Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is personal view of Spain and Spanish life as seen by a Briton living in a small village in Alicante province.
The other tabs link to similar blogs when I have lived in other places. The TIM magazine is an English language magazine I write articles for.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Feeling left out

As I abluted this morning - is it a verb? - I listened to the radio as usual. The, apparently intentional, forest fires in Asturias apart the only news was about the General Election which is taking place today

I don't get to vote of course. Perhaps I should throw some tea into the harbour or something.

So, as I sat looking at the computer screen pondering on the outcome - PP (Consrvatives) to win I suspect with PSOE (Labour) coming a distant second in some places but generally being ousted by Ciudadanos (Liberalish sort of tinge) and Podemos (talk the talk leftist bunch) a disappointing fourth and with a couple of other national parties being annihilated - I wondered who I would be voting for if I were able to vote.

The voting system in Spain is a list of candidates for each party. So, if we were talking something similar in the UK the list would be headed by Cameron with  Osborne second then May, Hammond, Grove, Fallon etc. and for Labour Corbyn, McDonell, Eagle etc. All the names by the way are from UK websites - apart from the top two names I don't know what these people look like.

It wouldn't actually be one list as the constituencies are based on the regional divisions or autonomous communities and the various provinces that make up those communities. To push the comparison there would be a list for London and there would be lists for Regions like the West Midlands or Yorkshire and Humber. The provinces would be similar to divisions such as Herefordshire and Shropshire. So Cameron might be at the top of the London list and Osborne at the top of the Shropshire list with no chance whatsoever of not being elected.

So I thought I'd have a look at the lists for the region of Valencia and the province of Alicante to see if I recognised any of the politicians. There's been a bit of murmuring because Podemos have a black woman at the head of their list in Alicante and she will almost certainly be the first black deputy in the Congress. I had heard nothing about the other candidates. Indeed it actually took me ages to find the lists. There were plenty of press reports mentioning the people heading up the lists but actually finding the full lists with the twelve candidates and three reserves for Alicante took some doing. It just shows how different the named MP system in the UK or the named representatives in the US are to the party system operated here where personalities are much less important.

I thought I recognised three names but, in fact, I was wrong about two of them. The current Foreign Minister heads up the PP list for Alicante and him I recognised. I thought Toni Roma was a defector from UPyD which is a party that, I think, will disappear at these elections but I was mistaking him for Toni Cantó or maybe for the chicken place in Benidorm. I was really surprised to see the name Ana Botella too. The one I know is the ex Mayor of Madrid and the wife of the ex President of Spain José Maria Aznar. Surely she was a member of the PP - why was she on the socialist list? The answer of course is because it's a different Ana Botella.

There are also elections for the Senate today but nobody cares about those except the potential senators and their families.

My prediction, by the way, is that there will  not be a clear cut result and the face of the next Government will depend on the horse trading that goes on over the next few weeks.

Sunday night addition: The votes are nearly all in. It's a PP win with the PSOE second Podemos third and Ciudadanos fourth. Wrong order from me then but the prediction about horse trading as right as right can be. The pundits are drawing little pictures on the telly to show a left right draw. Now the fun begins.

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