Spain Faces 3rd Election In One Year


To many, American political gridlock is one of the toughest obstacles to policy creation. In Spain, however, it has disrupted the entire legislative process.

This comes in particular with the recent polarization in Spain in regards to failed government policy. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose position in Spain is known by the title “Presidente del Gobierno”, has become more unpopular over the years with his harsh budget cuts on government programs, and oversight of increase in Spanish unemployment to a staggering 27.1% in 2012.

Numerically, however, Spain’s economic situation has become somewhat better. The unemployment rate has fallen to 20%, with a net gain in active population, meaning no gain in disenfranchised workers, or those unwilling to seek work.

Rajoy also approved of several so called “gag laws” which pushed heavy fines against individuals protesting against the government. This followed a large amount of anti-government protests in 2012 amid the economic crisis, with Spain being the worst hit by the speculation of collapse within the Eurozone in 2012.

With such a divided political atmosphere, the Partido Popular has failed in both elections held this past year to gain a majority coalition in the Spanish parliament. Prime Minister Rajoy, now the head of a “caretaker” government, remarked that such a long period of a caretaker government “would be absolutely insane” and that a third election would make Spain “the laughing stock of Europe”.

The government of Spain is much more socialist than most members of the EU, and certainly the United States. The primary opponent of Rajoy’s own conservative party is the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, recognized by the abbreviation “PSOE”. The main libertarian party within Spain, El Partido Libertario, was formed in 2010 with the stated aim of fighting for individual liberty and against collectivization. With the political tumult in Spain, one may wonder if a less authoritarian government advocated by both sides would be a more suitable solution for the Spanish people.

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