The local and regional elections dealt a severe blow to the Central Government; indeed to the whole of the PSOE on a national level. Although Andalucía didn’t hold regional elections, unlike the majority of Spanish autonomous regions, the damage was still keenly felt because over a thousand town halls in Andalucía, as well as provincial councils, participated and were royally smitten.
The main opposition party consider that the over-all results demonstrate that it is time to bring the national elections, scheduled for Spring 2012, forward. The Government doesn’t agree, but let’s look at the consequences.
There are two schools of thought as to whether the conservatives really want the national elections brought forward. On the one hand, everybody is painfully aware that in these coming months some pretty unpopular economic measures will have to be taken, so in that respect, the conservatives would prefer to let the socialists do it, and take the flak (suffer the consequences) Then, when they win the elections next year – (it would take a miracle for the socialists to win) they can take up the reins of power with most of the popular discord conveniently dissipated.
On the other hand, what if things start to get better between now and the elections? Will the conservatives’ dubious regional minister for Valencia end up in jail before then? In fact, what if the whole circus blows up in their face over the simmering Gurtel corruption scandal? Can they afford to wait until Spring next year, given these tricky questions?
Getting back to the elections that were held on the 22nd of May, what really counts when it comes to voting? Well, judging by Valencia, if someone stands imputed before a judge on charges of corruption, it won’t make the smallest difference to the person’s popularity. The conservative HQ not only allowed Francisco Camps to stand as candidate for Regional President, it even allowed him to bring in nine other PP politicians in similar judicial positions. Why? Because, as it has been proven, the electorate is as light on moral-integrity as the bandits that they vote for. How can you blame a politician for putting his hand into the cookie jar if he’ll even get ‘rewarded’ for it, by party followers who put the party before absolutely everything.
But it’s not only the conservatives that are up before judges or being investigated, because there is not one party that is free of corruption scandals. In the case of the conservatives, it is all the more embarrassing because when they first came to power in 1996, it was with the declaration that the sordid corruption history of the socialists would never, ever, reoccur amongst their ranks…
In the meantime, the younger generation, which is taking the brunt of the economic crisis with unemployment standing at over 40% in the age group, took over the nation’s main squares to protest at the disgusting behaviour of the Spanish body politic. The only true democracy is in those public meetings, which are extremely well organised and violence free… Well almost, because when the Mosso d’Escuadra (Catalan regional police) baton charged them, the footage amazed people within and without our borders. Needless to say, this police force is renowned for police brutality.
With this growing citizen discontent with the politicians, every party was visibly nervous, virtually begging people to vote and not stay at home. Now the socialists are probably wishing that they had.