Catarina Martins and Rui Tavares debated on SIC-Noticias, speaking to voters on the left of the PS and looking for an answer to a question: who will negotiate better with the PS, if the PS wins? The Block, harder? Or the Free, more available? Expresso commentators report a balanced debate, almost a draw – but with victory for Tavares. With some variations. See notes and explanations for each.
Catarina Martins 5 – Rui Tavares 6
Who is more on the left? Who else wants to marry PS? Catarina put on the table the experience of six years of dialogue with the PS, Rui Tavares the Europeanism and a noble and passionate vision of politics. In this debate between leftists who have already been together (Rui Tavares was elected MEP by BE), the Livre’s leader did well when he confronted the BE spokesperson with the question that many Portuguese and the prime minister asked in October: why didn’t even let the Budget get to the specialty? And also when he pulled his European strings against a bloc that is no longer anti-European, but is always against EU policies.
Catarina Martins tried to use the debate to speak to António Costa, blaming him again for the end of the legislature. She spent the first three minutes talking to the PS, but Tavares managed to put her in her field, saying that she can’t imagine the world without the European Union and expressing availability for agreements, even though she kicked the Livre de a “progressive and ecological social pact”.
“The Bloc made and will make an agreement for the Government of Portugal. We are not going to negotiate a Budget, we are going to negotiate a legislature”, said Catarina, almost finishing. And Rui Tavares could sign under.
Catarina Martins 5 – Rui Tavares 6
Both fish in the same water, compete for the same votes and for influence over an eventual PS government. “We are mobilizing the same electorate”, admitted Rui Tavares, who led the local coalition in Oeiras, but was able to score points against Catarina Martins. The Block coordinator warned him to be suspicious of what António Costa said he was going to “study” and classified it as “dangerous” ideas. He said he wanted a “left-wing government”, but continued without saying what he would do with the next socialist budget, pointing to the “legislature”. Tavares tried to balance the balance between PS and BE and PCP, but confronted the coordinator of the Bloc with the positions in relation to the European Union. Best performance of Tavares, Catarina remains far from the performance of 2015 and 2019.
Catarina Martins 5 – Rui Tavares 5
In a conversation “with all the sympathy” (the phrase is from the leader of the Left Block) Catarina Martins and Rui Tavares spent about 25 minutes trying, whatever the topic, to answer the first question posed by journalist Rosa Pinto: what distinguishes the two parties vis-à-vis the electorate? Sharing common political ground, Catarina Martins tried to glue Rui Tavares to António Costa: “I was worried about the convergence” (between both, in the previous debate) on matters such as wages. Or “it seems like António Costa talking”. Rui Tavares, on the other hand, understands that, despite the Bloc’s repeated arguments, there should have been a greater effort to converge with the PS in the OE: “I don’t understand why it wasn’t negotiated in the Specialty”. More effective, for voters on the left, Catarina Martins when pointing out the lack of references to the alteration of the Labor Legislation in the Programa do Livre. Much more assertive and enlightened Rui Tavares on European issues from which the Bloc coordinator tried to escape as soon as possible: “I want to talk about Portugal again”. For the rest, more of the same: Tavares insists on the pact to the left, which did not deserve an answer from Costa, nor a commitment from Catarina, who spoke again on the topic that will surely return to the table in other debates: the issue of exclusivity in the SNS.
Catarina Martins 6 – Rui Tavares 7
The way in which the moderator, Rosa Oliveira Pinto, launched the debate allowed ideas to be discussed. But it is true that there is much more to uniting them than separating them, and not even the different priorities seemed enough to dispel any doubts that might exist. Rui Tavares got the better of explaining that voting Livre avoids surprises from the PS, which will have a leadership according to the vote, or from BE and PCP that talk about convergence and end up in divergence.
Catarina Martins 6 – Rui Tavares 5
A debate reflected the dilemma of the non-socialist left: to vote for the Bloc, which defeated the Budget? Or in a party that reopens dialogue, even if less firmly? Space is already short and Catarina Martins had more to lose (Free is small, there aren’t many votes to take there). He bet his chips on two themes: NHS and labor laws, but above all on conveying an image of Rui Tavares’ innocence. But it was by showing knowledge of the dossiers that he achieved his best assets. As for Rui Tavares, he had more votes to win, he managed to differentiate himself from the Bloc in European matters and in his willingness to talk. Catarina looked better, but it would not surprise me that Tavares’ message had some echo on some left disillusioned with the fall of the Government. Or will these vote PS?
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Rui Tavares or Catarina Martins? There is a very short victory (the notes and texts of the Expresso commentators) – Expresso