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Spanish Elections: Right Wing Underperforms

Spanish Elections: Right Wing Underperforms

By RZR News Team
Aug 02, 2023

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Analysis

As a conservative, one cannot help but reflect on the recent Spanish elections and the underperformance of the right wing. It is evident that the rising popularity of far-left representatives signals a concerning trend in younger generations’ perception of socialism. It is crucial for conservatives in the country to stand firm and not make concessions to these newly-elected, far-left representatives.

The allure of socialism among the youth is not surprising, given the promises of wealth redistribution and supposed social justice. However, history has shown that socialist policies often lead to economic stagnation, stifling innovation and limiting individual freedoms. As conservatives, we must bridge the gap in understanding by effectively communicating the dangers of these ideologies and championing the merits of free-market principles.

The recent election results should serve as a wake-up call for conservatives to strengthen advocacy for limited government intervention, personal responsibility and individual liberties. Rather than yielding to the pressure of far-left policies, they must remain steadfast in promoting a strong, fiscally responsible government that empowers individuals and businesses to thrive.

Conservative values resonate with the core principles that have fostered prosperity and freedom in Spain and around the world. Spanish conservatives cannot allow the fool’s gold of socialist ideals to obscure the reality of their adverse consequences. By articulating a clear vision for a better future grounded in conservative principles, Spanish conservatives can inspire a new generation to embrace the value of personal initiative and entrepreneurship.

Spain’s future depends on conservatives’ resilience and commitment to fostering a society that embraces freedom, individual liberties and limited government intervention.

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Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist Party is to remain in a better-than-expected position after the recent elections in Spain. Observers of Spain’s election have focused on the prospect of the far-right controlling the government for the first time since bringing back democracy in 1978. As the votes were initially counted, it virtually came to a tie, but eventually, the Centre-right People’s Party won, securing 136 out of 350 parliamentary seats against the Socialist Party 122, the far-right Vox 33 and left-wing Sumar 31.

Prior to the vote, the conservative leader of the Spanish People’s Party Alberto Nunez Feijoo showed interest in forming a coalition with the Vox Party, but both parties fell short of the 176 seats needed to take control of the Parliament. Additionally, despite the center-right party winning, there is no clear path on to form a government. There is no support for the Spanish Members of Parliament backing a minority government composed of just the Popular Party and Vox.

As it has been made clear that Spain has rejected the far right, the question of who should govern next is still unclear. Due to the fragmentation of Spain’s politics and the emergence of new parties challenging the dominant People’s Party and the Socialist Workers Party, hung parliaments where no political party wins a majority of members have become the norm. The divide in the country is fairly clear, with the underperformance of the right-wing party and the overperformance of the Socialist party. However, despite the obvious split, there is a unanimous insight into what this means for Spain’s democracy.

Spain is not interested in an extreme right but it has taken a turn to a moderately right position. The 136 seats in parliament indicate that a center-right party has a chance at becoming successful, so those who lean left should not underestimate the power this particular party has. This tight race means that although an extreme right government may not happen yet, the chances of it coming may gradually increase in the future.

– Briauna B.

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The national elections held in Spain earlier this month presented a shocking blow to the Spanish Vox Party, a far-right faction after it fell way short of expectations. After this underperformance, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, released a statement celebrating the shortcoming of the Vox party, claiming that the results were necessary to preserve the ongoing progress being made in the country. To PM Sanchez, a Vox takeover of Parliament could have seriously compromised the integrity of perform freedoms and civil liberties that have been long been established. 

Considering this, hearing about how the Vox party underperformed should come as a relief to many liberals who were concerned about the spread of neo-fascist ideas throughout Europe. This concern was especially apparent after Giorgia Meloni, leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy party, was elected as the Prime Minister of Italy last year. After PM Meloni’s victory, the idea of having neo-fascist ideologies become more mainstream took a scary jump from unlikely to plausible. 

Putting aside the ultimate possibilities, it is also important to understand why these ideas are spreading in the first place. A major reason why these far-right parties are beginning to gain traction is their shared discontent with transnationalism and globalization. For example, the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, famously known as “Brexit,” demonstrates how nationalism is becoming the dominant force for many nations who are unwilling to abide by international order. 

When politicians belonging to these extreme factions promote the ideas of retaining domestic industry and national independence, it may not come as a surprise that they end up gaining a lot of support from the people. 

Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that these economic policies should not come at the cost of civil liberties and general human rights. No trade agreements or fiscal policy can excuse the social abuse that far-right governments, throughout history, have been guilty of.

– James Demertzis

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In political theory, there exists (in a broad sense) a spectrum that democracies across the world are rated. On one end is stability, and on the other end is legitimacy and political scientists measure democracies based on these two polar ends. For reference, stability usually supports two-party systems, while legitimacy encourages multi-party systems.

Most democracies are somewhere in the middle, tending to lean a little more one way than the other, but there are extremes. For example, Belgium leans heavily on the legitimate end of the spectrum, which often leads to fractured government coalitions, but has higher political party representation.

The United States, on the other hand, is arguably at the other end, since we are fairly stable with two parties, but that often leads to the argument we are shutting out minority voices. It is worth noting there is no perfect solution here, as most governments tend to have problems in some way shape or form. Let us look at the country of Spain and the struggles they are currently facing.

When a single party does not gain a majority in a parliamentary system, they usually look to parties who have similar interests to form political coalitions and help pass formal legislation. Unfortunately, this can often be easier said than done, as different parties might want different things, leading to what can be known as political deadlock.

That dynamic is what happening in Spain right now, as the far-right has lost support and no single party holds control of Parliament. Interestingly the incumbent Socialist parties maintained their power, but struggle to create a governing coalition. It seems like another election will be held as a Spanish Conservative Party called the Vox lost some seats in this election, a surprise after relatively strong turnout in other recent elections.

Spanish People’s Party leader Alberto Nunez Fuijoo, Vox leader Santiago Abascal and Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez among other political party heads are eyeing their own respective chances to gain control of Parliament. At this moment, it is anybody’s guess who will come out the victor and who will have to sit on the back bench for another four years.

Learn more about the libertarian viewpoint