By Robert A. Vella
Although largely unnoticed by the general population, sovereign nations around the world are having an increasingly difficult time governing in this most uncertain 21st century. Faced with an array of existential problems stemming from its inability to adapt to rapid technological changes and the resulting backlashes of ideological extremism, governments are being challenged on all fronts internally and externally. The intensity of populist political polarization has become so great that it is undermining the normal appeal of centrist policies upon which modern governments have been built since the end of World War II.
And while the world’s political leaders are acutely aware of the inherent dangers posed by this growing inability to govern, they are dumbfounded on how to correct it. Part of their difficulty, perhaps a large part, is due to the nature of centrism which is constrained by a narrow set of parameters consistent with maintaining the status quo. Centrists, in other words, do not think outside-the-box.
But when the status quo seems destined to fail, as it appears now, innovative thinking becomes a necessity. Such new ideas are being stubbornly resisted in Spain which has entered its third month without a formal government. Since the inconclusive parliamentary elections of December 20th, Spain has been unable to form a ruling coalition. The political factions are too numerous and too divergent. First, they tried under acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy because his conservative People’s Party had garnered the most votes. Yesterday, King Felipe assigned Socialist Workers’ Party leader Pedro Sanchez the task of forming a new government. However, Sanchez is opposed to working with the PP, reluctant to work with the anti-austerity party Podemos, and is refusing to accept Catalonia’s bid to secede from Spain. All these positions seem assured to prevent a ruling coalition. If the political deadlock continues, new national elections will have to called within a few months.
Further reading: Socialists to try to form government in Spain, but chances slim