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That centre-ground of politics… November 14, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

You’ll know the argument that goes that the centre-ground is where political parties should be grouped, whether slightly left or slightly right, but I can’t help but look at the Spanish situation and think of Ciudadanos which projected itself initially and for quite some time as that sort of a party of the centre-right, before perhaps not surprisingly tilting sharpishly to the right across the past few years (and being strikingly provocative on Catalonia). Last year it won 57 seats. This last weekend it won 10. Perhaps not coincidentally it was Vox which went from 24 to 52 seats, and while some Citizens voters will have gone to the PP, a cohort presumably went towards Vox, who took up the same sort of rhetoric as Citizens on Catalonia, but doubled down on it, as it were.

But that almost paints Citizens as buffeted by forces exterior to themselves. This much vaunted centre party (led by its now resigned leader Alberto Rivera) was very much architect of its own downfall.

Rivera, once seen as the future of Spain’s political centre, announced on Monday he was standing down as Citizens leader and as an MP. His decision to drag the party further to the right in the hope of competing with the PP and Vox had proved disastrous, as he acknowledged in his resignation speech.
“When a political project is successful, a leader has to know that that success belongs to everyone,” he said. “But a leader also needs to know that bad results are their responsibility alone.”

But worse, much worse:

Rivera’s leadership had been frequently criticised by party members who despaired of his departure from the centre ground and of the legitimacy he had lent Vox by doing deals with them.

Some centrists. Some centre-ground.


1. Paul Culloty - November 14, 2019

It seems that C’s lost 2.5m votes, with 1m going to C’s, 500,000 going to Vox, and 1m abstaining:

Presumably, the last group were the actual centrists, protesting at the rightward drift, but only comprising 22% of their April voters:

Liked by 1 person

2. Paul Culloty - November 14, 2019

Graphic should show up here:


3. Pere B. - November 14, 2019

Citizens presented themselves as a centrist and acted as a liberal party (which means partisan of extreme neoliberal policies) and Spanish nationalist, promoting an anticatalan hate speech, epitomized in euphoric celebrations of the imprisonment of independentist politicians, applause of the Spanish forces that attacked and beaten thousands of catalans, shouting “a por ellos”. As in countries like Israel or Turkey, when the most reactionary state nationalism is supported, the field ends being filled by far right and fascist options.

Liked by 2 people

Pere B. - November 14, 2019

An interesting question here is also that Vox is a party nostalgic of Francoism (something not so strange in a country like Spain where there was no real break with the Franco regime in 1978), with an anti-immigrant discourse, violently macho, and at the same time supports economic measures of a neo-liberal nature, such as the dismantling of labor rights, anti-union measures, etc.

Unlike other European far right parties that use some grade of populism, they are aggressive and proud ‘señoritos’

Liked by 1 person

4. Colm B - November 15, 2019

Big breakthrough for the radical anticapitalist pro-indy party, the CUP, in Catalonia, winning two seats on their first outing in a general election.


5. Paul Culloty - November 16, 2019

Unsurprisingly, men more inclined to vote for Vox, who led with under-30s and 31-45s of that gender. Meanwhile, women under 30 had the Socialists and Podemos first and second:



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