06 December 2011

XXXVth Anniversary of the Spanish Constitution

Just thirty five years ago, the Spanish people voted to pass the new brand Constitution. After almost forty years of dreadful dictatorship and a previous horrendous civil war, Spain could achieve under difficult circumstances the aim of a representative democracy. This was not cost-free. Justice had to be put apart, many francoist repressors, among them quite suspects of war crimes, never were to be sat before a court. Despite that pact of amnesty, the new regime brought many laudable benefits: human rights, elections, economic development and the EU membership.

This Constitution was much better than the dream of many. In a Spain where police could enter your house without a judicial authorisation and imprison you for being a left winger or simply homosexual, being a modern democratic European country was unthinkable. The Constitution was a key piece in the transition to democracy, among other things, a gateway to modernity. However, thirty five years later, the weight of its immutability is starting to be too heavy. Structural reforms cannot be undertaken because the procedure set up in the own Constitution is too rigid to benefit anyone but those who doesn't want any change.

There is still some room for hope though as some small political parties have been demanding increasingly such reforms. The topic is not new any more. However, under the current economical crisis and with the well-stablished alternation in government of the two main parties, any change soon is very unlikely. To what extent the current tensions are sustainable without a reform is unknown. This is a classical paradox in political science. A system apparently designed to foster stability can precisely drive the opposite as lack of reform leads to unsustainable situations.


  1. Happy Constitution Day! In your country it isn't bank holidays so...

    Well, I think this Constitution must be reformated. The actual electoral law, known as 'Ley D'Hont' (http://elmundoderafalillo.blogspot.com/2011/10/un-sistema-electoral-injusto.html) is unfare. So a change is required. But, in the year it was approved, it was a really good change. Now we have to make the constitution better, nothing else.

    P.D.: I don't have a very good english. Excuse me if there is any mistake

  2. Hi Miguel,

    Thanks for your comment and specially for making the effort of posting it in English.
    I agree. There must be changes in the electoral system and, from my point of view, that should go together along the reform of the Autonomous Communities and the provinces. All of this would require a Constitutional reform.