surinenglish

Everyone's acting

While some are still digesting the results of the 26 May local elections - and others have forgotten them already - we are still in that limbo period when the councillors have been elected but not yet installed in their seats.

More importantly, in a large number of cities, towns and villages where there has been no overall majority, we know who is going to occupy the seats but we still don't know who is going to be boss.

So, while parties hold their meetings to see who is going to give whom a leg up to the mayor's chair on 15 June, and what they'll get in return for their help, everyone else is "acting".

The Spanish expression used for someone occupying their position temporarily until its rightful owner takes over is "en funciones" which at least sounds a lot more sensible and serious than the English version - "acting".

It ought to be quite disturbing to think that practically all the politicians in charge of governments on a local, regional and national level at the moment are just "acting". Disturbing, or at least ironic, when you consider that even when immersed in their full role, politicians can often be accused of putting on an act.

In Spain at the moment we have an acting prime minister (Pedro Sánchez) who won the general election in April but needs a little bit of help from other groups in Congreso before he can carry on with his job and shed the "acting".

At the same time though, several regional authorities also need to negotiate pacts, agreements or coalitions, leading to the situation where parties are saying "I'll vote help you here, if you support me there".

No mention of "acting" in the interests of the people who voted for a party because they liked their proposals, their ideology and believed their promises.

Parties have to talk and compromise to allow leaders to stop acting and get on with the job. These compromises, though, ought to be based on what their potential partners want to do to improve the country, town or region, not on who is scratching whose back elsewhere.

On a municipal level we only have to keep writing "acting" before everybody's title for another week as Sunday 15 June is deadline day.

Hopefully the central government will also get its act together soon so that our politicians can stop acting and start working to keep all their promises.

That's if they can remember the difference between acting and real life.