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PostSpain's Elections 26 June; from Noah Rich (John Eipper, USA, 07/02/16 8:38 am)
Noah Rich writes from Catalunya:
Sorry for the delay with my report on the Spanish elections of June 26th. There was an unexpected death in my host family, a family I lived with for an entire year.
My friends and family members are very disappointed with the election results to say the least. I went with several of my friends to see them participate in the voting process. It was a great experience. All paper ballots, not a single computer voting station in sight!
About 30 minutes before the polls closed and vote counts started to come in, news stations from around the country started broadcasting what were some "expected" results. These expected results were based on previous results from 2015, the most up-to-date national polls, and some voter responses after voting. My friends all told me these expected results were usually pretty accurate to the real outcome.
Here were the predicted results about 30 minutes before the real results started coming in.
PP: 117-121; down from 123
UP: 91-95(!); up from 71 (Podemos actually had 69 but Unidos had 2, so 71 is a combination of both parties before they merged)
PSOE: 81-85; down from 90
Cs: 26-30(!); down from 40
ERC: 11-12; up from 9
CDC: 5; down from 8
PNV: 5-6; no change
EH Bildu; 3-4 from 2
CC: 1 no change
These specific expected results were taken from Sondeig TV3 (televisió de Catalunya) but news outlets from all over Spain were showing similar things, I suppose it was an independent group which put together these predictions but I'm not sure.
Here is an article in Spanish on the absolute mess these predictions turned out to be, and the fallout of such a bad report: http://www.elconfidencial.com/elecciones-generales/2016-06-28/encuesta-tve-forta-precio-sondeo26j_1224680/
This deserves a write-up all on its own, I think.
Obviously the results were very different than what was predicted or expected by many. PP gained, and UP remained stagnant. Of the big four, most outlets were right about PSOE and C tanking, although C didn't take as big of a hit as these predictions show. (Can you imagine Ciudadanos losing 14 of 40 in a matter of months?!)
Moving on to my friends and family, my host mother and father both voted for Unidos Podemos, whereas all of my peers here in Catalonia voted for the ERC. Everyone I know (even my friends down south in Alicante) were generally very upset with the results of the overall Spanish elections. For many of the people I know in Catalonia, these elections provided more weight to their argument that Catalonia is just something completely different than Spain. I'm sure some of the Basques are saying the very same thing.
That being said, my friends were happy with the results from within la comarca de Osona, where they live in Vic. For the first time in Osona, ERC has beaten out CDC, a party which all of my peers dislike. The only other news that has them even the slightest bit content is that there will likely be another set of elections. Things seem unlikely to change unless PSOE decides to form some kind of coalition with PP. My friends say this would be political suicide for both parties, considering they are historically very opposed.
One last note: PACMA, the animal rights party, once again acquired a very substantial amount of votes for a party with no representatives. With nearly 285,000 votes, this party ended up with 0 representatives while the PNV (Basque Nationalist Party), with the same amount, still has 5. This is all in line with how the system is supposed to work, but it begs to question, "how many votes is each party paying for each representative?" Luckily El Pais wrote a good article on this the day following the elections!
As an animal rights activist myself, I find this situation very intriguing; although I can't say that I'd necessarily vote for them, as many would argue they're a single-issue party.
JE comments: Thank you, Noah, and my condolences to your host family. Many, many years later, I still think of my host family (in Chile) as my own.
The results in Spain were pretty much like everywhere else this year: unexpected. What surprises me most of all is the support given to Mariano Rajoy's PP. I do not know a single Spaniard who likes him or his party, and Spain's economy is screaming. (It's improving, but that's because, like here in Detroit, it had nowhere to go but up.)
The political pundits should write this year off, go play golf, and come back in 2017.
Greetings to Noah Rich
(Robert Whealey, USA
07/03/16 4:55 AM)
I read Noah Rich's posting on the Spanish elections with interest, although I am now 86 and it is doubtful I shall ever go back to Spain.
I am a personal friend of Noah and am looking forward to his return to Ohio University in Athens, for his senior year for the study of language. At present my health is still good, although I walk slower to the library.
JE comments: And who doesn't walk slower to the library these days? Most of my students, unless press-ganged with a specific library assignment, avoid the place altogether.
But Robert, don't forget WAIS in Havana: 6-8 October 2017! And thank you for introducing your friend Noah to WAIS.