After several weeks of depetaling the daisy, the nonagenarian economist Ramón Tamames, who sat in Spain's constituent assembly in 1970s among the deputies of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE), has agreed to lead the motion of no confidence against Pedro Sánchez that Vox is to present to the congressional register this coming Monday. Forty-two years after giving up his role as an MP and sharing both a bench and an ideology at that time with Santiago Carrillo and Gregorio López Raimundo - previously he had been a political colleague of the poet Rafael Alberti, the trade unionist Marcelino Camacho and La Pasionaria, Dolores Ibárruri - he will return to the Carrera de San Jerónimo as a prime ministerial candidate for the ultra-right party and will sit next to Santiago Abascal, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros and Javier Ortega Smith.
In this motion-show, coming soon to the Congress of Deputies, no leader of a new government will be chosen, nor will any political alternative be formed. Although politics in Madrid has a strong circus flavour and, in the end, nobody is very surprised by things of this nature, the part being played by an illustrious economist like Tamames is still surprising. Especially, if we take into account that as a young man he had always pointed out that membership of the PCE had a lot to do with the fact that it was the party that was most against the dictator Francisco Franco. All this, to end up in 2023 as the poster image of those who are, if not the only, at least the leading heir to that black and white era. He does a very weak favour to his own biography while bolstering the idea that, for many, politics has an important element of vanity, this case being a good example.
Thus, Vox has its surprise candidate - no surprise today, but it was when it became known weeks ago that they were going after him - and although the motion is officially presented as against the Socialists (PSOE), the party that governs alongside Unidas Podemos, it will surely end up being also against the People's Party (PP), the only ally that the far-right has but also with whom it competes for a segment of the electorate. Feijóo will not be one of the people happiest with this move by Vox, unlike the Socialists, who will always be able to make some capital from a performance by the far right that is difficult to explain, even hypothetically, to its own parish. In fact, it will be Vox's second motion of censure against Pedro Sánchez, after the one the party presented in October 2020, at that time with Abascal as a candidate, and which obtained the least support of the five that have been presented to the Congress of Deputies.
It will be the first time that a political party has looked beyond the walls of Parliament for a candidate in a no confidence motion, something that, for example, could not be done in the Parliament of Catalonia, since the rules dictate that the president of the Generalitat must be chosen from among the elected MPs. In this way, would-be saviours of Catalonia from other spheres of public life and candidates negotiated in the back rooms are avoided, even though this Catalan situation was, in its origins, something as simple as an agreement between the PSC and Convergència during the preparation of the 1979 Statute of Autonomy to prevent president Josep Tarradellas from appearing there, since he did not want to go on any specific party list. Jordi Pujol and Joan Reventós did this thinking of themselves but only one could win the game in the elections of March 20th, 1980. The first would end up in the Palau de la Generalitat and the second, two years later, as an ambassador in Paris, although later, in 1995, he would be return to be speaker of Parliament.
Tamames, of the same generation as Pujol and Reventós - the former is three years his senior and the latter, who died in 2004, would have been seven years older - lends himself to the game being played by a party that will use him. In one of the few sensible sentences spoken by Feijóo in recent weeks, the PP president stated that he had said to Tamames, in a recent conversation: "If you were my father, I wouldn't let you do it."