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Italian-style political instability comes to Spain

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13.03.2019

Since the inception of Spanish democracy in 1975, political stability has probably been its greatest virtue. This legacy of stability came to an end in June 2018, when Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the People's Party (PP) was dismissed before the end of his term.

Never in the brief history of Spanish democracy had a government been dismissed as a result of a censure motion. The turmoil continued when the socialist government of Pedro Sanchez, who replaced Rajoy, quickly became the shortest-lived government since the Spanish transition to democracy, as Sanchez has been forced to call elections only nine months after he assumed power. This turbulence reflects not the mere decline of historically consolidated political parties, but rather a structural reorganisation of Spanish politics.

This reorganisation is accompanied by a higher degree of conflict among political parties. The increased risk of early elections forces the governing parties to maintain the constant loyalty of the electorate in order to remain in power, resulting in the adoption of short-term, potentially irresponsible, and propagandistic policies.

In Italy, where instability has been a political constant for decades, the term "poll-ocracy" ("sondaggiocrazia" in Italian) has been coined to describe this phenomenon. Poll-ocracy is the result of political parties basing their policies solely on the........

© Al Jazeera