Next Sunday, schools and other public buildings across Spain will open their doors as polling stations for the elections for the European Parliament. I always quite enjoy these days, mainly because I'm only allowed to vote in EU and local elections, despite the fact that I've lived here for seven years now. Anyway, I've spent some time thinking about who I'm going to vote for and I just can't make up my mind.
The first problem is the parties. I've talked before about how many political parties compete here for power, with some relatively small parties (like ERC in Catalonia) occasionally achieving power at a regional and even national level. The EU elections are made even more fun by the fact that they have whole new parties which all look very familiar but which are formally aligned to groupings in Brussels. With the major parties, this isn't too complicated: the PSOE/PSC (social-democratic) becomes the European Socialist Party and the PP (right-wing) becomes the European People's Party.
In Catalonia, CiU (Catalan Christian democratic) affiliate with the European Liberal Democrat and Refrom Party and ERC (Left-wing Catalan nationalist) form part of the European Free Alliance grouping. ICV-EUiA (Catalan green communist) splits into its two constituent parties, with ICV forming part of the European Greens party and EUiA affiliating with the Party of the European Left. Ciudadanos (Spanish nationalist) forms part of the Libertas group (which includes the French party Hunting, Fishing Nature, Tradition), while UPyD (Centrist Spanish nationalist) has no EU affiliation – though I believe that they are contending. There are various other small parties taking part (like II-SP, for example) but I can't find a complete list of all parties running candidates in Catalonia. You can find a detailed examination of several of the groupings' positions on particular topics here (in Spanish).
Here's my breakdown of why I don't want to vote for any of the larger parties:
PSOE-PSC – in government in Spain and Catalonia; I don't like the way this party operates, though I'd obviously choose them over the PP. Installing that oaf Montilla as president of the Generalitat and giving extra money to the Church are two good examples of the sort of judgements they will make when politicking.
PP – no one in their right mind would ever consider voting for this bunch of half-wits. Their disgraceful behaviour in power and in 'opposition', now culminaing in multiple high-level corruption cases and their perverse insistence on blocking attempts to provide decent funerals to the thousands left in mass graves by Franco's thugs.
CiU – too conservative for my liking, their pact with the PP happened years ago but still stinks. They also have this really grating sense of their own right to power (ok, most politicans do but CiU's are just too slimy).
ERC – I know more about this party's lack of management capabilities than I can safely write about. They had an opportunity to modernise or stay on the gravy train recently; they chose gravy.
ICV – Saura's abysmal handling of security in Catalonia (lots of Mossos to thump students, not so many to catch thieves) leaves me cold. Even if he is a generous lover.
EUiA – don't trust the communists. They pacted with the PP in Cerdanyola. I mean, can you imagine?
C's – not a chance. Same goes for UPyD and any other tinfoil groups out there.
So where does that leave me? Is there a decent Troskyite anti-bullfighting pro-referendum Priorat wine party?