||[ Sunday, 13 May 07 | 22:40 ]
Only two more weeks remain until local elections are held here. Nearly all the light poles on major streets are festooned with political banderas or flags. The flags usually feature a picture of the candidates head along with their party affiliation. It is interesting that most of the pictures portray the candidate without a suit-coat or a tie. I guess that’s to make them look more like an average person on the street. Around busy places like train stations there are also pancartas or long banners with party slogans. Also, inside the Metro stations are a number of political signs replacing much of the usual advertising.
I was surprised to see new flags right near my home featuring the PP candidate for alcalde or mayor of El Masnou. Surprised, because the PP has lost support in Catalunya as a result of nationally the party having taken an anti-catalán stance.
To refresh your memory,
there are six political parties here in Catalunya. From left to right they are:
- The “united left” and “greens” (ICV-EUiA).
- The left-center socialists (PSC).
- The nationalist left-center “esquerra” (ERC) also referred to as “republicanos”.
- The left-center non-nationalists Ciutadans or “citizens”.
- The right-center nationalists (CiU).
- The right-center Popular Party (PP) or “populares”.
For most of the time after Franco’s death Catalunya was ruled by a right-wing coalition of the CiU and PP. Since the previous elections a left-wing tri-partite coalition of ERC, PSC and ICV-EUiA has controlled the regional government called the Generalitat.
Locally here in El Masnou a similar tri-partite coalition controls the town council and the mayor is socialist. There is a monthly town newsletter that comes in the mail and it features a opinion page with columns from five parties.
Normally the day after the election the government posts detailed voting results.
Sunday, 13 May 07 | 21:40 (UTC)
You're gonna hate me but
let me correct you a little bit...
First, there are more than 6 political parties in Catalonia. The availability for them to be voted in El Masnou will depend on their respective local chapter. Why don't you go the day of voting to a polling station and check the lists? I pressume there will be around 15-20 to choose from. You mostly see banners of the 6 of them that are in the parliament but because of that reason they get public money for the campanign. The best elections, however, are the european ones. You can count up to 30 parties, since Spain works as a single voting district.
Then, since I lived those times, let me tell you that from 1980 to 2003, the party that ruled Catalonia was CiU but with some highlights. The first 4 years, they had the support of ERC, although they never formed a coalition. They have never had the support (at least officially) of the PP. CiU (and PNV, btw, see how friendly they are now) supported PP for the spanish government from 1996 to 2000. The president (who is elected by a majority of the parliament, as the primer minister and as mayors) was Jordi Pujol for 23 years!
Monday, 14 May 07 | 05:22 (UTC)
I won't hate you
I should have said that there are six major political parties here in Catalunya. This is similar to the two major parties in California. In fact, there are six officially recognized parties in California:
- Peace & Freedom
- American Independent.
But as you know, only the first two have much press coverage.
And although CiU and PP are not allied locally in Catalunya, they were associated at the Madrid level when the PP government was in power (1996-2004).
The recent posture of PP towards Catalunya would seem to preclude that these days.
On election day I will try to find a polling place and look for the various party lists here in El Masnou.
Monday, 14 May 07 | 06:48 (UTC)
Re: I won't hate you
Usually, polling stations are in schools. There are some exceptions. The one I have assigned this year is in one council office in front of my house.
Just for recent history: from 2000 to 2004, the PP had the absolute majority so they didn't need "the allies" so they became arrogant. That was the main reason they weren't voted in 2004.