The local elections are on the horizon but I get the distinct impression that the days when local political parties battled for the so-called foreign vote are over. In some ways we are to blame. The non-Spanish European Union residents on the island have never really embraced their local election voting rights. There are some exceptions such as the Calvia council where the foreign vote has proved vital in the past and thousands of non-Spanish Europeans voted but afterall there are nearly 14,000 foreign residents in Calvia, which is a sizeable chunk of the population. In this coming election each council will have a reduced number of councillors as part of government spending cuts and also the mainstream parties will have to battle the rise of Podemos, the new left-wing protest party. The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) have never made any real attempt to court the non-Spanish European vote. The PSOE, like their Labour counterparts in Britain, believe that all expats are “right-wingers” which, as we all know, is far from the case. The Partido Popular has made a big effort and they should be congratulated but, apart from Calvia, the foreign community has never really reciprocated with their vote. I think it is vital that all expats vote in the local elections. This is our home and we should have a say in the way it is run. So come on, get voting. This is a big election in May and we should all have our say on how the island councils are run.
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