So Loli was re-elected as mayor of Acalá del Valle. Last weekend there were local elections in Spain and even in small places like Alcalá, but also villages much smaller have a Town Hall with a mayor and the whole shebang. Every 4 year they try to be elected and the months ahead the town slowly changes into election mode, with speeches, posters and interviews for local TV.
Whereas in Spain the battle historical goes between the Socialists (PSOE) and the Partido Popular (PP) – these days attacked by newcomers such as Podemos – Alcalá has been reigned by IU for decades. IU stands for Izquierda Unida which stands for United Left and is a political coalition that was organized in 1986 bringing together several left-wing political organisations. IU was originally founded as an electoral coalition of seven parties, but currently the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) is the only integrated member of the IU at the national level.
It was a surprise to me when Angeles told us that the Communists had won the elections here in Alcalá, first thinking that she must be wrong. Where in the civilized world could the communists be in power? Of course she was right, strongly stating however that Loli, was not a friend of Putin…. Out of interest I found out that following the electoral failure of the Communists in 1982 (from 10% to 4%), PCE leaders believed that the PCE alone could no longer effectively challenge the electoral hegemony of the PSOE on the left. With this premise, the PCE began developing closer relations with other left-wing groups, with the vision of forming a broad left coalition.
IU slowly improved its results, reaching 9% in 1989 and nearly 11% in 1996. In contrast to the PCE prior to the formation of IU, which pursued a more moderate political course, the new IU adopted a more radical strategy and ideology of confrontation against the PSOE. IU generally opposed cooperating with the PSOE, and identified it as a “right-wing party”, no different from the PP. After achieving poor results in the 1999 local and European elections, IU decided to adopt a more conciliatory attitude towards the PSOE, and agreed to sign an electoral pact with the PSOE for the upcoming general election in 2000. They also adopted a universal policy in favour of cooperating with the PSOE at local level.
As we found out we couldn’t vote last Sunday as we hadn’t been included in the last census update (???). Sad on one hand, good on the other hand . It prevented us from becoming schizophrenic as we probably had to vote for Loli, the mayor that helped us a lot during the last few years, in the same time not wanted support communists…