Shame on Spain’s Popular Party for their behaviour in two recent referenda in Spain:
On February 20, 2005, a referendum was held in Spain to ask people “Do you approve of the Treaty by which a Constitution is established for Europe?”. Despite campaigning in favour of the affirmative vote, it was a known secret that the Popular Party (PP) was not in favour of that treaty as a constitution for Europe. The result of the consultation showed the victory of people’s indifference to the question: 58,23% of the population did not participate. Out of the 41,77% of people who voted, 76,96% voted “yes”.
Yesterday, February 18, 2007, another referendum was held in the autonomous region of Andalusia about the modification of the ruling regional legal framework of Andalusia (in Spanish, the “estatuto de autonomÃa”). Once again the Popular Party asked for the “yes” vote, after supporting a reform initiated by the socialist party (PSOE), and despite the PP’s initial opposition to changing the current estatuto. That is, once again the PP tries to defend in public a text they do not believe in. On this occasion, non-participation was the winner again, with 63,72% of eligible voters not showing up for the poll. Out of the meagre 36,28% of people who did vote, 87,45% voted “yes”.
With such poor participation in both consultations, it is clear that most people ignore them, and they are right to do so.
On both occasions the PP was really against the texts, but failed to show their real intentions. Had they campaigned to vote against the texts (with either a “no” or a blank vote), they would be representing what is really good for the people: i.e., to forget about these stupid texts, which are simply smoke curtains to divert attention, and focus rather from the real issues that matter to people.