CATENGESP


SOAPBOX BLUES

(11/02/2007)

Aquest article no està traduït al català; es mostra la seva versió en anglès

On the run-up to the 2006 Catalan elections

(CATALONIA TODAY – SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE TWENTY-NINE)


The other morning, local militants of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) organised a political rally in my Barcelona neighbourhood, smack in the middle of the unrelenting greyness of the plaça de Fort Pienc (near the Auditori). A couple of cheery-faced women stood next to a helium canister and pumped up condom-pink balloon after condom-pink balloon, each with the PSC logo emblazoned on it, barely able to keep up with the demand from the kids swarming over the square.
On top of this, someone else was handing out toffees – their wrappers also stamped 'PSC' – to the same kids, so that the square soon looked like a politically sophisticated children's' party.
Around one o'clock, however, some twenty or so adults emerged from the shadows clutching shiny PSC pennants on sticks, and congregated diffidently in front of a makeshift stage, on which a man in a dark suit had started to speechify into a microphone. I caught phrases like 'we will reduce the differences between social classes', 'there must be housing and education for everyone', and so on, delivered with all the spontaneity of a metro beggar's patter.
This token meeting, with its paltry attendance (and I'm sure it would have been much the same if organised by any other political party) would seem to be symptomatic of a general lack of public interest in the upcoming autonomous elections, caused, perhaps, by the state-sponsored hobbling of the Third Autonomy Statute, which has made it clear to many voters here that the entire Catalan Parliament has less political clout in Madrid than, say, a television chef. Indeed, it wouldn't surprise me if more than a few Catalans now suspect that the old saying according to which voting would be illegal if it could change anything, was invented especially for them.


- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -