Fight reaction with a revolutionary alternative!
The Andalusian elections on 2 December have been a powerful political earthquake. After 36 years of PSOE government in the Andalusian region, the right wing won, in both votes and percentage more than the sum of both PSOE the coalition of Podemos and IU (Adelante Andalucía). The far right Vox also entered the parliament, with 12 seats. The other dominant note was the low turnout, which reached a meagre 58.65%, the growth of abstention, which reached 41.35%, and the spoiled and blank votes that represent 3.78% (138,049).
PSOE’s vote sunk to 1,009,243 votes, losing 400,000 compared with 2015, going from 47 seats to 33, and from 35.4% to 27.9%. Podemos and IU obtained 864,000 votes in 2015, but only got 584,000 in 2018 and to see their deputies reduced from 20 to 17. In percentage they went from 21.7% to 16.2%.
On the right, the vote was recomposed in favour of Ciudadanos and Vox. The PP fell from 1,064,000 votes in 2015 to 749,275 in 2018, and from 33 seats to 26. In percentage they fell from 26.7% to 20.7%. On the contrary, Ciudadanos advanced clearly, going from 368,988 votes, 9.28% and 9 MPs in 2015, to 659,631 votes, 18.27% and 21 seats this December. But the big surprise was Vox. The ultra-right, Spanish nationalist, anti-worker, racist, sexist and homophobic party went from 18,017 votes in 2015, 0.45%, to 395,978 votes, 10.97%, and 12 MPs in 2018.
In global terms, the sum of votes for PSOE, Podemos and IU lost 679,697 votes, 12.41% and 17 seats in three years. The sum of PP, Ciudadnos and Vox gained 353,711 votes with respect to 2015, increase their percentage by 13.5% and getting 17 more seats.
How did we get here?
These electoral results are explained by different factors. First, because of the depth of the capitalist crisis, with its impact in unemployment, precariousness, social cuts and repression. Second, by the PSOE policy that, despite having the words “socialist” and “worker” in its initials, has long accepted and applied the same policies that the right defends in Spain and throughout Europe.
In the essential aspects, the leaders of PSOE have folded in the face of the demands of the big banks and the big multinationals, filling their pockets when they governed while cutting back on education, health etc. Nor have they had any problem with passing laws that have allowed for the eviction of hundreds of thousands of families from their homes, or looking the other way in the face of violence against women without daring to touch a sexist judiciary that protects abusers and rapists. They have yielded to the offensive of Spanish nationalism regarding the right to decide of the Catalan people, and have backed the repressive measures of a state apparatus inherited directly from the Franco dictatorship. They have a great responsibility in what has happened.
To the collapse of PSOE ‘s vote must be added the blow dealt to Unidos Podemos. The insistence of the leaders of Podemos to renounce social mobilization, and their desire to reach a coalition government with the PSOE, has been revealed as a serious error. Pablo Iglesias reaped great support when he spoke clearly against the “regime of 78”, the monarchy and the capitalist system, and relied on the strength of the great social mobilizations. But now they repeat the same mistakes of the past. Unidos Podemos has been completely oriented to the institutions, forgetting that it was the struggle in the streets that led them to be there in the first place.
His position on the situation in Catalonia has also been regrettable: while millions of workers and young people were mobilizing for the Republic and faced repression, the leaders of Unidos Podemos called for calm and for an agreed “referendum”, agreed with the same reactionaries that had sent thousands of police and civil guards to savagely beat citizens who peacefully exercised their right to decide. This strategy has been paid for dearly at the polls and has facilitated the advance of the right wing.
It is evident that in the Andalusian elections a sector of the working class has refused to vote. They remain sceptical and disillusioned not only with PSOE, but also with the forces of “change” that when they govern do not change anything. But the responsibility of what happened is not the workers, nor the youth, who have fought during these years in great movements like the Indignados movement, the Green Tide and the White Tide (health and education movements), in the great feminist general strike of the past 8 March, in the student strikes called by the Students Union, in the exemplary struggle of our grandparents in defence of decent pensions, or in the mobilizations of the Catalan people in favour of the republic. The responsibility is not ours, but of some parliamentary leaders of the left, and some trade union leaders of CCOO and UGT who are very bureaucratized, who have been unable to break with the cuts and austerity, with the logic imposed by the bankers and big bosses and with the antidemocratic regime of 78.
Fight the far right
Vox enters the Andalusian parliament with 12 seats, many more than any poll gave them. Its rhetoric is openly fascist and anti-worker, Spanish nationalist, sexist, homophobic and racist. The head of list for Seville, Francisco Serrano, is a judge suspended for two years for prevarication has not hesitated to say that feminism is “gender jihadism” and that one of the problems of the country is “hysterical” memory (in reference to the struggle for “historical memory – for recognition of the victims of Francoism).
It is no secret that state institutions were never purged in the so-called Transition, so many fascists of that time did not pay for their crimes, and their current heirs continue to occupy decisive positions in the army, the police, the judiciary and high public office.
The PP has always sheltered these ultra-right sectors, refusing to condemn the Franco dictatorship. However, the PP is sinking in the swamp of corruption, and its wild policy of cuts generated a great social discontent. The crisis on the right, with the growth of Ciudadanos, is a reflection of this reality. After the recent events in Catalonia, all the repressive machinery of the State apparatus has been launched encouraging the offensive of the most rabid Spanish nationalism. These factors explain the growth of the extreme right among sectors of the middle classes and backward workers, demoralized and hit hard by the crisis.
The Andalusian elections have placed a serious threat on the table, which tomorrow can be reproduced on a state-wide scale. It is a mistake to speak of an “alliance of constitutionalist forces” to stop the extreme right as PSOE does, or of an “anti-fascist parliamentary alliance” with the PNV (Basque nationalist party) or bourgeois Catalan politicians as called for by Pablo Iglesias.
From IR (CWI in Spanish state) we call for a United Front of the militant organizations of the left, the whole working class and youth, to defeat the right and fascism with the only effective means at our disposal: mass struggle, the general strike, and the defence of a revolutionary socialist alternative that breaks with capitalism.
Join us to defeat the right and fascism with mobilization and organization
We call for:
- Organize anti-fascist action committees in study centres, workplaces and in the neighbourhoods of our cities.
- Judgment and punishment to those responsible for the Franco dictatorship. Dissolution of the fascist bands. Purge the fascist elements from the state apparatus, the judiciary, the police, the army.
- Minimum pension and minimum wage of €1,100 per month! For the repeal of labour counter-reforms and pension counter-reforms.
- Prohibition by law of evictions. For a public housing that covers the existing demand with social rents.
- Public education which is dignified, quality and free. Repeal of the LOMCE education counter-reform.
- Against sexist violence, patriarchal justice and discrimination against the LGTBI community.
- Combat racism: end of the Immigration Law and close the detention centres, guaranteeing political, social and economic rights for immigrants and their families.
- Enough judicial and police repression. In defence of freedom of expression. Down with the ‘Gag Law’!
- Nationalization of the banks and strategic sectors of the economy, to bail out people and ensure the welfare of the majority.
- For the right of self-determination. For a socialist republic of Catalonia and for a federal socialist republic in the Spanish state based on the free and voluntary union of the peoples and nations that currently make up the Spanish state, if they so decide.