The Spanish General Election

The results of the Spanish general election are now clear, if not quite final, with the right wing Partido Popular winning 186 of the 350 seats in the lower house. This is bad news for those whose politics are generally to the left, and also bad news for those who don't support a centralized Spanish state. The 2011 result is on the left, the 2008 result on the right.


I'm sure there'll be plenty in the UK media on the implications of this for Spain, but not much on the particular implications for Catalunya and Euskadi. So let me try and put that right.

The Catalan Perspective

The big hope of the centre-right nationalist CiU in Catalunya was that Mariano Rajoy would not get an overall majority and would need to do a deal with them to form a government. That deal would have come at the price of greater fiscal autonomy for Catalunya, but because the PP have an overall majority, that isn't going to happen.

But this is not necessarily a bad thing for those who want to see Catalunya become independent, for it simply removes one of the options. For Catalunya, the situation is exactly the same as for Scotland: a big majority of the people want greater autonomy, and a good number of them would probably be satisfied with a substantially greater degree of autonomy as part of either Spain or the UK rather than independence. However, if that middle option is taken off the table, support for independence becomes greater. With a PP government in Madrid, the option of moving towards a federal Spain has been removed, for the PP are the archetypal Spanish nationalist party and if anything will move to re-centralize rather than federalize Spain. The current economic crisis will give them all the pretext they need.

These are the results for Catalunya:

CiU ... 29.35% (was 20.93%) 16 seats (was 10)
PSC-PSOE ... 26.64% (was 45.93%) 14 seats (was 25)
PP ... 20.72% (was 16.40%) 11 seats (was 8)
ICV-EUiA ... 8.09% (was 4.92%) 3 seats (was 1)
ERC (+ RCAT) ... 7.06% (was 7.83%) 3 seats (was 3)

Ara, 20 November 2011

The pattern here is a huge collapse in the Spanish Socialist vote, more marked in Catalunya that in the Spanish as a whole (where it fell from 43.87% to 28.73%). But although some of that vote went to the PP, a much larger part of the swing from left to right went to CiU. They have every reason to be very pleased with this result, for a gain of six seats was much larger than the gain of two that was being predicted when I wrote this post last weekend.

But this won't really get them anything they want from Madrid, and certainly not the same degree of fiscal autonomy as the four Basque provinces enjoy. So what is Artur Mas's plan B? He personally is in favour of independence, as is much of the CiU leadership, though perhaps more so on the C (Convergence) side than the U (Union) side. The majority of party supporters now want independence too. So, at least as I see it, the next few months could see the party's official policy shift from pro-autonomy within Spain to pro-independence. If he chose to, Artur Mas would be in a very strong position to push this through because of the gains made by CiU in this election, and the new wave of austerity measures and a clampdown on regional autonomy from the Madrid government will only serve to increase the alienation between Spain and Catalunya yet further. This opportunity is too good to miss, but will he and his party be up to it?

The Basque Perspective

A week ago, the polls were predicting an almost equal four way split between the two Spanish parties (the PP and PSE-PSOE), and the two Basque nationalist parties (the centre-right EAJ-PNV and the new pro-independence left coalition Amaiur). In terms of percentages, the polls were just about right. But in terms of seats won, Amaiur have come from nowhere to become the biggest party with 7 of the 23 seats. This is the graphic from Gara:


This shows the results for all four Basque provinces in Spain, rather than just the three in the Autonomous Community. The situation is complicated a little by the fact that in 2008 NaBai was a broad Basque nationalist coalition of both left and right; but in 2011 the EAJ-PNV fought as Geroa Bai in Nafarroa while the left stood as Amaiur in all four provinces.

EAJ-PNV (+ Geroa Bai) ... 24.23% (was 25.08%) 6 seats (was 7)
PP ... 22.27% (was 23.32%) 5 seats (was 5)
Amaiur ... 22.08% (EA and Aralar were 5.47%) 7 seats (was 0)
PSE-PSOE ... 21.65% (was 37.36%) 5 seats (was 11)

Gara, 20 November 2011

Again, there is a huge fall in the Spanish Socialist vote, but virtually all of it has gone to the pro-independence left. In contrast to what's happened in Spain, there has been no appreciable swing from left to right in Euskadi. The PP's vote has, amazingly, managed to go down; though the EAJ-PNV vote has probably increased slightly (because some of NaBai's vote in 2008 would have come from left leaning Basque nationalists). The numbers of seats won doesn't quite match the percentages because smaller provinces have proportionately more seats than larger provinces.

This is a stunning result for the pro-independence left in Euskadi, but what will it lead to?

7 seats won't make a blind bit of difference to a right wing Spanish government in Madrid ... nor will the combined Basque nationalist total of 13 out of 23 seats (or 11 out of 18 seats excluding Nafarroa). Instead, this is about the normalization of politics in the post-ETA era. The Spanish State has finally run out of excuses to ban the pro-independence left from standing in elections, so we are beginning to see just how strong that support is, and therefore how strong the combined support for independence is from both the left and right of the political spectrum.

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Anonymous said...

Diolch MH. Was following the results and was looking forward to reading your 'take'...

Efrogwr said...

Ditto! Was hoping you'd be posting, after scrabbling around with Google Translate last night to try and work out what was going on (no help from the BBC or the Grauniad!).

Efrogwr said...

Also, there is a report on Newsnet Scotland:

Nothing on the Western Mail's site. Can hardly blame their hard-pressed journalists but this again illustrates the dire state of the media in Wales.

Anonymous said...

I have to say the "medias" take on this has been awful- so good to see some info on here!

And whilst I'm talking about Governance in other E.U nations- what's happened in Belgium? What's going on..... have they / close to forming a Government- the beeb never seem to go on about this, yet they're obsesses about the U.S Presidential Candidates.... what would happen if there was a financial crisis in Belgium; who would take charge?!?

Albert said...

Excellent analysis. The most reasonable would be that things in Catalonia go as you say, that CiU turns to independence.

But knowing how cowardly CiU usually behave I'm curious to see what excuse will they come up now not to do so. The symptoms are that they have made deals with PP at the Generalitat and Barcelona town hall to approve the budgets, not a good sign.

Regarding the Basque Country, it's true that those results won't influence Spain but it'll be a source of endless fun seeing the Spanish MPs itch and twitch every time the "terrorists" from Amaiur speak. Also, now there should be early elections in the Basque Country since the current Spanish nationalist government has no legitimacy on the light of the last two elections. And when that happens things are gonna get very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Albert, I'm with you there. Seeing Duran i Lleida having to squirm whilst having to sing Els Segadors at the 'water and no wine' bash the other night was entertaining to say the least. But it does highlight quite nicely the squeeze on DiLl from Pujol upstairs who's gone all dw-lali independentist in his twilight years and those raucous independentist, and thoroughly modern neoliberal young turks, blaring out their clarion call.

Meanwhile, PSC burns, Angel Ros in Lleida must be tampin', poor dab, at not getting a chance to lead the campaign, and the PP keep on truckin' everywhere in Catalonia, even in Girona.

Amaiur have got everyone's eyes now, as well as the 'Basque as nation' vote. Good. To make good on this though, they're going to have to formulate policies soon. If they share a parliamentary group with ERC, shielding themselves from Rajoy and assorted legal butties, then they can nick a couple from them and Inaki's your uncle by election time 2013. Patxi Lopez isn't going to call elections until he has to - would you in his position?

MH said...

It was like interpreting a code, but I think I got most of what you meant, Anon 14:30.

I've got a question for Anon, Albert, or anyone else who wants to give an answer: What will happen after the next elections to the Basque Autonomous Community?

I agree that Patxi Lopez will probably hang on until 2013, despite the calls for an earlier election. But I think it's obvious that the combined nationalist vote—EAJ-PNV and Amaiur (or whatever they're then called)—will be at least 60% if not 70%. It'll be close as to which will be the largest party, but because of the voting system (each province has 25 seats, despite the fact that they are very different in size) it's quite likely that Amaiur will have the most seats.

So what will they ask for? Will we see another attempt at a referendum on independence or a "free state association"? Knowing full well that this will be refused by Madrid, will we see a unilateral declaration of independence, followed by a referendum to confirm it?

As I see it, what the nationalists now have is momentum. But things need to keep happening politically because if the momentum is lost, there is a chance (small, but possible) of a splinter group in ETA resorting to violence. So I would suggest that the Basques do what the Catalans did, namely to organize a series of unofficial referendums on independence to take place between now and 2013. Then, when the election comes, those candidates who stand on a pro-independence platform will have a mandate to declare independence if Madrid refuses to let them have an official referendum first.

Anonymous said...

MH, it's difficult to predict the path taken by Amaiur from here on in. First things first, which Basques, where, are we talking about here? Ideationally, they have currently honed in on Navarre as the casus belli, that's why Gara newspaper, as opposed to all other media outlets, summed up the results on Sunday night as a 4-province whole and not the current 3-province Basque Autonomous Community. Up until say 5 years ago, you simply couldn't find the Basque Left offering analyses of any political future in anything but the 7 provinces South and North, hence the nifty mantra: 4+3=1. Well, that's gone by the board now. So there's legroom for new voices in the Basque Left.

However, Navarre will count for those in the Basque Left who will feel, 'this far and no more', no more being any political/territorial accommodations based on the BAC. However, there are those within Amaiur who didn't get a look in really during the campaign who would actually bite the Navarre bullet and settle for the BAC being the territorial terms of a settlement. So, connected to the fact that the Basque Left has been in the policy wilderness since their stint as Euskal Herritarrok in the Basque Government in 2001 - which almost got Ibarretxe locked up! - they are going to have to forego long-term strategies (they think long term, of course they do, they're the Basque *Left*) for the mudslang of getting and keeping voters, and young 'uns in the BAC aren't like older ones who understand what 'Navarre' means in nation myth-making terms.

Having said all of that, the Basque Left may bring 'Udalbiltza' out of the mothballs as a vehicle to force momentum. This is a 7-territory confederation of town halls, comprising some 800 councillors from all seven (less from the Northern side, of course). It was set up to act as a sleight of hand operation to provide a different sovereignty base for the 7-Basque Country, like moving the Senedd say to Cardiff County Council and throwing in Shropshire and Bristol into the mix. Udalbiltza are currently riding a wave since it was absolved of all connections with ETA a couple of months ago, but I don't think it will have much impact on BAC society, and that's where the majority of the population is, let's not forget.

A leaf may be taken from the unofficial Catalan referendum campaign but for that you need a strong - and wide - civil society base. The Basque Left have got that in spades, but outside that, everyone's either shot if you'll pardon the phrase, or just not much interested or interested in something else, like journeyman devo-max-dom and staying 1 step in front of the Catalans and 2 steps ahead of all those other autonomous communities who'd like to raise taxes because the BAC can. Nationalists are thus not sold on independence, and the PNV even less so than CiU, who ... aren't either. The eternal fiscal holiday which the BAC enjoys might also explain this reluctance ... compare unemployment levels in Spain and then in the BAC.

Strange as it may seem, maybe what is needed by the Basque Left is an SNP nation building whilst governing well approach for, say, a decade. ETA is done and dusted, they ain't coming back. Time to lick wounds and heal very real scars. Time also for the PNV and the Basque Left to go away and talk, and talk again. Because a Basque Left/PNV hegemony is not the only option from here on in. The PSOE federation got walloped all around Spain, but who's to say that if the Bizkaian rump of PNV just doesn't get the redistributionist patter of the Basque Left, then the PSC just might do a deal and re-cement their Basque credentials. We might yet have a Martin and Ian 'chuckle brothers' scenario for the Basque Country.

Anonymous said...

Delightful non-academic analysis from Anon 17:49- sounds like a Welsh bloke in a pub discussing the intricacies of the Abertzale left. More of the same please!

To make a very muddy comparison, is there a sense from the Catalan results that patriotic or nationalist voters are putting their eggs in the basket of perceived "good government with a Catalan accent" rather than with ERC's EFA concept of "the next state in Europe"? Could the same thing happen in Scotland with regards to voters preferring devo-max to outright independence?

MH said...

I think that Nafarroa is the most awkward question that Basque nationalists have to consider, Anon. Do they press ahead with independence for the three provinces that form the Basque Autonomous Community, or do they try and unite these four provinces within the Spanish State, and only then press for independence?

I see it as a question of long and short term goals, all tied up in "what" they want Euskadi to be. At one level, the most important thing is to build the Basque nation. This is primarily a matter of identity, culture and language. It is pointless being politically independent if the things that make you a distinct nation are lost. But this is a long term project. For me, the best marker of progress is the language, especially the extent to which children are being educated in Euskara-medium schools. As it happens, on the Udalbiltza page you linked to is this map showing the extent of EusM education (someone has given a link to it before). EusM education is virtually the norm in the three BAC provinces, and also in the north of Nafarroa, but the south of Nafarroa is still very Castilianized. That will change, but I guess it will take decades before a majority of people there see themselves as "Basque, not Spanish". In this election the combined nationalist vote there was 28.3%.

But the other "what" question is why, specifically, a territory which is part of another state, but in which things like the language are respected and which has a very large degree of political control over its own domestic affairs, would want more. That seems to be Anon 11:34's point.

As I see the situation, the BAC has all the autonomy it can get within the Spanish State. You talked about "staying one step in front of the Catalans and two steps ahead of all those other autonomous communities", but I don't think they can go any further as part of Spain. The only next step is independence.

The reason for independence is that it will give them a direct voice in both the EU and the world. In one real sense there is a difference between Euskadi and Catalunya or Flanders. In both those cases there is another big driver for independence: that they will be financially better off by leaving. But the Basque provinces aren't being "fiscally plundered". They do make some solidarity payments to the poorer regions of Spain, but these are modest and reasonable. If they became a member state of the EU in their own right they would probably do much the same as a net contributor. So their driver for independence is not to be better off, but for the Basques to be able to take the same place on the European and World stage as other nations take for granted.

For this reason, I think they'd be best advised to go for independence for the three provinces as soon as possible. Those in Nafarroa will not lose their cultural or linguistic rights by remaining in Spain, so the building of a Basque identity will continue and the option will be there for them to joint the Basque Federation in due course, when a majority in Nafarroa want it ... if indeed they ever do. In this sense, is it any different in Catalunya? I'm sure many Catalans want to see the Catalan countries (Catalunya, North Catalunya, Valencia and the Balearics) united. But I doubt that any of them would want Catalunya not to become independent until the three other territories were ready to join them. They will be able to join a Catalan Federation later, if and when a majority in each territory wants it.

Candide said...

Well, the most reasonable thing for Rajoy would be to buy out that (large) part of the Catalans who would favour independence for economic reasons by leaving more tax money in Catalonia.

That would also be a gain for Catalan president Artur Mas.

The independence issue would be reduced to its natural habitat, the ethnocentrist fringe, which would radicalise and thus lose even more sympathies.

Albert said...

"I've got a question for Anon, Albert, or anyone else who wants to give an answer: What will happen after the next elections to the Basque Autonomous Community?" I don't have a first hand knowledge of the situation in the Basque Country. But to achieve independence they'll need PNV to move towards those positions. It is unlikely the left wing alone would be able to overcome Spain's resistance.

And with the current privileged tax deal I don't see PNV desperate for independence but if the Spanish decided they need more money and tried to abolish the "concierto" (now that ETA is not active I'm sure the possibility has crossed some Spanish politicians minds) that'd surely make PNV change their minds very quickly.

Anonymous said...

Although there are many who are interested from both unionist left and right positions in revisiting the concierto which the BAC and Navarre have (look for example at the many fold rise of UPyD in Sunday's elections), the restoration of the concierto and its place within intergovernmental politics in democratic Spain is basically safe. Anyone who tinkers with that is giving PNV reasons to move from a softly, softly, article by article approach to the 30 year struggle to reclaim what is actually in the Gernika Statute. Here's a link for example to PNV claims this month to 'repatriate' social security including pensions to Euskadi from Madrid,

... but to be honest, it was banking sector transferences last month etc etc the PNV were asking for, so the point I'm making is that there is still a truckload of powers which have not been devolved to the BAC, 30 years after the event. The Bizkaian PNV still see this as ongoing business, rather than any, in their eyes, rash Ibarretxe-esque adventures on sovereign high seas. Therefore there is an internal BAC debate to be won and lost in this regard, but the fact of the matter is because the BAC has not acquired all of the Gernika Statute powers, this is a powerful reason for the PNV to carry on with the drip-drip approach. Very Welsh, in fact, perchance?!

Candide said...

So nice how you bring up the Spanish bogeyman, Albert, but the "concierto" is part of the Basque Country's "Historical Rights" and those are recognised by the Spanish Constitution.

Which means it's not a political issue but a legal one; and changing the Constitution is not up to a simple majority.

Ain't gonna fly.

Anonymous said...

Albert 01:50, the PNV will definitely form part of the realigning of coalition and wider civil society tectonic plates. However, an example of somthing I referred to in an earlier post is the PSE (granted, Gipuzkoan PSE) admitting that a done deal with PP in the BAC should not be seen as a done deal. From Argia magazine today:-

PSE's Egiguren is the man who has done a lot of backchanneling on ETA/socialist relations and this is obviously a shot across both central (Bilbao!) PSE and PSOE bows to the tune of 'wake up, compadres, and get a gander at the tsunami', so his public reference to dropping the PP link in the future is significant, I'd wager.

Anonymous said...

Just to bring to everyones attention Elin Jones has released her leadership campaign website.

MH said...

As people can probably tell from the lack of posts, I've been having a break. So sorry for not getting back to the comments sooner. I hope someone's still reading.


I think Candide has a point, namely that if the new Madrid government were to do some sort of deal to reduce the disproportionate outflow of GDP from Catalunya to the poorer parts of Spain, it might well be enough to satisfy some Catalans, and reduce the immediate demand for independence. In effect, that's what the UK has tried to do with Scotland for years. The only problem is that once you start letting people take more responsibility for themselves, they want yet more responsibility on top. So yes, it would be a gain, but I think Catalans will just regard it as a step on the way to independence.

The problem that Candide has is that he can't distinguish between nationality and race. He can't (or perhaps chooses not to) see what's happening in Catalunya, Euskadi, Flanders, Scotland and Wales as inclusive, civic nationalism.

I also wonder what difference he sees between what he calls "legal" and what he calls "political". There's nothing particularly special about the Spanish constitution. As we've just seen, it can very easily be changed if the political will exists. So there are no impediments to Catalunya getting the same fiscal arrangements as the four Basque provinces ... apart from the obvious one that Spain wouldn't want to loose the money. Madrid will have to decide whether it's worth getting a smaller sum from Catalunya under a new fiscal arrangement or get nothing at all if Catalunya becomes independent.


The link you provided didn't mention anything about social security and pensions, Anon. But perhaps it was in the printed version. I didn't realize that there was such a lot that was still reserved to Madrid (is there anywhere that gives a definitive list?) but if so, then there are still some steps to usefully take.

One of the things I read was that plans are afoot to offer Euskara-medium education in all parts of Nafarroa, i.e to include the south, where the language currently has no official status. This will be an important part of the long term project I mentioned before.

Candide said...

Looks like someone does keep reading.

To get a minor point out of the way, I do recognise that the line between "political" and "legal" is blurred, because laws are made through political action. I thought the point I was trying to make was simple: it's not easy to change the Constitution because you need a very large majority in parliament (wasn't it 75% in Spain?). I think it really won't fly. I do not say that there's anything special about this Constitution, it's just a helluva job to change it and not get 14 other regions demand the same treatment, to then see the whole state go dysfunctional.

Conclusion: there has to be an arrangement that is not based on a modification of the Constitution.

More important to me is your criticism of my perceived blindness/unwillingness to recognise the different forms of nationalism that exist in Catalonia.

I am quite simply opposed to all of them. Even to the "inclusive" form: I do integrate into society and culture, but I will not be obliged to integrate into any nation, neither in Catalonia nor in China. I am simply not what they label me, a "new Catalan". I am myself, much from where I was born, some from the places where I have lived. All tied together by my very own power of decision. I will not be "included".

If anybody dares to "include" me into a nation, I am only willing to talk reality, and reality is that the basis of my being here is the law of the land. The law that gives me security and protection. Change that Constitution as you will, but in Catalonia there is precisely now a gap between the law and the nation, you apparently cannot have both. When I'm being invited into a nation in detriment of my very own security I tend to get a little itchy.

This is why, at the end of the day, I feel Catalan nationalism, all shades of it, as an aggression.

Let me shoot a similar criticism back at you, MH. There seems to be a pragmatic separatism in Catalonia, the kind that wants more money to stay in that region. My argument is that once more money does stay there many of those pragmatists will cease to demand independence.

I do see, however, that there are others who will never stop demanding and who would be happy to get independence in neat little slices. I think they are a minority, some 20%.

MH said...

Thanks for the reply, Candide.

If the Spanish Constitution doesn't change to accommodate a new fiscal arrangement, then Catalunya will become independent. That's that stark choice the Spanish will face. Everything will depend on whether the Spanish want to keep Catalunya or not. New statutes of autonomy are not that difficult. Catalunya got one in 2006, so what's the problem with it getting another now?

But I don't think the other autonomous communities will automatically want the same, except maybe for Galicia. I think it's fair to say that the other autonomous communities were created not because they wanted that identity, but because Spain didn't want it to be obvious that the three non-Spanish nations were a special case. They tried to avoid the problem that the UK has had with asymmetric devolution, which is to their credit; but as I read it, there's no real appetite for devolution in Spain except in these three nations.


You seem to be worked up about being "labelled", but I don't see why you should think in those terms. Nationality is primarily about identity, each person's own identity. You will not be obliged to become a Catalan national in an independent Catalunya any more than someone who lives in Wales but thinks of themself as English will be obliged to become Welsh when Wales is independent. There is a difference between the right of residence (as citizens of the EU, we have the right to reside and work anywhere in it) and becoming a citizen of any particular country. Thousands of people live and work in Spain without being Spanish, and thousands will live and work in an independent Catalunya without being Catalan.


As for your final point, I agree with you, and indeed made that point myself. But although a new fiscal arrangement will bring down the percentage who want independence for now, the percentage will keep on going up in the longer term because when people get to take more responsibility for themselves, they tend to like it and want yet more.

Unionist politicians in the UK made the same mistake. They thought that giving devolution to Scotland and Wales in 1999 would "kill nationalism stone dead" ... but it had the opposite effect. When Wales got its equivalent of a new Statute of Autonomy (the Government of Wales Act) in 2006, the person responsible thought it would last "for a generation, if not forever". He fought against a referendum, claiming that it couldn't be won, but it was won overwhelmingly in March and there's almost certain to be a new Government of Wales Act in 2014 or early 2015. Once momentum starts building, it becomes impossible to hold back. Neither the UK nor Spain will be able to stop it.

Candide said...

Your last point well taken, I'll keep it in mind.

Back to the first one: it's obvious that the alternatives you mention, either change of Constitution or independence, are those offered by Artur Mas. Yet I think there are possible in-betweens. If they will be accepted is another thing.

I'm not afraid of being labelled a "new Catalan", I'm simply not it. What I don't want is to be part of that nation if being part of it goes against my interests and necessities. Security is the one I mentioned, as the most basic interest and necessity. This is so because today the labelling and the disrespect for the Constitution go hand in hand. It's the latter I'm worried about.

This is no theoretical matter. My stance to abide by the law and on that basis criticise Catalan nationalism has earned me several invitations to leave "this country", as many like to call this region.

I have the feeling that a beast has been awakened. The present debate initiated by separatists has nothing to do with any democratic attitude, but it reveals a totalitarian mindset. Nationalists are demanding more democracy for themselves, but they are getting ever less willing to accept a dissenting voice. Orwellian pigs.

My blog is full of examples. Insults and censorship are at the order of the day.

Now, I was with the Catalans when they demanded their culture back. I learned Catalan out of interest and solidarity. I'm not with what their nationalists are doing now. Yes, I'm "worked up" about it. It's personal on every level.

Albert said...

Hi MH, just a word of warning about this user Candide. Have known him for a while. He is a troll.

Candide said...

I am sorry, Albert, but it seems obvious to everyone that a troll would not take his time to actually try and make a point that is pertinent to the debate.

My angle is entirely opposed to yours, which is why you have decided to not discuss with me. I am at times even very sarcastic. So I understand why you think it's best to suppress my opinion on your blog. (Note: On mine I *never* delete *any* comments.)

But neither do you know me, nor can you get away with telling other people what to think. See, in the real world, the one you are trying so hard to disconnect from, people debate precisely because they have different opinions. We actually have been brought up this way. And we do get over nasty words, for the benefit of the debate. Precisely that's what MH and me have been doing in this thread. We still don't actually "like" each other, but that does not mean we are censoring each other. We value the debate itself and make an effort. And I can say for myself that I have learned from him, as I indicated in my last comment.

Outside of Spain we see such an attitude as enriching, and the Spanish way of almost immediately resorting to insults and censorship won't change that. This might be because our countries have a more seasoned democracy. I guess we'll have to be patient until Spain catches up.

(Oh, I do not say Spain to vex you. I say Spain because what I have just described is a countrywide phenomenon in the whole of Spain that transcends party lines. And this I consider to be a piece of information I'm privy to and want to share with outsiders.)

Candide said...

PS: I'm not a "user", I am a person. I do have a history, I have referred part of my personal history above, even though I rather speak on the impersonal and theoretical level about politics. I might be wrong in my views, but I'm sincere. I do exist, I think, breathe and bleed when you cut me. And I'm no-one's fool. Please respect that.

I am no "user", Albert.

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