With neither major party able to secure a majority of seats in the national legislature and the two parties unable to agree on a coalition government, for the last 10 months Spain has had a do-nothing caretaker government for the first time in its history.
While basic government services continue, no new legislation is being proposed, foreign policy is stuck in place, and many infrastructure and other government projects are frozen.
In contrast to dire predictions of chaos, everything is proceeding smoothly and some Spaniards are learning a valuable lesson about the resilience of society when left to its own (voluntary) devices.
The lesson has been pithily summed up by Felix Pastor, a language teacher, who states:
No government, no thieves.
Mr. Pastor believes that, without politicians around to inflict more harm, Spain could last without a government “until hell freezes over.”
Website editor Ignacio Escolar agrees,
A lot of people said we would go to hell if we didn’t form a government. But we’re still here.
And Ana Cancela, a civil servant, recognizes the corruption and incompetence endemic to political institutions,
We already knew that politicians were corrupt, but now we also see that they can’t even make politics work.