Next month is the first anniversary of non-Spanish European Union residents being able to vote in local elections in Spain.
This process took eight years to achieve and needed the Spanish constitution to be changed to accomodate the army of new European Union voters. This time last year there was plenty of speculation on how the foreign vote would change the Majorcan political map.

In the end only about 20 percent of those European expatriates eligible to vote actually did so. The Majorcan turn-out for the election was poor, only about 49 percent, but the foreign community turn-out was appalling. There have been many suggestions to explain why so few of us bothered to vote last June but I feel that the language problem had a lot to do with it.

I had thought that the vote would lead to a dawn of a new era in Majorca with the European expatriate community becoming involved in local affairs and even joing local political parties. Sadly this has not proved to be the case and the last time I heard a local politician talking about the foreign vote was on election day last June. The vote issue came and went and will probably never be mentioned again until the next local elections in 2003. Perhaps next time there will be a higher turnout. By Jason Moore


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