Coalitions: why are they positive for political power?

I will make an effort to develop the tension between horizontal coalitions versus coalitions vertical, I will call them that from now on for ease of reading. To do this, let’s see why coalitions occur; what is positive for political power and appropriate are its consequences.

Let’s be clear about something: it is not necessary to form a coalition to govern, but it is easier to come to power with one. This is so for different reasons, but let’s stay with one that is basically support, both electoral and to govern.

The traditional parties – the Justicialista Party and the Radical Civic Union – suffered a great deterioration at the electoral level since 2001.

Government coalitions: is it the end of Kirchnerism?

If one analyzes each province in detail, one will see that there are districts where there are important local parties that can call themselves Radical or Peronist but with a very particular logic, no longer with party discipline. That idea of ​​bipartisanship was pulverized.

Due to changes in the electoral system and the political instability of 2001, fragmentation in the electoral competition increased. Before, the weight of these two majority parties was evident, now we can see that there are dissident voices. It does not mean that there were not before, but they were within the party and going outside was synonymous with betrayal. A radical or a Peronist, no matter how much they disagreed with the predominant voice of his party, would never have thought of competing electorally outside of it or against it.

Coalitions: are they positive for political power?

Coalitions -in Argentina- are the product of political fragmentation, the result of instability, and were somehow institutionalized by changes in the electoral system. This is not a minor fact, because I am saying that if the instability did not produce fragmentation and the electoral changes did not take place, the coalitions today would not exist.

In consequence of the above, the coalitions were born in a moment of crisis, and like any crisis brings with it a process of maturation and this is where we see the tension between “types” of coalitions, types that are nothing more than ideals. This classification of coalitions are what he called horizontally and vertically.

Before continuing, I want to dwell on why they are positive for political power. As a professor has told me: no politician touches the electoral system for the love of art, but rather to ensure its power. If he affirms that the coalition was born from instability, clearly the intention was so that “they all leave” does not materialize.

national parties, coalitions and electoral conglomerates

The coalition gives rise to a politician (or group) still lost having power to continue to exist. Let’s look very briefly at two examples: Sergio Massa and Elisa Carrio.

If the possibility of minority parties entering the electoral competition had not existed, both Massa and Carrió would have had two options: call to silence or retire from politics. Neither of them did, they put together their own competitive party: the Renovation Front and the civic coalition. Both are part of coalitions. Remarco: competitive parties, somewhat compensated in the pseudo-bipartisan logic.

Well then, coalitions bring consequences, but it is too early to come up with a perfect enumeration. Let’s limit ourselves to thinking that coalitions are the result of political fragmentation, therefore, they will put Argentine hyper-presidentialism in check. But this is not linear, because as I argued in the previous article, the paradigm that prevails will be the one that reigns.

The irrationality of Peronism and anti-Peronism

Vertical coalitions tend to be more hyper-presidential than horizontal ones. However, it is difficult to conceive the idea that in horizontal coalitions answers to problems as deep as our country has.

A second hypothesis, which I support, is that due to the high fragmentation coalitions will tend to consolidate as a mechanism, which is not to say that the coalitions are always the same. Furthermore, I am convinced that in the future we will see coalitions that we would never have imagined beforein fact we can observe alliances between “liberals” and “nationalists”.

Extreme polarized pluralism: is the discourse of the political leadership changing?

Finally, I want to touch on this idea because it gives me a certain fear: I have a feeling that this system does develop due to instability, the system will be more expensive than it is, and in both political and economic terms, among others. When something becomes excessively expensive, it tends to explode, and as we have seen: only those at the top are saved from the explosion.

Just to clarify, the above development deals with the emergence of coalitions exclusively in Argentina. In other countries and government systems, they occurred for different reasons, such as new sectors of society with political rights and new demands, among others.

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