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General election again, the fourth in four years. The media has turned all the debates on who is to blame for the political deadlock. It’s Sanchez’s fault, some point out, it’s been for the intransigence of Iglesias, others say. So, the impossibility of forming a government coalition is explained by egos, or testosterone excesses, as stated by the then enfant terrible and now lord of order Gabriel Rufián? Can we believe that the IMF, the EU, the CEOE, the bankers, the Monarchy … will tolerate a situation derived from egos and testosterone?

By Corriente Roja

The next election on November 10 is marked by the tiredness of the electoral repetition, something that is shown by the half-million citizens who have requested not to receive the electoral advertisement. The different parties, meanwhile, embark on the nth consecutive election campaign with a main goal: to achieve a stable government to implement the new attacks to come.

We are on the verge of a new economic recession, with growing EREs[1], the top European economy, the German, in declared recession, Brexit knocking at the door, the US imposing tariffs that threaten key export sectors and a situation where there has been no “recovery” for millions of workers that live between unemployment and brutal precarious jobs earning very low wages.

No matter what government will come, they know that they have the wings cut by a public debt that is around 100% of GDP and structural reforms demanded by the EU, read the pension reform (the so-called  Austrian backpack, capitalization funds), the Statute of Workers reform (which includes not repealing in any way the reforms made by the PP and PSOE and reducing again the compensation for dismissals, etc …) Add to that the explosive situation in Catalonia, with the jail sentences to Catalan independence leaders.

The progressive camp: “illusion sellers”

The PSOE is the favorite to win this new poll. Pedro Sánchez presents himself as the only guarantee of a “progressive government” to face the ecological transition and recover the welfare state, employment, and pensions. However, as the proverb says, “the words blow away in the wind”, and that “progressive” speech only tries to cover that the PSOE is a doormat of the IBEX 35 big companies. It is the party that, in partnership with the PP, changed the Constitution to ensure the payment of the public debt to the bankers at the cost of destroying public services; the party that promised to repeal the Labor Reform and the Gag Law a thousand times only to keep them intact; that denies to Catalonia its right to self-determination and threatens day after day to suspend its autonomy by applying the constitutional article 155.

Faced with the new economic crisis ahead, the women inequality, the climate emergency or the democratic demands of Catalonia, the PSOE will try to trick us with the carrot … but, as it has always done, its recipe will be the stick.

On the other hand, Unidas Podemos (United We Can) faces the election campaign trapped in its own web. Pablo Iglesias achieved his popularity by calling the PSOE leadership a caste, and matching it with the PP. However, the realpolitik forced its way quickly, and Iglesias changed his speech ending up asking King Felipe VI himself to intercede so that Podemos could have a ministry in a coalition government with the PSOE.

However, the PSOE, at the orders of the EU and the CEOE[2], has finally refused to name any Podemos member to its Cabinet. Pablo Iglesias, after establishing all his policy around “a progressive government PSOE-Podemos”, saw that possibility going away after Pedro Sánchez shut the door behind him. His only self-criticism has been “having been fooled by Pedro [Sánchez]” and, getting closer to the grotesque, he campaigns again demanding that the next PSOE cabinet incorporates Podemos as a “true guarantee” to carry out progressive measures.

And after all, to try to unlock the situation, Errejón[3] presents himself by offering his future MPs to form a PSOE coalition government.

This is the “left” that asked us last April to vote for them to “close the path of the right” and “recover social rights.” The voters mostly followed their request and gave them a parliamentary majority. However, social rights continued going down the drain and the right has now a second chance. Now they ask us again for our vote but Corriente Roja believes that they do not deserve it from any worker.

The triplet: reaction and neoliberalism

The PP (Popular Party) of Casado is the top 2 party in the electoral race. Although they try to detach themselves from corruption, the accusations against Esperanza Aguirre and Cifuentes show once again that the PP is the party that has ruled for the big business in exchange for “bites of slush fund.” Casado promises economic reforms, stating that the PP will manage the crisis in the same way as the previous one. Just listening to that is to start shivering!

When the PP talks about successfully overcoming the crisis, it does so from the perspective of those who live in La Moraleja or in the luxurious suburbs at Costa del Sol. The working people have never overcome it and we are stuck in the anguish of job insecurity, unemployment, and pensions down and in danger. Thanks to the PP, the rich became richer and the poor poorer.

C´s, an equally neo-liberal party that opened its way with a “regenerationist” speech, has been able to support the Andalusian PSOE and the Madrid PP as well. The only permanent thing in its policy is wavering the monarchical red-flag and confronting the democratic aspirations of the Catalan people.

The far-right party Vox has its audience among the most vociferous ultra-right mob; it is the new champion of the remains of the dictator Franco. With a simplistic recipe of extreme nationalism, racism, and sexism, they galvanize the “hooligans.” Behind all this, there are people like Espinosa de los Monteros – next Marquis de Valtierra and descendant of an ambassador of Franco to Hitler -, bricklayer businessman, convicted of not paying his employees and resident in a luxurious villa without building authorization.

The Corriente Roja stance: spoil your ballot

Against the so-called “tactical vote” for the PSOE or Podemos, we contrast the mobilization route, as the Catalans, Hong Kong, Chile or Ecuador peoples show. Only the organized struggle can change things in the face of a regime allergic to democratic rights. In these circumstances, as a consequence of the electoral law, Corriente Roja has not had the opportunity to present working-class and democratic candidates against the regime and its parties. That is why we call to spoil the vote using the ballot paper you find in our newspaper.

This vote is a conscious vote of rejection of the regime and its parties. A vote of solidarity with the Catalan people and their struggle for amnesty, against repression and for the right to decide. A vote to boost the fight against layoffs and labor reforms, in defense of pensions, against oppression, against racism and xenophobia and to face the climate emergency. A vote in favor of building the conditions for a popular uprising against this regime, for the republic, for a free union of republics, a constituent process and a socialist Europe of workers and peoples.

An exception in Catalonia: if you vote, vote for the CUP

Catalonia lives these elections under circumstances in which the sentence to the independentist prisoners, the imprisonment of the CDRs accused of terrorism in the Altsasu style or the threats of another 155, permeates everything.

In this scenario, we share the outrage of all those Catalans who have decided not to vote or spoil the vote as a form of rejection of the regime. At the same time, we recommend a critical vote for the CUP to the people who are going to vote. We believe that, in the absence of Corrent Roig candidates, this is the vote that best expresses the rejection of the regime in this election.

It is a critical vote because we understand that the CUP has been unable during all this time to break politically with the official independentist leadership, and appears as its left wing.

[1] A system that allows massive layoffs made by companies that need only to state economic hardship.

[2] Confederación Española de Organizaciones Empresariales: Spanish Confederation of Enterprises

[3] Íñigo Errejón is a 35-year-old former deputy leader of Podemos who formed a new party, Más País (More Country).