surinenglish

The right change?

A read of the literature sent by post to every voter by the main political parties before the Andalusian election last weekend made you want to vote for them all. All four were going to do away with corruption, cut down hospital waiting lists, improve the economy, education etc. Of course the leaflets they use to canvass votes don't tell you how they're going to do it, but all these smiling candidates wanted to make our lives and our region better.

One message that all the groups but one were able to offer was change. When asked before the election in a poll the majority of Andalusians questioned said they thought a change would be good, as having the same party in power for more than 40 years was really too much. The interviewees then went on to say they thought the Socialists would stay in power. A change would be good, said the people, but they weren't sure who they wanted as an alternative.

Meanwhile though, one party that didn't send shiny propaganda to every household was emitting signals and symbols that caught the attention of some of those undecided change-seekers.

Vox, described as very right wing at the best and fascist at the worst, managed to touch nerves that brought them a success that even they had never imagined.

As a colleague pointed out this week, there are not suddenly 72,000 (the votes gained by Vox) fascists who miss the Franco regime in the province of Malaga.

But there are people who feel passionate about the unity of Spain (ie. disgusted by any signs of tolerance of Catalan secessionists on the part of the Socialist government) and concerned about immigration. Vox had meanwhile adopted the Spanish flag - the one that belongs to everyone - as its own symbol and made noises about building walls, controlling the country from within and making Spain great again.

Sound familiar? Wasn't it talk like that that got us in the Brexit mess we're in and allowed Trump into the White House?

In the end the people are likely to see their change. Those who chose to give the right-wing groups (from centre to far) a chance will be waiting for promises to be kept.

Those who remained undecided and stayed at home probably wish they hadn't.