Pedro Fernández Barbadillo is a Spanish historian and political analyst. Sunday’s Spanish general election could see the end of the socialist-progressive rule, with the centre-right Partido Popular (PP) comfortably leading the polls. The desire of conservative voters to roll back some of the most controversial laws adopted by the Left could, however, fall on deaf ears, as the more moderate prime-minister-in-waiting, Alberto Núñez Feijóo (PP), seeks consensus with the Socialists (PSOE), and not a coalition with the right-wing VOX. Pedro Fernández Barbadillo discussed the upcoming elections with us.
What are the main issues that will define the outcome of the Spanish general election?
European and American societies have been radically divided in the last few years. Not because of Donald Trump. On the contrary, Trump or Brexit are the consequences of that division. They are the consequences of the distrust of the establishment. In my opinion, there are two blocks: the block of good sense and reality—which defends human life, nations, and families—and the block of irrationality and utopia, which is obsessed with climate emergency, gender, the great replacement, euthanasia, the creation of new rights, and individual self-determination. Under normal circumstances, the supporters of common sense would be expected to win. However, the other block receives so much financial support and propaganda tools that they help it to stay in the race.
Those who know what is at stake are Brussels and progressivism (liberals). Both are betting on the defeat of VOX, hoping to keep them out of government, because they fear that the party’s influence would reverse—or at least stop—the entire globalist process, or in other words, the ‘2030 Agenda.’
The government has spent the last couple of years handing out money to buy votes (for example from pensioners) and to get many voters to forget about the general impoverishment of society, immigration issues, abortion, or the false accusations of women against men. In Andalusia, the most populous region of Spain, the people finally freed themselves of PSOE’s corruption in the 2018 elections after 40 years of socialist rule, and thanks to VOX, by the way. I would love something similar to take place throughout the whole of Spain on Sunday.
How would you define the era of Sanchismo, Spain’s last five years under the governance of Pedro Sánchez?
The Spanish political system gives a lot of power to the head of the government, who is also the absolute leader of his party and of the group of MPs that support him in parliament. That is why in Spain we usually talk about felipism (Felipe González), aznarism (José María Aznar), zapaterism (José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero), rajoyism (Mariano Rajoy) or sanchism (Pedro Sánchez), always in relation to prime ministers.
Regarding Sanchismo, it believes lying is a way of doing politics. Pedro Sánchez broke all the promises he made. He promised not to cooperate with the pro-ETA terrorist party Bildu; not to pardon Catalan separatists convicted of violating national unity and the Constitution; not to build a coalition with the far-left Podemos party. He also promised to depoliticize numerous institutions and to govern transparently. A few days ago, in an interview, he said that he hadn’t lied, he just “changed his mind.”
In addition to all this, Sanchismo means breaking down the state and the nation, and subverting the law to stay in power. In order to get enough votes in parliament for his budgets and other laws, Sánchez didn’t hesitate to give in to the demands of the most repugnant parties in Spain. He even went so far as to offer his condolences to Bildu for the suicide in prison of a person convicted of terrorism. Moreover, Sánchez, his party, and the media devoted to him call anyone who opposes him “fascists,” whether it be VOX or the PP, journalists or simple citizens. The latest insult describes his critics as ‘Trumpists.’
One of the most controversial decisions by the left-wing government was to accept the transgender law, which makes it easier for people to change their legal gender. Will we see the law reversed under a conservative government?
I hope this horrible law, which allows adolescents to decide their gender transition treatment and even mutilate their sexual organs, will be repealed in the next few months. In the debate surrounding it, the Left refused to listen to the experiences of Sweden and other countries, where they halted operations on young people. When it comes to the ‘gender revolution,’ the Spanish Left’s behaviour is especially crazy, and they are proud to set an example for the rest of the world, especially Latin America.
I am not optimistic, however. The leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, is now talking about reforming the law, whilst seeking consensus on the matter. The same party also approved similar laws in recent years in various regions. Feijóo did it in Galicia. And in the years of Rajoy’s government (2011-2018), despite having an absolute majority in parliament, the PP did not repeal a single one of the most subversive laws of the socialist Zapatero government. The excuse then was the economy (“the most important thing,” according to Rajoy’s own quote). Now, it may be the desire of the PP to govern with the Socialists and not with VOX, in the manner of a German ‘grand coalition’ between CDU and SPD.
So, if the centre-right PP were to win—as the polls suggest it will—you believe they would rather form a coalition with the Socialists than the conservative-populist VOX?
Feijóo and other leaders of the PP keep repeating that they would feel more comfortable with the PSOE, but a PSOE without Sánchez. On Wednesday, La Vanguardia published an interview in which he declared: “I am hopeful that the PSOE will prevent us from forming a government with VOX.”
As Esteban González Pons, MEP for the Partido Popular declared, the PP is proud to vote together with the PSOE in the European Parliament in most of the debates. These are the occasions when it is clear for everyone to see that PSOE and the PP are two arms that obey the same brain.
However, voters of the PP would have no problem governing together with VOX. We are witnessing one of the many farces of party politics: millions of Spaniards will vote for Feijóo in the hope that he has actually lied to them and will in the end govern with VOX. Sad, isn’t it?
VOX has gained popularity in recent years for voicing its opposition to illegal migration, the LGBT, and woke agendas, and the Socialist government’s attempts to appease separatist forces in Catalonia and the Basque Country. The party was successful in the local elections in May, however, it is estimated to get 13% of the vote compared to 15% four years ago. Why is that?
The 52 seats gained after the November 2019 elections came as a surprise to everybody. The possible setback of VOX can be explained by the strengthening of the PP, which is saying to voters: “to oust Sánchez, you have to vote for the PP, this is the only way you can achieve it.” They use all kinds of arguments, they cite polls and even the electoral system to justify themselves. In addition to this, VOX does not have the backing of any newspaper, radio, or television with significant national coverage that would be able to refute the lies spread about the party. In spite of everything, VOX’s one advantage is that its voters are extremely loyal. On Sunday we will know exactly how much so.
Right-wing, populist parties in Finland and Italy have entered government, and the Swedish government is also reliant on the backing of its right-wing partner. If PP and VOX do govern together, can conservative values come even more to the forefront of European politics?
European countries are slamming the door one after the other on the 2030 Agenda and progressivism. If Spain were to follow this trend, it would be a huge blow for progressives. But even if PP and VOX were to govern together, and the right-wing party had the ability to impose its program on PP, a long time would have to pass for changes to happen. In Italy, it has taken more than 20 years to reach the current situation, where the Right—the conservatives—have control of Parliament, and this is thanks to Silvio Berlusconi. That is why the Left attacked him relentlessly, even after he died. The culture war in Spain is intensifying, so a PP-VOX government, of course, would be a huge step.
Also, keep in mind that absolutely all the Spanish newspapers that are considered to be right-wing (ABC, La Razón, El Mundo, La Voz de Galicia, El Norte de Castilla, etc.), publish the same articles about climate alarmism, overpopulation, eating insects, as the left-wing publications. Their readership numbers keep dropping, but they still insist on dealing with progressive topics.
A right-wing government will definitely have a more difficult relationship with separatist forces. Could we see more breakaway attempts in Catalonia in the next couple of years?
It is true that the separatists convicted by the Supreme Court and pardoned by Pedro Sánchez affirmed that they ‘will do it again’ as soon as they are released from prison. But I believe that we will not come to a situation as violent as in 2017. Let us bear in mind that the separatists are a minority of Catalans with a lot of economic and propagandistic resources, since they control the local government. But they are a minority nonetheless.
The separatists have shown that they are only brave when assembled in masses. In small groups or in person, they are cowards. As soon as they know that their illegal acts have consequences, they flee or disband. In 2017, no European state supported them, despite the fact that they spent a lot of effort and money to obtain that help.