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Que podemos? A potential party

Sunday 7 May 2017, by Héloïse Nez

The vitality of Podemos is an exception in Europe. Can the Spanish movement survive its institutionalization? Is its positioning above the right-left cleavage still relevant? To these questions, the militants of the young party offer sometimes contradictory answers.

In three years, Podemos has grown rapidly. The project of an anti-austerity political movement was launched on January 17, 2014 by a group of academics and activists who ran in the European elections a few months later. In a context of severe economic, social and political crisis, it was a question of "converting indignation into political change". The founders of Podemos thus sought to give an electoral translation to the Indignado movement that emerged in Spain from May 15, 2011 (the "15M"), bringing their demands for a "real democracy" and more social justice to the institutional agenda. In this way, they have contributed to the Spanish exception, which puts at the centre of the public debate the fight against inequalities and corruption, at a time when Europe is turning to the far right. Their proposal immediately met with a considerable echo: territorial or thematic assemblies called "circles" multiplied across the country, building on the dynamics of 15M. In the polls, Podemos created a surprise by winning almost 8 per cent of the votes in the European elections of May 25, 2014. A process of institutionalization then began to transform the movement into a political party and to endow it with statutes. Their writing was the subject of a considerable work of internal democracy, with the involvement of many activists in the elaboration of the charter of ethics and the political and organizational documents of the new formation. Various projects were defended during the first congress of Podemos, "Vistalegre I", in October 2014. The current formed around the charismatic leader Pablo Iglesias came out largely on top in the vote, with its project of an "electoral war machine" aimed at preparing rapidly for the municipal, regional and especially legislative elections of 2015. The electoral results were impressive: Podemos certainly failed the challenge of "taking over government" at the national level, but it made its entry into a number of institutions and it established itself as a third political force by winning more than 20 per cent of the votes in the legislative elections of December 20, 2015. This party now governs the country’s major cities in the framework of coalitions of popular unity and forms one of the main opposition forces in the Congress of Deputies and in the regional parliaments. As the electoral cycle closed, with the re-election of the conservative Mariano Rajoy to head the government in October 2016, thanks to the abstention of the Socialists, Podemos found itself confronted with new challenges. The contradictions that traverse this young party waiting for power were highlighted at its second national congress, which took place on 11- 12 February 2017 in Vistalegre ("Vistalegre II"). The media mainly concentrated on the "fratricidal struggle" between the numbers one and two, Pablo Iglesias (general secretary) and Íñigo Errejón (political secretary until 18 February), summarizing the event as a battle of egos [1]. Internal conflicts are indeed likely to weaken the young formation, which has not escaped a process of bureaucratization, creating distance between the grassroots activists and the elites and full-timers who compete for the distribution of positions of power [2]. This disjunction between the expectations and the interests of these different categories was very visible during the congress: the activists of the circles, present on the conference floor or speaking from the rostrum, constantly called their national leaders to order, chanting "Unidad "(unity) at each of their interventions. The struggle in which the three tendencies have engaged in recent months within Podemos (the supporters of Pablo Iglesias, those of Íñigo Errejón and the Anticapitalists) are not limited to a quarrel of persons. It focuses on the new road map that must be adopted by the party in a changed political context.

Four main issues were raised in Vistalegre II: the redefinition of a national political strategy, the test of power in the cities where Podemos governs with other political formations, the place of women within the organization and the democratization of the party. While the common goal remains to foster a process of social transformation by winning the next parliamentary elections, strategies differ on how to achieve this. Should the party privilege institutional work or invest more in taking to the streets to challenge the policies of the right? Does the enlargement of the electoral base of the party still mean going beyond the left/right cleavage or does it go through a stronger anchoring and alliances on the left? How far should the organization be democratized internally and what role should the leader play?

A discourse and alliances anchored on the left

The political divergences between the two founding nuclei of Podemos - the professors of political science of the Complutense University in Madrid and the activists of the Anticapitalist Left [3] - date from the founding congress of the party. The former had sought to exclude the latter from the leading bodies, forbidding dual membership within two distinct organizations, and they succeeded in imposing their political project. The aim was to set up an "electoral war machine" based on a centralized organization and a discourse that went beyond the labels of left and right. This quest for transversality by elaborating new lines of cleavage - between “ the caste" and "the people", "those above" and "those below" - was strongly defended by Íñigo Errejón. The director of the Podemos campaigns in 2014 and 2015 was thus inspired by the experiences of government in Latin America and the theories of post-Marxist authors such as Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe [4]. The Anticapitalists, then associated with the physicist Pablo Echenique, demanded more internal democracy and power for the circles, while recognizing the necessity of going beyond the usual discourse of the far left. From the legislative elections of December 20, 2015, new lines of fracture emerged within the leading group. They increased in the phase of negotiations to try and form a government: while Pablo Iglesias was strongly attacking the Socialist Party by denouncing, for example, the state terrorism of Felipe González’s government in the Basque Country, Íñigo Errejón was in favour of a less frontal approach. The general secretary of Podemos, who had mocked during the campaign the red flag of the United Left [5], which distanced it from any prospect of electoral victory, did not hesitate to reconnect with this symbolic heritage of the left in his first speeches in the Congress of Deputies. These abounded in historical references to the Civil War and Francoism, and were associated with symbolic gestures like the clenched fist raised in the hemicycle. Pablo Iglesias, who began his political activity at the age of fourteen in the Communist Youth, thus partly turned his back on the communication strategy put forward by his political secretary. He was also the architect of the alliance with the United Left for the parliamentary elections of June 26, 2016, against the advice of Íñigo Errejón, who still sought to present the image of a party above traditional divisions

The differences of opinion within the national leadership of Podemos were reinforced after these disappointing elections, due to the loss of a million votes compared to the previous poll (if we add up the scores of Podemos and the United Left). They are perceptible in the political documents defended by the Pablo Iglesias current, "Podemos para todas", and that of Íñigo Errejón, "Recuperar la ilusión". The differences concern discourse, political alliances and the balance between institutional and protest action in order to form a "popular movement" capable of winning the next elections. Converging here with the Anticapitalist project, Pablo Iglesias wants to develop a "popular historical bloc" with other "forces of change", including the United Left, and to support social struggles: "Podemos was born understanding that it was necessary to move from the street to the institutions, but knowing that there has never been a historical change for the majority without ordinary citizens driving it forward. (Political document of the "Podemos para todas" current)

The elected representatives are thus conceived of as "institutional activists" whose role cannot be limited to parliamentary work but implies "close collaboration with [the social movements]".

Íñigo Errejón’s document openly criticizes "these positions of resistance [...] partisans of an agenda of demands focused exclusively on the most impoverished sectors, an institutional agenda that avoids any commitment and any agreement, and an ideological line which considers that transversality has given all that it can and that we must dedicate our efforts to building a political force that brings together the whole left.” On the contrary, he argues for the maintenance of a transversal discourse in order to attract the sectors of the population that are still distant from voting for Podemos (women, people over 45, blue-collar workers and the rural world) [6]: “The unity of the people is more ambitious, radical and transformative than the unity of the left." His political project, put in a minority in Vistalegre II, relativizes the importance of demonstrations and gives priority to the constitution of a credible force of change in the institutions:

"We have to recover the initiative by demonstrating that we are able to put pressure on the government, reach agreements or put questions on the national agenda. (Political document of the "Recuperar la ilusiòn" team).

This articulation between street action and institutional work arises for any political formation that seeks to change things by taking power. It has been theorized by Joan Subirats, professor of political science and an active member of Barcelona en Comú, the citizens’ coalition that has been running the city of Barcelona since June 2015. According to him, the appearance of new parties like Podemos corresponds to “the passage from a process of undoing (protesting and denouncing) to a constituent process (aimed at "occupying" the institutions)”:

"With the 15M, the crisis of the party form as a way of mediating the demands of the citizens was expressed forcefully. But the continuing institutional blockages have shown the need to create political parties of a new generation. "

This tension between the interior and the exterior is at the heart of the experiences of the «town halls of change», which now govern 20 per cent of the population [7].

The test of power at municipal level

The municipal elections were not defined as a priority at the founding congress of Podemos. Against the advice of some activists and of candidates who were standing, the university professors of Complutense were afraid that the local elections, fixed for May 2015, would disrupt the national momentum that was expected for the end of the year. So Podemos did not stand in its own name, but joined popular coalitions bringing together social movements, political parties and unorganized citizens. The victory of these citizens’ lists in the two largest cities of the country (Madrid and Barcelona), but also in several regional and provincial capitals (Zaragoza, Santiago de Compostela, Valencia, La Coruña, Cadiz) was one of the surprises of the electoral cycle of 2015. Podemos exploited this municipal dynamic to revive its campaign for the legislative elections by organizing meetings with Ada Colau, the new mayor of Barcelona, who comes from the movement against the evictions [8].

These popular unity coalitions present a wide diversity of configurations. Podemos sometimes plays a driving role, as in Cadiz where the mayor is a former Anticapitalist activist. In other cases, the party occupies a less central position within a group led by a figure outside it, as in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. These municipal conquests show that it is possible to win influence in the institutions, experimenting with new democratic practices and opposing austerity with ambitious social policies. In Barcelona and Madrid, municipal teams launched a major programme of investment and social spending in the lower-income neighbourhoods, which had strongly mobilized to elect them.

Echoing the campaign slogan of Manuela Carmena "Governing by listening," the capital organized citizen participation in the preparation of the budget and of certain projects of urban transformation. These participatory policies are a clear break with the 24 years of the People’s Party, but also with participation practices elsewhere in Spain. One of the most innovative features, inspired by popular referendums, was designed by Pablo Soto, a computer scientist who was involved in the 15M before being elected deputy mayor responsible for participation. This is the Decide Madrid site, which allows citizens to make proposals on local policies and to vote for them to be the subject of a debate and a decision-making referendum – as soon as they receive the support of one per cent of Madrid citizens over 16 years of age. Even in cities where these coalitions did not come to power, such as in Parla in the suburbs of Madrid, municipal councillors from the citizens’ lists put pressure on the councils to promote transparency and participation in public policies. These municipal experiments, however, face a number of difficulties. The transition from being leaders of social movements to local government may initially weaken collective action, as was the case in the first municipal elections following the return of democracy in 1979. Thus, several spokesmen of PAH, the collective that fights against evictions, have become members of local executives. Aware of their limited skills, these newly elected officials encourage social movements to maintain the pressure. Ada Colau has financially sanctioned the banks which continue to evict households, but the resolution of the housing problem depends on a national law. Some campaign promises, such as the remunicipalization of public services or the cessation of large-scale urban projects, are difficult to maintain due to the commitments made to companies by the previous authorities. The capacity for action of these citizen coalitions is limited by their minority position in the municipal councils, which forces them to obtain the support of the Socialist Party or to govern by decree. This is also the case with the "Montoro Law", passed by the government of Mariano Rajoy in 2013, which obliges them to devote any budget surplus to the repayment of debt. The new municipal authorities can boast of efficient management, public debt having decreased in one year by 19.5 per cent in Madrid and 10 per cent in Cadiz. In his "Plan 2020 to win against the Popular Party and to govern Spain", Pablo Iglesias intends to rely on the demonstrative effect of these examples of local government: "In every town committed to change, we demonstrate on a day-to-day basis that we are ready to face the challenge of governing in a coherent and reliable manner."

Feminizing Politics and the Party

In addition to not being limited to a single party and having developed more horizontally and in a participative way, these citizen coalitions at the head of the major cities of the country present another difference from Podemos: female leaderships, with the emblematic figures of Ada Colau in Barcelona, Manuela Carmena in Madrid and Mònica Oltra in Valencia. These three women want to embody another way of governing, as Manuela Carmena explains: "Is it not time to replace all these vertical and rigid values of authority, strength and firmness with those of a much more horizontal and flexible persuasion, conviction and skill in resolving conflicts? Values that are part of the culture of women. " [9]

In comparison, the leaders of Podemos represent a masculine or even macho conception of power, based on verticality and confrontation. Ada Colau has sought to distance herself from a "certain style of Pablo and the founding core of Podemos with which we do not identify... with its arrogance, with its way of expressing oneself" [10] . Miguel Urbán himself declared, in the midst of the conflict between the two national leaders, that it was necessary to stop "this televised soap opera of the dominant male in which they are participating".

The place of women was a central issue at the second congress of Podemos, whereas it was only very briefly addressed in the first. In addition to the three founding texts of the party (political, organizational, ethical) already discussed and voted on in 2014, a fourth "equality" document was elaborated by each current. It was presented exclusively by women at the rostrum, who devoted more than 30 minutes to the defence of a "feminist" organization and a "feminization of politics". All of the currents paid tribute to the women activists "who have spent the past three years performing essential but invisible tasks and who have seen their comrades serve as spokesmen and occupy places at the rostrum" and " those who left because they were fed up with meetings instead of assemblies, interminable interventions, and decisions that are challenged in discussions in the bar after the meetings ". Clara Serra, a member of the national leadership, enumerated some measures to build "a party where activism is compatible with life": "We want spaces for play in our demonstrations and assemblies. We want schedules for meetings, with a time to start and a time to finish. We do not want an activist culture where everything is decided when the women have already gone home."

These subjects were returned to by many speakers throughout the congress, women and men who denounced the presence of a macho culture in society and in their organization. Some referred to violence against women, others questioned the use of warlike metaphors in the discourse of Podemos: "the electoral war machine", "partisans", "war of movement", etc. Pablo Iglesias, who is very fond of this vocabulary and a fan of the television series Game of Thrones, ensured the systematic use of the feminine gender - a common practice in the 15M assemblies, which seeks to challenge masculine domination in speech. He introduced the debates thus:

"Today we are talking to workers, to those in precarious employment, to the unemployed, the self-employed, students, small entrepreneurs, to grandmothers who do not make it to the end of the month with their pension, to those forced to emigrate, to mothers who have 20-hour working days." He systematically used the feminine form of “worker”, student”, “unemployed”, etc., followed by the masculine form.

Despite these advances on the level of discourse, there remain inequalities in practice. The distribution of speaking time was particularly unbalanced at the founding congress of Podemos, where women were a very small minority at the rostrum [11]. In Vistalegre II, although some candidates were careful to ensure that their documents were introduced in a way that respected parity, men still spoke more often than women. Most importantly, they introduced the most important and polemical documents, taking double the time to speak on political and organizational questions, while women dominated the scene on questions of equality. Moreover, the three main competing projects were presented by men: Pablo Iglesias, Íñigo Errejón and Miguel Urbán. Certainly, the women who were candidates of the circles of Podemos for the National Citizens’ Council [12] were more numerous (twelve) at the rostrum than the men (nine). However, there were only two candidates for the post of general secretary: Pablo Iglesias and Juan Moreno Yagüe.

The inequalities between men and women within Podemos thus also concern the distribution of positions of power. Until the renewing of the National Citizens’ Council on February 18, 2017, the main functions within the leadership of the party were occupied by men: Pablo Iglesias as general secretary, Íñigo Errejón as political secretary, Juan Carlos Monedero who was secretary for the constituent process and the programme until April 2015, Sergio Pascual and then Pablo Echenique at the organizational secretariat. This stronger visibility of male leaders explains the results of the vote to elect the new National Citizens’ Council: while the lists systematically alternated a man and a woman, only two women arrived in the top ten positions. However, progress was made in the decisions taken at the end of the Congress: the first two posts remain occupied by Pablo Iglesias and Pablo Echenique, but the Coordinating Council now counts more women (eight) than men (seven). A secretariat for "equality, feminism and LGTB" was established. The function of spokesperson in the Congress of Deputies, previously the responsibility of Iñigo Errejón, is now held by Irene Montero (who is very close to Pablo Iglesias). The position of women is therefore more and more taken into account in the party, which nevertheless remains very masculine in its structures and its leadership.

Partial democratization of the organization

Internal democracy had been one of the main issues at stake in Vistalegre I. More than the political document, which was then quite consensual, the fractures concerned the organizational text. Several currents had advocated an important participation of the circles and a collegial form of authority, taking up there the principles of the 15M. The project of Pablo Echenique and Teresa Rodríguez thus proposed a system of multiple spokespersons at all levels of the organization and an involvement of the circles in strategic decisions. Another candidacy, presented by a Barcelona activist from the 15M, went even further by proposing to elect the members of the National Citizens’ Council by drawing lots. But the Complutense group managed to impose a very vertical and centralized structure; in their eyes the succession of several decisive elections in 2015 justified sacrificing internal democracy for the sake of having an efficient organization.

The two and a half years of activity of this construction demonstrated many dysfunctional aspects. Even those who advocated it now recognize that the risks pointed out by their opponents of yesterday were justified, while stressing that this kind of organization enabled them to obtain very good electoral results. The reduction of the power of the circles first of all demobilized grassroots activists and weakened the initial dynamics of the movement, whose originality was based on the self-organization of assemblies throughout the country. The strong centralization of power in the hands of the general secretary then led to authoritarian decisions such as the dismissal of Sergio Pascual (secretary for organization until March 2016) and José Manuel López (spokesperson in the regional parliament in Madrid until December 2016), which increased internal tensions. In addition, periodic consultations of registered supporters [13] tended to turn into plebiscites, for example when ratifying electoral alliances at the national level. For Alfredo Ramos, a politician who has analyzed participatory processes in Brazil and is now parliamentary assistant to Podemos in Madrid, this party has "become a model of plebiscitary Caesarism, quite far removed from the democratic ideals of 15M." [14]

At Vistalegre II, all the currents stressed the need to democratize the organization and to "transform the electoral war machine into a popular movement". This project had been initiated with the appointment of Pablo Echenique to the organizing secretariat in March 2016, who had then warned: "Either we have an organization radically distinct from those which preceded us (...) or our destiny will inevitably be that of normalization ". The main change he proposed, and on which there is now a consensus, is the decentralization of Podemos. It implies giving more power and financial autonomy to regional and municipal citizens’ councils, as well as to territorial and thematic circles. For example, decisions concerning municipal and regional elections, which were taken by the national leadership, will in future be decided by the leading bodies on the corresponding territorial scale.

The other organizational changes have been more confrontational. A consultation prior to Vistalegre II concerned the method of election of the National Citizens’ Council. While Podemos defends a greater proportionality of the Spanish electoral system, its internal organization strongly favoured the leading list.

In the face of this paradox, the Íñigo Errejón project envisaged a fully proportional system, but the option chosen was an adaptation of the "Borda" system proposed by Pablo Echenique: each voter votes for the candidates of their choice among one or more lists, indicating an order of preference; the result is a ranking based on the number of points obtained by each candidate. The application of this system to Vistalegre II shows the maintenance of majority effects, which penalized the list that arrived in third position [15].

Another subject of disagreement concerns internal participatory procedures. Although all the currents affirm that participation is a fundamental principle of Podemos, the concrete mechanisms differ. Pablo Iglesias’s paper proposes virtually no change from the existing arrangements, which are limited to periodic consultations of supporters on matters put on the agenda by the national leadership. The only adjustment is to lower the threshold of supporters necessary to initiate a decision-making referendum on a major political issue (10 per cent instead of 20 per cent) or a process of revoking a member of the national leadership ( 20 per cent instead of 25 per cent). These high percentages and the lack of keeping an up-to-date register of supporters (more than 480,000 were registered in March 2017) have meant that no grassroots initiative has so far been successful. This is why the current of Íñigo Errejón envisaged lowering this threshold to 3 per cent of active members for the general consultations and 15 per cent for the vote to revoke. It also proposed introducing new mechanisms for internal participation, such as "deliberative consultations", so that referendums would be preceded by deliberations or "political innovation laboratories" aimed at organizing debates on certain issues.

As at the founding congress, it was the least democratic organizational document that received the most votes. It still accords a central place to the leader, who can continue to benefit from his strong media coverage to impose his ideas during the consultations with the supporters - as was the case at this second congress. Moreover, the place of the activists was reduced in this event, which was more like a public meeting than the "citizen assembly" announced. In Vistalegre I, the forum was widely shared between activists of the circles and highly visible party leaders, while the public could interact with speakers by asking questions via an online application. In Vistalegre II, only one group composed of people not benefiting from media coverage ("Podemos en equipo") came to defend its texts at the rostrum alongside the three main lists. Public participation came down to a face-to-face vote to elect the four members of the National Citizens’ Council coming from the circles - some twenty grassroots activists had an hour to present their candidacy and defend the message of unity coming from the delegates.

What European strategy?

"Unidad y humildad" (unity and humility): the slogan that came from Vistalegre II was imposed by the delegates, formalized in a very applauded intervention by Teresa Rodríguez (a member of Anticapitalistas) and then taken up by Pablo Iglesias in his final speech. The new distribution of responsibilities adopted at the first meeting of the National Citizens’ Council on 18 February, following an agreement between Pablo Iglesias (who strengthened his hold on the party) and Íñigo Errejón (who agreed to take a step backwards on the national level to focus on the upcoming regional elections in Madrid), seems to rule out for a time the risk of being bogged down in internal divisions. The responsibility is great: what is at stake is not only the future of Podemos, but also that of the progressive formations in Europe in the face of the rise of conservative and xenophobic forces. Miguel Urbán, the new secretary of Podemos for European issues, was not alone in affirming this at this congress:

"Our enemies are the ghosts of fascism, ghosts called Trump and Le Pen, which are very present. [...] And the antidote against these fascisms is called Podemos! "

With the famous formula of Antonio Gramsci, "The old world is dying, the new world is late in appearing, and in this chiaroscuro monsters rise up," the MEP affirmed in November 2016 that:

"Monsters rise up when the political battlefield is structured around questions of identity or national attachment rather than democracy and social justice."

One of the great differences between Spain and other European countries, such as France, lies in the questions that dominate the national public debate: it is not security, immigration and Islam that are at the centre of the media agenda and ordinary conversations in Spain, but the fight against corruption and social inequalities. This is a major result of the process of political and social transformation that the country has been experiencing since 2011, with the 15M movement and the emergence of political formations such as Podemos. This is why the new party can constitute a bulwark against the rise of the far right in Europe, proposing another way to understand the economic crisis: responsibility for the social problems faced by the population is not attributed to the foreign neighbour or the person living on "assistance" who is supposedly abusing social welfare, but to the banker and the corrupt politician. Spain is one of the few European countries where the crisis has not encouraged the development of xenophobic formations: the attempt to create a far right-wing party at the end of 2013 ended in a crushing failure, Vox having obtained only 1.56 per cent of the votes in the 2014 European elections and 0.23 per cent in the 2015 legislative elections.

In order for this change to be expressed in a reorientation of public policies, the European strategy of Podemos should be clarified and strengthened. In the documents defended at Vistalegre II, only the Anticapitalists refer to the "lessons to be drawn" from the Greek experience: finding that "the strategy of negotiation is doomed to failure", they defend a "Plan B" of disobedience of the European treaties. While Pablo Iglesias continues to support Alexis Tsipras, their proposal takes up the demands defended by Podemos at the beginning and then abandoned, such as the moratorium and the audit of the public debt. The question they raise is posed to all political parties which aim at a social transformation in Europe:

"Win for what? […] [It is] not only a matter of winning on the electoral terrain, but of giving battle on the field of real power: the one where the power of capital imposes its norms."

This article was originally published in French in La vie des idées, April 11, 2017. ISSN: 2105-3030

Footnotes

[1] Le Monde caricatures, for example, the opposition between a "radical" line defended by an "aggressive" secretary general and another "reassuring" one represented by Íñigo Errejón.

[2] Robert Michels, Sociologie du parti dans la démocratie moderne, Paris, Gallimard, 2015.

[3] A small organization affiliated to the Fourth International, dissolved following the first congress of Podemos.

[4] Ernesto Laclau et Chantal Mouffe, Hégémonie et stratégie socialiste. Vers une politique démocratique radicale, Besançon, Les Solitaires intempestifs, 2009; Ernesto Laclau, La raison populiste, Paris, Seuil, 2008.

[5] A coalition formed in 1986 around the Spanish Communist Party

[6] On the electorate of Podemos, see José Fernández-Albertos, Los votantes de Podemos, Madrid, Los Libros of the Catarata, 2015.

[7] On these experiences, see the very well-researched book of the journalist Ludovic Lamant, who follows Spanish news for Mediapart: Squatter le pouvoir. Les mairies rebelles d’Espagne, Montreal, Lux Editeur, 2016.

[8] Adrià Alemany et Ada Colau, Sí se puede ! Quand le peuple fait reculer les banques, Paris, Les Petits matins, 2014.

[9] Manuela Carmena, Parce que les choses peuvent être différentes…, Montpellier, Indigène Editions, 2016, p. 132

[10] Joan Serra Carnés, Ada, la rebel·lió democràtica. L’activista reinventada en alcadessa, Barcelona, Ara Llibres, 2016.

[11] Héloïse Nez, Podemos. De l’indignation aux élections, Paris, Les Petits Matins, 2015, p. 172-179.

[12] The national leading body of Podemos, within which the party executive (the Coordinating Council) is constituted.

[13] It is only necessary to register on the Podemos website, without necessarily being an activist or affiliate of the organization, to take part in the various votes (primaries, internal consultations, etc.).

[14] Héloïse Nez, « Podemos et Barcelona en Comú : les citoyen-ne-s prennent le pouvoir ? », Mediapart, 10 February 2017.

[15] The current represented by Pablo Iglesias won 50.8 per cent of the points and 59.7 per cent of the seats (37 out of 62); that of Íñigo Errejón had 33.7 per cent of the points and 37.1 per cent of the seats (23); and that of Miguel Urbán 13.1 per cent of the points and only 3.2 per cent of the seats (2).