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In the last chronicle, I presented a critical view of the contraption and the damage it has caused in the balance of our political system, in particular, in the construction of responsible and consistent political majorities. In the upcoming electoral period, the parties must present what makes them different and what they consider to be essential in their political program to make government solutions viable. The President of the Republic should make it clear from the outset that, in the next political cycle, he will value political arrangements that favor stability, but also responsibility, not allowing for political capacities to be applied in a Manichean way to a government party , remaining, however, only in Parliament, without assuming the burden – and the wear and tear – of governance.
In recent years, but significantly since 2015, our party system has experienced a deep fragmentation and obsession with identity. This is due, in part, to the incentives created by the Geringonça experience; in part, also, due to the excessive use of social networks as privileged (and almost unique) platforms for political discussion. The traditional, inward-looking party system further accentuated the representation crisis which progressively devastated the parties born of the Revolution, in a slow agony that will lead to the progressive death of those who will not be able to adapt to today’s society and its challenges. The way in which the parties are incapable of dealing with a world where digital communication reigns, exhibiting their fratricidal struggles, knife and bowl, with total shamelessness, where today’s dissonances are made in the absolute and irremediable of the loyalties marked the day before, justifying itself to citizens as if they understood and followed as incidences and the details of their internal wars, it irremediably destroys the legitimacy and prestige of politicians. And if the spectacle on the right was going bad, in recent weeks, with the eclipse of Geringonça, it was left to enter into a game of reciprocal recrimination that added disbelief and distrust, also, among its less regimented electorate.
The caricatural way in which parties in Portugal (but not only) get lost in identity disputes, wielding moribund and even dead ideologies is, moreover, a profound waste of time. In a period in which the world has been subject to the disruptions caused by the fourth industrial revolution, generating formulas of knowledge and value that are drastically changing as rules and living in society, more than parties of the right or left, nestled in the lazy recycling of the great defunct flags of the 60s and 70s, looking in the past for an illusion of modernity, urge to find answers to the challenges of the times, and accelerate the signing of a new social contract.
Hence, it is not difficult to anticipate that, in the (not very auspicious) political future of Portugal, there will be no room for parties such as the CDS, the Livre, or the PCP, which, for different reasons, will die quickly, in this case. of the first two, and in slow agony in the case of the Communists.
The CDS in the last two years has given up trying to exercise any representational function, having squandered all its capital and social partners. Even those who, like me, continue to feel empathy for the party and proximity to what it has represented, only out of delusion will they vote for a political group with no life path, no intellectual, technical, professional, social density or capacity for mobilization , something fatal for a political force that has historically presented itself as a “party of cadres”. If it is true that Assunção Cristas failed in its attempt to assert a project that sought to represent a cosmopolitan and plural right wing, supported by a qualified team, at least its defeat was worthy, because its ambition was valid. The end of Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos, on the other hand, and of the few who still follow him, will be tragic and unglamorous, as the party is lost in its tasks of settling accounts and public exposure of its disinterest, which provoke a feeling of shame in others. and those who for years saw their political home in the CDS disband.
The Livre, while stillborn, had in the election of Joacine Katar Moreira a breath of life that for a moment made us forget the one-person nature of a party condemned at birth by the karma of its main and founding face. The PCP, on the other hand, unable to renew a proposed policy based on a dead ideology, will continue to define it, as its aging and faithful electorate abandons it, leaving its children in the hands of the parties that, on the left , present themselves as the next ones for today.
Enough, Liberal Initiative and PAN are the policies that emerge with more social support, but not without risks. Chega, as a protest party, lives in strict dependence on André Ventura’s charisma, and on a communication strategy that mixes projections of the Apocalypse with fake news. The Liberal Initiative currently occupies the space of the cosmopolitan right, which was abandoned, in part by the CDS, in part by the PSD, with room for growth among a young population (or who feel young) that does not see itself in Chega or in conservative thinking . The PAN, on the other hand, is the party that, in line with the emerging causes of animalism and environmental protection, and another of the “left-right” quarrels, has the most potential to position itself as the balance sheet of a political system fragmented. Enough, IL and PAN – perhaps not yet in January, but in the near future – will suffer from the appeal of the useful vote, which is inherent in our party system. Of the three, only the PAN is available anchored in what are the emerging values of future generations. Chega was born old, and old will remain, because its roots are nostalgic and appeals to a time to which we will not return; it still has an electoral market in a deeply impoverished and aging country. IL, on the other hand, lives self-convinced of its vanguard, while limiting itself to proposing to a country exposed to the disruptions of a digital world renewed solutions of liberal policies designed for an economy in the style of Bretton Woods and for the ideological debate in times of war Cold , not inform you until the data anything independent innovative.
The future – not very auspicious – of Portugal exists, in the short term (still), in the hands of PS and PSD. I don’t deny that the autophagy I pointed out to the CDS has also been present for several years in the PSD. as I marked here, for several years in the PSD, the dominant factions, without any renewal, have alternated among themselves in the leadership, destroying social capital and society, limiting their field of affirmation and opening space for the emergence of Chega and of the Liberal Initiative itself. We’ll see if the bases choose to keep a Rui Rio increasingly huddled, or make a 360º rotation, we present the chameleon Rangel, collection 2021-2022, which is presented, for this time, in a version ready-to-wear, neutral and wearable shades, sufficiently naive to convince everyone in the party who can no longer look at Rui Rio. Rangel, the predictable winner, will have two months to demonstrate to voters that he is the providential leader the country needs, not just what was available to oust Rio. Difficult, but not impossible, challenge, if you know how to unite – as seems to be happening – the different factions, including those that contribute value in the opponent’s ranks (the most obvious case being that of Joaquim Sarmento and his team, but not only). António Costa, on the other hand, will have another opportunity in January to demonstrate that, as a paradoxical leader, he is capable of reinventing himself in terms of companies. After having been the champion of the union of the lefts, Costa will try to project itself now as the repository of stability, trying to address the PCP and the Left Block as responsibilities for the failure of Geringonça. Time will tell us whether, in the space between a PSD subject to a elevation soft and an extreme left that appears noisy, Costa is defeated or emerges once again as a guarantee of governability. The future of the Left Block depends, and a lot, on what for the PS result.
Coming out of the most complex crisis in recent decades, caused by the pandemic, which coincides with a period of profound technological and social disruption – in which we witness a profound change in habits, work, values and priorities of citizens -, we cannot afford (once again) the luxury of wasting our available resources to do our best. More than ever, we need coherent governance that allows, in the long term, to reduce taxes, increase public investment, reduce primary public expenditure, and modernize the country, based on coherent public policies. About this, I will work on the next chronicles, presented here in a succinct way, about what they consider to be essential for the future of the country.