President Bauzá, of whom it has been said that he harbours ambitions of a national ministerial position, did himself no favours with the PP national hierarchy last week. "Over and above being the president of the PP in the Balearics, I am the president of the government," he declared in advising Mariano Rajoy, his ultimate boss (and one to whom it has been presumed he typically kowtows), that he was ordering a break in party discipline in the national Senate. The matter at hand was the oil prospecting controversy. The PSOE socialists had raised a motion against the prospecting, and the PP in the Balearics was going to vote with them. A certain chaos has ensued as a result.
As it turned out, not all Balearics PP senators followed Bauzá orders. Minorca's Juana Francis Pons Vila did not vote with PSOE. Not because she didn't agree with the motion but because, well, because they were PSOE.
Bauzá, who has been succeeding in butting heads with just about everyone in the PP locally, is making a pretty decent fist of doing likewise nationally. One of his great adversaries is the national minister for energy and industry, José Manuel Soria, who has the oil remit. Enrique Hernández Bento, an able lieutenant of Soria's and a fellow Canary Islander and sub-secretary at the industry ministry, to boot, has accused Bauzá of engaging in demagoguery and the PP in the Balearics of irresponsibility and incoherence. You might gather that he doesn't approve of their voting with PSOE.
Hernández took the Bauzá Defence of being president of the Balearics and adjusted it to his position. "Señor Bauzá has his responsibility for the autonomous community (of the Balearics). We in the ministry have ours, which is to defend the general interest of Spain. We do not share the PP in the Balearics' position on this matter," he announced (or maybe Soria had told him what to say). Sr. Hernández, it might be noted, is obviously not currying favour with many in the Canaries, where there is an almighty great ding-dong going on over oil drilling there.
For all this, though, Rajoy may look upon Bauzá's indiscipline benignly and still have him earmarked for potential ministerial promotion. After all, there is the matter of regional elections looming, and as José Ramón has been doing his best to ensure that the PP loses in May next year, anything that might retrieve the situation (including voting with PSOE) can only be a good thing.
There is the other matter of the European elections, which are coming up very much sooner. The PSOE opposition in the Balearics smells a rat with Bauzá's indiscipline. The prospecting will happen the day after the elections, she reckons. Which they wouldn't, but we get her drift. Were she to be right, though, Bauzá would sink without trace. He clearly has an eye on elections, more than one set. He won't be disciplined any time soon, one fancies.