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“Turning over a new leaf”
The discussion about who should govern has been going on since 4 October. We have heard almost everything on the matter, from the most tired arguments on tradition to desperate repetitions about who won the election, with statements saying that some parties are excluded from governing.
We have heard almost everything to justify the right’s state of denial following the election results that took away their majority, having lost more than 700,000 votes despite running as a coalition.
Yesterday, the Portuguese parliament passed a motion to reject the PSD/CDS government that Cavaco Silva appointed. He did so in full compliance with his responsibilities, as written in black and white in the Constitution. And each and every MP voted for him and herself, exactly as they should exercise their mandates.
But for the right, none of this should have happened. The PS, BE, PCP and Greens have a parliamentary majority but they dared to go against “tradition” and said that they were in a position to form a new government committed to breaking the cycle of impoverishment that has affected the Portuguese people.
It would be fine if the situation was reversed: a minority PSD/CDS government ruling with support from the PS. That would be fine: it would be stable because nothing would change, as we can see in the programme they presented.
They dramatised the situation, took more extreme positions, and the parliamentary leaders of the PSD and CDS even took to the streets to support a demonstration, which found itself in a minority compared to the demonstration organised by the CGTP (General Confederation of Portuguese Workers). Luís Montenegro ended his speech by saying “we are going to have a government formed of a few MPs while the government that the people have chosen has been ousted”.
His conclusion summarised the PSD’s thoughts better than anyone: the majority of MPs are “a few MPs” and the government of the people is one that doesn’t have a majority. What can I say? He's a PSD MP...
Another one of the right’s arguments is based on the current differences between the BE, PS and PCP and the points on which they have not reached an agreement. This is all topped off by “underlying issues” such as the secrecy of the negotiations, the agreements not being signed in public, the three separate agreements, etc.
Is an agreement that doesn’t deny the existence of differences, that assumes objectives, that respects the identity of each party not credible?
It is precisely because it acknowledges all this transparently and because those proposing it are absolutely clear on their objectives that this agreement is credible and gives us the confidence to be a driving force for change in politics and people's lives.
Article published on mediotejo.net on 11 November 2015