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.
In 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.
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”:
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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.