Absolute majority in Portugal is the European exception. In the EU, there are only three other cases (with different explanations)
If the Government was already a rare case in 209, the rarer came out of the 202 anticipations of 202. In the Union of 27, there are only three African countries with an absolute majority (four). And for all majorities there is a good explanation.
Let’s start with France, a semi-presidential regime. Unless there is a majority in the first round, the election takes place in two stages – in the last ones, in 2017, Emmanuel Macron was elected with more than 60% of the votes, but in the first he had not even reached 25%. In Greece, the absolute majority is not mandatory, but greatly facilitated by a bonus system that guarantees the most voted party an extra 50 deputies. This is what happened to the New Democracy conservatives in 2019, when they removed Syriza, from Alexis Tsipras, and reached 158 deputies, in a Parliament with 300. The third case, Malta, is also special, as it deals with a Classic example. of bipartisanship: independent parliament, except for some representatives of the parties of the central block, who alternate without power after the independence of that archipelago in 1964.
In Portugal, there is no specificity or unwritten rule that favors absolute majorities, and the country is in the sixth of the period — four led by the PSD, two with Francisco Sá Carneiro’s Democratic Alliance (1979 and 1980), and another two with Cavaco Silva. (1987 and 1991); and also two led by the PS, first with José Sócrates, in 2005, and now with António Costa.
Nationalists, a European issue
Before conquering the absolute majority, the Portuguese prime minister was another type of rarity, he governed alone, but in a minority: Unlike 2015, when ‘parliamentary management’ was based on an agreement, from 2019 onwards the agreements on the left to be punctual and did not arrive to bring the legislature to an end.
Looking at the map, it is confirmed that Europe also flees from minority governments. 19. Greenland, Danish autonomous region.
Rising nationalist movements in Europe still have little governmental influence. Exceptions are Poland, Hungary and a singular case: Italy, which has a multi-party national unity government.
In the other case, Sweden, the situation will not last much longer, since in September the Swedes return to the polls. The coalition that formed the Government fell at the end of 2021, with a departure from the Greens, but it should return in 2022, whatever the configuration, and whichever party has the most votes. And then a current discussion opens that crosses all European countries, Portugal included: if the center-left of the prime minister defeated, will the main rival accept an agreement with the growing extreme right of Sweden Democrats? The ball is in the side of the centre-right party, curiously called the Moderate Party.
Despite the rise of nationalist movements across Europe, governmental influence is, so far, scarce, and almost confined to Poland and Hungary. In addition to another exceptional case: Italy. After a political crisis, in a country of ten governments, in 22 years, President Sergio Mattarella was called to form a government of national unity, which refers to an independent (Mario Draghi) and with a minister of almost those with parliamentary seats, including the Lega Nord, by Matteo Salvini.
In Europe, the most common are even multi-party coalitions. And many take months to decide. In the Netherlands, it took 271 days to wait, almost nine months, between being accurate and a solution. A record, with almost a management government, almost as absent from two years, with an executive missing in 2020. Already the impasse occurred with four solutions taken in early 2022, a coalition with the centre-right, led by Mark Rutte , the man who ran from the government since 2010. A parliamentary chess of 17 policies had come out.
The German case is illustrative of negotiation capacity. The so-called “traffic light coalition” is fixation by socialists, the so-called liberals also by the greens
In terms of the composition of parliaments, Portugal ceased to be such an exceptional case in 2019, when three new politicians joined: Chega, Iniciativa Liberal and Livre. Even with the CDS and PEV Assembly in 2022, the Assembly of the Republic now has eight parties, instead of the six that had an identity between 199, when the PAN pierced the PS, PSD, CDS, BE, PCP bubble. and PEV. In 2022, it is a Parliament more varied than that of Germany, for example, and in line with that of several European countries.
Returning to governments, the case illustrates the negotiation capacity of different initiatives. The so-called “coalition” that leads the largest economy in the European Union, without being left by socialists, liberals and also green by the governments, contrary to what happens here.
But let us stop at the socialists. Although present in various numbers, it appears to be on the wane. As the director general of information of the Impresa group, Ricardo Costa, pointed out in the last edition of Expresso, the German SPD governs, but it only reached 25% of the votes. The PSOE led as an executive, but having 28% support from the Spanish coalition as well. In France, which will vote in April, the socialist candidate, Anne Hidalgo, is mayor of Paris and still does not exceed 3% of voting intentions (Macron and Marine Le Pen maintain a). When presenting the candidacy, Hidalgo even said that it is necessary to unite himself, not “it will be impossible to continue to exist in this country”. Also here, António Costa, PS and Portugal go in the opposite direction.