[el think tank Open Democracy me pidió como representante de Deba-t.org un artículo sobre la #spanishrevolution. ¡Aquí va!]
“We must move from a representative democracy to a more participatory one, which will involve new ways of getting people involved in the management of public affairs. In this context, given the crisis of political involvement, we insist that participatory youth associations are a corrective tool”, said Eduard Vallory, president of Graduate School of Economics from Barcelona, in “Participation in Associations Leads to Political Involvement” (Fundació Escolta Josep Carol; 2003).
Dr. Vallory argues that it is necessary, but not sufficient, the participation through associations to generate, almost automatically, a crucial political implication to be channeled, more than ever before, away from traditional ways of participation. The action of political parties, especially in Spain, where the electoral system does not encourage relationships between the elected and the electors, it’s been shown clear signs asking for a change in the way our democracy works.
Two months after and with the perspective given by time, we can conclude that the #spanishrevolution is the first step taken by the people towards a better democracy, on which spanish political parties should be willing to build the foundations of a new democracy. If it is necessary the refound of capitalism, as Sarkozy said, it will be necessary to recast the essence of liberal democracy too.
In this regard, a famous Spanish professor said that “there is nothing more revolutionary than a Democrat,” which is especially timely when you consider that globalization -or at least the process of European construction- which requires States to transfer powers to a more technocratic group than a democratic one or be led by the air of the so-called financial markets.
Beyond the hours spend by the 15M assemblies speaking of things that most readers may not care or generate some reluctance, the fact is that the Centre for Sociological Research in a recent survey revealed that 70% of the spaniards are sympathetic with the root-demands of the Movement. Though the legitimacy of who is elected by the ballot can not be replaced or challenged in a belligerent way, the social movements gain legitimacy according to the complicity that society provides to them. And interestingly, the political response -beyond the statements- contains more obvious symptoms in Barcelona and in the Catalan regional government than in Madrid, the birthplace of the protest and with more mature activism than in Barcelona.
In fact, Catalonia is the only region of Spain without its own electoral law and both the ruling party and the main opposition party (National Party and Social Democrat Party, respectively) have been put to work on an electoral law that was never made after 30 years. This week a Social Democrat member of the catalan Parliament told us that he had no doubt that it is the result of 15M and their demands, among which was an electoral law that would bring closer citizenship and politics. “They have had 30 years and now they have no excuses”, he says, which agrees with the views of different scholars consulted along with some mass media as La Vanguardia (the conservative catalan newspaper par excellence).
Yet, obviously, the electoral law is like the participation in associations in a democratic system, necessary but not sufficient. In fact, it is also interesting to note, as well, the role of El Periodico de Catalunya (a progressivist newspaper made in Barcelona) has proposed to make public debates, published after in its pages, about how to refound democracy and generate a debate on the need to adapt our institutions to the rhythm that moves society.
Is there going back?