Vox already seems like an uncomfortable party for a part of the right. There is a subtle climate of opinion that the formation of Santiago Abascal has been an obstacle for the Popular Party to reach the government of Spain this legislature. Speakers that not so long ago were cheering for the extreme right began to get off the wagon in the 23-J campaign. And Vox will only be able to continue falling out of favor if its utility for the PP is trading down.
It is the latent murmur on the right: Alberto Núñez Feijóo would have run out of room for movement —apparently— because of Vox. First, because in our electoral system the right only gains an advantage if it is united. The PP even improved its results in the last elections, while Vox lost more than 600,000 votes. Therefore, it would not be surprising that, if Spain throws itself into an electoral repetition, the PP campaign intensifies the idea of the useful vote to oust Pedro Sánchez. Second, because the PP can no longer agree even with the PNV —even less with Junts— due to Vox’s territorial intransigence in the equation. And third, because the mantra of “the extreme right is coming” no longer works in most of our country, but it did save the PSOE in Catalonia and the Basque Country in the last elections.
So Vox has gone from being the solution to being part of the problem for our homeland right. That formation that in 2019 catapulted to 52 seats in the face of the decline of Ciudadanos, the pardons for the leaders of the procés, and the embers of the disastrous management of the PP by Mariano Rajoy on 1-O, does not now serve to prevent a legislature of maximum prominence for the so-called “enemies of Spain” —Bildu, Junts, ERC, PNV—.
It is true that the right has been operating for decades through the rise and fall of new parties. It is not about ideological battles, but about instrumental ends: the initials matter less than the task when it comes to raising the flag of Spain. For this reason, after the dissolution of the UCD, Alianza Popular mutated into the PP; Ciudadanos was the amiable replacement for a politically decrepit Rajoy; and even Santiago Abascal was called to set the tone for the young Pablo Casado.
The reality is that Vox has been useful in these months to the cause of the right, after fulfilling its expectations of local and regional power. Some easily want to forget that the PP presides over several autonomous communities thanks to Abascal. Or even the way in which María Guardiola’s arm was twisted in Extremadura because Vox was not simply an option, but the way to come to power. The problem is that few could predict such a collapse to 33 seats in the general elections, perhaps ignoring that the context of November 2019 was difficult to repeat, and its true floor was at 24 seats.
The fact is that with Vox that saying that “a skinny dog, everything turns into fleas” applies. The purge in the ultraliberal sector of the formation has turned them, in the eyes of their faithful, into a party with an increasingly ideological niche —if possible. If in the campaign of 23-J center-right speakers questioned that Abascal could ask for the vice presidency of the Government —aware of the trouble that would befall the Feijóo who they said was moderate—, the even more recalcitrant turn of the formation augurs greater losses of support. The march of Macarena Olona or Iván Espinosa de los Monteros appear as visible symptoms of the collapse.
And it is that for the purposes of the right, Albert Rivera will never be the same as Abascal, although it took them four years to realize it. Rivera’s ideology did not generate such rejection, although at the end of 2019 he began to rival Vox in political intransigence. Under some forms of democratic regeneration, Ciudadanos was not upset because it did not reduce power to the right: it did not prevent Rajoy from governing between 2016 and 2018 with external support from the PNV. Annoying he became when he refused to support Sánchez, opening the door to Podemos with the support of ERC and Bildu.
Masks out: it is because Vox threatens to stop being useful that some may be tempted to end the extreme right; not because their ideology has ever scandalized them, nor is it going to do so at this stage of politics.
Estefanía Molina is a political scientist and journalist.
Subscribe to continue reading
Read without limits
#temptation #kill #Vox