It was 1975, the change of an era was coming: the end of the dictatorship, the beginning of the transition.
Those were good times, times of change, but mainly of hopes and ideals. The ideal of a democratic government was closer than ever, and the freedom to speak and have a representative defending all kinds of classes began to loom on the horizon.
I was not born yet, but my elders always have that tint in their eyes or memory that makes you think that this moment was special.
After the transition, the democracy was reached. What a word!
Democracy: People elect their representative, and they represent their interests, promising to fulfil all the promises made to be elected (election promises).
Since then, and for many years the Spanish democracy has been defined by its bipartisanship. This, while it is a democracy, it is still, in my opinion, a biased democracy: you are with me or against me. In case you would decide another party, you will be called minority group, and will be treated as such.
To give you an idea, and relatively speaking, is like the situation that exists now in the Spanish league, where if you’re not the R. Madrid or FC Barcelona , your share of the pie in television rights will always be a minority, and have no option to influence in the match scheduling …
However, we are today in a society where the word democracy, beyond that bipartisanship point, has been fully disqualified, empty.
The will of the people, defined perhaps in election promises of politicians, has been devalued in favour of the interests of the political class and their party, which are well ahead of the needs of the people.
These interests are those that have led the Spanish political corruption to be widely recognized/ accepted, and extended along the entire political class (right, left, centre, … everybody seems to be guilty). The political class does not hesitate to defend their kind and offer pardons even when judicial powers have already condemned the accused.
When the separation of powers, defined by Montesquieu – separation of powers between the executive (government), legislature (parliament) and judiciary (courts) – is totally faded into melting colour pot of the same green tint ($) is when you can say, without a doubt, that democracy is dead.
The government chooses MPs to submit their lists, and after that decides who will be the legal representatives in the bureau of justice. And all of this funded by large corporations / individuals whose interests are not only economical but of power. Is that separation of powers?
It is often said that Spain is still a young democracy. It has not been that long since we were in a dictatorship when all Europe was maturing after the Second World War.
Is that a good enough excuse to justify the lies within the electoral promises, the acceptance of corruption, the culture and language imposition or the economic discrimination on certain regions of the country?
Sorry but to me it seems more something close to an under covered totalitarianism in the legitimacy of a democracy …
It might be that today we live in a democracy, but a democracy where our vote is sold to the highest bidder and where our voice falls into an abyss of bureaucracy impossible to circumvent.
Was it for that that we wanted a democracy?
I had always argued that a technocrat government was the optimal solution (which does not mean ideal) for a democracy like ours. People who know what has to be done, without political ties or obligations to large corporations, working towards a single purpose: the improvement of the country.
As Chilean President Michele Bachelet said, “only when it serves the integrity, democracy demonstrates its effectiveness and societies stop looking for leaders or demagogues and prefer technocrats”
However, some examples in recent years (Monti in Italy, the “Govern dels millors” in Catalonia or Samaras in Greece) have shown that even technocrats, as much as qualified they are (much more than most politicians), there is a background that does not allow an increase in quality / differentiation in the politics.
Then, what to do?
Lately, my believes has been moving towards social movements. Isn’t democracy the government of the people? Then let the people decide, organize, and influence, as far as possible, to the current anachronistic structure that we call state, and seems impossible to evolve.
Not to forget our friend Montesquieu, back to powers separation, as this is one of the foundations for a fairer, meritocratic and, after all, democratic government.