The collateral damages of a bipartisanship tradition

1They say that the opposites attract and maybe that is the origin of political systems based on bipartisanship. Old traditions that are creating a negative impact in countries like U.S or Spain, curbing the opportunity to face crises with resilience. Indeed, in a bipartisanship system, political parties built their relations around old rivalries and vanity from their leaders; slowing down the procedures with empty debates avoiding consensus and joint action.

Ideologies loses the purity according to each political party and its leadership, shaping principles and values around political interests. Is it so that an in-depth ideological analysis exclusively under the light of two positions is simply: undemocratic. The concept of democracy is exactly the contrary and represents diversity. It ´s almost impossible to find two groups -or two leaders- that represents the interests of an entire society. Is it here that relies the cumbersome nature of a bipartisanship system.

In addition, and in many cases, voters do not vote for a leader but to traditions that gives them the safety of feeling “ownership”. Is a matter of identity especially in rural areas that do not have a culture of openness and diversity as in big cities. Reduce the complexity of current crises to only two parties seems too much simplistic and it don´t get on the road to get effective solutions.

Left or right wing are not the answer to current global challenges and the shape that it has taken in the last decade, exposure the lack of reliability of their leaders and political priorities. For instance, in Spain due to the devastating economic crisis and raised levels of corruption, either left wing – Socialist Party-or right-wing -Popular Party-has been displaced by the emerge of other movements like Podemos. That despite their populist message it meet the expectations of those people that do not feel identify with a rusty bipartisanship system unable to give effective solutions to high and worrying levels of public debt 93.9%, 22.7% of unemployment, a growing rate of migration from their population for employment reasons and a middle class that is seeing their income getting substantially lower. This is not populism –even if is it used by populists leaders- but a cruel reality that Spanish traditional parties are not able to face, getting stuck in their old rivalries without giving tangible solutions for the citizenship.

After a deadlock of one year Spanish citizenship´s message was clear: a bipartisanship system is not able to meet the expectations of the population and millions of voters do not feel identify with a political message closer to their needs. The fact that any party gets a majority means that the new Spanish government will be in a constant negotiation and screening from the Congress which is expected to be a cumbersome administration if there is not a solid political will for conciliation: changing a culture of bipartisanship confrontation and struggle for power. The polarisation of interests is not among right or left wing but of different nuances able to lead the country towards a new different political map. The fact that any party get majority means that the new Spanish government will be in a constant negotiation and screening from the Congress which is expected to be a cumbersome administration if there is not a solid political will for conciliation: l map of joint action and conciliation.

When we are facing big challenges like climate change, financial or institutional crisis is it not reasonable to think of a position based on a left or right wing. Competition among parties become useless and doesn’t help to move forward and get to ultimate goal: being resilient. Current crises have a global nature shaping a challenging dimension in which reducing the solution to only two political positions is not the answer.

U.S is the other paradigmatic example of how two parties are not enough to face a challenging world. Republicans and Democrats are not giving solutions to the real concerns of the population and populism control the stage in an unprecedented political show. Traditional ideologies of left and right wing are not able to give the answer for current global crises and polarise the debate between two positions. Even if political center positions try to full the emptiness of bipartisanship, it never gets to be that eclectic in political terms. Therefore and because political interests it loose their purity and have always a clear tendency towards a left or right wing. Considering the existence of a center political position is more a matter of political negotiation rather than ideologically. In addition, to be effective there is a strong needs to move towards supranational politics and leaders with a global vision and not the short-termism and confrontation that leads current political agenda.

Bipartisanship systems have entered into abeyance because of the scope of current global crises.In addition, a bipartisanship political framework polarise a society that with the pass of the time has become more diverse and complex.  A new political structure is urgently needed in which citizens could  vote for versatile leaders that meet their expectations with effectiveness. 

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