Podemos party revolutionizes Spanish politics

Poll shows 'indignados' now in the lead

03 November, 18:12

    Podemos' Pablo Iglesias Podemos' Pablo Iglesias

    (by Paola Del Vecchio) (ANSAmed) - MADRID, NOVEMBER 3 - Eight months after it first appeared on the political landscape, the party of the 'indignados', Podemos ('We Can'), is revolutionizing Spain's political landscape. According to a Metroscopia survey for El Pais, the party under Pablo Iglesias would win with 27%, some 7% ahead of Partido Popular under conservative PM Mariano Rajoy, which would get only 20.7% compared with the 44.6% seen in the November 2011 elections prior to recent corruption scandals. Podemas is trailed by the Socialists (PSOE) under Pedro Sanchez with 26.2%, compared with the 28.7% in the 2011 elections. Voter dissatisfaction is evidenced by the over 20% of abstentions and the about 18% of blank ballots or ones for other parties. Podemos has siphoned some votes off Izquierda Unida (IU), which fell slightly to 3.8% of votes, while the party under Rosa Diez, Union para el Progreso y la Democracia (UPyD) is still stable at 3.4%. While waiting for the forecasts to be corroborated by the October survey conducted by the state-run Center for Sociological Research (CIS), many analysts wonder whether Podemos may be a passing trend that is catalyzing protest against the political 'caste' and corruption - as 42% of its potential voters say - or whether it will end up being a solid political alternative. In its debut at the last EU elections, the party - which became official with the election of Pablo Iglesias as leader and of its board members - got 1.2 million votes and five seats.

    It then confirmed its assembly organizational model with the decision not to run in May's municipal elections under its own party name but to do so for the 2014 regional ones and the 2015 general ones. The two-party system, with PP and PSOE alternating in the government since the transitional period, seems destined to be replaced by coalition governments. Many analysts compared the situation to that of Italy after the early 1990s, when the 'Bribesville' scandal resulted in a wide-reaching investigation leading to the collapse of the then-dominant Christian Democrat and Socialist parties. Both the PSOE and the PP attribute Podemos's rise to voters' desire for change after repeated corruption scandals and both hope to recover support by speeding up reforms. The government party, which opposed a parliamentary session on corruption with a hearing for Rajoy, will in November present a draft law for party economic-financial monitoring. PSOE leader Sanchez has reiterated that he will not sign an all-encompassing anti-corruption pact with the government party, but may vote for measures in the lower house. Podemos founders, all political science professors or experts in the social sciences, are cautious about the Metroscopia poll results but say that they do point to a ''political period of decomposition''. The aim, they say, is to win elections and occupy the ''center of the chessboard'' of politics by mitigating the demands of their most 'revolutionary' members. According to El Pais, 8% of PP voters would be willing to back Podemos, and some 31% of PSOE voters would be. (ANSAmed).

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