The Moción de Censura – the peculiar vote of no confidence brought by Vox – was debated and voted down (to no one’s surprise) this week. Vox had brought it (their second) with the presumed hope of being able to criticise the Government at great length, as the rules insist. For the other leading parties, the tactic brought consequences. The PP (the future senior partner in a right-wing PP/Vox government) would be abstaining and suck their teeth looking faintly embarrassed, while hoping that some of the less star-struck Voxxers would perhaps consider returning to the PP fold. Due to parliamentary rules, Feijóo couldn’t speak for the PP (he isn’t a deputy), so the task fell to their acerbic (or ‘forthright’, depending on one’s point of view) spokesperson Cuca Gamarra.
The PSOE appears pleased, as it showed up the silliness of the Vox proposal – to say nothing of its candidate for president (a man practically in his nineties). Pedro Sánchez also felt that the debate would underline the two different approaches to politics in Spain, link the PP to Vox, as well as unifying the governing coalition in a common cause.
Yolanda Díaz (who will be announcing her candidacy with Sumar for the December general elections on April 2), defended the government from the Podemos/IU benches.
The show began on Tuesday with Santiago Abascal, with his usual exaggerations and fibs.
A very tired looking Tamames, for his part, neither offered a program during his lengthy opening remarks (beyond a proposal to call for fresh elections) nor answered any of the many criticisms brought against him by the other speakers.
Guy Hedgecoe, writing in The Irish Times on Sunday, described the whole sorry tale as a ‘…motion, engineered by the far-right Vox party, likely to end up being just a bizarre footnote in Spanish history...’. Indeed, even some of the Vox deputies appear embarrassed.
Last Thursday, elDiario.es had obtained a copy of the thirty-one page opening speech from Ramón Tamames (he’d sent it out to some of his friends) which they promptly printed in full. He had already admitted in an interview earlier this month with El País that he didn’t agree with some of the Vox doctrine. While Vox has described Sánchez as a criminal and a sociopath (sic), Tamames admitted last week that he holds the prime minister in quite high esteem.
The reaction from the far-right was the usual: it’s not a scoop, they said, but a leak made on purpose by the eccentric Tamames, who used to be (back in the 1950s) a member of the then-illegal Partido Comunista de España. He passed it to elDiario.es – a ‘communist, podemite, far-left daily’ – simply to further to vex Vox says Federico Jiménez Losantos, a long-time broadcaster along the line of Glenn Beck. The larger question was raised – had Santiago Abascal made a terrible miscalculation by choosing Tamames as his Champion?
We all hoped so.
The debate lasted through Tuesday and into Wednesday, including some good speeches from Gabriel Rufían (ERC) and Aitor Esteban (PNV) before the final vote.
A few bon mots to take away:
Sánchez to Abascal: “Pase lo que pase, el dictador nunca volverá a su mausoleo”
Sánchez to Tamames: “No creo que esta haya sido la mejor idea que ha tenido en su vida”
Yolanda Díaz to Abascal: “Solo se han dirigido a las mujeres para reprocharnos la baja fecundidad”
Patxi López on the program of the PP: “Está tan clara, que está en blanca”