Why PPCAT Does Not Run For The Spanish Elections With Podemos
Since last year’s local elections in Catalonia, when Ada Colau was elected as Mayor in Barcelona, the relations between the left wing party of “Podemos” and the Pirate Party in Catalonia, have remained tense. This comes as a conclusion from the joint interview that three Spanish Pirates gave to Pirate Times: Josep Jover, speaking on behalf of PPCAT with Podemos, Pau Taxonera, from PPCAT with regional parties in Catalonia and Lorena Müller, chairwoman of Confederación Pirata, who explained why they are not going to run for the elections with “Unidos Podemos”.
An article published in Spanish media mentioned an electoral alliance between Podemos and PPCAT, for the general elections on 26th of June. The article on “El Periodico” said that “PPCAT is in the same boat with ‘Podemos En Comu'” and that “67,2% of the Pirates approved the coalition” however, this process ultimately failed. Pirate Times reached out to Catalonian pirates to find out more. PPCAT decided to start negotiating with ‘En Comú Podem’ (which is a regional candidature in Catalonia, where Podemos participates).
“We tried, but in the end, Ada Colau’s party, not ‘Podemos’ nor ‘UP’ [a left wing coalition], but Barcelona’s ‘En Comú’, blocked our inclusion. So, we’re on a clean conscience we did everything we could, although we’re sad this was the outcome”.
However, as the pirates told to PT this is not the first time problems arise:
“We had several issues with them during the council elections in L’ Hospitalet, a city close to Barcelona. Colau’s husband imposed the L’Hospitalet coalition that in order to use “En Comú” name, they had to add in the list one of their guys in the 3rd position. Obviously, the coallition refused, as we had an open election to be on the list. Also, PPCAT is part of “Capgirem Barcelona” (facing ‘En Comú’) in Barcelona city. Due to this, seems that “Barcelona en Comú” does not like PPCAT much and are trying to make us disappear.”
Pirate Times: Whose was the initiative for the meeting between Podemos and PP-CAT?
Josep Jover, Pau Taxonera, Lorena Muller: We had to take initiative. We sent them some emails and phone calls. It’s important to us to show show you that “Podemos” is not what everybody thinks it is. “Podemos” party has a strong vertical structure. So, the “dome” is the one that really decides everything. Lots of people inside “Podemos” believe that every small-party should be part of “Podemos”. What they did it in the past with “Anticapitalist Party”, are trying to repeat now with “Left United” or “eQuo”, our partners in the European Parliament. But Catalonia is not Spain, so things there are different. “Podemos”, “Podem” in catalonian, is a small party there, they don’t have representative there besides being associated with “En Comú” (“In Common”). They are not the main actor there either, they are just another party at the same level as “ICV” or “EUIA”. Colau stands out because she or her husband are the ones pulling the strings in the party. We had several issues with them last year during the council elections in L’Hospitalet, a city close to Barcelona. “En Comú” took ownership over the coalition in Catalonia, and they are blocking us in any possible form. So, when all parties take for granted the inclusion of pirates in coalition, they blocked us. You can think that due this we are dissafected. But they are partners with PSC, “Socialist Party of Catalonia”, a neoliberal, corrupt and not Human Rights friendly: an important actor of Spanish crisis. So, in the end, we don’t really want to be part of that. So, there’s more than what we can see on TV, news for internet. There’s a dark part of “Podemos”, “En Comú” basically, that don’t want to tag along with us. However, there are stable relationship to collaborate in the future.
Pirate Times: How many exploratory meetings were there and what was discussed at those meetings?
Josep, Pau, Lorena: It depends on the place. There were some contacts by country level, and many other as regional ones.These were first contact meetings. We didn’t talk about positions nor responsabilities, we just showed clearly our interest in participating and helping in what we do best: manifesto and technological competency to ensure transparency and democracy.
Pirate Times: What did pirates expect from the cooperation with Podemos?
Josep, Pau, Lorena: Democratic audit
Pirate Times: Could it be possible for the pirates to elect a MP, if they co-operated with Podemos?
Pau, Lorena: No, we already offered some possibilities. There are very well formed pirates. Josep Jover for example, is a lawer that won in Europe to SGAE (authors association) about the canon the government paid to them every time a CD or DVD was bought, whatever the use or the buyer. This week the European Trial knock down it definitely.
Pirate Times: What did Pirates ask from Podemos?
Josep, Pau, Lorena: Our core is basically Human Rights and horizontal decisions. Of course, we wanted to look closely at everything related to copyrights, patents, data protection, direct democracy, referendums and popular legislative initiatives, etc
Pirate Times: What did Podemos ask from pirates?
Josep, Pau, Lorena: Support, silence, not attending to the elections. Although we already had decided not to attend.
Pirate Times: Finally, was there an agreement between Podemos and PPCAT or not?
Josep, Pau, Lorena: No, Spanish pirates and left-wing coalition didn’t reach any agreement. Although all big parties in the coalition thought of it as a reality, in the end we we’re blocked by one of the parts. That said, we have stable relations with most of them and plans on collaborations for the future. We had some approaches but without any result.
Pirate Times: What do you think will happen in the elections?
Josep, Pau, Lorena: Some pirates think that “Unidos Podemos”, coalition between “Podemos”, “Izquierda Unida”, “eQuo” and “Por Un Mundo Más Justo”, will win. But Spain is a nostalgic country… So right-wing parties identify themselves as socialists or central-wing. And many old people are scared about left-wing. In addition, those right-wing parties are all the time talking about Venezuela, as a dictatorship in a poor country – the pot calling the kettle black, not about Spain.
Pirate Times: What are your predictions? Who’s going to win the elections?
Josep, Pau, Lorena: We don’t know. We think the results are going to be the same as last December. A third election? Maybe. But it’s also possible to have a new ideological government too. There is not pulls these days. “People’s Party” feel not confortable right now and that’s good for people. We also know that there are three right-wing parties: “Socialists”, “People’s Party” and “Ciudadanos”, a ultra-neoliberal and filo-fascist party for posh people.
Pirate Times: How would you describe the political situation in Spain?
Josep, Pau, Lorena: High unemployment rate, endemic corruption, political and royal level. These last four years Mariano Rajoy and his party, “People’s Party”, destroyed many basic human rights laws. We have some gag laws that empower police. Many anarchists or/and activists are in jail. Abuse of authority every day around the country. The government has changed a bad educational law with a worse one. He gave catholic religion more power in Education, Medical assistance, etc. We support an expensive, unnecessary and against human rights monarchy, who spend their time and our money killing animals in Africa, invert money laundering in Panama, is involved in scams and of course, was imposed 40 years ago by Franco, a dictator – not from Venezuela. The dwelling situation is serious, many people lost their house, their jobs, everything. Government is doing nothing for them, too busy saving their friends. Hopefully people is getting organized and working together to occupy empty flats, etc.
Pirate Times: Do pirates have a proposal or proposals for Spain to get out of the crisis?
Josep, Pau, Lorena: The good thing about all this chaos is that it’s a good opportunity for a “Tabula Rasa” and to start over. We lost the last four years, we need to repeal repressive laws, educational law, labor law, copyright law, etc, etc, etc… We believe that in a new democracy based on people, the people is who should decide. So, in our election proposal we always include referenda and a continuous bidirectional communication channel between people and those in the Congress or administration.
Pirate Times wish to thank Josep, Pau and Lorena for clarifying the situation in Spain. We wish you the best of luck.
PPCAT was founded in 2010. The party didn’t run for the general elections on December 2015 and will not run in the coming elections on June, 26. In the local elections in 2015 PPCAT elected 3 pirate Councilors (in total by many coalitions) in cities in the state of Catalunya.
Confederación Pirata was born in 2014. Most of the Spanish Pirate parties are members of it. Confederación Pirata participated in the European 2014 elections.
About Stathis Leivaditis
The English “pirate” is derived from the Greek word “πειρατής” (peiratēs) and this in turn from the verb “πειράομαι” (peiráomai), “I attempt”, which is a derivative of the noun “πείρα” (peîra), “experience”. Coming from the depths of the centuries, the word “pirate” took on another dimension in our days. The ruling classes saw pirates as rebels and hated them. Rebels without a state, they were not submissive to any law, except from the laws they instituted themselves, improvising together. This is the feeling of a Pirate: when something doesn’t work, you have to attempt to bring a new concept. Sometimes it goes beyond a certain point and perhaps exceeds certain limits, because it is an expression of challenge; the challenge to change the system. I’m a member of the Board (and former chairman) of Pirate Party of Greece, also a member of press team of PPGR, former journalist, now a free lancer. I'm in the team of Pirate Times from the start, I joined voluntarily and consciously because I am interested to meet pirates from around the world, to exchange views and spread the pirate spirit.