To our readers who are now on Holidays, may they be safe and enjoyable! This will be our last post of the year but we will return in the New Year! Today we introduce a familiar debate, the right wing political spectrum vs. the left wing, with always the same parties and always the same problems. In most countries around the world, we can find this situation when we talk about political affairs in a particular country.
Last Sunday, the 20th of December Spain held their national elections and surprisingly this tradition of a two party only right and left system, was broken. For those that are not aware of the past four years of governmental affairs in Spain, we have had a right wing government focusing primarily on reducing public and social services and raising the taxes on basic goods and services to pay for the increasing debt of Spanish banks. These changes along with other economic challenges has resulted in a large number of Spanish people without work and unable to afford basic cost of living expenses. So, what has changed after these elections? Funnily enough, not as much as you may think.
The incumbent Spanish government ‘Partido Popular’ (here on referred to as PP) has been voted back into power as the preferred party of Spain. Although they did lose over 4 million votes this time around, they do not hold a majority share of the congress, which at least restricts their power somewhat, being unable to pass bills and law changes without some agreement from other political parties now holding more seats than previous years.
A new political party challenging these elections has been an important part in this large swing of votes. ‘Podemos’ is a left wing political party who pledge to raise the taxes of the wealthy and increase social services. This is the first time that Podemos has ran for government and they were able to count upwards of 5 million votes, meaning that they now have 69 members in congress from a total of 350, against PP’s 123. The Socialist party PSOE count for the majority of the remaining seats with 90 and Ciudadanos hold 40. PSOE is what is known as a ‘social moderate’ party leaning slightly to the right side, Ciudadanos is ‘liberal moderate’ also right leaning.
So, what does this all mean for the left and right in Spain? Just how much does this difference matter? Typically, the right wing in Spain is in favour of the Monarchy, religion and are against radical social and economic reform and change. The right are generally conservative, against progressive ideals such as marriage equality. They are in favour of capitalism, supporting big corporations and big banks, preferring that the means and wealth remain with the few, not the many. This is the PP’s position.
The two ‘moderate parties’ with a right leaning position, PSOE and Ciudadanos also favour capitalism, PSOE have the motto ‘Capitalism with a human face’, which is apparently supposed to reassure voters that…they support a more friendly and inclusive version of capitalism? These so called moderate or centre parties also support raising of taxes to ensure the continuation of social services.
Finally, at the other end, we have ‘Podemos’. The left wing party describes itself as ‘for the people’, focusing on issues like inequality, unemployment and economic problems following the European debt crisis. Their platform presents a more social and equality focused agenda, through social freedom and liberty, the promotion of basic incomes for all and business through small enterprise, not large corporations. Typically left wing parties are more progressive than their right wing adversaries attempting to support the many, not the few.
Now that there is such a large number of parties in congress, what happens?
This leaves the Spanish government in an interesting position, does Spain return to the polls and vote again hoping for a different outcome? Do the parties create alliances in return for future favours? What do you think should happen?
The coming days and weeks in Spain will reveal much about the future of the Spanish government, we recommend that if you are interested, take some time to read the news and follow! Let us know what you find!
Finally, we would like to take the time to thank all of our readers from around the world. We know that it isn’t always easy to spend the time reading blogs, especially new ones and those about difficult topics. This has been a rewarding, and at times stressful adventure, but we are only just beginning! We are honoured to have readers from, Spain, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Austria, Bolivia, Kenya, Canada, Ireland, Poland, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Croatia, Bangladesh, Israel and Ecuador.
Thank you for taking the time to read and at the least, take an interest in our blog. We hope that you return next year and remember, don’t be afraid to comment and share! We want to hear from you!
Ainoa and Simon.
Por lo tanto, ahora que nos encontramos con tal pluralidad de partidos en el Congreso, ¿qué pasará?
Esto deja al gobierno de España en una situación realmente interesante, ¿volverá España a las urnas y votarán de nuevo esperando un resultado diferente? ¿Los partidos crearán pactos a cambio de futuros favores? ¿Qué creéis que debería suceder?
A España le deparan tiempos interesantes, por lo que, os animamos a que sigáis un poco más de cerca las noticias relativas a estos temas. No os avergoncéis de compartir con nosotros noticias y artículos que encontréis.
Finalmente, nos gustaría dar las gracias a todos los lectores que nos siguen desde diferentes partes del mundo. Sabemos que no es fácil dedicar tiempo a la lectura de blogs, especialmente los nuevos y más aun sobre temas tan poco atractivos. Esta ha sido una gratificante e incluso, a veces, estresante aventura pero ¡es sólo el comienzo! Es un honor tener lectores en España, Australia, Alemania, los Países Bajos, Reino Unido, Estados Unidos, Austria, Bolivia, Kenya, Canada, Irlanda, Polonia, Vietnam, Bélgica, Italia, Croacia, Bangladesh, Israel y Ecuador.
Gracias por tomaros un tiempo para leernos y mostrar interés por nuestro blog. Esperamos que volváis con nosotros el próximo año y recordad, ¡no tengáis miedo a comentar y compartir! ¡Queremos saber qué pensáis!
¡Disfrutad de las vacaciones!
Ainoa y Simon.