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  Spanish elections and politics II (Local and Regional Elections on May 26, 2019)
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Author Topic: Spanish elections and politics II (Local and Regional Elections on May 26, 2019)  (Read 23282 times)
Velasco
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« Reply #75 on: March 09, 2019, 02:33:13 am »

El País:  "Students lead the protests for the International Women's Day"

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/03/08/inenglish/1552051103_915747.html

Quote
Young women are at the center of the protests that got underway this morning in Spain, to coincide with the March 8 strike for International Women’s Day.

In Castellón, a group of protestors prevented the president of the Popular Party (PP), Pablo Casado, from delivering a speech ahead of the campaign for local and regional elections. A group made up mostly of women banged pots, blew on whistles and shouted out messages such as: “You are the patriarchy!” and “Casado, you machista, you’re on our list!” The PP leader has openly criticized “leftist feminism” and said he would not attend today’s march in Madrid because he claims it has been co-opted by the political left (...)

Feminist marches throughout Spain were massive. According to the government's delegations, around 350k gathered in Madrid (170k the previous year, according the same sources) and 220k in Valencia. Local police estimated 200k people in the Barcelona march. Even taking the estimation made by El País for the Madrid march, which is 230k at the declaration's reading, the figure is much higher tan the attendance to the right wing rally in Colón Square. I'm not implying a correlation between these figures and possible election results, just to be clear. I think it's undeniable these protests will have political repercussions, but it's up to see if they can contribute to mobilize certain voter groups (for instance: left-wing, young and female). In any case, I think these marches are positive because I believe that achieving real gender equality is a worthwile cause.

Gallery:

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/03/08/album/1552057387_882592.html#foto_gal_1

NYT has an interesting peace on the raise of the minimum wage

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/business/spain-minimum-wage.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FSpain

Quote
As Spain grapples with a turbulent political crisis, one of Europe’s last Socialist governments may soon fall amid the rise of a new nationalism in the country. But whatever the outcome, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is leaving behind a signature legacy: a record increase in the minimum wage.

The 22 percent rise that took effect in January, to 1,050 euros (about $1,200) a month, is the largest in Spain in 40 years. Yet the move has ignited a debate over whether requiring employers to pay more of a living wage is a social watershed, or a risky attempt at economic engineering (...)
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« Reply #76 on: March 09, 2019, 09:14:03 pm »

Are PP, Vox or C's saying they'll repeal Sanchez's minimum wage increase?
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Chief Justice windjammer
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« Reply #77 on: March 10, 2019, 10:10:59 am »

So according to the polls, the Basque Nationalist Party is going to decide who would become PM?
What is their opinion of VOX? I guess they won't like supporting an hardcore centralist party?
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Velasco
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« Reply #78 on: March 10, 2019, 12:43:21 pm »
« Edited: March 10, 2019, 12:49:32 pm by Velasco »

Are PP, Vox or C's saying they'll repeal Sanchez's minimum wage increase?

As far as I know, the PP supports a gradual increase of minimum wage similar to the one agreed between the Mariano Rajoy administration, unions and employers organizations. PP submitted a counterproposal in late 2018 to increase minimum wage to 773 Euros in 2019, instead of the 900 Euros agreed between PSOE and UP.

On the other hand, Cs is proposing to create a commission, something like a panel of experts or a board of economists, an advisory organ that reports to the government. The minimum wage would be fixed by the government on the recommendations of said panel.

I don't know what is the Vox proposal on minimum wage.

 

I guess PP and Cs will incorporate these proposals in their platforms. Vox has a 100 point manifesto plenty of populist hooks, but I'm afraid they don't care very much about details. I don't know if these parties are going to launch an overt campaign against the increase of minimum wage. Possibly it will be more profitable for them campaigning on other issues related to identity politics.

So according to the polls, the Basque Nationalist Party is going to decide who would become PM?
What is their opinion of VOX? I guess they won't like supporting an hardcore centralist party?

Obviously the PNV folks have a terrible opinion of a party like Vox that stands for the abolition of regional autonomy. There was already a big concern in the PNV ranks last year, when Cs took the lead in the polls. Cs is not as radically centralist as to support the abolition of the autonomous communuties. However the Oranges are very vocal against the special tax system ruling in the Basque Country (Concierto Económico), because they consider it's a privilege. Cs is more centralist than PP on this question, since the PP doesn't oppose the Concierto. The PNV has made advantageous agreements in the past with PP administrations (either Rajoy or Aznar) in exchange for confidence and supply or support for the national budget. However the PNV will never support a coalition that incorporates Cs or Vox,  given their radical centralist stance. Basque nationalists are more prone to support a government led by Pedro Sánchez,  although not without monetary or other considerations. The problem for Pedro Sánchez is not the PNV, rather it's the reliance upon Catalan separatist parties. The decision of Cs to put a veto on Sánchez and his party fixes two opposite blocks and leaves no room for other combinations
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Michael19754
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« Reply #79 on: March 11, 2019, 02:16:21 am »

Here's the new round of polling:
GAD3 for ABC:
PSOE: 30.6%(134 seats)
PP: 22.1% (87 seats)
C's: 13.2% (38 seats)
VOX: 12.1% (36 seats)
UP: 11.8% (30 seats)
Left Block: 42.4% Right Block: 47.4%
Coalitions: PSOE+UP+Nationalists: 189 seats; PSOE+C's: 172 seats; PP+C's+VOX: 161 seats

Sociométrica for El Español:
PSOE: 27.6%(119-121 seats)
C's: 17.8% (63-65 seats)
PP: 17.5% (69-71 seats)
UP: 14.1% (37-39 seats)
VOX: 12.1% (31-34 seats)
Left Block: 41.7% Right Block: 47.4%
Coalitions: PSOE+UP+Nationalists: 182-186 seats; PSOE+C's: 182-186 seats; PP+C's+VOX: 163-170 seats

Invymark for La Sexta:
PSOE: 25.2%(107 seats)
PP: 20.4% (81 seats)
C's: 20.3% (73 seats)
UP: 13.2% (34 seats)
VOX: 11.5% (28 seats)
Left Block: 38.4% Right Block: 52.2%
Coalitions: PSOE+UP+Nationalists: 165 seats; PSOE+C's: 181 seats; PP+C's+VOX: 182 seats

Each poll is saying something different: for GAD3, C's is going down to 2016 levels and for Sociométrica and Invymark the party is tied with PP. For GAD3 and Sociométrica the right-wing block is going to lose seats, while Invymark says it will win a majority. The only thing that seems clear is that PSOE is going to win by a substantial margin. Everything else is up in the air.
It should be noted, however, that the pollsters that work for conservative media outlets (GAD3 and Sociométrica) are the ones that are giving the left victory, while the one that works for a progressive outlet (Invymark)  is giving it to the right.
What's happening is very clear. No pollster knows what is going to happen and they're just trying to mobilize their camp's voters. Right wing pollsters are trying to water down the possibility of a right-wing government supported by VOX so that leftist voters fall in complacency while the left-wing ones are doing the opposite in order to mobilize the left.





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Velasco
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« Reply #80 on: March 12, 2019, 05:15:19 am »

Ciudadanos (Cs) held primary elections on Sunday to nominate candidates for the upcoming elections in April and May. The primary election to select the regional candidate in Castilla y León turned out to be a fiasco, the first serious setback for Albert Rivera and his controversial policy of "recruiting talent" from other parties. Independent pre-candidate Silvia Clemente was proclaimed on Sunday over national deputy Francisco Igea, after winning the contest by a narrow margin of 35 votes. The nomination of Clemente was suspended on the following day, after her rival demanded an audit of the voting records. It was discovered the sum of the votes for the candidates exceeded the votes cast by 81. The party's guarantee commission declared these votes null and proclaimed Igea as the winner. As said in a previous post, Silvia Clemente is a controversial and long time PP member who was speaker of the regional assembly and held several portfolios in the regional government. This apparent voting fraud adds up to various suspicions over her past activities. Clemente had the overt support of Cs secretary general José Manuel Villegas. Nobody at Cs has taken the responsibility for the voting fraud, nor gave any explanation aside saying it was "someone's error". Bad business for a party that claims to be a champion against corruption.

60% of undecided voters are women, according to the last CIS survey. In other words, 4 million women have yet to decide who to vote in April and May

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/03/05/inenglish/1551780068_025839.html

Quote
The survey, which was conducted in January, shows that of all the respondents who said they still didn’t know who to vote for, nearly 60% – around four million voters – were women.

This could explain why political campaigning has been focusing on women: the PP is suggesting a national pact on the salary gap, while Ciudadanos has come up with a “liberal feminist manifesto” that includes regulatory measures for prostitution and surrogacy. Meanwhile, the Unidos Podemos coalition, made up of the United Left and the anti-austerity Podemos, has changed its name to the more feminine-sounding Unidas Podemos.

Although the PP does not embrace feminism (it does not see the need for a collective movement to fight for women’s rights), it is the Spanish party with the highest number of female voters, followed closely by the PSOE. The CIS poll shows that 57% of respondents who said they will vote for the PP are women. That figure was 55% for the Socialists (...)
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« Reply #81 on: March 13, 2019, 11:02:27 am »

First of all, there has been a deal in Navarra between UPN (Right wing regionalists, traditionally close to PP), PP and Cs to run together in the general and regional elections. This is probably good news for conservatives, as it will optimize their vote much more efficiently than with separate parties. For the general election this gives them at least 2 Congress seats with a chance at 3. In the Senate it gives them either 1 or 3 Senators (I don't think htey will be locked out). And in the regional and local elections, it will optimize their vote as there was a real risk of both PP and Cs falling below the threshold. This is especially important for Pamplona mayor, where the Bildu incumbent is probably not favoured (albeit far from dead on arrival). The regioanl election is harder, but not impossible.

The platform will be called "Navarra suma" (Navarra adds up)

https://www.elperiodico.com/es/politica/20190311/pp-ciudadanos-upn-pacto-electoral-navarra-7347336

And speaking of regional elections...



Electomanía has been publishing weekly estimations for all elections (local, regional, general, EU) reciently. These aren't proper polls, but instead are "online panels".

I don't think they are of much use for the general election. However, given the lack of polling for the May regional elections (for good reason), I think their regional polls are worth checking out, as they will probably be the only polls we get until after the general election (and even after it, who knows how many regional polls we will get, there's also the EU election after all).

The only one that looks totally wrong is the Balearic Islands one (they give out 63 seats when there are only 59 seats in the Assembly). However there are other weird facts like the fact that they give Vox extremely good numbers and the fact that they seem to predict a lot of ticket splitting between the general, EU, local and regional elections.

In any case, here they are for this week.

http://electomania.es/ep13m/

Asturias
PSOE 15
PP 10
Cs 6
Vox 5
Podemos 5
IU 3
Foro Asturias 1 (right wing regionalists, PP split)

Castille-Leon
PSOE 28
PP 25
Vox 15
Cs 9
UP 3
UPL 1 (Centrist Leon regionalists)

Cantabria
PRC 10 (centre-left Cantabria regionalists)
PP 7
PSOE 6
Vox 5
Cs 4
UP 3

La Rioja
PSOE 10
PP 7
Cs 5
Vox 5
UP 4
PR+: 2 (centrist Riojan regionalists)

Navarra
UPN 14 (right wing Navarra regionalists/unionists, pro Spanish unity and the like)
PSOE 10
GBai 10 (centrist Navarra nationalists, pro joining the Basque Country, kind of a Navarra branch of PNV to some extent)
EH Bildu 8 (left wing Basque secessionists)
Podemos 4
IU 2
Cs 2

Madrid
PSOE 40
Vox 26
PP 24
Cs 20
MM 11 (left wing, Podemos split led by Íñigo Errejón)
Podemos 11

Extremadura
PSOE 24
PP 14
Vox 13
Cs 8
UP 6

Castille-La Mancha
PSOE 13
PP 10
Vox 5
Cs 3
UP 2

Murcia
PP 12
PSOE 11
Cs 10
Vox 8
UP 4

Aragon
PSOE 19
PP 16
Vox 11
UP 8
Cs 8
PAR 3 (centre-right Aragon regionalists)
ChA 2 (left wing Aragon regionalists)

Valencia (election in April, not May)
PSOE 29
PP 22
Compromís 15 (left wing Valencia nationalists)
Vox 15
Cs 13
UP 5

Balearic Islands (going with percentages as the seat count doesn't add up)

PSOE: 20.6%
PP 16.9%
Cs: 13.5%
MES: 13.3% (left wing Balearic Islands nationalists)
Vox: 11.5%
UP: 10.0%
PI: 8.0% (centre-right Balearic Islands nationalists)

MPM: 1.5% (brand of MES in Minorca)
GxF: 0.5% (centre-left Formentera local party)

Canary Islands

PSOE 20
CC 16 (centre-right Canarian nationalists)
PP 12
NCa 7 (left wing Canarian nationalists)
UP 6
Cs 4
ASG 3 (centre-left La Gomera local party)
Vox 2



If these "panel" is to be belived, my predictions would be:

Asturias: PSOE-Podemos-IU
Castille-Leon: PP-Vox-Cs
Cantabria: PRC-PSOE-UP
La Rioja: PSOE-PR+-Cs !!!
Navarra: PSOE-GBai-Podemos-IU
Madrid: Vox-PP-Cs !!
Extremadura: PP-Cs-Vox
Castille-La Mancha: PP-Vox-Cs
Murcia: PP-Cs-Vox
Aragon: PP-Cs-Vox
Valencia: PSOE-Compromís-UP
Balearic Islands: PSOE-Mes-MPM-GxF-PI
Canary Islands: PSOE-NCa-UP-ASG

The most surprising result by far is La Rioja. A community which everyone thought was safe for PP, but where this panel predicts there's a possibility of PSOE taking back the region for the first time since 1991. Other long term flips involve the Canary Islands going to PSOE for the first time since 1993, Navarra going to PSOE for the first time since 1995 and (technically) Madrid flipping for the first time since 1995 (if we forget about 2003's Tamayazo).

In terms of trends, this panel also predicts the left holding a lot better in places they reciently captured that have a regional language or some sort of regionalist movement (Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Valencia, Navarra) than even in their strongest strongholds like Castille-La Mancha or Extremadura.

Extremadura would be particularly damaging as, like with Andalucia, there has never been a right wing majority there. Extremadura is probably the closest community to Andalucia sociologically speaking. Unlike Andalucia Extremadura did have a PP premier at one point though; when in 2011 Jose Antonio Monago (PP) led a minority government propped up by IU abstaining. But even then, PSOE+IU had a majority on paper, it's just that IU decided to prop up a PP minority instead.

Finally, here are my personal ratings:

Asturias: 2 way tossup (PSOE-PP)
Castille-Leon: Safe PP
Cantabria: Lean PRC
La Rioja: Likely PP
Navarra: 3 way tossup (PSOE-GBai-UPN)
Madrid: 3 way tossup (PSOE-Cs-PP)
Extremadura: 2 way tossup (PSOE-PP)
Castille-La Mancha: 2 way tossup (PSOE-PP)
Murcia: Likely PP
Aragon: Likely PP
Valencia: 2 way tossup (PSOE-PP)
Balearic Islands: Lean PSOE
Canary Islands: Lean PSOE
Ceuta: Lean PP
Melilla: Lean PP

I think I used too many tossups Tongue But I do think there is genuinely a lot of uncertainty about the regional elections; even more than for the general one.
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Velasco
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« Reply #82 on: March 13, 2019, 12:54:47 pm »
« Edited: March 13, 2019, 02:03:51 pm by Velasco »

First of all, there has been a deal in Navarra between UPN (Right wing regionalists, traditionally close to PP), PP and Cs to run together in the general and regional elections

Indeed. This deal forces Cs to modulate its stance against the special tax system of Navarre, which is more or less similar to that of the neighbouring Basque Country. On the other hand, this opposition is the main reason of the Cs weakness in the "Foral Territories" (Navarre and the Basque provinces). The chances of winning seats for Cs in the Navarrese regional elections and in the Basque provincial elections (Diputaciones Forales) are very slim running in its own. I heard the following rationale to Luis Garicano, who is the Cs chief economist and top candidate for the EP elections: Cs will respect the economic agreement of Navarre because it's in the Spanish Constitution; however, Cs is still against these regional particularities and would support the abolition of Fueros and economic agreements in the event of a constitutional reform.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basque_Economic_Agreement

Quote
he Economic Agreement (Basque: kontzertu ekonomikoa, Spanish: Concierto económico) is a juridical instrument that regulates the taxation and financial relations between the General Administration of the Kingdom of Spain and the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.

In other news, PP leader Pablo Casado is asking VOX not to run in small provinces (in terms of seats), in order to prevent a split of the rightwing vote that favours PSOE.

El País: "Spain’s Vox gets nearly €3m in public funds despite tough talk on subsidies"

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/03/13/inenglish/1552465079_939994.html

Quote
This combined income comes out to just over €2.9 million, of which 98% represents public subsidies for election expenses (nearly €1.7 million) and annual allocations to help political groups with parliamentary representation carry out their duties (approximately €1.2 million).

There is a faction of the CUP that intends to run in the general elections for the Catalan provinces. This decision may provoke a split in the organization, whose traditional policy (endorsed in a recent meeting) is not running in Spanish elections. The CUP is a far-left pro-independence party that advocates the unilateral path for the Catalan Republic. Its deputies in the regional parlament ceased to support the Catalan government, criticizing the excessive "autonomism" of the Torra administration. The CUP was founded as a sum of local candidacies running in local elections throughout Catalonia. It gained a small but loyal voter base on grassroots work. Subsequently in October 2012 the CUP ran its first regional elections, getting 3.5% and winning 3 seats. In the September 2015 elections the CUP more than doubled its share, getting 8.2% and winning 10 seats. The reason of this increase is that many ERC voters disgruntled by the coalition with the right wing nationalists (ERC and CDC ran together in the JxSI ticket) switched to the CUP. By the December 2017 elections the CUP decreased again (4.4% and 4 seats). Much of the CUP voters in regional elections went to En Comú Podem and ERC in the 2015 and 2016 general elections (others presumably abstained).

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Velasco
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« Reply #83 on: March 16, 2019, 01:10:01 am »
« Edited: March 17, 2019, 06:43:05 pm by Velasco »

PP leader Pablo Casado is getting rid of the Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría supporters in the compilation of electoral lists. Former Labour minister Fátima Báñez announced that she quits politics, following other retiring members of the Rajoy administration close to Santamaría. Additionally the former general coordinator of the PP Fernando Martínez Maíllo (the "Rajoy's Fireman") has been ousted from the top position in Zamora province. The cleansing of the rival faction is creating some unrest within the PP ranks. The former ministers who supported María Dolores de Cospedal in the first round of the leadership contest have been rewarded for their support to Casado in the second round.  Former Justice minister Rafael Catalá will top the list in Cuenca and former Agriculture minister Isabel García de Tejerina will run for Valladolid. The star draftee of the Casado's project is Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, a journalist and former deputy (2008-2015) very close to Aznar who leads the FAES foundation. Álvarez de Toledo replaces current PP parliamentary spokeswoman Dolors Montserrat as the top candidate in Barcelona province, where she will have to compete against the Cs rising star Inés Arrimadas. Aside from her, the profile of the new candidates picked by Casado is not very high. It's clear the PP leader wants a loyal and ideologically homogeneous parliamentary group that doesn't create problems, particularly when electoral results are expected to be bad. A right-wing majority in general elections could save Casado's face, as it happened to Juan Manuel Moreno in Andalusia.

On the other hand Pedro Sánchez is facing a relative opposition from Susana Díaz and other regional 'barons'' in the compilation of the PSOE lists. The Andalusia and Aragon branches are negotiating the lists around the clock with the federal PSOE. Four cabinet members will top provincial lists in Andalusia. There is some conflict in Seville, where the top candidate will be Finance minister María Jesús Montero. Pedro Sánchez wants to place two members of the federal executive loyal to him in the positions 2 and 4: the delegate of the government in Andalusia Alfonso Díaz de Celis and adviser in La Moncloa Francisco Salazar. Given the 'zipper list' system, these nominations would displace a Susana Díaz henchman called Antonio Paradas to the 6th position with very little chances of being elected. Pradas played a starring role in the ousting of Pedro Sánchez from the PSOE leadership, so he is not loved by the PM. The PSOE's federal commission has veto power in the compilation of electoral lists.

Podemos is facing problems in Galicia, where the coalition of the 2015 and 2016 general elections is broken. En Marea will run in its own as a separate party, while the nationalist party Anova decided not to contest the general elections. Deprived of its nationalist partners, Podemos will ally with IU and Equo (presumably under the Unidas Podemos banner). En Marea was founded in November 2015 as a coalition incorporating Podemos, Anova, IU and some municipal alliances (Marea Atlántica, Compostela Oberta and Ferrol en Común) that succeed in the May 2015 elections. The election of a new party leadership in late 2018 led to a split between the supporters of leader Luis Villares and the allied parties (Podemos, Anova, IU). The faction supporting Villares seeks the complete independence of the organization, in order to create a separate parliamentary group in the Spanish Congress. Currently the En Marea deputies are ascribed to the UP parliamentary group (4 out of 5 members voted to pass the 2019 budget and 1 voted against).
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« Reply #84 on: March 17, 2019, 07:46:20 am »

A Catalan pro-independence march took place yesterday in Madrid. Attendance figures vary depending on sources: the police says 18k, the organizers 120k and El País mewspaper estimates 55k. The most important thing is that people marched peacefully and the police forces of the oppressive Spanish state prevented incidents with far-right elements. Actually the people of Madrid is quite friendly and hospitable and treated well the Catalans.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/16/madrid-braces-for-major-catalan-independence-march

Quote
Tens of thousands of Catalan independence supporters have marched through central Madrid in protest at the trial of 12 separatist leaders who helped organise the failed bid for independence from Spain in 2017 and to renew their call for a vote on secession.

The demonstration was organised by two powerful civil society groups, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, around the slogan: “Self-determination is not a crime. Democracy is about deciding.”

Here's a sample of the Vox campaign in WhatsApp. The far-right party launched a successful campaign in social networks for the Andalusian elections, targeting particular market niches such as hunters, bullfight lovers, participants in Holy Week processions (cofrades), angry fathers in divorce process...

"Facing with those who only offer fear, the #EspañaViva will show once again that it is not afraid of anything or anyone

On April 28 make history with your vote

This video has to be seen all over Spain! Resend to all your contacts and spread it in your groups of friends and family"

Img

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« Reply #85 on: March 19, 2019, 05:29:40 am »
« Edited: March 19, 2019, 07:48:19 am by Velasco »

Catalan premier Quim Torra gets 24 hours to remove separatist symbols from public buildings

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/03/19/inenglish/1552982328_757950.html

Quote
   
Spanish election officials have given Catalan premier Quim Torra another 24 hours to remove pro-independence symbols from all public buildings owned or run by the regional government.

A week ago, the Central Electoral Board (JEC) reminded the Catalan government that public authorities have the legal obligation to preserve political neutrality ahead of the local, regional, general and European elections coming up in April and May.

The move chiefly affects public buildings displaying yellow ribbons, used to show support for separatist leaders standing trial for rebellion, and esteladas, the unofficial flags used by supporters of Catalan independence.

The body that monitors elections in Spain has asked the government delegate in Catalonia, Teresa Cunillera, to check that these instructions are followed, and warned Torra that failure to do so could have administrative and criminal consequences.

The JEC rejected Torra’s arguments that “the estelada flag is a symbol that represents a desire for freedom and makes a democratic, legitimate, legal and non-violent claim.”

Election officials noted that these symbols may indeed symbolize “the aspirations of one part of Catalan society, but not all of it. It is a legitimate symbol that may be used by political groups in their campaigning, but not by public powers, at least not during election periods, as they have an obligation to maintain rigorous political neutrality as per Article 50.2 of the Electoral Regime Law (LOREG).”

Vox leader Santiago Abascal is disappeared fom public forum. This absence is deliberate and is aimed to prevent the candidate's image is eroded. The lack of visibility of the Vox leader contrasts sharply with the feverish activity of the PP leader. Actually the message of Vox is being conveniently amplified by Pablo Casado and it's for free. A prominent Vox member called Iván Espinosa de los Monteros suggested in recent statements that separatist and Marxist parties should be banned. Vox is recruiting as candidates a series of retired generals, as well as former PP members from the radical wing such as former deputy Gil Lázaro.

WhatsApp is very popular in Spain and parties like PP and Vox are turning to it in order to reach a wider audience

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/03/18/inenglish/1552900378_672737.html

Quote
During the run-up to the last general election in Spain, political parties used Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to spread their messages. This year, with a snap general election called for April 28 and local, regional and European elections set for May 26, it appears they are turning to WhatsApp, the most popular social network in Spain (...)

Recruiting former generals and hyperactivity in social networks, while avoiding the public exposition of the candidates, are common points between the Vox and the Bolsonaro campaigns

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« Reply #86 on: March 19, 2019, 06:21:11 am »

To go into more detail about the Vox candidates, they've already presented a handful of candidates for Congress.

First of all, the more "normal" candidates. Their top 3 for Madrid seems to be:

1. Santiago Abascal (Party leader and candidate for PM)
2. Javier Ortega Smith (secretary general)
3. Ivan Espionsa de los Monteros (vicesecretary of international relations of the party)

Other candidates include:

-Ignacio Gil Lázaro for Valencia (former PP congressman)
-3 retired generals for Alicante, Castellón and Cádiz.
-Writer Jose María Marco for Senate in Madrid

Not sure when was the last time there were former military members in Congress. Podemos ran Julio Rodríguez (another retired general) last time, but he didn't get a seat.

Last time there was a military minister was all the way back in 1981 with Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado, Deputy Prime Minister (and minister of defense) under Adolfo Suárez.

Worth noting that one of the 3 Vox generals (the one for Cádiz) signed a manifesto publicly defending the figure of Franco and claiming the 1936 coup was justified. Definitely scary stuff that looks out of the 1970s at best.

https://www.canarias7.es/nacional/vox-desvela-sus-primeros-candidatos-para-el-28a-NA6828294
https://elpais.com/politica/2019/03/17/actualidad/1552842527_993443.html

My guesses for other prominent figures of Vox:

-Rocío Monasterio for some sort of Madrid position (either mayor or regional parliament)
-Ignacio Garriga (the infamous "Vox black person", who is half black from Equatorial Guinea) for some sort of Barcelona position (probably Congress). Could see him running for mayor instead though
-Jose Antonio Ortega Lara (high profile ETA victim) either for Congress in Burgos or for regional parliament in Castille-Leon.

However, this all pales in comaprison to Vox's most colourful candidate so far. Fernando Paz, candidate for Congress in Albacete. He has apparently compared homosexuality with a disease, repeatedly praised francoism and denied the Holocaust. He has also taken part in meetings of neonazi parties like Alianza Nacional or Falange.

https://www.ultimahora.es/noticias/nacional/2019/03/19/1066029/candidato-vox-homofobo-negacionista-del-holocausto.html
https://www.larazon.es/espana/fernando-paz-el-polemico-candidato-de-vox-que-ve-la-homosexualidad-como-una-enfermedad-HM22485165

I imagine he will be purged from the party (but not the Francoist general). But still this definitely can't be helping Vox.
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« Reply #87 on: March 19, 2019, 05:26:19 pm »

However, this all pales in comaprison to Vox's most colourful candidate so far. Fernando Paz, candidate for Congress in Albacete. He has apparently compared homosexuality with a disease, repeatedly praised francoism and denied the Holocaust. He has also taken part in meetings of neonazi parties like Alianza Nacional or Falange.

I imagine he will be purged from the party (but not the Francoist general). But still this definitely can't be helping Vox.

This Fernando Paz is indeed very "colorful". I'm somewhat skeptical in what regards your last assumption. I'm pretty sure the Vox folks were fully aware of his "controversial opinions". This guy is not only well known in far right circles, he has intervened in talk shows like El Gato al Agua defending Billy El Niño ("Billy The Kid" a renowned torturer of the Franco's police). My impression is that Vox is deliberately promoting this kind of "politically incorrect" candidates, because they perceive the context is very favourable to be openly and unashamedly extremist. No, I don't think that Vox will purge him. For the sake of precision, Alianza Nacional ("National Alliance") is neo-Nazi, but Falange is... Falangista (or Joseantoniana).

On a more or less related note, there is another allegedly neo-Nazi organization called Hogar Social that now is a political party. Hogar Social began as a sort of charity organization that helps only Spaniards. It gained visibility by occupying some emblematic buildings in Madrid. HS has links with Casa Pound in Italy. Apparently the surge of Vox leaves no room for other far-right party. According to El Confidencial, the dream of the HS leader Melisa Rodríguez is fading

https://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/2019-01-07/el-boom-de-vox-y-el-ocaso-de-hogar-social-madrid-el-lento-final-del-sueno-de-melisa_1741750/

The lovely Vox Gang (left to right): Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, Santiago Abascal, Javier Ortega Smith* and Rocío Monasterio

Img

The statements by Iván Espinosa de los Monteros are very interesting. He regards ïñigo Errejón as "one of the most dangerous foes". He says that behind his nice boy face the Podemos founder hides an "anti-Spanish and radical leftist bile extremely dangerous for our country". He also regards Cs leader Albert Rivera as a leftist that attracts rightwing voters beguiled by his clean and shaved appearance, in contrast to the "dirty" and pony-tailed Pablo Iglesias. He also said something about the "pretty girls" of Cs, likely referring to Inés Arrimadas. He admits having supported PP in the past, but he stopped voting them "as one quits hard drugs". In short: the man is arrogant, contemptuous and sexist. He might not be brilliant from an intellectual point of view, but he is politically incorrect and speaks in direct and forceful sentences ideal for Twitter and WhatsApp. Prestigious journalist Iñaki Gabilondo says that Vox represents the Francoism, something he thought it was left behind. The far-right was always hanging around, but it was hidden and to a great extent contained in the PP That's all in the past, for a number of reasons. Now the genie is out of the bottle: welcome to the Age of Populism.

* Ortega Smith represents the private prosecution in the trial to the Catalan separatist leaders and he is revealing as a pretty incompetent attorney. I would say it's a good thing.
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« Reply #88 on: March 20, 2019, 10:20:32 am »

Apparently Abascal today was in Warsaw talking with representatives of PiS and Kaczyński himself. It seems they will probably follow the route of FvD and DLF.
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« Reply #89 on: March 23, 2019, 10:40:28 am »

So is the Spanish left realigning, losing its support in various fiefdoms in the south to urban areas and more urban/high cost of living areas?
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« Reply #90 on: March 23, 2019, 11:00:06 am »

So is the Spanish left realigning, losing its support in various fiefdoms in the south to urban areas and more urban/high cost of living areas?

I would say yes and no. The left is definitely losing its support in the southern fiefdoms, but it's not necesarily gaining in urban areas, but instead areas that aren't fully "culturally Spanish/Castillian"

I didn't publish them here, but I've been doing PVI graphs for all Spanish autonomous communities. And one of the maps I made was a 2000-2016 trend map:

Img


Take the map with a huge amount of caution as I included parties like the Basque PNV or the Catalan CiU/PDECat on the right even if they would never support a PP government (especially not now, in 2000 it was a lot more likely)

Also keep in mind that the results in the African cities and the Canary Islands are distorted by unusually strong performances by GIL (in Ceuta/Melilla) or a quite left wing CC in the Canary Islands (led by Román Rodríguez back then, who is clearly a lefty at least now and even split from his former party)

Still, the PVI evolution is striking. Especially the fact that the South has trended a lot more than the North.

Fun fact I got from my graphs: 2016 was the first time Extremadura voted to the right of the nation since 1979. It also saw the worst results ever for the Spanish left in Andalucia, with a PVI of Left+5 (in 2000 it was at Left+24).

If you wonder why the left lost Andalucia, an important part is its march to the right. Since the current national polling average seems to be around Right+8; it's far from weird that Andalucia flipped.

I could share the full Excel sheet or the graphs if you want.

Still, while the left seems to be losing its old fiefdoms, it isn't winning necesarily in urban areas. I would expect small town places like Castellón or Álava to flip well before Madrid does.

Borrowing Atlas terms, it seems the Spanish left is losing its Andalusian #populists Purple heart while gaining among Barcelona/Valencia Catalan coastal elitists.
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« Reply #91 on: March 23, 2019, 11:22:33 am »

Political debate in Spain is not focused on serious issues such as economy, climate change or the future of pensions. These subjects are crucial for the future, but they are too complex to be condensed in a tweet. Instead our leaders prefer launching wars on symbols or foolish proposals, turning the political arena into a circus. Two examples:

Catalan premier Quim Torra is getting everyone tired, including his coalition partners

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/03/22/inenglish/1553263956_201609.html

Quote
The regional premier of Catalonia, Quim Torra, is facing a criminal prosecution that could see him barred from office over his refusal to remove pro-independence symbols from public buildings ahead of the upcoming national, regional and local elections in Spain.

Spain’s Central Electoral Board (JEC) had instructed the Catalan regional government to take down the signs and symbols from the buildings that it owns or manages. These symbols include yellow ribbons, a sign of support for the pro-independence leaders who were placed in custody ahead of their Supreme Court trial, which is currently ongoing.

orra was given instructions by the JEC to remove the material 11 days ago, and a deadline to do so by Tuesday afternoon. But the hardline separatist leader opted to ignore the order and instead requested a report from the Catalan ombudsman for advice. The Síndic de Greuges, as the ombudsman is known, advised the regional government that it should take down the symbols.

n response, on Thursday Torra changed the banner on the balcony of the Catalan government’s main building. But it was swapped for an identical sign calling for the release of “political prisoners,” the only difference being the use of a white ribbon instead of a yellow one.

On Friday, plainclothes officers from the regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, officially notified the premier’s office of the JEC’s instruction, according to police sources. The Catalan police had been ordered to remove the material themselves before 3pm on Friday. On receiving that notification, Torra gave the order for the material to be removed. Hours later, a new banner went up with the message: “Freedom of opinion and expression.” (...)

Vox leader wants that Spaniards can keep guns at home, alleging they are a "common sense party" that supports the right to self defense. Apparently the rest of parties are not under the influence of the NRA.

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/03/21/inenglish/1553170075_849436.html

Quote
The leader of the Spanish far-right political party Vox, Santiago Abascal, has called for the country’s criminal code and gun regulations to be reformed to make it easier to own a gun and to ensure people who shoot home invaders are not prosecuted by the law, as is the case in the United States.

In an interview with the weapons publication Armas.es last weekend, just days after the deadly shooting at two mosques in New Zealand, Abascal proposed “a radical and urgent change to the law” to allow Spaniards not only “to keep a weapon at home but also to ensure they can use it in situations of real threat to their life without having to face a legal nightmare, prison sentences or even compensation to the families of the criminals who assaulted them.” (...)
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« Reply #92 on: March 23, 2019, 12:44:41 pm »
« Edited: March 23, 2019, 02:51:06 pm by Velasco »

I think the map in the previous post shows that Podemos (and its allies in Catalonia, Valencia and Galicia) performed strongly in peripheral regions by 2015 and 2016. Now the Podemos alliances in Valencia and Galicia are broken and En Comú Podem is expected to lose support in Catalonia. Back in 2004 and 2008, the PSOE got extraordinary results in Catalonia and the Basque Country, as well gained ground in Galicia and the Islands..  but there was a PP surge in Valencia by the 2008 election. I think the PSOE will make gains in Catalonia,  but it will be miles away from the  2004-2008 marks. I'd say peripheral regions with vernacular languages (particularly Catalonia and the Basque Country) tend to support the Spanish Left in general elections when there's a perceived threat to their identity posed by the Spanish Right. That was the case in the elections won by Zapatero in 2004 and 2008. The Podemos success in Catalonia could be partly motivated by its stance favorable to a referendum on self determination. On the other hand, I think it's likely the crisis in Catalonia will help to continue the rightward trend in Southern Spain. Anyway there is a lot of volatility that makes the next election outcome very uncertain. It'd be better to wait results in order to see the evolution of geographical trends .
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« Reply #93 on: March 23, 2019, 04:00:17 pm »

Thing is, 1 election is an outlier, but several elections make a trend.

Even if you did a hypothetical 2000-2011 map (the only election you did not mention), it wouldn't be terribly different from that one for the most part.

I think the movement in Catalonia and the Basque country is not based on the Spanish left performing better, but instead on a nationalist realignment.

Think about this, in 2000, Batasuna was banned and both EA and ERC were very small compared to PNV and CiU. In 2016, ERC is actually larger than PDECat and Bildu is much larger than the old EA.

While the result of the election is very unclear, I think the geographic trends are very clear and will actually accelerate in 2019. I think there will now be a realignment based on the division between a left wing periphery and a right wing centralist Spain.

Honestly the most striking result for me is not the fact that the periphery is moving left and the center/Castillian Spain is moving right, but the north-south division within Castillian Spain.

Places like Cantabria or La Rioja have barely moved at all while Andalucia has moved right very fast. It's not even that "they were conservative already and they had nowhere to go"; as conservative stronghold Murcia was actually the place that moved the furthest right alongside Andalucia (from Right+11 in 2000 to Right+27 in 2016 for a trend of 16 points)
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« Reply #94 on: March 23, 2019, 05:14:49 pm »

Yesterday I overlooked this. Finally Vox "purged" pseudo-historian Fernando Paz claiming ignorance of his opinions on the Holocaust and homosexuality. According to party sources (a WhatsApp statement made by a certain Manuel Mariscal) Fernando Paz resigned his candidacy. Apparently the reason behind the "purge" is that Vox is trying to establish relations and get economic support from people linked to the right wing of the Republican Party (Iván Espinosa de los Monteros visited the US in previous days) and a candidate supporting the Holocaust denial is not acceptable for them. Also, the Jewish community on Spain showed concern with the candidacy of a person with such lamentable opinions. The size of the Spanish Jewish community is small (around 40k), but it has a good relationship with the country's political and economic right.

However Vox recruited Jorge Cutillas to run for La Rioja. Cutillas is a candidate with good fascist credentials, a former  member of Fuerza Nueva (FN) that later joined other far right parties. Cutillas was accused of the stoning, alongside other FN members, of some buses with 250 Basque schoolchildren that were visiting Madrid in 1982. Cutillas claims that year he was in Ceuta doing military service.
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« Reply #95 on: March 23, 2019, 06:37:10 pm »

Also, since I was speaking about Spanish electoral geography, I guess I should mention that GAD3 and ABC published a poll where they split their results by province.

They claim they will release full results by autnonomous community for some of them tomorrow or on Monday.

But today they released their poll with maps

Img


The map both confirms and dismisses some of the claims I've made about trends. The blocks map clearly shows how Catalonia and the Basque Country are strong left wing areas (then again not surprising as PP has always had problems there). Andalucia is split. It's still a very left wing area even if it's trending right. I guess it's still not enough to get anything other than a tie out of it.

Surprisingly, the Canary Islands vote left! They have always been a right wing stronghold or at worst a tossup. So to see them going left is surprising to say the least.

As for the party map, it's a PSOE landslide. They even win in several places that weren't even won by Felipe González in 1982 (Lugo and Pontevedra in Galicia and Soria in Castille-Leon) despite a much bigger popular vote gap (48-27 compared to what, 31-21 at best here?). Of course back then there was a more marked 2 party system, sort of.
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« Reply #96 on: March 23, 2019, 07:40:18 pm »
« Edited: March 24, 2019, 09:43:45 am by Velasco »

Thing is, 1 election is an outlier, but several elections make a trend.

Even if you did a hypothetical 2000-2011 map (the only election you did not mention), it wouldn't be terribly different from that one for the most part.

I think the movement in Catalonia and the Basque country is not based on the Spanish left performing better, but instead on a nationalist realignment.

It's true that several elections make a trend, but the fact is that Podemos and En Comú Podem won the last two general general elections in the Basque Country and Catalonia while PP and PSOE fell sharply. On the other hand, the PSOE got a very strong result in the 2008 elections there. In both cases the Spanish Left got some "borrowed" nationalist votes, a tactical support that made possible in 2008 the best historical results for the PSOE in the Basque Country and the second best (after 1982) in Catalonia. The generic left (Spanish and peripheral nationalist) didn't perform well in 2000 and 2011, with the exception of the surge of Amaiur in the Basque Country and Navarre after ETA ceased terrorist activity. In what regards the realignment of the nationalist vote, the situations in Catalonia and the Basque Country are different. While in last general elections ERC surpassed the heirs of Convergència in Catalonia, the PNV remains as the hegemonic force of the Basque nationalism despite the surge of Amaiur (later EH Bildu).

Catalonia

2000: PSC-PSOE 34.4, CiU 28.8, PP  22.8, ERC 5.6, ICV 3.5, EUiA 2.2 (L 45.7 / R 51.6)
2004:  PSC-PSOE 39.4, CiU 20.8, ERC 15.9, PP 15.6, ICV-EUiA 5.6 (L 60.9 / R 36.4)
The high unpopularity of the second Aznar adminsitration in Catalonia damaged CiU tangentially and contributed to the spectacular increase of ERC from 1 to 8 seats in Congress.
2008: PSC-PSOE 45.4, CiU 20.9, PP 16.4, ERC 7.8, ICV-EUiA 4.9, Cs 0.7 (L 58.1 / R 38.5)
2011: CiU 29.3, PSC-PSOE 26.6, PP 20.7, ICV-EUiA 8.1, ERC 7, UPyD 1.1 (L 41.7 / R 51.1)
It was the first time since 1977 that PSC-PSOE was not coming in first place
2015: ECP 24.7, ERC 16, PSC-PSOE 15.7, DiL 15.1, Cs 13, PP 11.1 (L 56.4 / R 39.2)
The Podemos alliance with ICV, EUiA and BComú wins the first general elections held after the beginning of the drive to independence in 2012.
2016: ECP 24.5, ERC 18.1, PSC-PSOE 16.1, CDC 13.9, PP 13.3, Cs 10.9 (L 58.7 / R 41.1)

Basque Country

2000: EAJ-PNV 30.4, PP 28.2, PSOE 23.3, EA 7.5, IU 5.4 (L 36.2 / R 58.6)
2004: EAJ-PNV 33.7, PSOE 27.2, PP 18.9, IU 8.2, EA 6.5, Aralar 3-1 (L 45 / R 52.6)
2008: PSOE 38.4, EAJ-PNV 27.1, PP 18.5, IU 4.5, EA 4.5, Aralar 2.6, UPyD 0.9 (L 50 / R 46.5)
2011: EAJ-PNV 27.4, Amaiur 24.1, PSOE 21.5, PP 17.8, IU 3.7, UPyD 1.8 (L 49.3 / R 47)
Amaiur incorporates Sortu (heirs of Batasuna), EA and Aralar. The ban of Batasuna introduced a factor of distortion in previous election results. Notice that PP didn't grow in its best election nationwide.
2015: Podemos 25.9, EAJ-PNV 24.7, EH Bildu 15, PSOE 13, PP 11.6, Cs 4.1, IU 2.9 (L 56.8 / R 40.4) Podemos wins at the expense of the PSOE and EH Bildu
2016: UP 29, EAJ-PNV 24.9, POE 14.2, EH Bildu 13.3, PP 12.8, Cs 3.5 (L 56.5 / R 37.5)

PSOE winning Barcelona and Tarragona (according to GAD3) means that socialists might win  next general elections in Catalonia. Let's see what say the polls tomorrow...
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« Reply #97 on: March 23, 2019, 09:59:10 pm »
« Edited: March 24, 2019, 09:47:38 am by Velasco »

40dB poll for El País with a seat projection not favourable for the right-wing bloc

Img

If we have to believe what pollsters are telling us, Vox stopped its increase and is standing somewhere between 10% and 12%. However Vox is getting all the media attention and is the most popular party in social networks replacing Podemos. Is the polling industry aware of under the radar movements?

Podemos leader came back tonight in a rally that took place in Madrid. The message conveyed by Pablo Iglesias was, in my biased opinion, contradictory and unconvincing. He intended to be self-critical admitting that internal conflict has been shameful and damaging for Podemos, but on the other hand he continues hurling darts against rivals: "we made mistakes but we have never been on the wrong side" Iglesias made some recriminations to Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena and demanded her to reveal which party she will support. Carmena said in a recent interview that she voted Podemos in past elections and has decided her vote in the next, but she doesn't want to say it publicly (it wouldn't be surprising that she intends to vote for the PSOE, but she is an independent after all). Carmena's ally and Iglesias' rival Ïñigo Errejón said that he will vote Podemos again, but stated there's too much sectarianism in the party and he feels liberated in his new platform for regional elections. Iglesias attacked the "Trio of Colón" (PP,Cs and Vox) and assumed that Podemos will be part of a coalition with the PSOE if they have the numbers, although hr doesn't rule out a deal between PSOE and Cs despite the promises of Albert Rivera. The Podemos leader states that he doesn't believe the polls, but I'd say there was some depression floating in the air and this is going to be a very difficult campaign for him. Thousands of people attended the rally, but sources say the square next to the Reina Sofía Museum was not filled completely. There are many valuable persons that are no longer in Podemos and they are missed.
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« Reply #98 on: March 24, 2019, 12:50:51 pm »
« Edited: March 24, 2019, 12:54:11 pm by Velasco »

The Sonadxe poll for La Voz de Galicia predicts that Vox will come in thir place. The right-wing bloc would win 172 seats, 4 seats short of majority. The Left would win 148 seats, 28 short of a majority. The previous 40dB poll gives a chance for a PSOE-Cs majority, but according to the seat projection in this poll reds and oranges would be 19 seats short.

PSOE 26.9% (113 seats), PP 189% (78), VOX 13.9% (50), Cs 13.8% (44), UP 13.4% (35), Others 7.9% (30)

https://www.lavozdegalicia.es/noticia/elecciones/2019/03/23/vox-tercera-izquierda-baja-derecha-suma/00031553370410907718658.htm

.El Caudillo's long shadow

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/23/franco-ghost-exhumatiob-spain-elections-far-right-vox-party

Quote
It is little wonder, then, that these are bittersweet times for those who suffered under Franco and who have long yearned to see him exhumed from the Valley of the Fallen.

The activist, politician and writer Lidia Falcón, now 83, was arrested seven times under Franco and tortured by his thugs (...)

Falcón snorts at any parallels between Franco’s uprising in 1936 and the re-emergence of the far-right after a 40-year absence. But in Vox, “who have sprung up here overnight, like a mushroom in the woods”, she discerns a familiar kind of politics. “They’re the same people, except today it’s their grandchildren,” says Falcón. “A lot of fascists are rising to the surface now.”

She is not alone in her appraisal. In a recent interview, Iñaki Gabilondo, perhaps Spain’s best-known journalist, was asked how he would characterise Vox. “To me, it’s Francoism,” he told eldiario.es. “I was 33 when Franco died. That means I’d lived for 33 years … with Franco in my head, my heart, my world and my soul.”

Vox’s “ultra-Spanish, ultra-centralised thinking, based on fatherland, God, Spain and old values”, he added, was Francoism pure and simple. “It’s something totally recognisable because I lived it,” he said. “It’s exactly what we wanted to get rid of.”
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« Reply #99 on: March 25, 2019, 10:30:23 am »
« Edited: March 25, 2019, 01:40:28 pm by Velasco »

Finally ABC released the GAD3 poll. Narciso Michavila has good news for PSOE, bad for Cs and terrible for Podemos

Img


The Left (PSOE+UP) gets a combined 42.4% winning 158-161 seats.

The Right (PP, Cs and Vox) gets a combined 46.5%, winning 155-164 seats. The coalition Navarra Suma (UPN, PP and Cs) would win 2 additional seats, but the rightwing bloc would be still short of a majority.

A PSOE-Cs alliance would be 4 to 8 seats short of a majority

Pedro Sánchez would need the support of ERC to win the investiture, alongside the support of UP, PNV and Compromís. With these numbers, the support of JxCAT (CDC) would not be necessary.

Other investiture options might involve someone's abstention in a second vote.  First investiture vote requires absolute majority (176 votes). Second investiture votes requires simple majority (more votes in favour than against).
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