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Exactly

Cox & Forkum are back from their hiatus and they sum up the Spanish election nicely. Welcome back, guys.

Comments

The consensus of opinion in the UK media over the Spanish election results seems to be that the PP lost primarily because the public were unhappy at being lied to.

In the aftermath, Aznar was busy trying to convince all and sundry that ETA were responsible, whilst at the same time his intelligence service were telling him that it was likely to be Al Qaeda. It's this discrepency that seems to have done the PP the most harm at the elections.

At the end of the day, I don't think it really mattered who carried out the attacks - that doesn't change the fact that 200 people were needlessly butchered and over 1000 maimed by a bunch of extremist fucktards. Spain may have been targeted due to it's involvement in Iraq, but the Islamofacists showed in Bali that they don't care where they strike.

The PP lost the election. They made two fundamental mistakes.

1) They ignored a huge groundswell of public opinion against Spain's involvement in the invasion of Iraq.

2) They lied to the public, trying to pin the blame on ETA, because they feared losing the election if the fact that it was islamic terrorists that made the attacks.

Perhaps there is a message for other politicians there too. If you listen to people, take heed of the desires of your electorate (that is the citizens, not the large donors that bribe you . . I mean, give you money), and then deal honestly and truthfully with them . .

Nah, I guess I am deluded about politicians actually serving the people.

These two comments are spin, part of the effort to cast the election as anything other than an appeasement attempt.

1) The PP was leading in the polls right up to the bombings.

2) The PP did not try to "pin the blame on ETA" nor did they "lie." Within 12 hours there was already speculationj it was Al Queda. It was prudent to assume it was ETA until proven otherwise. If Aznar had immediately jumped to the conclusion it was Al Queda then he would be accused of being racist and alarmist.

This is the same "Bush lied, people died" meme at work. If a national leader works from available intel (which you don't have much of 24 hours after a bombing!) and makes a valid guess, and it later turns out his guess is not proven correct, even if it is not proven wrong, he will be called a "liar."

1) It's naive to assume that opinion polls will accurately reflect the outcome of an election. The most prominent occasion when the pollsters have been consistently wrong to my mind was the UK 1992 general election. The Labour party were leading in the polls all the way through the campaign, yet when it actually came to the vote they failed to oust the ruling Conservatives. I'm sure there are many other examples of this sort of discrepency between polls and votes.

2) Within hours of the blasts, the Spanish government were publically saying that ETA were responsible. Thinking back to 9/11, it was considerably longer before the finger of blame was pointed at any organisation. There's a key distinction there: one government immediately assumed and declared that a particular group was responsible (and was probably wrong), the other gathered as much available intelligence as possible before announcing their conclusions.

My comments are merely "spin" as they don't reflect your view that the Spanish electorate voted out of cowardice, bestowing a great victory on the terrorists in the process. Personally, I feel that attitude is quite insulting both to the people of Spain and to the democratic process as a whole. In most countries, elections are more than one issue matters.

A belated "thank you," Michele!

--Allen