Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dial "Z" (or Th) or "R" (Rrrrrrrr) for Election

My mother frequently complains that the only thing on CNN - one of the few English-language television channels she receives at her "winter residence" here in Spain - is coverage of the US election. As annoying as that may be - our only English-language television channel is from Gibraltar which despite the fact that it's about 1000 metres from our home has crap transmission - one has to concede that it is a rather important election. But the US isn't the only country in a state of electoral flux: Spain too is facing a national election in about 2 weeks. An election which has put the country on a high terrorist alert. Yeah!

The contenders: José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (or Thapatero), Spain's current Prime Minister and leader of the socialist party (The Left) and Mariano Rajoy (Rrrrrrrrrahoy), pinhead and leader of the Partido Popular (The Right). Not that these are the only 2 political parties in Spain - they are just the 2 political parties deemed worthy enough to participate in this debate. Undoubtedly Gaspar Llamazares, leader of the IU left wing, is a little miffed these days.

Rodríguez Zapatero (Thapatero) is most notable for a prodigious pair of eyebrows which appear to be on the verge of taking flight from his forehead. He was elected 4 years ago on a wave of governmental mistrust after the PP bungled the investigation of the May 4th Madrid train bombings in which they blamed the ETA rather than Moroccan-al Qaida operatives. Rajoy (Rrrrrrrrrahoy) is a dead ringer for everyone's high school biology teacher (a negative in my books), and is notable for disliking people who are not Spanish yet choose to live in Spain and speak their own languages, and people who like to do the nasty with members of the same sex.

The election campaign officially began last Thursday, in spite of the fact that both parties had been vigorously campaigning - complete with billboards and signage everywhere - for the past 7 or 8 weeks. Last night, for the first time in 15 years, some 12 million Spaniards watched both party leaders drop their gloves of courtesy in a televised debate. In fact, this historic debate proved to be the 4th most viewed show in Spanish history, following closely on the heels of the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest and Real Madrid winning their 7th European Cup. Just so you know where Spanish priorities lie ...

Señor Gato Gringo and I tuned in to watch the mudslinging (you're a liar! no you're a liar!) but because we could, at best, understand 5% of what was actually being said, we watched for about 15 minutes before calling it a day. But 15 minutes was more than ample time. This is what we observed:

1) Mr. Rajoy (Rrrrrrrrrahoy) never blinks. In the 15 minutes we watched, the man didn't blink once. Not once. It was singularly creepy. Mr. Rodríguez Zapatero (Thapatero), on the other hand, made ample use of his blinking reflex. How can you trust a man who has no physiological need to blink?

2) Mr. Rajoy (Rrrrrrrrrahoy) didn't button the jacket of his suit. I'm sorry, but this was a formal affair - the first freaking televised debate in 15 years. How can you trust a man who couldn't be bothered to button his jacket? He also has bad taste in suits. How can you trust a man whose colour palette is grey, blue-grey, and blueish-blue grey?

3) Mr. Rajoy (Rrrrrrrrrahoy) used cardboard charts to illustrate his points. These were worthy of a grade 5 student before the advent of personal computers. Mr. Rodríguez Zapatero (Thapatero) just raised one of his prodigious eyebrows at these. How can you trust a man who couldn't be bothered to learn how to use a personal computer?

Ergo, based on our close and careful scrutiny, Mr. Rodríguez Zapatero (Thapatero) clearly won the debate. Most polls agree as well. Unfortunately, we missed - or possibly heard but just didn't understand - the following gem:

(Rrrrrrrrrahoy) called on Zapatero (Thapatero) to control immigration, and Zapatero pulled out documents to show that under the previous PP administration an immigrant obtained his papers by giving a bus pass as proof of residence."

A bus pass! How rich!

The truth is, should Mr. Rajoy
(Rrrrrrrrrahoy) win the election, life for immigrants will become a wee bit harder. He has actively flogged a campaign promise in which all non-EU immigrants (i.e., swarthy people) will be compelled to sign a "Contract of Integration" which includes learning Spanish and undertaking "to adapt to Spanish customs". Where that leaves illegal immigrants is anyone's guess. As an individual who enjoys an "independent" immigrant status, such changes could spell trouble for me.

In a nutshell, should Mr. Rajoy
(Rrrrrrrrrahoy) win the election on March 9th rather than Mr. Rodríguez Zapatero (Thapatero), it is highly likely that this blog will be relocated and renamed to 타이페이안에 고양이 (Cat in Taipei) or possibly кот в kiev (Cat in Kiev).


Senor G.G. said...

Rhhhhhhhoooyyy scares me.

Anne said...

Are Zapatero's followers called Zapatistas? Just wondering...

La Gatita Gringa said...

Better than Zapaterroristas.

Anonymous said...

I really think that Zapatero will win the election. How could anyone vote for the crazy Rajoy man??

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