Corbyn Could Learn Something About Coalition Politics from Spain
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out forming a coalition after the election in December, daring smaller parties to back him or risk another Conservative government.
“We’re not doing deals with anybody,” Corbyn told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday.
Asked specifically about the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) demand for an independence referendum, Corbyn said:
The SNP will have a choice: do they want to put Boris Johnson back in with all the austerity economics that they claim to be against or are they going to say, well, a Labour government is going to deliver for Scotland.
This is the same mistake Spanish Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez made after the election in April and the reason we had another election here in Spain last week. Read more
Dutch Parties Haven’t Lost Popularity in Pollution Crisis
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte appears to be weathering what he describes as the worst political crisis of his nine years in power.
Rutte’s four-party government has seen protests by builders and farmers against far-reaching plans to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution.
Now motorists are angry too. To cut emissions, the coalition has agreed to lower the daytime speed limit on Dutch highways from 130 to 100 kilometers per hour. The measure is hugely unpopular in Rutte’s car-friendly liberal party.
Yet it remains faraway the largest in the polls and hasn’t lost support since the pollution crisis began. Read more
Socialists and Podemos Announce Coalition Deal in Spain
Spain’s center-left Socialists and far-left Podemos have agreed to form a coalition after no party or bloc won a majority in the election on Sunday.
The agreement would see Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias become deputy prime minister.
With 155 out of 350 seats in the lower chamber of Congress, the two still need the support of other, possibly regional parties to form a government. Read more
Now the Hard Part: Convincing the Catalans
21 seats short of a majority, Spain’s Pedro Sánchez still need either the support or acquiescence of smaller parties to serve a second term as prime minister.
Top European Lawyer Argues in Favor of Catalan Politicians
Maciej Szpunar, an advocate general at the European Court of Justice, has argued in favor of Catalan politicians who were elected to the European Parliament in May but have been prevented by the Spanish government from taking their seats.
Former regional president Carles Puigdemont and former regional health minister Toni Comín, both of the center-right Together for Catalonia party, have been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium since 2017 to avoid arrest for leading a failed independence bid that year.
Oriol Junqueras, the former leader of the Republican Left, stayed in Spain and was sentenced to thirteen years in prison last month for misuse of public funds and sedition against the Spanish state. Read more
Spanish Socialists Offend Parties They Need to Govern
Last night, I argued the problem in Spain is that the country has a multiparty system but the two major parties, the Socialists and the conservatives, still have a two-party-system mindset.
Look no further than José Luis Ábalos, organizational secretary of the Socialist Party, who on Monday insulted the very parties his needs to form a government. Read more
The center-left Socialists and center-right People’s Party are used to alternating in power. They split 80 percent of the votes as recently as 2011. But Spain hasn’t been a two-party system since 2015, when Podemos (“We Can”) on the far left and the Ciudadanos (“Citizens”) on the center-right took one out of three votes between them.
This pattern has now been confirmed in four elections in as many years and still the old parties continue as though nothing has changed. Read more