We must not forget that the conflict in which the Government and the opposition are immersed, regarding the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary, arises from a shared premise: they both agree that judges are unable to circumvent their political affiliations. If PSOE and PP battle it is because they agree that the magistrates lack the ability to be independent.
Now that the tension escalates due to the necessary renewal of key bodies such as the Court of Accounts, the vacancies of the Constitutional Court, the Ombudsman and the CGPJ itself, it is convenient for both parties to assume that they are undermining the prestige of our State, and especially of the Justice institutions.
As you know, the main point of tension is in the election of the members of the CGPJ. The PSOE, with a majority in Congress, but far from the 3/5 required by the Law, accuses the PP of blocking the process and of breaching the Constitution. The PP, to justify its position, waves the flag of the depoliticization of Justice. “It should not be the Parliament, but the judges themselves who choose their government,” he repeats Pablo Casado with his half smile.
But don’t be fooled. The Popular Party does not want to depoliticize justice either. Call me ill-thought, but I suspect that if most judges were affiliated with Judges and Judges for Democracy, The PP would not be in favor of the professional associations choosing the members. If the PP defends this position, it is for the same reason that the PSOE defends the opposite: because they know that most of the affiliated judges (who, by the way, are only 50% of the total) are from conservative associations.
And here that sinister premise in which both parties participate appears: the judges do not see beyond their colors. PP and PSOE are separated by a shared belief. If the judge is appointed by the PSOE, he will rule to the left, and if he is appointed by the Francisco de Vitoria Association, he will rule to the right. And in that fear lies the blockade.
But fear, in addition to being unfounded, has perverse effects. All democratic power depends on its citizens recognizing it and granting it legitimacy. And convey to public opinion that a magistrate is biased by origin does not contribute to weld that trust. The attacks that the Executive is used to making against the separation of powers do not help either.
It is necessary to insist that only tyranny is absent of counterweights. Democracy, as it taught us Tocqueville, is recognized by the frictions between its powers. Of course, for this friction to be healthy, we have to trust in the independence and good faith of all of them.