Opinion

The election campaign of the pink elephants

Atalayar_campaña electoral Madrid

An eighties band put lyrics to what is happening forty years later in Spanish politics, unhinged by the division into blocs after the emergence of parties representing the extremes: those who are far to the left, those who are far to the right and those who are (or were) far to the centre. "There's something in my cup and I don't know what it is"... sang that Galician group, and the tune might help us to lament the polarised situation we are suffering and ask ourselves what the hell has been put in the cup of Spanish public life, so that without deserving it we have to endure the worst electoral campaign in Spain's democratic history. Coincidences or not, victory is more than assured for the right, with the doubt as to whether that victory will be enough to govern. It is then that all the storms of the universe have been unleashed, making Madrid the region, or even the country, with the most radicalised political positions in Europe and in a good part of the world (I do not include Latin America because I believe that in many countries on the continent, things are much worse than here in electoral matters and in social and even civil confrontation).

If we were to chronicle for European or American readers the progress of the election campaign in the Madrid region, any reporter would be hard-pressed to make himself understood by his readers. Atalayar readers in France, the UK and even Italy would have to be told with the best of our analysis that this election was not due now, but has been brought forward because a motion of censure was forced against the regional government in another territory, which in the end, to add insult to injury, failed. We should convince you that it is real for a candidate to be managed by the presidency of the government at its whim, imposing its subsequent policies on fiscal matters and even imposing the economic vice-president that it will have to appoint by decree. We would try to convince you that this candidate has invented something new: the rectification of electoral promises not after the elections, but during the course of the campaign itself, by promising not to agree with another candidate and then saying the opposite days later.

Moving on in our chronicle, we would have to explain how another of the candidates, who resigned as vice-president of the government to be head of the regional list, has gone to an electoral debate in his official car, in which he has been riding for years despite preaching against the privileged public caste, only to change his car without anyone seeing him in order to pretend that he uses a taxi as a means of transport. You can guess who the twenty thousand taxi drivers in your city, whom you use as bait by using falsehoods, will not vote for. It would have to be explained to you that one of the contending parties is stoned for asking for votes in a certain district of the city, in the face of the instigation against it by its opposing extremes. And you probably wouldn't understand that one of the candidates of this dominant extremism receives repudiatory death threats by post, along with the ammunition used in the Ramix-30 in Ceuta by those of us who did our military service in the Spanish city in North Africa, threats that he has taken advantage of to demand the same condemnation from his ideological antagonist that he himself denies him for the stoning in Vallecas. And then, the threatened candidate leaves the studio seeking to achieve with blows of effect what he is failing to achieve with proposals.

It should be explained to the European reader that there was a time when only two parties dominated the parliamentary arc in the regions of this country, at most there was an atomised third party that gave support to one of the two majority options to achieve a stable majority. And we all lived happier lives not attending these shows in pursuit of the uninformed vote.