This post has originally published in May 2014 since then things have changed, however, not always to the best.
Now I recover it because I think it illustrates so well one of the details that are usually overlooked especially beyond the Pyrenees. The original title was:
European elections – What has happened in Catalonia?
I was not planning to discuss yesterday’s elections, but thinking about my daughter, who lives in the UK and bearing in mind that the UK newspapers will be very busy with their own results, and that the BBC will spend no more than five minutes talking about the results in Europe and being optimistic, I calculate those five minutes to Spain will be about 15 seconds. I think it would be interesting, at least for my daughter and for me, to comment on the results in Catalonia
Yesterday important things happened here. More important than some are willing to admit, and far less important than others would have liked.
So with the intention of informing my daughter and of course trying to clarify my own ideas. Here is my comment-analysis, homemade, about the European’s 2014.
the first thing you have to know is that everyone has lost. This morning I thought that, at least, there would be a party that wouldb consider itself as a winner. I was wrong because I just listen their leader saying that the result does not leave him satisfied because they aspired to higher results.
Who said that? It does not matter. You already know that electoral mathematics is a hidden science.
In these elections, several things had been revealed.
a) people are tired of politicians. This can be seen in the fact that, in general, participation has declined and also in that the traditional parties (PP, PSOE) have hit a bump of those who leave purple.
b) A good part of the PP voters have gone two steps further to the right parties like UP and CIUDADANOS The latter have been born here in (Catalonia) but now they have made the leap to the rest of Spain and have not gone bad because they have drawn two seats.
c) If the PP is worrisome, (they say no, they have won, but by the way,they have left a lot of votes), Well if the situation of the PP is sad the PSOE’s is ready to cry because no matter how hard you try to avoid it, sooner or later people realize that unless they kick their speeches they have no content, and so they have gone.
Here I attach a little drawing thanks to EL PAIS
As you see, dear daughter, I have included the results of 2009 (that year I had to be in a pooling station, OMG what boredom). I have separated both results 2014 and 2009. On one side Catalonia results and on the other the rest of Spain
You were born here in Catalonia, and you know very well that this has always been the same. When the weather man on TV announces “rains in Spain” in Catalonia it is sunny and viceversa. In other words, the fact that Catalonia is different has long lasted.
Well yesterday the differences were tremendous.
While in Spain the voter fell, in Catalonia rose 10 points.
We must bear in mind that in the rest of Spain, except for the candidacy of PODEMOS (maybe because they are the novelty) the rest of parties were like discouraging anyone.
That could explain the behaviour of so of many people, who have decided to use their ballot to draw “combs” or devote votes to parties like “the pirate party.”
Here things go differently
Whatever they say, these elections in Catalonia have been like a pre-referendum.
A good part of the Catalan population wanted to demonstrate its strength in a quantifiable way. That is why in Catalonia the parties that proclaim independence have gone.
They are the main supporters of the controversial, but I think necessary “referendum”, on November 9th. (remember that this article is recovered from May 2014)
This would be the post-election map, the one you’ve always seen on TV, when you lived here.
The red and blue are the results of PP and PSOE which, with small variations always distribute the rest of Spain and , as always, especially since the socialist debacle (years ago socialists always won the general elections) there are Catalunya and Euskadi always walking on a different way
At first, I told you that in my opinion everyone had lost.
The big ones are getting smaller.
IZQUIERDA UNIDA has won votes, but less than it could have because so many have gone to PODEMOS.
PODEMOS and his charismatic leader, Pablo Iglesias, hoped to get more.
In Catalonia, CONVERGENCIA has lost to the joy of ESQUERRA REPUBLICANA
ESQUERRA REPUBLICANA seems to be a winning horse, but not at all.
Because if you faced these elections as a “pre-referendum” then you have to expect the results to be overwhelming and they are, but not enough. I have been listening for a long time that most Catalan people want independence, but then the results come and say that.
For a total census (in this case the census included some foreigners that I do not think will vary the result as well) 5,383,848 people. Discounted blank votes 43,565, Nulls (it’s the various obscene drawings) 22,524. We have: Abstentions: 52.37% and Valid votes counted 2,532,629 a 47.63%.
Of those 2,532,629 votes for the whole ERC and CIU are 1,097,867 if we add the voters of INICIATIVA that has not clearly manifested FOR the independence, but in favor of the “referendum” we would have 1,356,421.
What contrary to what they insist saying the people of PP, is a lot of people, in fact more because among the socialist ranks there are so many people who are in favor of the right to decide . A lot, but not a majority, at least for now
The problem is I no longer know where I am living, and like me so many people.
On Saturday I went through a Badalona area where most people were neither PP nor ERC, because they were all Chinese.
This morning I was having breakfast in a bar and around me, aside from some ladies who, I think they spoke Russian everyone spoke in Castilian. That language they say there is totally marginalized in Catalonia. Okay, I will not deny that I have been struggling to write in Spanish, but of course I have also found comments like “If you do not want to be Spaniards go to fucking shit” This comment and others I have received on my blog, I do not invention. This is the reason that the comments are closed.
Esquerra Republicana has always declared itself independent, here the one who has bundled it has been Mr Mas, who one day got off the hook proclaiming himself most independents (He had a lot of reasons to do it, some more justified than the others)
Then came the electoral math and here we are today trapped between some who know what they want, others who, if they know, they disguise it, and some who go through life without seeing, not listening, but talking, talking a lot, but saying always the same: No, no and no.
We are on a path with no return. The only way out is to know, what people want, and nobody knows that.
The only way to know what people wants is to , listen, and accept the results with clear and accepted rules of the game but today there are no interlocutors.
That is dear daughter, in broad outline the situation, at least as I live it.
I would remind reader’s that this article was written in 2014. Before a lot of web pages were closed, before public officials were arrested, before 8000 Spanish police were dock in the Barcelona harbor, before the deep right removed the masks not only in Catalunya, before innocent an disarmed people were brutally beated, before two pacifist were arrested, before even constantly appealing to the dialogue Mr. Rajoy remained locked in his oyster. Before Spain joined the UN Human Rights Council
Thankyou so much for your attention.