Why do the Spaniards have to keep on voting?

After several months of fruitless attempts to form a new government Spain is facing its fourth elections in four years. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the socialist party PSOE was unable to reach an agreement with either the left-wing Podemos or the centre-right Ciudadanos. Commentators are dismayed by the deadlock and make suggestions as to how it can be overcome.

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Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

It's always all or nothing in Spain

The prevailing understanding of politics is another factor behind the failure of the formation of a government in Spain, writes the Süddeutsche Zeitung:

“Each of the party leaders is behaving as if he alone had the recipe to guarantee prosperity and stability for society. This is why there has never been a coalition at the national level. Even Sánchez, who seems so progressive and European, stands for this power-conscious type of Spanish politician, driven by the idea that he must first and foremost keep the other parties at bay rather than seeing them as potential partners in solving problems. ... And with [Podemos leader Pablo] Iglesias a dogmatic trait which has lost him a lot of popularity is also increasingly apparent.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

The days of the majority are over

La Vanguardia can only look on aghast:

“Pedro Sánchez announced that the new elections were the result of his opponents' irresponsibility and asked the citizens for a clearer majority so that he doesn't have to depend on them. But we are living in times that run counter to absolute majorities, so in two months' time we could once again be back to square one in this diabolical game. ... PSOE's biggest concern is that voters could stay at home to punish the left for being incapable of putting together a joint programme. ... In the coming days we will witness a battle of narratives in which each party blames the others. This is a good time to start learning yoga.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Constitutional reform to break the impasse

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung explains its concept for overcoming the political deadlock in Spain:

“The political blockade might not pose a problem for members of parliament, but it does great harm to the country. No new laws have been passed since spring, for example. Investments and reforms have been put off indefinitely. The regional governments are struggling with financial problems. And yet it wouldn't be so difficult to overcome the political paralysis: all it would take is a reform of the Spanish constitution, whose Article 99 foresees excessively long periods for the government-building process. Spain can no longer afford such a luxury.”

eldiario.es (ES) /

As unstable as the lives of the citizens

The political situation in Spain reflects the general state of the country, eldiario.es postulates:

“Do we have the politicians we deserve? Have we citizens done anything to improve the situation, apart from constantly voting and tweeting? ... The political crisis in Spain is not the crisis of this or that party, but goes much deeper, and it can't be solved with new elections and new parties. After an economic and social crisis that brought so much destruction, inequality and insecurity, it's not surprising that this country has become as ungovernable and unstable as the lives of many citizens.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

Primitive and unpatriotic times

La Vanguardia is also close to despair:

“According to a recent study 82 percent of Spaniards believe politicians only look out for their own interests and forget those of the citizens. Interestingly, the study also indicated that it is not the democratic institutions that are being called into question, but the political elite. ... We are living in unsophisticated, unpatriotic times - an era of short-sightedness. And now we're heading for new elections. ... What happens if the result of April 28 barely changes, as the polls predict? Then we'll return to a deadlock, to shabby politics, to failure as a country. This is the hour of the irresponsible.”