A quick look at the various Catalan campaigns

As the election draws nearer, the various political campaigns are now all completely underway. Here’s my brief summary:

PSC/PSOE

Carme Chacón, the ‘airhead’ (because she’s a woman) is leading the PSC’s campaign. On the streets here, it’s clear that the Socialists have made an effort to show that the fight is not Rajoy vs Zapatero but Rajoy vs Chacón, obviously because Zapatero isn’t that popular out here. They’re also running mixed messages in their campaign literature, using “La Catalunya Optimista” (The Optimistic Catalunya) but also “Si tu no hi vas, ells tornem” (If you dont go [to vote], they’ll be back” referring to the PP. So in short: optimistic but fearmongering.

PPC/PP

That strange woman whose name I can’t remember heads up the PPC’s election list. She’s a miserable, grumpy sort of woman but I think the PP are resigned to the fact that they’re becoming a minor party here. She has accused Chacón of ‘using her pregnancy’ in her campaign, which strikes me as a bizarre thing to say. What should she have done, resign and go into purdah? Solidarity, miserable hag!

CiU

The double-headed monster that is CiU is promoting manly decisiveness as its main policy. Mas and Duran i Lleida are both strong-jawed, photogenic fellows who are following the traditional line of ‘more powers for Catalunya, but not too many!’. It’ll be interesting to see if they get the chance to pact with the PP. I hope not.

ERC

ERC always run a more direct campaign in the Spanish elections than in the Catalan ones. This year’s no exception: “Volem un pais de 1ª; per això volem la independència!” (“We want a premier league country; for this, we need independence”).  They’ve gone with some ill advised posters which show Joan Ridao’s bald head not once but twice in each one! I’ll try to get some pictures for SyS this weekend. They also seem to be pursuing a bigger campaign in the Balearic Islands, where they reckon people are pissed off with being ‘forgotten’ by the PP & PSOE. Good luck with that.

Iniciativa/ICV-EUiA/IU

The Iniciativa campaign seems to have been pretty subdued, which will no doubt lead to further losses for IU in the Madrid parliament. They have some brightly coloured posters dotted around which look like they were designed by a child and which have too many complex messages on them. They’re pursuing their usual campaign of sustainable development, higher minimum wage, shorter working week: you know, all that stuff that makes certain people froth at the mouth, kick the dog and slam the door. As noted previously, the fuckers pacted with the PP in Cerdanyola when I last voted for them, so as far as I’m interested, they can do whatever they like.

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By the way, we were in Port del Comte skiing this weekend and had a great time, once again. We also revisited the pretty village of Sant LLorenç de Morunys for a glass or two of Voll Damm. There was something I noticed in the streets which struck me as the best symbol of the repression of Catalan during Franco’s dictatorship: every street and every square in every town and village was renamed by funcionarios (administrators) to Spanish. Now, this isn’t the same as banning the language out-right but it’s an incredibly invasive, malicious thing to do which ensured that however much people in rural areas might speak Catalan in the market or in the bar, for official purposes, they weren’t allowed to call their street by its real name. Obviously, the same happened here (Calle Escuelas is back to Carrer Escoles), but it struck me as particularly invasive in a village where paractically no one speaks Spanish regularly. It’s these symbolic little things, calculated to annoy or hurt, which added together amount to an attempt at genocide.

4 thoughts on “A quick look at the various Catalan campaigns

  1. Hahaha, PP and IC-V pacting? Well, most of the times parties don’t matter in small towns. I mean, it’s all about certain individuals that have just joined a party because they wanted to be elected. Moreover, some individuals may not even agree with the ideology or some aspects of their party. That’s pathetic but that’s why I comprehend such situations. On the other hand, local politics are different than national politics and what matters is not the ideology but a concrete policy (like constructing a new bridge or building a library).

  2. Hi Tom,

    This looks promising, especially since I seem to notice a bit of negativity to my own favorite parties (and I don’t mean PP, I am not that weird).

    Erik

  3. So how real do you think the decline in Esquerra’s support is for the election? The polls seem to suggest that they could lose 2 of their seats which seems a high price to pay for going for the bald vote! Is this because their voters are abstaining or becausse they are switching?

  4. It’s probably switching more than abstaining. A lot of people are still pissed off that ERC supported Montilla for president of the Generalitat even though he can’t really speak Catalan (at least, he certainly couldn’t when he was elected).

    Also, ERC’s strategy has been to push CiU in a nationalist direction: Mas and Duran i Lleida are both much louder nationalists than 5 years ago.

    But there is an abstention issue too… there’s a bit of Catalanist graffiti near my house which depicts a crude Estelada and one word: Abstenció!

    Let’s not forget also that ERC increased their share of seats massively in 2004. A drop by 2 would be big but wouldn’t necessarily be a disaster.

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