The political “suspense”

As seen in the surveys, the country does not believe that the OE is not approved in general for what remains of the contraption. It would be irresponsible.

1. The negotiations on the left to make the State Budget for 2021 feasible seem to test António Costa's negotiating capacity with the parties of the almost defunct contraption.

The geometry of the votes is known: having 108 deputies, the PS has to guarantee the support of, at least, eight more votes or the abstention of 15 for the document to follow the path and pass to the discussion in the specialty. This means that the Government needs one of two things: either abstaining from BE (19 deputies) or jointly abstaining from PCP (10) with its PEV satellite (2) plus PAN (4). With the verification of at least one of these combinations, the PS Government will be safe from the votes against the PSD (79), CDS (5), Chega (1) and Liberal Initiative (1) already announced. The disorder called Joacine is already irrelevant even for these accounts.

2. As seen in the polls, the country does not believe that the document will not be approved. Personally, neither. Portugal living in twelfths, or heading towards a crisis that would generate early elections, would be, at this moment, in the middle of a second pandemic wave due to Covid-19, an exercise of supreme political irresponsibility on the part of the parties that since 2015 have been walking less together. Even so, it is possible to see, from the statements that follow the rounds of negotiations, that everything is always done with a tactical sense, thinking about the worst possible scenario. In the minds of those negotiating, the question is always present: which party would win or lose more (in voting intentions) if PS and the extreme left were not able to find a common denominator for yet another moment of evident sacrifice?

And, don't forget, within the extreme left, there is still a more specific calculation between PCP and BE on the consequences of voting against, in favor or abstention, and the relationship between the different options.

3. Rui Rio, this time, who knows if not against his own will, was unable to help the Government. The PSD was outright removed from the solution by António Costa when he said, in an interview: “on the day that his livelihood depends on the PSD, this Government is over”. Morais Sarmento, Social Democratic Vice President, remembered these words not long ago. And it was thus, by external action, that the party finally found the way of the minimum opposition services. He is going to vote against and Rui Rio explained it in 45 minutes, much to the chagrin of the President of the Republic.

We will never know, therefore, if the president of the PSD, had he been asked for a specific understanding, he would not have been tempted to end what remains of the contraption in the middle of the legislature that still, despite everything, prolongs it.

4. The results of the elections in the Azores will be interpreted, already on Sunday, in light of all these movements and the PS, with a new absolute majority on the verge of revalidation, will certainly not fail to focus the regional results on their national needs. I remind you that the OE will be voted on generally on the following Wednesday, the 28th (the final global vote is scheduled for 27 November).

The Azores, however, will not test anything important about OE. It would be too much to expect that the region, successively domesticated by the local budget, tailored to the extension of power, would react to this national stimulus.

If anything deserves attention in Sunday's elections, in addition to the PSD's inability to discuss the region's government again, it is to evaluate the results of the remaining parties, the emerging and the decadent. It's the only curiosity I have.

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