Wed. Sep 18th, 2019

JxCat-ERC, the unit that never existed

"The convergent until when they lose, they lose well". It is the conviction of some of the strategists of ERC who have seen how, despite the Republican growth in the successive elections, they end up meeting, by the work and grace of a handful of votes or subsequent pacts, with the heirs of CDC and its multiple versions. This "knowing how to lose" leads to JxCat to be part of the government of the Diputación de Barcelona and they even get the lottery with the break between Manuel Valls and Albert Rivera at City Hall. It is not the same to be the fourth municipal group as the next to last.

In spite of everything, the agreement The provincial does not return the party to the twentieth century socio-verge, but to confirm that the convergent spirit is still alive, ready to create the conditions for a new political scenario. Nothing that ERC has not done in the last electoral cycle commanded by Oriol Junqueras from prison and converting to Gabriel Rufián in flag of the new republican pragmatism.

The variable geometry of the pacts after 26-M limits the "master moves" of the independence movement to the international battle of Carles Puigdemont and its environment, while the political structures of JxCat and ERC have taken decisions in the medium term while awaiting the sentence of 1-O. It was about evaluating whether it was better to cling to the dignity of speeches and spend four years in the open or recover positions and fill the pantry from an institutional watchtower. And the answer is ... a range of pacts that break the dynamics of blocks.

This internal process has been traumatic, although what is visible are the laments of the umpteenth bankruptcy of a strategic independence unit that never existed. The joint list of 2015 was only possible because Artur Mas and Junqueras found incentives for the future of their respective projects. Later, they have been sharing governments, demonstrations and, some, defendants' bench but not medium-term interests. There is no unity, there is competition.

It was about evaluating whether it was better to cling to the dignity of speeches and spend four years in the open or recover positions and fill the pantry from an institutional watchtower. And the answer is ... a range of agreements that break the dynamics of blocks

The risk assessment in ERC showed again and again that denaturing your party on a common list entailed losses that no training with aspirations would assume when your traveling companion is in crisis. Nothing of unitary lists, was the order of Junqueras before entering prison. And in the post-convergence space, survival was chosen at the expense of the Puigdemont effect and denying the obvious collateral damage in the polls. It was bet for the management of some expectations that were not fulfilled and fed profiles paid to the stridency.

Carles Puigdemont never had a vocation as a "politician of order" but his convergent gene enables him to digest privately the arguments that lead JxCat to vote for Núria Marín as president of the Provincial Council. They also did it in the prison of Lledoners, where they are subscribed to politics in its classic conception -dialogging, negotiating, agreeing-. They defend to facilitate the investiture of Pedro Sánchez and defended -without success- that Xavier Trias and not Gorka Knörr was the delegate of the Generalitat in Madrid.

Another thing is public scrutiny, the suffocating environment of the expresident, the fear of being a victim of irrelevance and the swings in public discourse. The duality is contagious in the independence movement.

After the 26-M, JxCat and ERC, lists were exchanged in which ten municipalities in which each formation had won were shielded. Puigdemont was particularly annoyed that this commitment broke in Figueres and Sant Cugat, so the expresident blessed the pact in the Diputación de Barcelona, ​​just as Torra did. That the republicans equaled the socialist offer tempted Puigdemont but chose to inhibit and leave it in the hands of the PDECat and the mayors. The agreement was signed. Another thing is that the environment of the expresident will take advantage to tighten the relationship with his party.

The supramunicipal pact also allowed ERC to redirect its image to the most irredentist independence movement. Sergi Sabrià's grandiloquent declarations buried the 26 local agreements between the ERC and socialists. JxCat's demand for reversion of agreements did not go beyond putting Platja d'Aro on the table, where ERC voted for the PSC.

In the Govern there will not be a before and an after in the relationship of the partners because it can not be colder. It keeps its composure because without Supreme Court ruling there is no incentive for a government crisis. The answer is guaranteed in the street but President Torra can not reach a consensus on the political response. The parties believe that repeating the 9-N and the 1-O does not lead anywhere and an electoral advance is full of unknowns. Yes, you live
in perpetual electoral pre-campaign.

There was a commitment between JxCat and ERC to take the call at least until spring but in ERC they have put the accelerator in case Torra does not resist. The Republicans will resolve the question of their electoral poster sooner rather than later; while, JxCat has moved to autumn the resolution of the sudoku of acronyms and protagonisms where the only thing clear today is the delicate situation of David Bonvehí and the incognito, the role of Puigdemont.

The partners admit that the week has not been "the most edifying thing we've done", but the calls to the unit fall on deaf ears before a political and judicial calendar collapsed in autumn.

The keys

The sentence of 1-O is the X in the design of strategies of the independence parties. The hardness of the ruling will condition the public response but ERC and a part of JxCat has already made a commitment to seek alternative political scenarios to the perpetual clash with Madrid.

A electoral call it remains the most viable response to a conviction. However, there was a kind of tacit agreement for there to be no call, at least, until next spring.


ERC will hold a congress on September 15 to revalidate the leadership of Junqueras and will shortly resolve the question about its electoral poster. What sets the party for any decision of Torra.


JxCat It will not face its political future until autumn. Puigdemont has been involved in the negotiation but its environment collides with the expectations of the heirs of CDC that offer to lead the project.

Economia works on the project budgets for 2020. Although the perspectives to approve them are scarce, ERC wants to exhibit them as an electoral social commitment.

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