Less than four years ago, on a spring Sunday, I was in a Hotel right in front of the Congress of the Deputies in Madrid celebrating the election of Rosa Díez. It was a big success given the circumstances and a glimpse of the outrage that years later sprouted throughout Spain. My home country needed a change and I was very enthusiastic about the idea of having someone to say so in the Lower House.
However, years have past, Spain is now at the edge of the abyss and nothing seemed to win on Sunday but that system so needed of change. Spanish people must still keep some faith in it, otherwise they wouldn't have given the conservatives an absolute majority. Despite the impression it may give, the new government should face reality and assume that Spain not only needs major economical reforms. It needs political change and that's not any more a change in government. The reasons to reform the electoral system and the legislative power remain there. Sure they will be hidden some time now that the government will not need to compromise in Parliament but future minority governments (the most likely in Spain) could face the same problem any time soon. Small regional parties keep getting an outrageously disproportionate number of seats. On the other hand, regional power is still unbalanced. Spain could successfully adopt a similar system to the German one: an Upper House with national powers and a Lower House to represent regional governments. Not to mention the reform of the judiciary or the Constitutional Court.
All these essential reforms will not take place again due to the same reason. The current system benefits the ruling party the most. The conservatives control now most of the regional governments, will have the national government soon thanks to an unjust electoral system and will control the Constitutional Court and the judiciary as soon as Rajoy is in office. However, the survival of the regime in the long-term will need at least some of these reforms. No one knows what the circumstances for this to happen will have to be though...
Spain need for change seems now higher than three years ago and even more unlikely but for, some reason, I am still enthusiastic enough to sit down and write about this. Maybe we shouldn't forget that the conservatives didn't really increased their support that much... You only need to have a look at Facebook to see that the political mood of the Spanish people is changing. The demand for these reforms is only getting higher. There's still room for hope.
BBC News, 20 November 2011