Inspired by the new constitution in Iceland, the rebellions in the Arab states and a combination of wikileaks, disaffection with the political class and its endemic corruption and a youth unemployment rate of some 44% as well as the perceived abuses of the existing workforce by the employers’ association, Spain is rebelling.
Huge protests in Madrid and Barcelona calling for changes in the political system along with supporting protests in other cities around Spain have changed the landscape of the country. Spain has been known for many decades now as a “Pasota” country, ie everyone just shrugs their shoulders and gets on with life however bad the perceived slight, Spain is starting to go back to its roots of anarchism and uprising as a new generation who see themselves as having nothing to lose as they have no present and no future.
Well that is the doomsday scenario but I believe that this will peter out as the entrenched political system is enshrined in the constitution and however corrupt the politicians are, and they are very corrupt, the system allows them to continue on their merry way. In the Valencia region I believe that 14 of the candidates for the PP nominations are implicated in some way in corruption scandals related to the Caso Gurtel. The only reason they can stand is the slow nature of the Spanish legal system. The amazing thing is that they will retain power in the community with a hugely increased majority because the opposition here, the PSOE, are the national government, a government that has spent six years being rather spectacularly useless.
Yesterday Matthew Bennett tweeted some images of the old and new politics. Camps and Rajoy of the PP had a “mitin” in the bullring in Valencia. The average age of the people there was, to be kind, middle aged. There were also images and videos from the “concentración” in Madrid of the new politics, supported by the social networks, text messages and the new media of blogs and other internet channels. Average age, mid 20′s, average IQ a lot higher.
A generational conflict is taking place. The politicians all belong to the older generation and are accused, quite rightly, of having been involved in politics only to get their part of the pie rather than for the good of the people they supposedly represent. The younger generation represent people who perceive that they have seen their parents and grandparents take away their future by the corrupt and empty way that they conducted themselves since democracy came to Spain in 1978.
What will happen is still unclear but remember a governmental change happened after the bombings in Madrid due to a text message campaign against the lies perpetrated by the government at the time who tried to blame ETA when everything pointed to Al Qaida or another splinter Arab group.
And we still have a year left until the real national elections. By then the disaffection could mean something on a larger national scale if the momentum is kept up. After all there is plenty to be dissatisfied by for the majority of the youth in Spain.
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