Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Scotty, beam me up!

I went to vote. I hunted through the thirty nine piles of candidate lists till I found the one I wanted, pushed it in the envelope, had fun with the spelling of my name at the voting table and that was my part played in the democratic process for another couple of years.

There was though another envelope and another ballot box for the consulta popular - a sort of referendum organised by the local town hall. More fun, more democracy.

The first question was whether we wanted to make Pinoso a Slow City giving priority to bikes and pedestrians and limiting motor vehicles to 30 kph. The second question asked us to prioritise upgrading a road to a local shrine, constructing a walking and running route around the town or building bike lanes between the town centre and the outlying villages.

Fair enough. I wondered why those particular schemes but I thought it was relatively clever to use the election turnout to canvas opinion. Afterwards though I considered what a cumbersome process traditional voting is. It would certinly slow down declaring the Eurovision winner if the system relied on polling stations.

One of the election manifestos I read yesterday, published only on the party's website, said that it cost about two million euros for an election mailshot to every voter in Spain. There must be lots of similar costs with all the palaver of voting slips and their counting not to mention the cost to individuals of travelling to a central location to vote. It can't be long before some much less cumbersome system takes over from the sort of systems that I have experienced all my adult life, can it?

Then of course they'll be able to ask us if we want the road up to Fatima tarmacking at the cost of the cycle ways or the exercise track whenever they want.

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