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SPAIN: The discreet charm of Jose Maria Aznar

John Heelan disputes Christopher Jones' interpretation of the Spanish municipal elections: "The headline in El País, 26 May 2003, "The PSOE wins its first election since 1993" seems to dispute Christopher Jones opinion. In terms of overall majority, Aznar's party, PP, controls Madrid by a margin of only 3 councillors out of a total of 51 (3/51), Málaga, (1/29) Valencia (5 /33) Murcia (9/29). In the rest of the municipal elections, Aznar's party (with its legacy of Franco) failed to obtain overall majorities in Zaragoza, Bilbao. Barcelona, Sevilla . In the overall elections in the autonomic regions, PP lost 4 Deputies, whereas PSOE gained 16 Deputies; PP's gained 306,000 votes over 1999, whereas PSOE gained 666,000 votes. In the overall municipal elections, PP lost 970 councillors where PSOE gained 966 councillors; PP increased its vote over 1999 by 488,000 but PSOE increased by 733,000. (Sources: analyses of 25 May elections printed in El País on 26-28 May 2003). It would be interesting if a WAIS psephologist could translate that political swing into terms of its effect on a national election. It might make sobering reading for Bush/ Blair, Aznar, perhaps indicating how their lies over Iraq could affect their political futures. RH: There were elections in both the autonomous regions and the municipalities, making the overall picture complicated.

Ronald Hilton - 5/29/03