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Just a few days to go before the local elections on May 22. So here's a final thread for your comments

The party in power in my town has printed a brochure complete with a photo of the mayor to deliver to all the households.
Nothing wrong in that I hear you say.
Yes, but it was paid for by the Ayuntamiento themselves. That is Public Money.
Does this surprise anyone, and what can you do about it?
Does Spain have Electoral Return Officers?
What rules are there about Campaign expenses? So much per head for example.
Are they audited?
And can the general public, you and me, get to see them?
Good luck
Mike
 

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If you want to destroy the horror that is the spanish corrupt elite you could do worse than find a young spaniard and give them the bus fare to attend a Democracia Real Ya demonstration :)

In Puerta del Sol (Madrid) there are restaurants feeding the demonstrators and vecinos offering their bathrooms.

Just need to maintain the momentum and the change will come :plane:

For those who read Spanish this might best sum it all up (he may be 93 years old but a great man he is :)) :

"No podía acostarme hoy sin escribir este post, que no es mio, que ni es un post, es una carta, una carta de apoyo, de José Luis San Pedro, creo que sobran las palabras, ya lo dice claro él, pero este Domingo, estes en la ciudad que estes, tu sitio es la calle a las 18 horas, por tu futuro, el de tus hijos, y por un mundo mejor.

Queridos amigos:

Ante la imposibilidad de asistir a vuestra convocatoria, deseo con estas líneas manifestar mi adhesión a la iniciativa ¡Democracia real ya! Naturalmente interpretando la palabra “real” como adjetivo referido a realidad y no a realeza.

Hace unos meses me uní a Stéphan Hessel prologando su panfleto Indignaos. Era un llamamiento a no aceptar sin más la tiranía del poder financiero y el abandono de los valores que encarnaba nuestra civilización (Europa). Poco después, Rosa María Artal tomó el relevo y bajo el título Reacciona nos invitó a unos cuantos estudiosos a profundizar en las razones para actuar frente a la crisis económica, política y social del sistema.

Ahora es vuestro turno, mucho más importante. Me ilusiona ver que los receptores del mensaje, muy certeramente, habéis comprendido que no basta con indignarse, que es necesario convertir la indignación en resistencia y dar un paso más. El momento histórico impone la acción, la movilización, la protesta, la rebelión pacífica. El llamamiento a indignarse no debe quedarse en un best-seller fácilmente digerible por el sistema y así lo estáis demostrando con esta convocatoria.

Por eso me adhiero a vuestras reivindicaciones, hago mío el manifiesto, me solidarizo y deseo un clamoroso 15-M. Pero sobre todo, os animo a avanzar en la lucha hacia una vida más humana. Los medios oficiales no se van a volcar con vosotros y encontraréis muchos obstáculos en el camino, pero está en juego vuestro futuro. El 15 de mayo ha de ser algo más que un oasis en el desierto; ha de ser el inicio de una ardua lucha hasta lograr que, efectivamente, ni seamos ni nos tomen por “mercancía en manos de políticos y banqueros”. Digamos NO a la tiranía financiera y sus consecuencias devastadoras."

José Luis Sampedro
 

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It is apparent that the Spanish system bears scant if any resemblance to the electoral system in the UK, not only in the form of voting itself but in the rules governing campaign expenditure and candidate behaviour. It is an offence in the UK for a candidate to 'treat' the electorate in any way: when I ran in local and Parliamentary elections my Agent forbade me to buy drinks in the pub for people I was hoping to persuade to give me their vote. Here and in the Czech Republic parties contesting elections offer free paella and wine and goulash and beer respectively and it is not only tolerated but expected.
Really, although it is of course desireable for the electoral process to be fair and transparent, Spaniards and Czechs haven't had a lot of practice over the past few decades. It is remarkable that the transition to democracy went as smoothly as it did in both countries.
The Spanish system leaves a lot to be desired but we shouldn't kid ourselves that the UK system is flawless - there are abuses although they can be remedied without much difficulty. We once took our local authority to the High Court and won an order that a wrongly counted election be held again (we won).
What really gets to me is when we Westerners try to impose our system of democracy on peoples whose traditions and culture is diametrically opposed.
And more power to the people of the Puerto del Sol...
Was it La Passionara who said 'It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees'?
A bit overblown as a slogan for today's troubles, maybe....but that old girl knew how to inspire people against things that are just plain wrong and need fixing.
 

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Was it La Passionara who said 'It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees'?
A bit overblown as a slogan for today's troubles, maybe....but that old girl knew how to inspire people against things that are just plain wrong and need fixing.
Although La Pasionaria used that in a famous speech, the phrase is not hers but Emiliano Zapata's, the Mexican revolutionary.
 

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Service is a little intermittent as there are now over 11000 people down loading the feed. But the chat to the right is interesting if you can read fast enough ;)

At the moment there is no sound but it is being worked on :)
 

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Yes, good luck to both of you... but I am not quite sure what this has to do with Spanish Campaign Expenses .
Mike surely what you see with Spanish Campaign Expenses is a very obvious example of how the system is broken and full of injustice? How an element of society can abuse and manipulate quite openly without fear.

Quote from the Manifesto of ¡Democracia Real YA!:

"but we are all concerned and angry about the political, economic, and social outlook which we see around us: corruption among politicians, businessmen, bankers, leaving us helpless, without a voice."

It is too late to address individual problems like the one you have highlighted (which no doubt will be the strategy of the PP and PSOE - try to offer a few concessions but maintain power at all costs). Spain needs to change direction top down. It is a big ask and I believe ¡Democracia Real YA! are only, at this stage, highlighting the problem, illustrating the enormous support for change, and demonstrating how they can mobilise their troops :cool:

ps: Already in Madrid ¡Democracia Real YA! are discussing moving location as Puerta del Sol is too small :)
 

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Yes, good luck to both of you... but I am not quite sure what this has to do with Spanish Campaign Expenses .
The issue of Spanish campaign expenses is trivial and of lesser importance when placed alongside the larger issues, don't you think?
It's one small part of a rotten system.
 

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The issue of Spanish campaign expenses is trivial and of lesser importance when placed alongside the larger issues, don't you think?
It's one small part of a rotten system.
However, the OP asked some specific questions, not about the wider issue.
:focus:

Anybody know about campaign expenses etc?
 

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However, the OP asked some specific questions, not about the wider issue.
:focus:

Anybody know about campaign expenses etc?
I don't think you can -or should - separate them. Lack of transparency in funding a candidate/party at election time or for that matter at any other time is a symptom of a particular approach to the business of politics.
The issue of funding campaign literature isn't that cut and dried in Spain or the UK. Most local authorities in both countries regularly publish house newspapers/glossies telling everryone what wonderful things the party in power in the town hall has done. They usually contain photos of leading local politicos.
Occasionally in the UK at least irate ratepayers complain about this use of public money as I guess they do in Spain.
I'm sure there will be guidelines on campaign finances....and I'm equally sure they will be flouted.
 

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I don't think you can -or should - separate them. Lack of transparency in funding a candidate/party at election time or for that matter at any other time is a symptom of a particular approach to the business of politics.
The issue of funding campaign literature isn't that cut and dried in Spain or the UK. Most local authorities in both countries regularly publish house newspapers/glossies telling everryone what wonderful things the party in power in the town hall has done. They usually contain photos of leading local politicos.
Occasionally in the UK at least irate ratepayers complain about this use of public money as I guess they do in Spain.
I'm sure there will be guidelines on campaign finances....and I'm equally sure they will be flouted.
If you want to analyse the political background of Spain and contrast it to the UK and/ or the other members of the EU you can't separate it. If you want to answer the questions posed by the OP, for example....

What rules are there about Campaign expenses?
....well, yes, you can!!

Here is a site that has info about this and other questions on it
Portal Electoral - Financiacin Electoral

quote from site
Para las elecciones municipales, el límite es el que resulte de multiplicar 0'11 euros por el número de habitantes correspondientes a las poblaciones de derecho de las circunscripciones donde presenten su candidatura.

What about this question from the OP
Does Spain have Electoral Return Officers?
You might know mrypg9 as you're involved in these elections
 

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Just found this. A bit late, but better late then never. Info about the postal vote, timetable etc
Elecciones Locales 2011 Cómo votar

And this. Article from the Guardian with the headline

The Spanish towns where British expats hold key to electoral victory

The Spanish towns where British expats hold key to electoral victory | World news | The Guardian

written by Giles Tremlett who wrote Ghosts of Spain
Very useful, Pesky. Though the website doesnt make it easy to find who is standing in your area - its a bit of a trawl through the public bulletin to find the candidates in your local area. However, I discovered there is an independent group called the Democracia participativa in my area which I had never heard of until now. Have seen nothing about them so no idea what they are about. Pity.
Anyone know?

Going back to the OP's question, I dont know the rules but I am not suprised about the use of town hall money for such things, though the campaign brochure seems relatively innocuous compared to what I have seen in the past. Namely, an annual Christmas card sent to each resident, a New Year's desk calendar with a picture of the mayoress on each month sent to each resident, a free annual pass to the zoo for children (and discount for the adults) - must admit I liked that one. The ruling party have also given out things to capture the female vote - like mirror compacts with the party logo on and suchlike. Slightly more sinister was giving sweets out (including to children) with party logo wrappers.

Anyway, not really expecting anything to change here as this is has been a safe seat for PP for years and I imagine a lot more are going to vote for them out of disillusionment with Zapatero.
 

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However, I discovered there is an independent group called the Democracia participativa in my area which I had never heard of until now. Have seen nothing about them so no idea what they are about. Pity.
Anyone know?

Anyway, not really expecting anything to change here as this is has been a safe seat for PP for years and I imagine a lot more are going to vote for them out of disillusionment with Zapatero.
I found this Caz I
PARTICIPA Blog Archive Manifiesto por la Democracia Participativa


I know what you mean about the PP. Same in my area...
 

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Just a few days to go before the local elections on May 22. So here's a final thread for your comments

The party in power in my town has printed a brochure complete with a photo of the mayor to deliver to all the households.
Nothing wrong in that I hear you say.
Yes, but it was paid for by the Ayuntamiento themselves. That is Public Money.
Does this surprise anyone, and what can you do about it?
Does Spain have Electoral Return Officers?
What rules are there about Campaign expenses? So much per head for example.
Are they audited?
And can the general public, you and me, get to see them?
Good luck
Mike
"The three main changes introduced by the 2007 Act are
clearly designed to benefit all the dominant parties of the system (including the
PP): a) The first one was the 20% increasing of the regular state funding for
parties; b) The second reform was the legalization of regional and local state
subsidies to fund regular party activities. Although the previous law only allowed
regional and local governments to provide state funding to the parliamentary
and local caucuses, regional and local public subsidies for ordinary party
activities became a common practice during the 1990s6. The 2007 Act accepted
that and, in exchange, introduced the supervision of the Court of Auditors; c)
The third change, mentioned above, allowed the extinction of debt by banks.
With no doubt, the short term benefits of this amendment were for the PSOE
(as the party with more debt), but this didn’t exclude future benefits from other
parties."

(Court of Auditors=Tribunal de Cuentas)

If anyone wants to understand the reasons and history of parties public funding, here is the entire study:

http://saopaulo2011.ipsa.org/sites/default/files/papers/paper-731.pdf
 

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I found this Caz I
PARTICIPA Blog Archive Manifiesto por la Democracia Participativa


I know what you mean about the PP. Same in my area...
Thanks. Voted earlier on today. Was surprised to see such a heavy police presence at my local polling station (which is also my son's school) - there was a group of 6-8 local police in a circle just inside the entrance - it was a bit intimidating and I wasnt sure for a minute if I was allowed to go in. But I discovered the reason for the heavy police presence just as I was just about to come out of the room where you vote - the mayoress was there, and I just narrowly missed bumping into her before she was swiftly taken aside and questioned by a couple of mums from the school.

Well at least people were out in force today, so whatever the outcome people have been motivated into action.
 
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