The president of the Congress of Deputies, Meritxell Batet, warned this Wednesday that the dynamics of "polarization and confrontation" that are marking current Spanish politics are making a direct dent in the "confidence" that citizens have towards politicians , which continues to fall according to different surveys such as that of the CIS, which for months has placed them as one of the main problems in the opinion of the Spanish.
The most political speech of Meritxell Batet in a decaffeinated celebration of the Constitution
Batet wanted to launch that warning during the presentation of the fifteenth Report on Democracy in Spain that the Alternativas Foundation has prepared together with the Center for Political and Constitutional Studies and that has been presented this Wednesday in Congress in an act that has had the participation of the heads of the aforementioned institutes, the attendance of different deputies and has concluded with a round table moderated by the Director of Opinion of elDiario.es, Gumersindo Lafuente.
According to the report, the democratic quality index in Spain stands at 6.2. But Batet has lamented the "apparent contradiction" that supposes that "while international reports indicate that Spain is a full and mature democracy, on the other hand, Spanish public opinion is more critical than ever of politicians and politics, coming to suppose a serious concern for the population". "The democratic institutions are not failing, but their representatives are failing," the president of Congress remarked.
She has insisted on the "responsibility" of public representatives. “We have such a great responsibility, we have to be exemplary before our society, because we are the instrument through which democracy is developed, and even perceived. This being so, the more and better we strive to exercise our responsibility, the more and better examples we give with our behavior, the better service we will be doing to the quality of our democracy”, she emphasized.
The “worrying” international phenomenon of “confrontation”
On the contrary, Batet has warned of the risk of exercising "representation from polarization and confrontation", since this attitude puts "in danger the basic capital of democratic systems: trust". “The reciprocal trust that moves us to cooperate, to accept sacrifices for the benefit of the general interest; the trust and greatness of recognizing the legitimacy of the other and the ability, therefore, to reach agreements and consensus”, he pointed out.
“It is notorious that so far this legislature we have suffered too much from this second type of policy, that of confrontation and dissent”, continued the president of Congress, who did want to make it clear that this “is not an exclusively Spanish phenomenon , and for some years now it has been at the center of the debate in many advanced democracies, mainly in the United States”. “But that it is widespread is no excuse. It makes the phenomenon even more worrying”, she has pointed out.
For Batet, "in democratic politics the debate on dissent is healthy", but "in a democratic society not everything can be dissent nor can it justify the loss of respect for the political adversary". “And, above all, it cannot mean the loss of respect for the institutions that this political adversary represents. Those red lines are crossed too frequently in Spanish politics, and hence the degree of rejection that it arouses in the public”, he concluded, to emphasize: “In short, we representatives can do much better”.
What Batet proposes is that differences can be raised in a large part of public affairs, "but also to combine efforts and cooperate in cross-cutting matters for the benefit of citizens." “We can combine our dissent on certain political lines with a certain political-institutional consensus around the legitimacy of ideological options and alternation in power. We can raise the debates expressing with total freedom that we think differently without disrespecting the adversary or the institutions we represent. In conclusion, we can choose to be a positive factor in shaping our democracy, rather than a disruptive one. We owe it to the citizens who choose us for one of the greatest honors that can be conceived, which is to represent them”, he has settled.