I write this column from Germany. And if I mention it, it is because my local colleagues have not stopped asking me about the past Spanish general elections. What surprises them most is that Pedro Sánchez is prepared to govern “alone” with specific agreements with other political forces.
I tell you in our language and they immediately translate it into yours. In other words, it will be a “government in the minority”, they reply. And then they add: how can a minimum of stability be guaranteed for the new government? The truth is that I do not have a clear answer, and I am surprised to be surprised because they can question it. Perhaps, because we are already socialized in the epic of the search for constant agreement, that which in the time of Zapatero was called the “variable geometry”.
To remind them that Sánchez managed to govern nine months with only 84 deputies does not help either. That, they reply, is nothing more than proof that governments in a minority are unstable by definition, although it seems to us a feat that succeeded in making some relevant decisions. Governing, in the German way, presupposes guaranteeing stability, and this would only be ensured by incorporating other political forces through coalition governments.
Not in vain, we are in the country of the Grosse Koalitionen. That also does not understand why the PSOE / Ciudadanos option is not even considered, the only one capable of gathering a solid majority. Not even after telling them about the explosive personal incompatibility between Sánchez and Rivera, as if that were a mere anecdote.
Slowly I’m realizing that dialogue is increasingly difficult because basically there is a clash between two extreme political cultures committed to good governance over the interests of the parties and one that makes cunning and the ability of “government alone” the center of its political action.
This last case seems to be our differential fact because we are the only European country that has never had a coalition government at the state level. The semantics of “commitment” in one or the other country says it all. In Germany, it is reduced to “agreement”, while among us it is closer to the idea of ”concession”. Reaching a compromise is perceived as a small defeat of each party rather than the success of all.
What is harder to explain to my fellow members, however, it is that our government vice alone may not depend so much on issues of political culture as the organization of the party system. In particular, parliamentary relevance of the nationalist parties, which never crossed their imagination to enter into a coalition government in the state.
Under the conditions of the previous two-party system, a PP / PSOE coalition had always been understood as the creation of two antagonistic fronts identity. Now there is room for other maneuvers, but we can inertia. Maybe after all our differential fact is precisely that lack of national homogeneity.