The original sin

Finally after several weeks has reached the agonizing agreement of Junts and the PSOE for the investiture of Pedro Sanchez and, as was foreseeable, the result can not be worse from the point of view of social and democratic state of law, as we have known it so far, that is, of which proclaims art. 1.1 of the Constitution of 1978. And the first thing to say is that it is an agreement that was not contemplated as predictable or as possible by the vast majority of Spanish citizens, that immense majority that now reads it or with indignation or with great concern, including many PSOE voters.  That is their original sin and no argumentative, however sophisticated, it can fix it not even by incurring dialectical traps and logical inconsistencies that produce blush and that in the end are reduced to the very simple axiom that the end justifies the means and that anything is worth to prevent a government with the far right.

The truth is that this unprecedented way of forcing the institutional seams of our country, assuming not only the individual demands of a person who, today, is still a fugitive from the Spanish Justice but, above all, assuming the political and mental framework that underpin them, it is completely unnecessary. It is enough to admit something as simple as that, in a democracy, not everything is valid to achieve power. An agreement in which what is given in exchange for the votes of a very minority party are pieces of the rule of law either in the form of impunity for politicians, of the recognition of the existence of “lawfare”, that is, judicial persecution for political reasons, articulation of extra-parliamentary mechanisms of negotiation, fiscal privileges and renunciation of territorial redistribution for the benefit of the richest territories of Spain,  admission as realities of those of nationalistic myths of the nineteenth century around language and the possibility of constitutional reforms through the back door since we do not have enough majorities for a constitutional reform.

In short, this set of legal-political absurdities will only serve to worsen coexistence and the degradation of the standards of our democracy. For everyone. Because once a majority party understands that the rule of law is negotiable to stay in power, what prevents others from doing the same? On the contrary, it is greatly facilitated: The attrition has already been assumed by the former and they will always be able to invoke in their defense that others did before.

In this sense, I fear that we have begun a path that leads us quickly in the direction of other illiberal democracies in which the party or the hegemonic coalition considers law to be just another formal tool to achieve its ends, and that the institutions belong to those who have the majority even for very little and that the important thing, in the end, is the ability to impose an agenda of their own, whether conservative, progressive or otherwise. In reality, this was already the reality in Catalonia with successive pro-independence governments. Now, this way of doing politics extends to the central government. It is a conception profoundly contrary to the essence of a representative liberal democracy, which seeks not only to impose counterweights on power to prevent the tyranny of majorities but also of minorities to safeguard the freedom and rights of all citizens alike, of those who vote for the government in turn and of those who do not.

In short, these deals have already opened the door to a very dangerous path, in which others can do the same if they also need it to govern. Spain is a very decentralized country, and the CAAs of a political sign different from the government and even more if they lose confidence that the rules of the game are the same for everyone, they can also play ignoring them, emptying them of content or directly disobeying them.  As has happened in Catalonia. This being very questionable, it is difficult to have any legitimacy to claim its compliance for those who have accepted it for reasons of parliamentary arithmetic. The only ones who will be able to do so with a minimum of moral authority are the Spanish citizens and particularly those who are in the public sphere as long as we continue to defend the democratic rule of law and the rules of the game, especially when their violation favors us, which is when it is most difficult. I have confidence that it will be so and that once again Spanish society, as at other times before, will be up to the task even if its representatives are not.

Article published in the newspaper El Mundo.