Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1133/32504
From The Socialist, May 12, 2021
Tony Saunois, secretary of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CIO)
After a very polarized and bitter electoral campaign, the right-wing Partido Popular (PP – “People’s Party”) emerged victorious in the elections for the “autonomous community” of Madrid (one of the 17 autonomous administrative regions).
Led by Isabel Daz Ayuso, far-right president of the Community of Madrid, the PP emerged victorious, winning the seats and the votes of the right-wing populist Ciudadanos (“Citizens”). The PP increased its number of seats to 35 and increased its vote to 864,000.
The fascist party, VOX, increased its vote by 35,000 and its seats in parliament from one to 13. This is clearly a setback and a blow to the working class in the Spanish state and to the left.
This despite Ayuso’s strong criticism of his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and the high death rate in Madrid. Residents of nursing homes, which she had privatized, were simply left behind. However, she was able to appeal on a populist basis to owners of cafes and bars and small businesses, demanding that they stay open due to the devastation they have faced.
The biggest loser was the social democratic party PSOE, which achieved its worst electoral result in Madrid. In 2019, the PSOE received the most votes and seats in Madrid. This time it has fallen to third place and its seats drop from 37 to 24.
The UP – the left-wing electoral alliance that includes Podemos – has slightly increased its number of seats from seven to ten. A right-wing split from Podemos, Ms Madrid, won many votes in the PSOE, to become the second party.
This result is a clear warning to the working class, in the Spanish state and throughout Europe, of the threat from the far right. The failure of the PSOE in the Spanish state government, in coalition with the UP, to transform society and instead operate within the confines of capitalism, has created a political vacuum in which the right and the extreme right wing can engage on a populist basis. .
Upon entering government with the PSOE, Podemos was imprisoned, offering no radical socialist alternative and isolating himself from the social struggles led by workers and young people.
This has crucial lessons for the left across Europe – especially so-called “new left” forces like Podemos, which spawned from the anti-austerity “15-M” movement ten years ago.
A failure to defend a combative socialist alternative, both in program and strategy, for the struggles of the working class and the youth gives the opportunity to the right to intervene.
The search for a compromise with the so-called moderate left leads to the weakening and / or defeat of the “left”. The failure of the Corbynistas in Britain to confront the right wing of the Labor Party led to the counterrevolution led by Keir Starmer, which they failed to fight effectively.
The depth of the crisis of capitalism and its social consequences further highlighted the political weakness of the “new left”. The polarized situation that exists in many countries has found them failing and failing, offering no independent class alternative.
It was a big mistake for Podemos to enter government with the PSOE. This has important lessons for the socialist left in Spain and internationally.
He should have voted in parliament to allow the PSOE to form a government but stayed on the outside, voting on each bill on a case-by-case basis, in the interests of the working class. This would have allowed it to retain its independence and a socialist program. He is now paying the price for this erroneous position.
The right has waged a very polarized campaign. Madrid PP leader Ayuso tweeted that the election was about “communism or freedom”.
The polarized nature of the campaign was exemplified by death threats against Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, who resigned his post as deputy prime minister to run in the Madrid election. Bullets were mailed to him and his family threatened. The Podemos offices were attacked.
These threats were probably undertaken by the fascist forces around VOX. Ayuso did not rule out governing jointly with VOX, such is the right-wing character of the PP.
Iglesias, tainted with being in government rather than leading a mass campaign with radical socialist demands, initially proposed at the start of the campaign a common platform with Ms Madrid, which he refused.
Stunned by the right-wing electoral victory, in which Podemos finished in fifth place, Iglesias, rather than learning from the defeat, announced that he was resigning from all political posts and stepping down from politics.
The need for a mass working class party with a daring revolutionary socialist program is an urgent need to offer an alternative and to fight the populist right and the threat it poses.
The elections are a warning. Youth unemployment officially stands at 40%. The economic and social crisis will trigger new struggles of the working class and youth in the Spanish state in the coming months.
To move them forward, the building of a new mass party of the working class with a revolutionary socialist program is an urgent necessity.
In The Socialist from May 12, 2021:
Hartlepool sums up the job crisis
Scotland: independence majority in a very polarized election
Welsh Labor clings to government but new crises loom
The TUSC is back
Bobby Sands – Just An Unfinished Song
British state absolves itself of murders during “unrest”
Is Biden proposing a new “New Deal”?
Stop the brutality of the Israeli state
Right-wing Partido Popular wins elections in Madrid – a warning to the working class
United action is needed to defeat the fire and rehire
RMT: we must fight for a militant industrial and political strategy
The National Education Union needs a socialist and combatant Deputy Secretary General
Thurrock refuses workers’ strike
Ealing parking wardens strike against Serco over absence policy
Norwich City Council workers vote to strike against broken promises on wages and terms
Beal school strikers suspend action after possible victory
The fight of sparks continues
Obituary – Jon Elvin
Le Socialiste May 12, 2021 |
Join the Socialist Party
| Make a donation
| audio | PDF | Ebook