  History writes the script of the Constitution and no power can oppose to it. The past defines the present and in that remote world the whole constitutional precept can be identified. It is a mirror and a model. If Spain wanted to become someting at that uncertain moment in 1812, it had to be something from History, never without taking it into account. The contrary would have supposed a political suicide as a community.

Without a constituent power, this is, without a free Nation that decides to stand up to define the soveraignity as the deposit of the public power and lead it this way to its highest essence; without a power able to create the new and destroy the old, we wont ever be able to find any Constitution anywhere. The Constitution, in its current meaning, is missing the author that every Constitution has to have; it misses too the minimum elements needed as the approval criteria regarding its American and French peers. To sum up, we do not want to identify any Cádiz Constitution because Cádiz is not the result of a popular proclamation of constituent power. Unlike what happened the cenuty before with the revolutionary movements that succeeded in America or France, where these gave the people a Nation on the first case; and the most effective and complete form of determination for the political power orgabisation in the second one.  In those other places, there was a constituent power able to break with the past, able to define the fronteer betwen now and yesterday; this process sent back to History all the consequences from the past without the chance of comming back under no circumstances. That constituent power, the American as well as the French, were able to write a categorically new text that settled a moment in history and determined what was liable to happen and what was not; what was useful and new, facing what was old and unnecessary. A text that clearly separated the new constitutional world from the old feudal one, and this last one becamed wiped out, ignored, historic; that is to say, no vaild, thus of no relevance from the legal and politicla point of view. Out of the Constitution understood as such, as Americans and French did, there were only ruins and debris, elements and ideas that should be abandoned and ellimninated. The new era that the new Constitutions inagurated, were, in fact, new times since they oppened new paths to the future and buried the past once and for all.

For the same reasons, Cádiz is not and could never be reputated as the yield of the abstract truth, as a product of rationalism, as executional body of absolute authority, but, on the other hand: it is yield of historical truth, the one that lives for and inside the past, that wants to turn the current men into hiers of his ancestors; that was based on the old Fundamental Laws which settled the limits of the sovereign power almost as absolute and justified every single of its actions; that believed in a past inseparable from the present. Cádiz does not create a truly new Constitution; Cádiz just reorganizes the Fundamental Laws of the Old Regime, recomposes the essential principles on which the Spanish Catholic Monarchy sustained, without giving rise to a radical, drastic and original power. In 1812, a recuperation, a reinstauration of the hispanic past takes place in the shape of a legal-plotical resurection of everything tat had happened back on those days of constitutional hapiness and that had been lost in time.

There is no creation without tradition. The great ancient wise understood it well when they clearly separated the traditio from the imitatio. The new is actually a new form of conjugateing everything that precedes it; the specific way that each age faces, reads, understands and interpretates the common past. Newness is just a new version of the past. The constitutional events that took place in Cádiz seem to support this last statement. F. Tomás y Valiente was wrong when he explained the constitutional moment in Cádiz as the moment when many Fundamental Laws became a sole Constitution, asseting like this the validity of the constitutional process. What actually happened was the transit of many Fundamental Laws into many other Fundamental Laws, better organized and clarified and with important institutional adjustments in order to make them preveal. THe intended modern face barely had strenght enough to govern the fate of that essentilly gothic body, which was who eventually governed the whole political machine, the whole rebuilt system.  There wasn’t and there couldn’t be a modern Constitution; maybe a historical one, that is to say, History to the service of the already constitued power, that experience had already prooved valid, incompatible with the  enlighted ideology that was the basis of the legacy from Cádiz.

Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, April 2013.

 

“Keys to Covenant of Left Parties in Spain ”

Pacto de Izquierdas - La Marea

From left to right and top to bottom: Joan Baldoví, Joan Tardá, Chesus Yuste, Jose Luis Centella, Uxue Barcos, Laia Ortiz y Sabino Cuadra. / FERNANDO SÁNCHEZ

THE LEFT SEARCHES THE GREAT SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DEAL

Progressive parties start their negotiations in order to try to establish new alliances regarding elections of 2014 and 2015, both essential to define our society in the near future.

Daniel Ayllón, Journalist.

Madrid, July 2013

www.lamarea.com

15th January 1936. After the two darker years of the II Spanish Republic, when the government stopped the construction of schools and cut down the liberties and rights obtained under the rule of Manuel Azaña (the first governor), the party Frente Popular wins the election, reassured by a major social upheaval. Indalecio Prieto (from the social-democratic Spanish party PSOE) and Azaña himself (from the left-wing Republican Party Izquierda Republicana) were the ones who settled the basis for the alliance of the left-wing parties. Catalan nationalistic, republicans, socialists, Marxists and anarchist shared three common goals: amnesty for prisoners of “political and social” crimes, recovery of the reformist legislation of the first years of the republic -including projects such as the agrarian reform- and reopening of the regions’ self-government process.

The left-wing bloc surpassed the right (obtaining 263 deputies, against 156) and took back a social policies path that was truncated, five months later, by the coup d’état leaded by Franco (Spanish dictator for 40 years).

Almost 80 years later, the Spanish left looks in the mirror of that process and of those that during these decades have taken place in Europe (Greek Syriza, German Die Linke, Portuguese Bloca de Esquerda, French Front de Gauche, Italian El Olivo…) in order to face a “right-wing government which is also violating the Constitution, eradicating political and social rights”, as the historian Isabelo Herrero points out. The writer signalizes a difference between the context of 1936 and the present one: “Back then, there weren’t any European or external institutions which defined the policies”. The enemy was at home.

The x-ray of the Spanish left has also changed. One century ago, for instance, the anarcho-syndicalists of CNT (Spanish confederation of anarcho-syndicalist labor) counted a million affiliates. Furthermore, the current major unions as well as the PSOE (social-democratic Spanish party)have lost the leadership in the social support they knew years ago.

In Spain, 32% of the population declares themselves center-left or left-wingers, according to the survey of self-ideology positioning published by the Spanish Center of Sociologic Investigations (CIS); against 11.2% said to be center-right or right-wingers. However, the left does not succeed to displace its political rivals, partly due to abstention. According to the CIS barometer of voting intention in April (picture of the gross answers, not interpreted), declared abstention reaches 22.7%, the highest point since the series started in 1996. If it was a political party, it would have already surpassed the two bigger ones in Spain, PP (Christian democratic conservative party) and PSOE.

The Frente Popular that part of the left dreams about for two next year’s elections (Europeans in 2014, municipal, regional and national in 2015) is additionally facing various challenges.

Theoretically, parties seek common objectives: constituent process, youth unemployment, Royal House, redistribution of wealth, tax evasion, pensions, evictions, public Health and Education, institutional secularism… But some groups have stepped back from the negotiations in advance in order to create a common project. At leaston the short term. The two bigger Progressive units which, together with IU (United Left), have had the greatest parliamentary representation – PSOE (social-democratic Spanish party) and ERC (republican Catalan party) – are today far from this possible coalition, for different reasons.

PSOE after embracing the institutions from the Troika (IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank) and the recent recognition of past mistakes, forecasts a change of direction in autumn, to rediscover their left-wing roots. Although, they firmly reject to be part of a Spanish Syriza: “We are not fighting that battle”. ERC, as other nationalistic parties as BNG (from Galicia) or Amaiur (from the Basque Country), focus on the issue of their identity.

The only nationalistic group that has expressed their willingness to participate in the bloc is the one of the historic founder of BNG and current head of the Galician Anova, Xosé Manuel Beiras. On the last Galician election he defended, without losing sight of the identity issue, that it was necessary to prioritize an “alliance of the left” against neoliberal policies. This way, he forged Alternativa Galega de Esquerda (Galician Left Alternative) together with Esquerda Unida, the Galician side of IU, Equo Galicia (coalition of Spanish green parties in Galicia) and Espazo Ecosocialista Galego (all left-wing Galician parties). The Galician Syriza, the first alliance of this legislature, attained nine seats and became the third political force at the Parliament.

THE ALLIANCE IN CATALONIA

One of the most active processes is the Catalan one, which also seeks to become part of the social movements, despite it is still in an initial phase. The main coordinator of Esquerra Unida i Alternativa, EUiA (United and Alternative Left) and deputy at the Congress, Joan Josep Nuet, is the leading edge of the initiative at the political level.

The project aroused last summer at the EUiA’s assembly and, since then, Nuet has met with tens of parties, social movements, entities and civilian society organizations. Critical sectors of the Catalan PSOE (like the movement Avancem), members of ERC disappointed by the lead of the party, as well as ICV or CUP (pro-independence Catalan organizations) are some of the political agents liable of joining this initiative; other tuned groups are Revolta Global, En Lluita or sectors of 15-M (Spanish protests of 2011-12) like the Iaioflautas (the elder group of this movement). Despite conversations are opened, the situation is not mature enough to host a common assembly that would lead to an actual alliance, as sources of EUiA declare.

The economist and president of the NGO Justícia i Pau (peace and justice), Arcadi Oliveres; together with the Benedictine nun Teresa Forcades, a doctor too, known by her critical opinion of the pharmaceutical companies; promotes since months ago a “constituent process” based on gathering civil support to create a movement from thebasis.  On 19th June they counted 39 270 adherences, and their meetings in the different cities of Catalonia became popular due to the great attendance.

Their goal is to “start a process where citizens from Catalonia can chose which State and country model they prefer”. Among the measures they defend we can find the expropriation of private banking for the creation of a public and ethic banking, reduction of the working hours and task distribution, moratorium of evictions and retroactive nonrecourse debt, foster of the participative democracy and ecological reconversion of economy, approaching strategic sectors to the people.

For the Constitutional Law investigator of the University of Valencia, Diego González, the convergence of the left-wing parties requires not only “the commitment of the top” but also “the support of the citizenship that pushes from thebottom, as Forcades and Oliveres are doing”.

The Candidatura d’Unitat Popular, CUP (Catalan Candidates for the People’s Unity) has its own way of assembly proceeding attached to the region and built from the basis. Joan Teran, member of the national bureau of CUP, declares that the left-wing pro-independence groups appreciate as “very positive” the constituent process boosted by Oliveres and Forcades. “The majority of the points in their manifesto share our basic views”, he states. Regarding the proposal of EUiA, he assures that the group has already presented their idea of “unifying all the left-wing groups in Catalonia together for a transformative will, a project that we share”. However, the project leaded by EUiA meets more distrust among the CUP, mostly due to the recent past they shared with the formation of the Tripartite and the Conselleria de Interior (Interior Counseling), as Brais Benítez reports.

THE STATE ALLIANCE

At a State level, the great promoter of the possible Spanish Syriza is IU (United Left), the older sister of EUiA. The Spanish Center of Sociologic Investigations (CIS) highlighted in its barometer of April 2013 a voting intention for Cayo Lara’s coalition (IU) of 7%, much higher that 2.8% that they plummet with in January 2008. Forecasts for PP and PSOE are of 12.5% and 13.7%, respectively. The role of the historic 50.8% of hesitant shown by the CIS and above all, the abstentions and the “none of the above” voting will be key too.

During its Political Council of May, IU approved that the agenda of the hypothetical group must be elaborated in a participative way: “The Political and Social Bloc cannot be an organizational structure, neither an electoral platform; it is all about assembling for the mobilization of those who support a social solution for the crisis, built in a collective way, a common place of encounter and coordination”. “Candidate’s lists should therefore also be participative”, states the secretary of Political Convergence and Social Movements of IU, Enrique Santiago.

Although, the way of electing the candidates will be defined in the coming months. So far, it is in a “debate” phase. The Political Council of September will be essential to define their position. From the inside, there is a sector that would rather keeping the IU identity, not to become a Syriza and take advantage of the growing citizen support that surveys of the last one and half years confer them.

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

The relationship between parties and present social movements little has to do with the one in 1936, although there are some similarities. The so called “white tide” (platform for the defense of Public Health) or organizations such as Juventud Sin Future (Youth without Future) make us think of those doctor groupings or of the students union that, in the IInd Republic, created their own banners to support the Frente Popular.

The spokesperson of IU at Congres, José Luis Centella, urges today to include the different tides, the Cumbre Social (social summit), Frente Cívico (civic front), 15-M (Spanish protests of March 2011), 25-S (Spanish platform aroused during the “Occupy The Congress” protests) and the PAH (Spanish Movement of Mortgage Victims); all the main social agents in the Political and Social Bloc.

Among these collectives, possible candidates to belong to the bloc, there is an opened debate about two essential points: Do we need to jump from the streets movements to another kind of politics? And if that was the case… Would the European elections of 2014 be a premature scenario?

Ada Colau, spokesperson of the PAH (Movement of Mortgage Victims), has turned into the showy star all parties dream about for the next elections. And she has already received some offers. But, should Colau jump to the parties politics? Without rejecting it, Centella believes that it would be a “mistake” of the parties to “go around looking for the perfect electoral candidate“, as if it was a “football strategy”. And he uses the example of Alberto Garzón, the big hope of IU, who “joined IU naturally and is now having a great impact on the formation, he is now a consecrated deputy”. Centella also alerts about the risk of having all the leaders of the social movements involved into parties, leaving those “leaderless”.

Julio Anguita, from the Frente Cívico, defends the same idea: “No need to look for leaders, but for a base. We have to get ready for that big constituent act. Strategies are medium-term”. Centella, “far from intending to correct Lenin”, analyzes the goal of the revolution in the 20th century: “It was about getting the power and, from there, make the revolution. In the 21st century, it’s about building the power of the people…or the counter-power, like in Bolivia or Ecuador. Circumstances are different. The process is now longer and slower, but also more solid. In the 20th century, the goal was to win elections to get the government. And it forgot to organize the people, from the bottom”.

After the explosion of 15-M, the Progressive parties look for their reflection in the social movements. PSOE and IU have recently started re-foundation and convergence process, respectively. Cayo Lara’s coalition (IU) did so during the X Federal Assembly, in December 2012. During his celebration speech, after being reelected as federal coordinator with 84% of the votes, Lara stated a sentence that caused certain fuss among attendants from all around Spain: “IU is the Spanish Syriza; we don’t need to look for one outside!”

The sentence has its explanation, states Centella, who understands it as “rhetoric resource”. After the overwhelming victory of PSOE with Felipe González in 1982 with a very fragmented left, IU was born four years later as a coalition raised around the No to NATO and boosted by several parties among which the PCE (Spanish Communist Party) outstood. Therefore, it is already a bloc on its own way.

EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 2014

IU is sure about keeping their alliances with ICV (Initiative for Catalonia and Green Party) and CHA (Aragonese Union) and go together to the European elections of May 2014; both have been their partners in the group Plural Left at the Deputies Congres. Furthermore, it seems quite likely that Galicians from Anova join the alliance, after the result of their pact with EU (IU from Valencia) in Galicia. However, Centella points out that the European elections won’t be the essential date: “The general elections will, those are the big ones”. The continental date will be a sort of thermometer, affirms the general secretary of the PCE.

The coalition of Cayo Lara (IU) won’t start looking for impossible alliances. Equo (coalition of Spanish green parties), for instance, who a priori fulfills the essential points for a Spanish Syriza, has outlined to go to the elections with the Partido Verde Europeo (European Green Party), to which they belong since May. Looking at the general elections of 2015, “We don’t reject anything. When the moment comes, the bases will decide” as Juan López de Uralde, the leader from Equo points out.

The slump of the two-party system is a key to explain the renaissance of left-wing formations in the South of Europe as IU, Syriza or Bloco de Esquerda, but also the muscle that parties of the extreme right win in Eastern Europe.

Any hope of victory for the left needs, in the coming two years, to mobilize their voters. If we analyze the victory of the Frente Popular in 1936, the historic participation of 72% draws our attention. This happened thanks to, among other factors, the respect of the anarchic-unionism of the CNT (Spanish confederation of anarcho-syndicalist labor) “respected the proposal of the bloc and rejected their usual call for abstention”, as the historian Herrero recalls. In addition to the ideological commitment, the amnesty that Frente Popular suggested for “political and social” prisoners was the only option for thousands of anarchists and Catalan pro-independents. The revolution in Asturias and the uprising in the Generalitat of Catalunya in 1934, counted more than 10,000 people arrested.

PSOE (Socialist Party)

What about the PSOE? Can they join the Spanish Syriza? According to Centella, “now there is no way for a deal with PSOE at a State level” because we would have to “talk about the reform of Section 135 of the Constitution or the electoral law that PSOE rejected to change when they were in power”. Centella believes that PSOE is debating between “the pressure of Felipe González and Joaquín Almunia and other leaders who suggest a deal with PP (Christian democratic conservative party) similar to the deal they reached in June at the EU, and those who propose another path”. He also warns: “Even with the second option there aren’t many chances”.

This lack of understanding at a State level does not occur at an autonomic level, where the heads of IU give carte blanche to their delegations to choose partners. This way, in Andalucía and in Asturias governments of alliance with PSOE were formed, while in Extremadura they blocked and gave the perfect opportunity for the presidency of PP with Monago. The decision of IU in Extremadura was very controversial and brought back the memories the rumors of alliances PP-IU in the 90’s.

In Greece, while the PASOK collapses (the equivalent of Spanish PSOE), some of its members leave the party to join Syriza before the former Greek president George Papandreu signs the memorandum that gathered all the drastic economic reforms of the Troika. The socialist spokesperson in the Commission for the EU at Deputies Congress, Juan Moscoso, rejects something similar happening in Spain.

In addition, “PSOE does not consider creating a coalition of this kind (Syriza) with IU since we are a party with a vocation of majority, a party of the government”, Moscoso affirms. The Socialists will go to the European elections together with another 30 social-democratic groups.

But not every militant -or voters- of PSOE see it in the same way than the higher spheres of the party do. Besides the downfall that months ago at the headquarters of PSOE in Madrid, the general secretary of International Alliance of Socialist Youths, Beatriz Talegón, some internal groups as well as Socialist Groups (Izquierda Socialista, Bases en Red, Construyendo la Izquierda, Líneas Rojas…) are trying to boost the party to the left, not without great difficulties.

However, Moscoso reckons some points of agreement with the Political and Social Bloc. And he shows an example: the payment of the debt. “PSOE is carrying out a debate and deep renovation process of their discourse”, he assures that this will be successful at the political conference in October. The meeting, presented as “a deep reform process”, is articulated around three different axes: economic, political and a third one aimed to the modernization of PSOE.

Moscoso clarifies some points:

-We are planning the reform of the Constitution, modifying the State model, the electoral law, the power distribution, introducing new rights, consolidatethe well-being model…and deepen into the separation of Church and State, towards secularism.

– But when you were in Government, you didn’t.

– There were elections faced with different priorities. The Law of Religious Freedom was not passed, but different ones were passed in different scenarios.

– That law was made, but left behind.

– Yes, it was left behind. And we lost the election. There have been things that were not done, but the majority of the party believes that now they have to be done.

– Is the monarchy questioned?

– No. We believe that we need to end with the primacy of the male in the succession, submit the Crown to strict controls of transparency and budget, and have its members inside the law because there isn’t any that regulates that… But, even if the republican issue is in the heart of the Socialists, we believe that there are other priorities.

– And a constituent process?

– Well…we suggest a deep reform of the Constitution.

PORTUGAL AND GERMANY

In Europe, several left-wing coalitions have emerged during the last two decades. Besides Greek Syriza, the German Die Linke or the French Front de Gauche stand out. Die Linke – “The Left” in German- has consolidated as the main strength of the left-wing social-democrats (SPD) and greens. The fruit of the fusion in 2007 of the PDS, heir of the communist party from the GDR, and the WASG, a group created mainly by social-democrats disappointed with the reforms of the Government of Gerhard Schroder and leaded by the former Economy Minister, Oskar Lafontaine. Die Linke is still stronger in East Germany, where it has reached the Government with the SPD in several states.

In Portugal, another important coalition was created in 1999: the Bloco de Esquerda, as an alternative to the Communist Party and which clusters left-wing groups, from Maoists, Trotskyists or dissidents from the PCP (Portuguese Communist Party).

And, even if further in time and with a social-democratic profile, the Italian El Olivo, leaded by Romano Prodi, was another prominent coalition, born in Italia in the 90’s that clustered central and left-wing groups, secular and catholic inspired ones, as well as ecologists.

In Greece, Synaspismos was the base over which Syriza was articulated ten years ago. This coalition, which now is the second political force of the country, had an spectacular progress in 2012 elections, when it got 26.9% of the votes, barely 2.8 points less than the winner, New Democracy. Its powerful emergency is today a referent for European left.

Three years ago, its leader, Alexis Tsipras, walked around like any other unknown person in the Spanish Communist Party Festival, where he has come many times. Today, he travels with bodyguards and a vast team of consultants and translators. He really is successful. A big rock&roll star of politics.

At the end of May, IU organized a three day visit for the Greek leader to Madrid. He devoted the first two days to offer conferences and to hold bilateral meetings.  The organizers of the trip were bothered by the fact that Tsiprashad a meeting on the first day with Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba (the leader of PSOE),but they breathed easy when they heard the warning of the Greek man to the PSOE:”leave the neoliberal dogma behind”. The social-democrats have to give an answer:  Are they going to contribute and support a left-wing government or are they going to follow the path of supporting the right?”

Before he left, Tsipras reminded the Greek recipe to unify the left: “First thing is the togetherness, not to start an inside war. We know who the opponent is. The second point, to present a powerful agenda, with real changes: we are not asking for the sympathy vote, but for the people to fight with us. And, eventually, to use a new political vocabulary with the newgenerations, the one they use every day”.

AMAIUR, COMPROMÍS, GEROABAI, ERC… 

The identity key is the main difference between the convergence process in Greece and in Spain. “In Greece there aren’t any major left-wing pro-independence groups (like Spanish ERC), what made easier the deal with Syriza”, explains Luis Ramiro, teacher at University of Murcia and author of the book Cambio y adaptación en la izquierda La evolución del Partido Comunista de Espalña y de Izquiera Unida (1986-2000) [translatable in English as Change and Adaptation of the left. The evolution of the Spanish Communist Party and United Left (1986-2000)], published by the Spanish Center of Sociologic Investigations (CIS). In Spain, the most part of left-wing pro-independence parties will go together to the European elections, within the ALE (Free European Alliance). Likely, among many others, BNG, ERC and part of Amaiur (left-wing Basque nationalist and separatist) coalition, Compromís (Commitment Coalition, they defend Valencianist, Progressive and ecological politics) and Partit Socialista de Mallorca (PSOE from Majorca) will take part of it.

What is the priority: the identity issue or the attachment of the left? The big majority avoids in a pro-independence perspective, the question about a possible Spanish Syriza. The ERC deputy, Joan Tarda, for instance, invites Spanish left to take advantage of what he considers to be “the imminent break of the after-Franco Spanish State and its Constitution” to “burst it” and, then, go towards a constituent process. “The crash is unavoidable. It will happen next year, at the latest. The proclamation of the Catalan republic will cause the destabilization of the Spanish State, which will force a reinvention. Is it or not an opportunity for the Spanish left?” He wonders.

In the short term, there are no hopes for these coalitions to respond to the political courtship of what would be the Frente Popular of the 21st century. Despite IU, ICV and EUiA approached to the pro-independence groups signing a document in favor of the “right to decide”, Tarda pays no attention to this: “We are not going to waste more energy in trying again. We don’t believe that, because of evolution, just by the break! The Spanish State will want to become a federal State. Our objective is to leave, to provoke a train crash, a conflict, of the biggest intensity. And, the sooner, the better.

What’s the point of the conflict? The right to decide: a crash between Spanish legality and Catalan legitimacy”. And the next day? What will happen if the “crack” that Tarda predicts takes place on the next year? Then, yes. By then, he expects a Catalan Syriza. “We, the Catalan left, need to know how to get feedback so that, the day after, we will be hegemonic in the constituent process and so that the Constitution of the Catalan republic won’t be written with blue ink”(blue was the color of the Franco’s troops during Spanish Civil war). Until then, ERC advocates for each one to play his destabilizing role “in his area” and affirms that the current differences with ICV and EUIA are purely “tactical”. The future political system of the Catalan republic will be made up, according to Tarda, by a big right-wing party and another left-wing one, and it should be hegemonic: “If ICV, EUIA and ERC work together, Catalonia won’t have an army and we will institutionalize the Universal Basic Income”.

In 1936, ERC did hug the Frente Popular, even though they belonged to the parallel Catalan platform, the Front d’Esquerres. The key was that one of the three pillars of the bloc’s agenda was the reopening of the autonomy process of the various regions.

Amaiur like Geroa Bai (both separatist parties from the Basque Country) share the idea that “multi-national reality of the Spanish State does not allow to import the Greek project”. Actually, Uxue Barkos, spokesperson of Geroa Bai at the Congres, suggests that the “resistance front” shouldn’t just be from the left, but be opened to other powers as the conservative PNV “in order to defend welfare”.

Besides the pro-independence debate, Luis Ramiro points out two factors that affect the negotiations: the recent and still bleeding injuries of IU in Valencia or Baleares and the hegemonic role of PCE, which seems to his eyes “intimidating” to some minor formations.  After the autonomic elections of 2007 in Valencia, two deputies of Esquerra Unida (IU from Valencia) left the group behind and joined the Bloc Nacionalista Valencia (Nationalistic Bloc from Valencia) in order to make up Compromís. This group stood together with Equo (coalition of Spanish green parties) to the last general elections, in which they obtained one seat.

The spokesperson of Compromís at Congress, Joan Baldoví, assures that “there are people that comes from IU and still needs some political time for that injury to close”. Baldoví shares the analysis of Ramiro about the independence issue: “The situation in Greece and in Spain is very different, because the Spanish State is multi-national”. “The forces of all territories, we are all exploring and it won’t take long for the first alliances to start emerging. If we will join Equo or not….only time will tell”, he states.

About the possible hegemony of the PCE (Spanish Communist party), Martine Billard presents the key that was followed in France in order to create Front de Gauche (Left Front). Billard is co-president of the left-wing party in France, one of the nine groups that the Front clusters and that go from Socialism to Communism. At last year’s elections, they obtained an historic 11%. Billard emphasizes the importance of the decision made in that moment by the candidate of the Communist Party: accepting a non-communist candidate, Jean Luc Mélenchon, his colleague from the party, in order to reach a deal in the Left Front.

Today, the size of IU and PCE is about 45%. Four other left-wing groups (Izquierda Abierta, Izquierda Republicana, CUTSAT and above all, Independientes) share the 55% left. The hegemony of PCE is specially highlighted since the general elections of 2008, but the heads of the party insist on the fact that they will be “generous” when creating the bloc. As collateral, they present the Galician Syriza, where the national coordinator of EU, Yolanda Díaz, was number two and handed over the lead of the coalition to Xosé Manuel Beiras. The spokesperson of IU at Congres, Laia Ortiz, points out that the priority, above all, must be to “add”. “The alternative that is presented needs to have renewed names. But we all have to be ready to give up some points, even to present primary elections to elaborate the lists, if it was the case. There has to be generosity to overcome the two-party system that neoliberalism has embraced”.

 

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