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Too many parties have spoiled the broth

In the aftermath of the general elections in Spain, we find the reasonable  logical result of an unreliable non-democratic system. Paraphrasing Shakespeare:  "Now is the winter of our discontent, made gloomy by a lasting winter…"

With a few benches, extreme anti-system leftists may hold tight reins and have under their thumbs the whole parliament and a second Greece might be looming large.
Spain has almost overcome a severe financial crisis and what has been won with sweat, blood and tears will be greatly jeopardised by anti-system policies if they hold control by agreements with other leftist political parties.

Democracy means elections, and there are no elections without representation and the option of choosing among different possibilities. Spaniards have not enjoyed a single atom of political liberty since the times of General Franco. It has come out true that personal freedoms have widened considerably after the death of Franco, but not the political ones. And by political freedom I mean first to have a real constitution. According to the Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789 it is clearly stated in the “Article XVI - Any society in which the guarantee of rights is not assured, nor the separation of powers determined, has no Constitution”. This is the most distinctive feature, for instance, in the American Constitution; a distinction which the so-called Spanish Constitution lacks.

Why is the separation and confrontation of powers so important in a Constitution? Because only one power can have control on other power. And almost a mechanical Newtonian balance and confrontation of powers in perpetual tension is the keystone to deter corruption and abuse of power.

The second flaw in Spanish democracy is representation: no taxation without representation was the flint stone that sparkled the most glorious revolution ever seen in the history of humanity. The revolution which made come true the theories of a whole set of practical philosophers such a Machiavelli, which separated religious and political power, Hobbes, which gave an intelligent acute framework to the discoveries of Machiavelli, and Locke which divided power and Montesquieu, which divided and separated the legislative and executive powers. The American founding fathers took note of all of that, but the founding fathers of our so called constitution had other things in mind: a transition they called it. Alas! It was a transition from dictatorship to oligarchy, where the communist and socialist parties were welcomed to have a share in the cake. Secessionist movements were lurking as well and happy to join in too. The Constitution was made secretly at the back of the Spanish people, and instead of a democracy we had a partitocracy: that is, the power of political parties for political parties. So representatives were chosen not by the people for the people but by political parties for political parties in league with the financial lobbies which supported them. And now the so-called elections are not elections because electors have not be chosen by the citizens. Only a change of the electoral law could be the first step to political freedom. The first step to political freedom comes from a real representation where any man is as good as another and could be elected. And as we know the pitfalls we could even improve to a better constitution as the one of the USA because history has given us where the flaws are. One thing is sure: no political party should be supported by the State and such is the case in the Spanish system.

Vicente Jiménez

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