Expressing sympathy for politicians who have been turned out of office may not be the popular option du jour but one still feels for Ms Angie Guerrero in, what is for her, a sad loss.
Unhappily, her failure to engage widely enough with her constituents and their concerns contributed to it. From an early stage it was clear that her circle of acquaintance among possible ex-pat voters was going to be far too narrow to be effective. Especially when it came to persuading them that it was worthwhile to register and to vote. Clearly, the decision-makers in the Partido Popular, thought so too. Hence her demotion on their candidates List. So I am not surprised that only 399 others bothered to vote along with myself.
To be successful in vote-getting a politician has to meet and talk to as many potential voters as she/he can and must respond to their concerns. No one expects politicians to solve every problem they are confronted by or to do everything they are asked to do, but they are expected to engage with those problems and requests. The perception in Calvia is that this didn’t happen. Two particular concerns often voiced by expats are, the continuing presence of prostitute/muggers in Magalluf, and the distressingly poor bus service in Calvia.
The former needs no amplification, there has been never-ending talk but precious little action. As for the bus service, that may be a contributor to the low numbers of ex-pats registered to vote since some years ago the service connecting El Toro, Son Ferrer, Magalluf and Palmanova with Calvia (and hence the Ayuntamiento) was withdrawn. Not every ex-pat has a car, or drives. Since 1 of April there has been no service on the routes 105, 106 and 107 on Sundays and Holidays. The sole Sunday service is carried by the 104. The overcrowding may be more easily imagined than described.
The foreign desk at Calvia Ayuntamiento is a good thing and long may it continue but a common complaint is that communications from the Town Hall are seldom in either English or German. It’s shameful, I know, but too many ex-pats don’t read Spanish. And as for Catalan, well, for ex-pats a paraphrase of Oscar Wilde’s dictum applies –“Life is too short to learn Catalan”
One final thought. I haven’t seen the numbers from the Calvia election of 2015, but in the 2011 election the List system of voting meant that 25% of the valid votes cast received no representation because they were split too widely among smaller parties. That type of outcome doesn’t do much to encourage participation in the system.
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