Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Perhaps I'm missing the point because I don't see the collapse of the centre as an inherently bad thing.

The way I understood it, the problem is that in the current situation, the collapse of the centre is not the end of the process, as the parties will compete to reach ever further extremes in opposed directions(and fracture not just along a single dimension as Migeru suggests), resulting in several incompatible but potentially militant medium to small parties.

Regarding a 1930s analogy, I'm not sure there is a really good one. In Germany, there have been several parties throughout Weimar, and there really were just 2-3 elections where the fringes in general strengthened, then the NSDAP bloated up on one side and the nominal centre parties folded and voted for the Gleichschaltung before the centre truly disappeared in a real election. In other Central European countries, fascist and semi-fascist forces took over without a prior total disintegration of the party landscape, even if the parallel strengthening of fascists and communists was common. And France was a rather different story, with true-blue far-right movements having been kind of marginal as extra-parliamentary movements, and the Communists joining a government coalition.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Oct 21st, 2014 at 09:26:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think ManFromMiddletown may be thinking of the formation of People's Front governments in Spain and France as the operative 1930s analogy here. That is, of cource, if the Catalan nationalist parties decide to band together into a single list to try and make the next regional election into a referendum on independence (the rest of the Calatan parties will not bad together into an anti-independence front, and so their vote will be diluted by the imperfect proportionality of the election system).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2014 at 09:31:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes and no.

History rhymes, rather than repeats.  But, the idea of social science is that you can distill certain abstract patterns from what's happened in the past.

Polarized pluralism says that as the center empties out, the normal tendency of politics to push parties to the center disappears as the unimodal distribution of voters we associate with functioning democracies gives way to a bimodal one.  Over time, the absence of a center makes functioning government virtually impossible.  A disfunctional political system discredits itself, making room for men who don't see the need to be accountable to mere parties. (aka Franco)

It's worth noting that in the 1930s it was the issue of Catalan independence that ultimately was the final straw, Espana una y grande and all.

Now as to a common front of the Catalan parties, I just don't seeing it happen.  I see either CiU splitting open with CDC moving towards ERC, and UDC moving in the direction of PPC, or I see the left wing of CiU emptying out in favor of ERC.  To some extent, the latter has arguably already occurred.

The problem is that this is all leading to a situation in which Catalonia is ungovernable, and the unity of Spain is seen to be in danger by people willing to act on that.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2014 at 09:58:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's worth noting that in the 1930s it was the issue of Catalan independence that ultimately was the final straw, Espana una y grande and all.
Can you spell that out?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2014 at 10:00:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two things happened during the right wing CEDA government in 1934 which ensured that the generals would act if a new left wing government took charge at a later date.

The Asturian miner's strike and the proclamation of the Catalan Republic.

The Asturian miners revolt began on 4 Oct 1934, and the Catalan regional government  (led by the ERC) proclaimed the Catalan regional government on 6 Oct 1934. Members of the Catalan regional government were imprisoned.  The Popular Front government released them  in 1936 (and restored Basque local government) which convinced the generals that the unity of  Spain was in danger. So they plotted.

Spain is different today, but that same terror that Spain will be torn apart remains.  Military action is much harder to coordinate, but I could see a right wing government in Madrid acting to suspend any regional government that tries to repeat the proclamations of a Catalan Republic which occurred in 1931 and 1934.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2014 at 10:38:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series