Labour reform by computer error is no legacy to be triumphant about. | EFE

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An extraordinary circumstance. Alberto Casero, a Partido Popular deputy in Congress, had clicked the wrong box when voting online for the government’s labour reform. He tried to correct his error, but the president (speaker), Meritxell Batet, said no. By one vote, that of Sr. Casero, the reform was passed.

Should the vote have been corrected? Technically, and by rules of the chamber, then no. Morally, almost certainly yes. The vote may be booted to the courts, as you can never be certain that this sort of thing won’t be, but the courts would doubtless err on the side of technicality.

The labour reform, flagship legislation for the PSOE-Podemos administration, will be enshrined in law. Yet it will forever be known as law by error, thus reinforcing the fact that this is reform which split Congress to such a degree that both government supporters and opponents voted against it.

It was either too little or too much, a reform at the mercy - until Sr. Casero’s mistaken intervention - of the all sorts of parties in Congress playing their hands. Indicative of the shakiness of the Sánchez government, it will be heralded as victory, but the reform will not fundamentally address structural problems with the labour market, such as high unemployment. Nor will it do much for the self-employed, a sector of the market so consistently and so badly mistreated.

But ultimately, it will be reform that should never have been. Labour reform by computer error is no legacy to be triumphant about.