Sunday, May 25, 2003

Here's Libertad Digital's rundown on today's key posts up for grabs. I'm not going to bother translating it since I figure if you're one of the three people following our election coverage, you probably already know Spanish, and if you don't, you can figure out the story because of all the numbers.

The only place where abnormalities have been reported is the Basque Country, where things got a bit hairy over the last week or so. The cops count thirty violent actions in the Basque region in the last ten days, more than half of which were assault and battery on sympathizers of other parties handing out their brochures and exercising their right to free expression. Meanwhile, anti-ETA candidates have received an avalanche of death threats; yesterday the pro-ETA "radical youth" (teenage rioters, looters, and vandals) Molotov-cocktailed the house of a policeman in San Sebastián for the thirtieth act of low-grade incompetent crap terrorism the Basques have seen. In the rest of Spain, some pseudo-anarchist shitheads let off a letter-bomb at the Valencia post office and seven people were injured.

Here in Catalonia, which is divided into some fifty "comarcas" (counties), the Socialists are going to take the five counties of the Barcelona metro area: Barcelonés, Baix Llobregat, Vallés Occidental, Vallés Oriental, and Maresme. The Catalan nationalists, Convergence and Union, should win all the other counties, with maybe a fluke Socialist or even Esquerra win or two somewhere. Now, wait, CiU control most of the counties, right? So they should be the strongest party, right? Wrong. More than four million of Catalonia's six million people live in the five counties of the BCN metro area. The Socialists are clearly the biggest party here in Catalonia.

The percentage of voters in municipal elections in Catalonia has been between 55% and 65%; they're saying it looks like voter participation this time is going to be pretty high, at least 60%, which is good news for the Socialists; most people whose interest in politics is marginal tend to go for the Socialists and their paternalistic program and guff about the rights of labor. The higher the turnout, the better they tend to do. This isn't good news for the PP, as they tend to do better with a smaller turnout; PP voters are very loyal, but there just aren't that many in Catalonia, 15% of the vote maximum.

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