After scanning the article on NPR on the subject, I decided to do some further research. I have previously written about the Occupy Wall Street Movement, a World Revolution and the European Revolution. I thought this topic would relate directly to those issues.
National Public Radio wrote: "Conservatives will be officially sworn into power in Spain this week for the first time in nearly eight years. Since 2004, the country's Socialists have legalized gay marriage, liberalized abortion laws and presided over the country's biggest-ever financial boom — and now downturn. The new year is likely to be marked by extreme austerity and diminished expectations." (http://n.npr.org/NPRI/jN266799891_1142395_1142383_Z.htm) However, what they leave out is the protests in Europe which many activists say correctly that it's not being covered by the media in Europe or elsewhere. NPR is right on one count: that this year will have extreme austerity. The Real News Network has focused on this subject in a number of their videos, along with the protests as well: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=74&jumival=7102, http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=74&jumival=7095 and http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=74&jumival=6821.
One may ask: What really happened in the elections in Spain? Well, I used the search engine icerocket.com to find an answer to the question. In an article titled "The Pain in Spain," Trisha Craig published on Eurovison, this question is tackled. The article notes the change in policy by the Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s newly elected President. According to the article , Mr. Rajoy "gave his first speech in his new role before Parliament and laid out his plans to deal with the crisis...Some of the highlights of Rajoy’s plan include: Linking pensions to the consumer price index, the only increase in the proposal...Freezing public sector employment except for the armed and security forces and basic public services...Reform of regulatory bodies...Eliminat[ing] early retirements to bring the real age of retirement into line with the official age and not repeal the law raising the retirement age to 67 (that the PP had opposed while in opposition)...Shifting public holidays to the nearest Monday to avoid the ‘bridge’ holidays where any holiday now typically turns into stretch of days off to the closest weekend...There is a focus on eliminating waste, reducing costs and improving services...Rajoy has proposed...a tax cut for firms that hire young workers and women in order to tackle the high unemployment among those groups...[There is also a] lack of new taxes [in this plan]." (http://patriciacraig.blogspot.com/2011/12/pain-in-spain.html) One may ask if these ideas promote further austerity and cutting in Europe. The American-based Heritage Foundation declared that "Spain Votes Out Big Government" (http://jacecar.com/2011/11/podcast-spain-votes-out-big-government/).
Wikipedia had a comprehensive article on the subject better than some of the blogs. Of the six parties, only one, the People's Party got a majority in the government
(All 350 seats of the Congress of Deputies and 264 seats in the Senate were open for slection). That majority was 186 seats overall or 43.87% of the vote, up 32 seats from the previous election. The PSOE, the current and ruling party leaving in December gained, 39.94% of the vote, 110 seats, 59 less seats than the previous election. The United Left, UPyD CiU and Amaiur gained 9, 4, 6 and 7 seats respectfully.
What does that mean for the citizenry? Will they prosper or will they have more problems? A second Great Depression is occuring worldwide, so many are feeling the pinch. Even the writer of this article predicts that when he enters college he will be poor and have no job. One must remember that Spain has between 23 and 30% unemployed.
Welsh Ramblings wrote a blog that in a sense answered some of those questions. Mr. Ramblings wrote: "The election results from the Spanish state illustrate perfectly the political deficit...The centre-left PSOE has been ousted by the Partido Popular, the centre-right Spanish nationalist party founded largely by reformists from the tail end of the Franco dictatorship...it is difficult to believe that the PP has won an absolute majority. The PP is even more right-wing than the social democrats who...implement...the same medicine that the PP is offering...The PP's solution to the Spanish state's woes comprises yet more austerity. They are utterly tied to the same economic model as PSOE. They have made populist gestures about protecting pensions, health and education, and only cutting "superfluous spending" and bureaucracy, but you sense that if resolving the crisis was that easy, the centre-left would have had no problems." (http://welshramblings.blogspot.com/2011/11/spanish-elections-and-centre-left.html)
Spanish bloggers reacted in different ways to the election in their country. Sarah, a citizen living in Madrid, blogged on the election but knew very little on politics. She commented that "the whole country has been really unhappy with Zapatero for a while now because of the economy, the lack of jobs, etc." (http://sarahenmadrid.blogspot.com/2011/12/spanish-elections.html) She said that legalizing gay marriage and abortion within his term she agreed with and were his outstanding accomplishments during his term of office. As a result she did not like the current leader elected by the people wrote "we'll see how it goes." Bloodbuzed's blogspot takes a competely different approach. The blogpost questions the whole Parliamentary system in an article titled "Spanish Elections Results: and the real parliament is..." (http://bloodbuzzed.blogspot.com/2011/11/spanish-elections-results-and-real.html) The blog user named Mr. September writes: "The results of Sunday's parliamentary elections prove...The axiom one person, one vote, is false in Spain...The variations are so disproportionate (thanks to the unacceptable criteria of the circumscription divisions in provinces) that the whole system HAS to be questioned." He proposes that Spanish elections are done with a proportional system to better reflect the will of the people. He later clarifies his view and calls for people to stand up against the injustice: I'm not saying the electoral system has to be a pure proportional one, but it is clear that what we have now doesn't represent equally the voters-citizens of this country. We have to fight to change this."
Who else is fighting for change? The Spanish protestors! They are the same ones I wrote about on August 6th of this year. At the time I wrote: "The world revolution has its roots in France where the “European Revolution” was dubbed by protestors began. According to europeanrevolution.net[v]: “At least 20 of the most important cities in France have their square occupied by youth protesters. Calling themseleves the Indignés…France seems to hold a leading position in the new European Revolution...They demand a Constitutive Assembly to make govern[ments] ‘remember’ that ‘people [are] sovereign’…stress…inequality of o[p]portunities and priorities between represented and representat[ives], between reality and ideologies. They ask [their voice to be heard by the governments].” The demands juts articulated shows that people (possibly in the millions) are serious with their concerns and want a changed world order...To see the impetus for the action in France, you have to go back to the protests in Spain. At one point, protesters called for a world revolution and future reforms as written on Raw Story[vi]: “From Tahrir to Madrid to the world, world revolution," said one of the placards, referring to Tahrir Square in Cairo which was the focal point of the Egyptian revolution earlier this year...Calling for "Real Democracy Now," the protests, popularly known as M-15, were called to condemn Spain's soaring unemployment, economic crisis, politicians in general, and corruption.”...Protests that started in Spain were influenced by young people who called for the end of overarching governments and the creation of democracies across the Arab World. Other Europeans had similar thoughts, causing organized disagreement across the region."
(http://interestingblogger1.blogspot.com/2011/08/grassroots-protests-world-revolution.html?m=1) Those who protested are directly affected by this election. I found a few more sources to back up my analysis at the time which is still valid. The P2P foundation has an article describing the Spanish protestors a bit more. They write: "the #15M or Indignados movement...demand[ed]...“We Want Real Democracy Now.” These demonstrations began the 15th of May, and grew to the largest cycle of mobilizations in the history of Spanish democracy. After 15m, a group in Madrid was inspired by the occpation of squares in the Arab countries, and decided to occupy the Plaza del Sol...This was not marginally supported. 80% support for the protests (by one survey)...The Indignados movement has been represented in the media largely as people protesting in the street...There have also been concrete initiatives to emerge, including the occupation of houses to provide homes to the foreclosed, the organizing of solidarity networks to block evictions from homes, the increase of self-education networks, all emerging from people who have met f2f in the squares...the Indignant mobilization is willing not only to make demands on public policy and fighting corruption, but the squares also serve as a space where people meet each other and then organize to solve common needs." (http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/the-spanish-revolution-the-internet-from-free-culture-to-meta-politics-summary/2011/11/24) Arfues.com, which republished an op-ed from the German paper, "The European" echoes those sentiments. From the op-ed one could believe that the movement is opposed the the socialist-run government: "Spanish government not only kept ignoring all the ‘indignant’ movement, but also kept fortifying the establishment. The President of the Congress, José Bono, told in a TV interview that both major parties, Socialist and People’s parties, should get along more, and that all other minor parties should be kept outside the parliament. And then the government changed the electoral law in order to require all those parties without representation a minimum of endorsements in order to allow them to enter the electoral race in November 20th...After years and years of telling everybody that changing the Spanish Constitution was not only difficult but impossible, after the international requests to fix the Spanish sovereign debt issues, both parties accorded to modify it, and they did it. In less than two weeks and without any parliamentary debate...the privatizations of the ‘cajas’ and their conversion into ‘normal’ banks, not only the people knew that those ‘cajas’ vaults’ were empty, but that the managers and directors are getting billions in bonuses and compensations." (http://arfues.net/2011/11/25/the-demands-to-build-a-statist-cage-op-ed-for-the-european/)
I did a little research into the movement, finding a site about the European Revolution. On europeanrevolution.org it states: "WE DEMAND A TRUTH DEMOCRACY WE DEMAND TO BE THE ONES THAT TRULY CHOOSE THE COURSE YOU POLITICIANS ARE THE CAPTAINS WHO NAVEGATE BY THE DIRECTION OF THE CITIZEN...We are united for something stronger than a political party We are united because our INDIGNATION for your complicity with the financial corporation that steal our lives We are united by the SHAME for your corruption when you should be a role model We are united by SATIETY for your spent and false speech that nobody believes anymore."
From the opinions of Spanish bloggers, activists and others one may wonder what the duty of the new leadership is in Spain. A few blogs have answered that question. The admin of GetafeSpain.com writes in an article titled "Al Gore of Spanish politics": "Mr Rajoy must summon super powers to lower Spain’s unemployment rate, reform the banking system, enact long-awaited labour reforms and bring about growth." (http://getafespain.com/news/will-victory-be-a-poisoned-chalice-for-spains-new-pm) Another blog, Casey Pop's blog writes of different duties for new leadership. In a blogpost titled "Today's Spanish Elections May Say Something about the French and American Presidential Elections in 2012" the author states: "it is the largest majority the party has had since Spain became a democracy after the fall of Franco and it means that the PP will be able to rule without forming any coalitions with the Greens or other minority parties...The right campaigned hard on the need to put into place a rigorous austerity program to try to save the country from default by reducing the government deficit and reassuring banks who buy Spanish bonds that the country is serious about putting its fiscal house in order...The new Popular Party prime minister will take office on the 20th of December...his job, he says, is to try to keep Spain out of recession, and to reduce unemployment and the deficit at the same time (not an easy trick)." (http://casey-pops.blogspot.com/2011/11/todays-spanish-elections-may-say.html) Also there is another blogger who comments on the electoom as well. At the end of an article about Germany there is a mention of the Spanish elections: "Of anything they will be worth today's Spanish elections, if the winner when being known the official result is calling to Berlin to know that he has to make, they will respond him that the same thing that was making the loser, to clip, to brake, and to try to be disciplined or otherwise, he is left without credit, without ratio of solvency, without structural grants, and with a sanction of 1000 million Eurus for excessive unemployment."
(http://blagusadas.blogspot.com/2011/11/who-this-it-was-of-context-european.html) But this does not tell about the protestors.
The consequence of this election with rule by the People's Party is definately from the protesting itself in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. 72% of the people turned out, but many were very skeptical. This election will not only affect the worldwide movement against economic inequality and austerity (interlinked) but will likely lead to more protests in the country.
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