Wednesday, November 23, 2011

YOU KNOW that you don't need to waste time reading a post analyzing the Spanish elections when the first sentence is: "I do not follow Spanish politics closely". But, masochist as I am, I kept reading but got stuck on the first point:

First, the role the Indignados played, as summed up in CiF by Katharine Ainger. More people spoiled their ballots, or did not vote, than voted PP. These protests – in the same way as Occupy London – are not going to go away any time soon.

Which I bet most, if not all of you, realize that it's a big pile of horse manure.

You can't simply add up the number of spoiled ballots or people who abstained, because that happens in any election. To measure -- imperfectly, to be sure, but giving a quite accurate indication -- the impact of the indignados you should compare the numbers before and after their movement appeared. It's the difference what can tell whether it has had or not a big role.

And if you look at the data, they did grow, but not that much: abstainers rose roughly 500,000, Votos en Blanco (literally, blank votes: people do emit a ballot but it's one with no candidate; it shows an active rejection of all candidates) increased by 50,000, and spoiled votes were approximately 150,000 votes. Add them all up and it's 700,000 votes. Even if for the sake of the argument we put them on the indignados side, it would only have been the 6th most voted in last Sunday's election. Remarkable, sure... basically to conclude that the shakeup they were supposed to bring to the political system was little more than a shiver.

If you add all abstainers and spoilers to the indignados column, just like that, then I'll create a movement -- the José Guardia platform -- in which my policy would be to ask all people to go to the polls fully clothed. Voilà, I get a mandate from the 100% of the voters! José Guardia rules!