Fri Jul 6th, 2007 at 05:51:40 AM EST
(July 4) I am still watching the annual, two to three day, Debate of the Nation between President Rodriguez Zapatero and the leaders of every party in congress and I am awed. It is not "an address to the nation that cannot talk back", but a fully representative debate that I wish were mandatory for most adults. It is a grilling and I think the President likes that challenge. This is in addition to every Wednesday of the legislature as the President appears in what´s called the (un)"control session".
Not that it is a panacea, but I really would like to hear what countries have a comparable, government reporting system. My mind starts to imagine 43rd having to speak extemporaneously for five minutes...
Update [2007-7-6 9:26:4 by metavision]:The news is announcing that CIS polls say 43.9% think the President won the debate, versus 16.5% for the PPīs Rajoy. This statistic will be heard very widely and should sink in.
From the diaries - afew
*I have questioned whether I am deluded with this enthusiasm, but I have only had coffee so far, I get no material benefit from this and my gut confirms it is real. I am proud and excited by the process and especially by the interventions of all non-PP (extreme right) leaders, who are the most interesting and informative because they reflect the priorities around the country that rarely make it to national news. Involuntarily, I missed the PP intervention yesterday, but I am glad I did after reading the press accounts, because I may have been screaming out the window: Rajoy, as usual, just parroted the most abusive, demeaning and humiliating insults he could at the President, without a word of real content. Oh, yeah, he said "ETA" a lot...
*I´m insulted that most representatives disappear after the PP intervention, as if nothing mattered, but that roman circus. From filling half of the camara, only a handful of PP members remain when Rajoy is "done" and at least a third of the PSOE. It´s a great disrespect to the people and to the President, from those whom we pay around 6000 a month.
*The President is there throughout, beginning with his prepared speech, then taking notes and responding accordingly to every single leader´s speech and their issues, at least twice. The surprise in his speech was a 2,500 check per Spanish child born from this date and it´s an electoralist tactic that the party must consider necessary for next year´s elections. It´s a major mistake to favor population growth in a planet running out of resources, just to counter an aging population, instead of favoring industrial and economic changes to serve the current reality.
* The concentration, the intellectual effort, the personal interest and honesty are obvious in all the President´s interventions. Acknowledging almost no mistakes, but admitting "it is not enough" in some cases, the President repeats the progress made in only three years. He is fully prepared with factual data for every issue that is brought up, bringing up relevant improvements as counterpoint to leaders´ complaints. His capacity, his depth and sincerity is evident and most truly respect that, even when they must continue to pressure him.
*His anger when replying to the right wing is called for, rationally controlled, natural and very comforting to me because he remains a human, not a role! Regardless of how much some leaders want to blame him for getting hooked on the PP´s divisive game, it is a perfectly normal reaction after their vicious attacks and public undermining every step of the way. Sometimes I wonder if not even responding more often, may be a more effective tactic.
*Every theme that has been heard in the past few years is covered: From commuter trains, to the Western Sahara, from foreign missions --differentiating UN from NATO ones!-- to housing, from social versus economic progress to power abuse by the church and insufficient action on climate change. Terrorism and bananas, justice, immigration and temporary jobs... You name it and it will be brought up in this nationally televised, annual event because it is good for the party leaders and for all.
*The President responds in kind: He starts his responses to all other parties sincerely thanking them for their efforts, for their support and acknowledging their good faith. He shows his personal "fullness" of intellect, emotion and beliefs, using sense, vision, real interest, perspective and even feelings and humor, without being comical.
*There are many, many things going wrong in Spain: A lot of them, I think, are leftover habits of decades of repression, mixed with newfound capitalism-without-new- social-consciousness, but this government is not one of them! It is not perfect, nor ideal, but DAMM GOOD! It´s obvious to me the President is caught between his socialist beliefs and the economic powers (with church ties) that he needs to appease, if he wants to make changes. He´s a lawyer who has learned enough economics to accept he cannot change everything. The debate makes it crystal clear to anyone who cares to listen and think, that even an honest government is always balancing those forces.
*The debate also re-confirms beyond any reasonable doubt, the parties that act and disagree in good faith and... THE party that acts strictly from power-envy, and fails miserably: the PP. Their rage for the loss of power, makes them so sleazy and arrogant as to think they are impermeable.
*Rodriguez Zapatero didn´t quite admit mistakes, only shortfalls, but admitted he has not accomplished as much as he would like, without excuses, pretenses, or blaming unless he is dishonestly attacked. He enumerates the important accomplishments and highlights those in progress. He made standing up to strong criticism look like a piece of cake, when the opponents were respectful, honest and direct, as are all parties but one. The leaders were adamant about the issues, not angry at him and it showed. It was exhilarating to see "another way IS possible"!!!!
*The PSOE sounds confident it will be reelected and the last poll is positive, but I don´t dare assume the voting public is aware enough. Considering what I read everyday, Spain has a real "statesman" and I hope he gets a second term because I don´t know a more complete leader. Then, by 2012, I hope we will have created Left, global podiums for him to speak and teach, unsoiled by other ex-somethings. I hope he will be sought internationally (if he learns English?) among leaders of stature that People can trust: Jimmy Carter, Wangari Maathai........