Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Three Party Politics

It was all so quick, just days after the Catalan elections we have a new government for the region; and a fairly familiar looking government it is too. Convergència I Unió (CiU), the party that obtained the most votes in the elections, failed in their attempt to persuade either the nationalist Esquerra Republicana (ERC), or the Catalan socialists (PSC) to play second string in a government dominated by CiU. That left as the only alternative a repeat of the “tripartito”, the coalition that emerged from the previous elections between the PSC, ERC, and Iniciativa per Catalunya (ICV). The deal has been done and the new government assures us that their priority is going to be social welfare. Let’s hope this is the case because the last version of the coalition was consumed almost entirely by the debate over the reform of the autonomy statute for Cataluña, and it was this issue that eventually led to its downfall and the calling of early elections. Meanwhile, CiU are furious over being denied once again the chance to rule and have withdrawn their support for the government at national level, something that shouldn’t really matter too much as long as the tripartito can survive at least until the next general election. But it’s all a little bit disappointing with such a rapid and apparently easy resolution of the issue, we needed someone like the market trader in The Life Of Brian who says “We’re supposed to haggle”.

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