Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com rockpool in the kitchen: Spoiled votes

Monday, May 28, 2007

Spoiled votes

Well, Granny and Beloved did go a-voting yesterday. First to the wrong place, then to the right one, baffled by the - proportional representative - system in each case. Information wholly unavailable it was a matter of hazarding a guess. Granny thinks their guess was correct, more or less. No voting for individual councillors here, certainly, no marking your choice with a cross. Rather you put the list of candidates belonging the party of choice in three envelopes, one green, one brown, one white - all conveniently sent to your home by some parties - present your ID to the officials and then post the envelope in the appropriate slot according to whether you are voting for the local 'municipio', the island council or the Canarian parliament. Ex-pats like themselves, only permitted to vote for the municipio, post just the white list, in the white envelope. A neat system, it makes the votes much easier to count; which explains, presumably why the results were all available by the small hours. On the other hand, since the envelope can be filled and sealed before arrival at the polling station it also makes it easier for less scrupulous candidates to present the more confused/aged/infirm voters - many of whom they drive there - with envelopes containing their party lists and say 'I've saved you the trouble, post this.' (Believe me friends, it happens. It really does.)

Granny and Beloved decided to opt for the man with the hat: he has the right ideas after all, ideas that ought to be represented in the council at least. But they might as well not have bothered; though it came third, not did only his party fail to win one place, the sitting incumbent retained his mayoral majority, the only one of his party to do so throughout the island. He's local isn't he. 'One of us'. That counts for a lot here. So no change. A pity. Though it has to be said, given that theirs is for many reasons a non-tourist area, he has less scope for corruption than most, and has no serious cases pending against him, unlike many of his fellow mayors throughout the island, all of whom failed to do so well (though one or two got more support than they deserved; for possible reasons, see above and below.) Presumably he held barbecues for his voters; they all do. But whether or not he also offered them television sets, or stuffed envelopes in advance is unknowable; if possible. Don't bother watching this space.

The party that sprouted most faces did least well of all. GOOD.

Granny and Beloved's excursion to the polls had one positive aspect. The polling station was the local primary school. On one wall was a large cage full of zebra finches - very pretty birds, striped black and white in places and with fat red beaks. Beloved spent a long time looking at them, and worked out that they were breeding satisfactorily. 'Look, nesting boxes ' he said. And indeed there were little birds sitting in every one of them. 'Look, fledglings.' Granny duly appreciated that the fluffier looking birds lacked their adult markings. Nice to know something was being productive, even if her vote wasn't.

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