Monday, May 23, 2011
Yesterday I walked up the hill leading to my polling station under a clear blue sky, a color I would later realize that had foreshadowed the colour of the electoral results that have carpeted this country from corner to corner...a resoundly conservative azul.
I'm the only foreigner in my voting area, or at least the only one with a right to do so who has decided to renounce their vote in their home country and vote here where we live. Once again, I was E 001...and the only one on the list.
I find Spanish polling stations a bit odd...there is a closeted area where one can vote in private but the overwhelming majority choose to do so at the election table, making their choice public, for all to see. That is, those who don't bring their little envelops from home that were previously mailed to them by their party of choice. All democratic I suppose...perhaps , like standing at a urinal, I'm just a bit shy in that respect.
While not a national election (foreign me can't vote in those), autonomous regions and municipalities were up for grabs yesterday and it looks like Spain is on its way to making the same curious decision that most of Europe has also made during this disasterous crisis...while navigating the stormy waters created by the financial system, best be in the hands of those that caused the problem in the first place I suppose.
The only way that I can make sense of this is by imagining myself in a situation where a deadly man-made virus has been released in a building...who better to be with? The men who created it of course! That said, it's an entirely different question when you wonder if they are willing to share the antedote with others.
Spaniards chose to rip off the band-aid quickly yesterday. Tired of the half measures taken by a reluctant, supposedly leftist party, they decided to rip it off quickly and to let the real hemorrhaging begin, bring on the next Cameronian revolution of social cuts. I can't imagine what will happen here when University costs triple or even quadruple here, Spaniards aren't notorious savers. Again, it wasn't a national election, but if the sky foreshadowed blue yesterday, next year's national election results look to be similar.
So where does this leave the #spanishrevolution that was briefly splashed across the headlines all over the world. The supposed revolution that blew across the Mediterranean and brought hope from Tunisia and Egypt. Spaniards were fed up, indignant at the lack of transparency in government, indignant about the hundreds of candidates that were being judicially investigated for corruption, indignant that banks who had received public money were now handing out gazillion euro bonuses....
Well I guess Spaniards as a whole weren't, only a loud and colourful few.
Few commentators have dug deep enough to get past the witty slogans and realize that this revolution was solely within the left. These were people who have always voted Socialist and who have woken up to the painful reality that, no matter how meaningful your ideals and ideas are, governments no longer have the power to make independent decisions. Zapatero's deer-in-the-headlights look the past 3 years has been because of this. It's the bond traders who decide, not the electorate.
The band-aid's been ripped off and now the coup de grace awaits in 2012. I guess I'll take a few trips to the free doctor while it lasts.