Saturday, April 16, 2011
The Opportunity for Change
We are in the days of the 'pre-campaign', as defined by the rules which were quietly changed this past January. You can't put up your posters yet - although there are several in Mojácar for the delightfully named UM party, covered by tarpaulins to uphold the law, but just as effective for anyone who lives here and saw them in their glory for a month or two. 'Capacity', they say. 'Oh yes we can'...
Meanwhile, the main parties in the country, the national ones, have their opportunity. They will be on the television with their business as usual, their scandals and mutual accusations (carefully not mentioning anyone else, since, like most countries, we have the politics sewn up in a two-party system). Then, there are the 'routine' meetings when the party leader or a minister (or equivalent) is chewing a microphone in public, talking, naturally, about state affairs... not the upcoming local elections - that wouldn't be right. There are autonomous elections in many parts of Spain as well, where the non-Spanish Europeans are not invited to vote, but thankfully, Andalucía is spared that. Here, our autonomous elections are held with the national ones, in the hope that the eternally ruling PSOE-A gets in again. Since the autonomy is ruled and run from far-off Seville, it won't make much difference here anyway.
In the towns, the smaller parties must wait. We gossip and plot our modest campaigns as the larger parties look over their war-chests and order their billboards and teeshirts from Madrid. It's the calm before the storm. The mayors may have handled the voting list, but we shall get copies of them next week.
But what does this advert from nolesvotes mean? Don't vote for the establishment. It's about the institutionalised corruption in Spain, the sell-out to Hollywood ('Ley Sinde'), the 'war' on Libya (with Spanish munitions flying on both sides), the five million unemployed, the protection of the bankers, the alternation (and mutual protection) of the two parties, plus the CiU in Catalonia. 'Without your support', says the association, 'the big parties have nothing'.
Here in Mojácar, with the PSOE in collapse, the peril for our town comes from the local PP, who have not only mismanaged and affronted our citizens for the past four years, on their return to power, they are planning to eviscerate the square beside the church, making a pointless underground car-park for residents: a park for 37 cars. Will the workmen stop as they dig through 4,000 years of history as treasures from the past are unearthed? They didn't the last time with Gabriel, when ruins and graves were found in the Plaza Parterre, neither the time before with Bartolo while chewing up the surrounds by the Castillo. And all for what? Several million euros of scarce Town Hall money misspent. This party builds 'Padel Tennis' courts on the beach at a premium, without there being any demand or interest. The football stadium wasn't cheap either, even though we don't have a team yet. The Art Museum, switched expediently to a gallery earlier this month, has now been closed.
It's time for a change. Choose a party that reflects the make-up of your community, a party with a proper mixture of Spanish and 'European' residents. A Town Hall should at least reflect the make-up of its citizens and should, like the nation above it, be responsible to them - not to self perpetuation and outside interests.