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I don't have any illusions about voting for "realistic candidates" any longer, or about real democracy rather than Democracy™, so I might as well vote for the candidate I think is best. So far I've been lucky in Spain.

My first general election in Spain was in 1996. I abstained. I was not going to vote for Aznar, I wanted Felipe out (not because I thought he was corrupt but because I thought the PSOE should renovate itself) and I couldn't reward the United Left's [Communist] Anguita's years-long "pincer" with Aznar by which he hoped to damage the PSOE so much that he would take over ("il sorpasso", he called it). The outcome was not bad: Aznar won a slim plurality of seats and needed to make alliances with his hated Catalan and Basque nationalists, bite some bullets, and generally make good of his promised "journey to the centre".

In 2000 I was scared shitless of an Aznar absolute majority and so I voted for Almunia, who was an honest, hard-working former minister and not at all a lesser evil. Nevertheless, PSOE sympathisers were generally depressed after the "primary" experiment had blown up, and 3M socialist voters stayed at home, so my vote didn't make a difference and Aznar got a majority of the seats in parliament and ruled Spain like his private ranch [como un cortijo we would say in Spanish].

In 2004 I voted for Zapatero by post as I was abroad, so I was not influenced by the events of March 11-13. Again a minority government resulted, which has been great.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 5th, 2006 at 05:35:20 AM EST
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