Saturday, May 28

Madrid can be Spain | Spain

Pedro Sánchez, at the end of the PSOE campaign in the elections of the Community of Madrid.
Pedro Sánchez, at the end of the PSOE campaign in the elections of the Community of Madrid.FERNANDO VILLAR / EFE

Two years to reconnect with millions of Spaniards. Two years to change bases, to correct errors and banish unjustified certainties. Madrid can be a symptom of the electoral behavior of the rest of Spain, despite territorial differences, the variety of circumstances and feelings of regional or national identity. The results of the 4-M have opened a channel of expectations for the right and the left of the PSOE, while it has put the socialists in a state of alarm. Pedro Sánchez is going to move the party and institutional tree so that Madrid’s detachment from its colors does not catch on in the rest of Spain.

There was not the slightest possibility that the bloc on the left could surpass, not even by approximation, the one on the right. The desired booty of Ciudadanos – Inés Arrimadas does not throw in the towel – was never within the reach of the PSOE. In that, perhaps Madrid is different from the rest of Spain. Or not. The five days that have elapsed since March 4 have been enough to dismantle the self-deception of the Socialists in order to justify the great defeat to themselves. The hackneyed recourse that the result “cannot be extrapolated” to what may happen in the municipal and regional elections of 2023, as well as in the general elections, will remain in public discourse, but not in the meetings of the Prime Minister with his team , nor in the terminals of all the socialist federations.

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Yes, there are specificities of the electoral campaign that have been able to help the resounding success of Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who, in addition to maintaining the Government of Madrid, will assume the leadership of the PP in the community by acclamation. The errors of the PSOE are now seen clearly, but already during the campaign swings and incomprehensible actions were appreciated. The false hare that the PP put into circulation fulfilled its objective: “Communism or freedom.” The reply was “fascism or democracy.” The left, the PSOE and United We Can, entered the reply impelled, in addition, by the receipt of letters with death threats. Not so Ayuso, who, upon receiving a similar letter, downplayed it. Yes, absolute condemnation of fascism, Mónica García, from Más Madrid, raised her voice, but without going out of her way: the pandemic, the black holes of the Community, the management of the last two years of the PP, and the accumulation of deficits and cuts from the previous 26 years.

Big words, defense of democracy, principles and values ​​in danger, and, therefore, an imperative need to stop to the right. In the PSOE, and more so in La Moncloa, there is no doubt that these claims were necessary, but they did not notice – or their data were completely wrong – that a very high percentage of citizens had the vote decided long before elections were called. , since the end of the first wave. “Many voters did not see the slightest need to save democracy, but to save their business and their job,” reflects a leader of the PSOE.

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In La Moncloa the strategy is re-elaborated by instruction of the president. Sánchez has a lot of work ahead of him and goals defined for Spain. But, at the same time, it will promote territorial renewal to prepare for local and regional elections, which will have their first stop in the fall with the holding of all regional and provincial congresses, after the federal one. It is essential for the management that in the final table a good part of those elected are related to the general secretary. Internal peace is essential to address these elections and, later, the general ones.

The battles that are to be fought to remove candidates will be faced with determination. The one in Andalusia is already underway. In Madrid we will try to ensure that the renovation is peaceful. Former Secretary General José Manuel Franco has made the task easier by resigning, although he was oblivious to the design of the campaign. To his credit is the pacification of the party. There was also peace with Rafael Simancas, winner of the 2003 elections and who saw his presidency taken away by the dark and serious tamayazo. Since then, the PSM did not win again in Madrid until 2019 with Professor Ángel Gabilondo, victim, along with Franco, of the defeat. There is a lack of leadership, a lack of a project, a lack of structure, and roots in the social fabric, socialist leaders point out without hesitation about the weakness of the Madrid PSOE. Two years to nourish and fill those deficits and as many, or at least, so that Sánchez, and with him the left – with parties to be determined – maintain hegemony. Whether it is useful for the PSOE to address the voters of Ciudadanos remains to be explored.

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