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A broad front with the working class

The overflow of expectations, political creativity and innovation are the necessary elements for a broad front initiative to take shape and develop in connection with the political and social actors of the alternative left

Editorial from Mundo Obrero 

The latest elections, both in Spain and abroad, have once again laid on the table the analysis and debate about what is currently at stake on the political chessboard. In Castilla y León, the novelty is not the victory of the conservative bloc, but the normalisation of the entry of Vox for the first time in an autonomous government, managing regional ministries, which represents a further turn of the screw in the advance of the extreme right in our country, which is not only measured in electoral support but fundamentally in its capacity to set the political agenda and determine the dispute in broader cultural terms. Faced with this, the citizens of Castilla y León did not consider that the alternative project presented by the left for the region was a political option to be massively supported.

France has already held its presidential elections and is on the way to the legislative elections. In the first, the newness was not that in the second round the conservative candidate was pitted against the extreme right, a situation that has unfortunately been repeated in the past, but that the option of La France Insoumise led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon came within a few tenths of a point of a second round. The profusion of left-wing candidacies that did not have a chance in the second round was one of the reasons that led to the union of socialists, ecologists, communists and insubmissives for the legislative elections around a “New Popular Ecological and Social Union” (only the Trotskyist forces were left out). This consolidates a left-wing option to raise the dispute around the torch of opposition to the government of the already worn-out Macron.

Finally, the calling in advance of the elections in Andalusia, which materialised after almost a year of rumours about this eventuality, is a kind of second round of the Castilla y León elections. Firstly, because the predictions of Vox’s electoral advance and the virtual disappearance of Ciudadanos are repeated, making a similar outcome in Andalusia more than possible: a coalition government of the Partido Popular and Vox in a territory where the transition from decades of PSOE government to right-wing hegemony has been worryingly calm. Secondly, because the left is facing a scenario of disintegration of forces after the unilateral break-up of the common space of Adelante Andalucía by the anti-capitalists. In this situation, the shared feeling is that the Andalusian left faces the dilemma of representing the end of a political cycle that began in 2014 and culminated with the entry into the co-government of Unidas Podemos, or the beginning of a new one in which the new broad front project led by Yolanda Díaz, Vice President and Minister of Labour, materialises. Along these lines, the “Por Andalusia” candidacy is born bringing together for the first time Izquierda Unida, Más País, Equo, Alianza Verde and Iniciativa del Pueblo Andaluz, algonside Podemos, in a single candidacy to the left of the PSOE, with the initiatives supported by the Trotskyists remaining once again, as is happening in France.

In all these experiences, the leitmotiv that moves strongly is the need to relaunch broad fronts that can accommodate the plural and heterogeneous reality that today defines the left. And it is a leitmotiv that is not unknown to the communist left which, precisely in our country, after a hundred years of history, has been the backbone of popular unity projects such as the Popular Front in the Second Republic, the united policy during the war, the proposals for anti-Francoist unity, the impulse of the Workers’ Commissions, the Junta Democrática, the creation of Convocatoria por Andalucía and, later, of Izquierda Unida.

These experiences show how the commitment to popular unity and the promotion of broad fronts is not a purely electoral initiative, but involves broader social movements. An example of this is the May Day event held in Madrid, bringing together Unai Sordo and Pepe Álvarez, general secretaries of the CC.OO. and U.G.T., Yolanda Díaz and Enrique Santiago, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain. The event symbolises the commitment to a broad front that can reflect the formation of a political and social bloc of the alternative left in our country. And it does so at a time when, as in the 1930s, when both the PCE and the Communist International promoted popular anti-fascist unity, unity is urgently needed to combat the advance of extreme right-wing positions.

If there is one thing that has to define a real and honest convergence policy, it is that it is known how it begins, but not how it ends. Overflowing expectations, political creativity and innovation are the necessary elements for a broad front initiative to take shape and develop in connection with the political and social actors of the alternative left. To ensure that this happens, what is essential is that democratic spaces of participation, coordination and accountability are put in place in which to plan the shared roadmap and to settle possible conflicts or contradictions that are common in any process of democratic deliberation.

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