[Marxism] Fwd: Spain: Podemos on road to sweeping away two-party system | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Nov 29 13:55:00 MST 2014
I am sure that this was posted on Marxmail before but it is very,
very,very much worth rereading or reading for the first time, as I am
doing now. In fact, go to Links (http://links.org.au/taxonomy/term/845)
and read on Podemos there, especially anything that Dick Nichols wrote.
Podemos was initially formed by academics from the Complutense
University in Madrid in discussions with the Anticapitalist Left, the
far-left organisation in the Spanish state aligned with the Fourth
International. It grew rapidly through a campaign via social networks to
run in the European elections.
The key Podemos spokesperson is Pablo Iglesias, an academic from the
Complutense. He is a media figure, who started by presenting political
chat shows on obscure online or cable TV channels and then moving to
frequent appearances on national networks.
Since the European elections, in which it won 1.2 million votes and had
five Members of the European Parliament elected (including Iglesias),
and especially since its founding assembly and the latest cases of
corruption, Podemos has featured daily in mainstream news, current
affairs and printed media. Podemos spokespeople are called to appear or
comment by all local and national radio and TV networks.
Apart from the effective use of the mass media, Podemos employs
web-based technology to maximise democratic participation. Facebook has
been a key tool for building support and communicating with members. The
national Podemos Facebook page has 880,000 likes and all circles and
many key leaders have their own Facebook pages. Pablo Iglesias alone has
117,000 likes. This was especially evident in the organisation of the
The chief aim of the Citizens’ Assembly was to establish internal
organisational structures for Podemos. The organisation’s founding
process assembly began on September 15 with pre-draft discussions and
proposals conducted through an online platform. This was followed by a
presentation of draft documents on ethical principles, political
organisation and political strategy on September 28.
Nearly 100 teams presented more than 300 documents and 100 resolutions
to the assembly. This was followed by a negotiations process until final
drafts, totaling more than 2500 pages, were presented over October 18
The resolutions were voted on online. The five which won most votes were
then passed and spoken to at the Madrid assembly by the teams that
presented them. Each team had equal time to argue the case for their
proposals. The assembly was streamed live and all teams faced questions.
Voting on the documents was online and closed on October 26. Anyone who
registered online could vote. Around 130,000 registered before the
assembly and 20,000 more during it.
Recently Podemos launched a smartphone application that combines all the
applications and platforms used to participate in discussions and vote
on proposals, resolutions and candidates. Crowdfunding was used to pay
for the cost of the Citizen’s Assembly as well as by local circles to
raise money for particular projects.
The principal areas of agreement at the assembly were over the ethical
accountability of all publicly elected and internal positions, as well
as on salary limits and limits on the length of time anyone could hold a
As a result, salaries for all Podemos officials will be limited to the
average salary of a skilled worker. Podemos officials may only be
employed in politics for up to eight years, after which they are
expected to return to their previous employment with no special
privileges such as pensions. They also may not occupy a position on a
board of directors or work as consultants for 10 years after stepping down.
During their time in any political position, officials agree not to
receive special privileges such as official cars or claim expenses apart
from the minimum required to fulfill their responsibilities.
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