13/02/2021

The campaign is over, let politics begin

2 min
Various superimposed posters of the pro-independence parties.
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BarcelonaThe electoral campaign of the strangest elections in history ended yesterday with the traditional appeals to the "useful vote" by all parties. It's a classic resource that works, but it's still sad that the last resort to attract voters to the ballot box is to appeal to a negative vote, that is, against something instead of in favour of a specific project. Yesterday we heard these calls to avoid both a left-wing coalition between PSC, ERC and En Comú and a pro-independence government, that the ones who have "always been in power" govern or that Vox or the CUP play a role. It is true that the high number of undecided voters and the party fragmentation (with up to nine parties with possibilities of entering Parliament) perhaps justifies these appeals to a more emotional vote, but we can now say that a more constructive type of campaign would have been desirable.

Because, moreover, since it does not seem that there could be a transfer between the pro-independence bloc and the opposition, most of the attacks have taken place between parties that are theoretically close or doomed to need each other's support, such as JxCat and ERC, but also between JxCat and PDECat, between PP and Ciudadanos or between En Comú and the PSC. It is this search for swing voter - who makes their mind up at the last minute and can end up deciding the result as happened three years ago - that has raised the heat of the campaign in the final days, where messages aimed more at the heart than at the mind have clearly prevailed. It should be added that another factor that has rarefied the campaign and made it even more unpleasant is the presence of an extreme right-wing force like Vox, willing to lie shamelessly to inoculate its xenophobic and authoritarian message.

The fact is that during the campaign it has not been possible to hold a calm and well-argued debate on the direction the Independence bid should take, nor on the model of the country, nor, in the short term, on how Catalonia should face the reconstruction of the economy with the help of European funds. It would have been ideal to see the candidates discussing, with figures in hand, the tax burden, the green economy, science and research, the university model and so many other things that are essential to build the country of the future. It would also have been a way of gauging the skills of each candidate, since the presidency of the Generalitat is not just any post and requires a certain level of expertise.

We hope, however, that once the campaign and its own simplifying and Cainitic dynamics are over, and with the results of the elections in hand, politics in the highest sense of the term will make its way. Politics understood as the capacity to weave agreements, generate consensus and draw the strategic guidelines that the country needs to get back on its feet. And that is why it will be necessary for those who are fighting today (Junts, ERC, PDECat, CUP, but also En Comú and PSC) to reach agreements throughout the legislature.

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