Debates on social democracy
The pieces are now in place inside the ruling party and eyes are now on the opposition.
Setting up the pieces inside the Republican People’s Party (CHP) is important for both democracy and the upcoming elections in 10 months.
Could the CHP turn this congress into a starting platform and turn the next 10 months into an intense struggle targeted to win the elections?
The CHP’s voters’ tiredness and desperation, which started after the local elections, worsened after the presidential elections.
For this reason, the CHP will not be able to improve this mood and win the crowds unless it deals with the infighting inside.
The mood and the demand from the delegates also indicate also this and the responsibility is on Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s shoulders.
The key word in the delegates’ mouths “change.” The expectation is for a new cadre setting up a “quick-new-productive” working system from tip to toe.
Muharrem İnce’s outburst seems to have strengthened this expectation. The reason for the initial moments of sympathy can be found there.
But İnce did the right and wrong actions at the same time. It was a success for him to become the only candidate for the opposition by taking the upper hand with his statement on the first day. He had more advantage over others in terms of loyalty to the party. But the delegates found it wrong for him to criticize the process by personalizing the party’s faults on Kılıçdaroğlu.
His discussions on “The dictatorship in the CHP,” his comparison of the “tall-short man” and having to apologize after saying these and then his challenge, “Hey Kemal, face me after you resign!” are seen as statements that nullify some things the CHP used against the Justice and Development Party (AKP). His “Hey Kemal” style was also likened to that of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But, Deniz Baykal, for example had never personalized any discussions with the late Erdal İnönü, with whom he had many struggles during party conventions.
It seems İnce, although late, corrected his faults. His recent period of silent work is an indicator of this. Either way, despite securing the support of old power centers like Baykal and Önder Sav in the party, it should be considered a success if he reaches the 300-350 band.
Another of İnce’s successes was that he could be able to start the “left/social democrat party” debate, because it is evident that there are a considerable number of circles that do not accept İnce and his group of supporters as leftists/social democrats. The ideological debate in the CHP should be overcome after this congress. Most of the debate is done over the opening of the party toward nationalist-pious groups, undertaken by Kılıçdaroğlu. Debating is fine, but it is a mistake when it is done on personal levels, such as Mansur Yavaş and Mehmet Bekaroğlu.
Because if the CHP is a social democrat party, it should have a class approach in the framework of individual rights and liberties, it does not indulge in debates on specific individual’s religion or ethnicity and aims to achieve every single need of the individual.
It can only take support from all sections of the society if it takes the right positioning against the ruling party, which turns its direction to the East and not the West.
The CHP would be the alternative to the religious circles that support the AKP to the degree its rhetoric and actions can take shape with that framework.
That’s how the CHP could win the trust of both the seculars and the conservatives.