More political instability looms in another southern European country. No clear majority emerged from the ballot box in Spain yesterday, and the two-party system seems to be a thing of the past. Neither a centre-right coalition between the PP (28.7%) and the young party Ciudadanos (13.9%), nor a centre-left one between the Socialists (22%) and the new left formation Podemos (20.7%), can form a majority government.
There are other options, including a minority government, or a grand coalition between Socialists and PP. It’s clear that the old parties are rapidly losing ground. But are the new arrivals really that enticing?
As far as the left is concerned, Podemos did very well and above expectations, but its close alliance with another failed attempt at real change, Tsipras’ new incarnation of Syriza, casts more than one doubt. Before you hail another victory of the left against the “bad guys” of technocracy, be reassured that Podemos has no real intention to contest the euro, reject all that is old in politics, or reverse austerity. All these desirable goals run the risk of becoming empty slogans appropriated by certain sections of the rising new left to rally votes without a real plan to deliver.