The 2023 electoral battle will not only take place between parties, but also between blocks. Although the different formations and spaces are presented separately to the elections, in the background there will be a battle of ideological blocks between the left and the right to decide the different governments that will come out of the polls in municipal, regional and general.
One of the blocks is that of the coalition government, formed by the PSOE and Unidas Podemos; and the other, that of PP and Vox, which already share regional executives like that of Castilla y León, and that are needed (according to all the surveys) to form a state government.
In this scenario, in the block on the left there seem to be some discrepancies about what should be the strategy to follow to face the end of the legislature and to try to defeat the right at the polls. The differences lie around the objectives (the background) and the discourses (the forms) with which this battle must be faced, and the discordant actors are the PSOE and Podemos.
With most of the legislature exhausted and a final year that will be completely defined by the different electoral processes, the Socialists would be more in favor of a strategy that involves trying to lower the level of political confrontation and exhibiting the good progress of an economy and a job market that are resilient despite global uncertainty.
That of the “decibels” is a debate that has been taking place since the government was formed between the PSOE and Unidas Podemos (which the right called illegitimate), but which has gained strength again after the staging of fierce debates in institutions such as Congress or the Senate. One of the most controversial occurred at the end of last year, when a Vox deputy insulted the Minister of Equality and number two of Podemos, Irene Montero, in a plenary session of Congress.
However, in Podemos they consider that the strategy defended by those of Pedro Sánchez is not effective in confronting some right-wing groups that, moreover, have risen in the polls in recent months. They share that it is necessary to value the good progress of the economy and the effectiveness of the social protection measures deployed during the legislature, but they believe that it should go further.
Mobilize the leftist voter
Specifically, the purple formation is committed to directly confront PP and Vox through various pathways. The first is a reinforcement of ideological positions that highlights the differences between the project that, in his opinion, the coalition government should defend (of a social nature, progressive, with “brave” measures to redistribute wealth and reduce of inequalities) and the project (or lack thereof) of the right.
For Podemos, the “lowering decibels” discourse establishes a framework in which all formations are equal in the eyes of the electorate and citizens in a context in which the voter of the left is much more difficult to mobilize than the one of the right. While reinforcing ideological positions and confronting visions with the PP and Vox transfers the image of a defined and recognizable project that can awaken that progressive electorate that is more difficult to mobilize.
The second path is to set priorities in social matters and deepening democracy. That is, to end the legislature with the promotion of important laws in their social dimension that can have a very positive impact for the majority of citizens. The legislative milestones would be, mainly, two: the housing law and the repeal of the gag law, although there would also be other regulations that for Podemos would have this capacity, such as the protection and rights of animals.
PSOE, Unidas Podemos, ERC and EH Bildu have unblocked the processing of the housing law in Congress and it seems that an agreement could be reached in January or February to approve the regulation before the end of the legislature. The repeal of the gag law It seems somewhat more entrenched, and in Podemos they have transferred to the Socialists their urgency with this reform to already comply with one of the main commitments of the coalition agreement in terms of rights and freedoms.
Another milestone in terms of deepening democracy is the unblocking of the General Council of the Judiciary. Those of Ione Belarra will continue to insist, despite the resistance of his partner in the Executive, on the need to lower the majorities necessary to renew a constitutional body that has been paralyzed for years by the will of the Popular Party.
For Podemos it would be a rather serious situation if the legislature ends without this renewal taking place, since the current composition of the CGPJ is the same as it had been. when the PP had an absolute majoritya political scenario that is far away and very different from the current one.
The strategic discrepancies in the coalition government to face 2023 are a reality and we will have to wait to see what vision is finally imposed.