There's gonna be some Catalunacy on Saturday at 5 PM, since the Cataloonies and the Commies, along with CiU, who are usually moderate Catalanists but always have to wave the bloody shirt at election time, are gonna put on a big old demo downtown. Get this: Our old friend Joel Joan and Catalonia's only porno director who works in Catalan, Conrad Son, will be there. By the way, Son actually gets subsidies from the Generalitat in order to linguistically normalize porn. Joan and Jordi Pujol are already firing up the faithful, calling on them to come out "in favor of the dignity of Catalonia and against the insults of Rajoy and Zapatero."
The organizer of the rally is basically CiU, using the name of the Platform for the Right to Decide, which coincidentally is CiU leader Artur Mas's campaign slogan. They're trying to play on the Great Barcelona Transport Snafu, a major black eye for the Socialists, by demanding Generalitat control over the transport system, along with the right to collect all income tax paid within Catalonia and to spend it exclusively within Catalonia. The Catalanists are claiming that each Catalan pays €1000 more in taxes than he receives in government services, but they sort of skip over the fact that each Madrileño pays twice as much. And, of course, taxes are paid by individuals rather than regions, and since Catalonia is a wealthy region, it has lots of wealthy and middle-class individuals who pay comparatively high taxes. I thought all us leftists was in favor of progressive taxes.
Anyway, here's the least bold prediction ever made: The Junior Cataloony Youth Squad is going to put on a riot after the demo, probably with some help from the squatters, and some hell will be raised. The cops ought to be planning for it, and have eight hundred guys there ready to bust some heads. I bet they don't.
Other election news: Jose Bono is going to return to politics and run first on the PSOE list for Toledo. When he wins, he'll become speaker of the Congress of Deputies. I rather like Bono, he's more reasonable than your average Socialist, and I'd really like to see moderates like Ruiz Gallardon, Bono, and Miquel Roca start a Liberal Party in this country; if you could pull 10% of the vote you just might become the swing vote between the PSOE and PP.
La Vanguardia says that the PP is going to turn down the tone on its campaign and run more toward the center than the right, in response to the recent surveys that put them fairly close behind the Socialists. I've been telling them to do that for, oh, the last two and a half years or so.
Anyway, the PP thinks that there's no way they're going to gain any votes from the PSOE in the center--they've pissed off everybody who didn't already sympathize with them over this conspiracy theory bullshit--, so what they want to do is tone it down in order not to piss off the leftist voters and thereby reduce their turnout on election day. It seems that rhetoric about the unity of Spain and claiming that Zap sympathizes with ETA inflames many of these leftist voters. They would usually go Commie or radical regional nationalist, or stay home, but they may go Socialist if they are frightened enough of a PP victory that they'll vote for the PSOE as a lesser evil. Therefore, the solution is to sit down and shut up and not scare anybody.
Also, the PP figures that there are at least one and a half million shaky Socialists who are not regular voters and only came out in the last election because they were so worked up by the post-March 11 media frenzy. If those voters stay home, the PP wins, because PP voters are more faithful than leftist voters and more likely to come out and vote; the PP estimates that 90% of their regular voters are going to turn out, against 80% of regular PSOE voters. So, basically, the lower the turnout is, the more likely the PP is to win. This is probably true of conservative parties everywhere.