Spain goes to the polls on Sunday and the right wing People’s Party is set to win the election by a landslide. But what about Spain’s M-15 movement which gained so much notoriety over the past six months, even managing to spawn european and ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests; with 53 percent of the spanish public supporting the Indignados movement, you’d think now was the optimum time for left wing parties to make political capital….well you’d be wrong.
In plaza Catalunya which became the centre of the uprisings in Barcelona, a small group of activists gather, they say change cannot be gained through the ballot box, one man called Hector told Press TV he won’t be participating in sunday’s elections because its contaminated and that decisions have already been taken by businesses and not the people, ‘ its not the people’s vote….ordinary people don’t run the country, its corporates and businesses that make decisions and run the country, that’s not democracy that’s why elections don’t mean anything. Our job now is to educate and inform people about what is really going on and teach them how to think about politics and how we make change’ he said.
The left is split over a range of ideologies thus unable to unite to produce a single candidate who could do some serious damage to the traditional parties.
Maria Angeles Flores is standing as candidate for the ‘Anticapitalista List’ she says a left vote is not a wasted vote, ‘ we won’t get into parliament, but this is an opportunity to raise people’s consciousness and publicise our ideas. There is a crisis but there are other ways to cut the debt whilst safe guarding people’s rights to public services. This was always going to be a slow and long process, its the beginning and people are starting to realise what is going on. Interestingly the United Left party ( Izquierda Unida) is appealing to the dissatisfied ruling party’s supporters and is expected to win eight seats which is a big step from last time around.
Despite a missed opportunity in the elections for the left wing all is not lost as ordinary people are still resisting the cuts and it will be a long up hill struggle for any government to push through its austerity plans. It seems elections aren’t the only way to make change.