Financial Times destaca hoy un proceso histórico que yo subrayé hace años:
[ .. ]
Financial Times, 14 / 15 octubre 2015. Political disrupters rattle Europe’s old order.
Se trata de una evidencia: la fragmentación de parlamentos y paisajes políticos, la volatilidad de gobiernos minoritarios, la formación y crisis de gobiernos más o menos frágiles, complica mucho la gestión de una Europa / UE empantanada, sin otro proyecto -hipotecado a la crisis de las deudas- que una moneda única, el euro, cuya estabilidad se paga con estancamiento económico y angustia social.
Proceso -el de la fragmentación política de Estados y UE- que viene de muy lejos:
España, bien situada en el ranking de la fragmentación de Europa.
“Sus demonios se llevan a España en volandas”.
España / Cataluña invertebradas: menos confianza, más deudas, más pobreza.
España / Cataluña invertebradas.
[ .. ]
FT. October 14, 2015 1:46 pm
Tony Barber in London
Fragmented parliaments, minority governments, coalitions among parties that were once bitter rivals and elaborate deals aimed at keeping anti-establishment movements out of high office — welcome to the changing landscape of European democracy.
So much volatility pervades the political scene that it is hardly surprising that Europe’s leaders struggle to cope with their various economic policy and security challenges.
Internal disputes disrupt painstakingly constructed coalitions, as in Finland. Governments barely control legislatures where old party structures are decomposing, as in Italy. Rising far right and far left parties cherry-pick from a variety of anti-EU, anti-euro, anti-immigrant, anti-Islam and anti-capitalist views, eroding the consensus politics that contributed to stability in post-1945 Europe.
As events today in Sweden and Portugal illustrate, fractured legislatures often generate uncertainty about how to form a government after a confused election result. They also raise questions about how a coalition or minority government can remain stable enough to complete a full term in office.
Sweden’s minority Social Democrat-led government is in trouble after the breakdown of an agreement with the centre-right opposition designed to permit parliamentary approval of government budgets. What is most revealing about this episode is that the agreement was necessary purely because the anti-immigration, populist Sweden Democrats party held the balance of power in parliament after September 2014 elections.
In Portugal’s case, it is proving harder than expected to form a government after the October 4 elections because the ruling centre-right coalition, though re-elected, lost its absolute majority. One alternative — a coalition of the mainstream Socialists with the radical leftist Bloc Esquerda and the hardline, anti-euro communists — would be highly unusual. Should the centre-right return to power, however, it may not last a full, four-year term.
Such weaknesses make it hard for governments to carry out reforms required to lift the EU’s economic performance, or to help forge a coherent response to pan-European challenges such as the refugee and migrant crisis. In the 19-nation eurozone, some governments feel too embattled to make the case for closer fiscal, economic and political integration, a step that many EU policymakers regard as essential for the euro’s long-term survival.
Across much of the 28-nation EU, political party systems are less stable than at any time since the end of the cold war a quarter of a century ago. The unpredictability increased after the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 as voters passed a harsh verdict on Europe’s governing parties. More recently, immigration has overtaken economic conditions, unemployment and the public finances as the main concern of EU citizens, according to a European Commission poll conducted in May and published on July 31.
In this unfamiliar environment, elections are no longer a contest chiefly between one leading centre-right party and its centre-left counterpart, and voters have more on their minds than just jobs and economic growth. Notwithstanding the British Conservative party’s success in May, European elections tend nowadays not to furnish absolute legislative majorities.
The next example may emerge in Spain, when voters elect a new parliament in December. A political party and electoral system that, from the late 1970s, usually delivered single-party governments appears likely to produce a thoroughly splintered legislature. Of Spain’s two new, unconventional parties, the leftwing populists of Podemos are fading in the polls, but it is not impossible to imagine the liberal centrists of Ciudadanos in a future coalition with the centre-right Popular party.
In many respects, coalition governments have long been the norm in Europe. Only about one in eight of all western European governments since 1945 have been formed by a political party winning an absolute majority in parliament.
But today there is a difference. In one election after another, old-guard parties that used to rule the roost are winning a smaller share of the vote. This makes necessary new types of coalition and minority rule — but it certainly does not make the task of governing any easier.