“The old new politics”

How Podemos rising star faded in just 5 years

“Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse”, a famous line said by actor John Derek in the 1949 film Knock On Any Door (also starring Humphrey Bogart) has since then been applied to young icons from James Dean to Amy Winehouse and, maybe, soon will also suit the so-called “new politics”, the motto under which Podemos, the Spanish left party born after the 15-M widespread protest movement, marketed itself.

Podemos was born just months before the last European elections, in 2014, initially harvesting indignation from a wide ideological spectrum and unexpectedly securing five seats at the European Parlament that very same May, the first of which was for its leader and co-founder, Pablo Iglesias Turrión (named after the founder of the Spanish Socialist Party, Pablo Iglesias Posse). A year after, with the young Pablo Iglesias already devoted to national politics, the party wisely decided not to run directly for the municipal elections in May 2015, allegedly due to a lack of time to look for appropriate candidates. Instead, Podemos supported what its leaders called “candidacies of change” in all major cities and towns. As a result of what at the time looked as an astute move, Podemos could claim for itself a big portion of the success of new mayors like Manuela Carmena in Madrid and Ada Colau in Barcelona.

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