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Spanish Debate LIVE-BLOG

by kcurie Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 02:41:17 PM EST

[editor's note, by Migeru] With additional formatting and corrections.
Today is the big day in Spanish politics. Today is the big debate: after 15 years, a major TV confrontation in Spain between the two major parties.

Come next 9th of March, we select the Congress of Spain in general elections. The two main parties are the center-left PSOE currently in power and led by Prime Minister Zapatero, and the PP (center-right/hardcore-right) led by Mariano Rajoy. Today they face each other. We hope to follow the debate for all those interested.

Let me recall that it is highly unlikely that any of the two big parties will be able to form a government without the help  of other small parties (greens/left-wing IU, catalan nationalists CIU, Basque nationalist PNV, or some smaller regional parties).

Nevertheless, the party which gets more seats in Congress gets to set the agenda and initiate the coalition talks with other parties. It is highly unlikely that the loser will form the government unless the right-wing party wins by a very narrow margin and does not find any partner among the big nationalistic parties (Catalan and Basque). [editor's note, by Migeru] This is quite likely considering that the PP is campaigning on explicit anti-Catalanism.

A win by Zapatero will throw the right-wing party into disarray and will solidify all the social reforms introduced by Zapatero, together with the very centered (a la more than Clinton) economic policy.
On the foreign front... pro-EU, against Iraq involvement... and against any US conservative administration.

A right-wing win means the end of some of the social reforms, a US-style reduction in taxes, and a firm pro-US policy... something like Blair. It would also lead to a major earthquake for the Europe left as the two main representatives (Spain and Italy) would be out of government.

(Note: this is a community thread.. any relevant comment will be place in the main thread. Spaniards are encouraged to participate.. as is anyone alse interested).


Debate starts formally at 22:00.

We will update here what is going on...

Pre-debate

21:30
kcurie
Both Rajoy and Zapatero are already in the studio. After being bombarded with all the details and rules I will just say that it will take place in a non-white room and both will talk for equal times about every topic.
metavision
: Rajoy should fix his sloppy suit.

21:50
kcurie
Nothing, nothing, nothing... No image. Forbidden ([editor's note, by Migeru] by the rules agreed by the PP and PSOE campaign media advisors)... the TV stations that carry the signal (La Primera —the national public station formerly known as TVE1—, Cuatro —left-wing— and Sexta —the open counterpart of subscription-only Canal+—) filling in with spin or "people on the street" interviews. Right-wing Antena3 station does not carry the signal, and neither does TeleCinco (centered, the best-rated station).

metavision
Cuatro station has an spanish Spitting Image in the middle of spin. This only makes it worthwhile.

22:05 Here we go

kcurie
Moderator: it is amazing how many channels are connecting to the signal blah blah, and radios blah blah and internet blah.

22:10 Rajoy general opening

kcurie
Whaaaaatttttt????' an infomercial. "Good night. Are you better off now than four years ago?" Reagan style. Everything is worse than four years ago, except if you ask Zapatero. Economy bad. Crime scary with scary bands. And terrorism, worse... talking with ETA breaking all consensus and lying to people. "No Prime Minister has created so much hatred among Spaniards while talking about good demeanor".

22:15 Zapatero general opening

"Happy to be here".. and then to half-infomercial. Contrast two models... "we have pushed for women rights, for higher pensions for the elderly, social consensus without strikes from workers, more money to health care system..." and "we have done this against an awful opposition which had no qualms about using the pain of terrorism victims to its own advantage. Dialogue or confrontation, that's the choice".

22:20 The economy
Rajoy's basic economic argument is high inflation as the worst state of affairs. Zapatero recalls that Spain is growing more than any other country and it is well placed to deal with international problems, especially given that unemployment is at a historical low. Rajoy insists that average wages have not increased at the pace of inflation. Zapatero retorts that there are 3 million more people working and that he did not reduce the wages of state employers (as Rajoy did when he was in the government) while reducing strongly the State debt.

Weird.. Zapatero says that to stimulate the economy he will give a tax rebate as Bush is doing, of 400 euros to everyone, and that he hopes the PP will behave like the Democrats. Rajoy says "I had never thought that you would put Bush as an example". Zapatero closes using the words of Rajoy in 2004 when the PP leader said that he would ask for 2 million jobs at the end of the 4 year period.

22:33 Social policy
Rajoy states social policy is taking care of health care... but the problem is immigration. There is an avalanche, ignoring reality. He asks whether Zapatero thinks nothing is happening.

Zapatero starts answering that there were 700.000 illegal aliens when he reached government, but before falling into Rajoy's trap he switches to education. Claims high spenditures at all levels. Moves on to other social policy, specifically to pensions and the minimum wage, which has been highly increased (it is now 600 euros). Stresses the new Law on Dependence, now in process of implementation, to help people who can not take care of themselves and need family support.

Rajoy strikes back that the real topic is immigration. Yes, the PP supports the new law to support families of dependents... but the real issue is immigration... One topic... crystal clear strategy... fear, fear, fear. Directly from Karl Rove's playbook. Will it work? Rajoy:" We have to put order and control" Zapatero. "It is clear the PP only talks about immigration, you do not have a social policy". Rajoy: "You do not want to talk about immigration" plus "education is a disaster and we did peg pensions to inflation".

22:45 Zapatero talks about Inmigration.
ZP: We found 700.000 illegal aliens and legalize them if they had job.. "you had legalized half million with a bus ticket". We fight against illegal inmigration and we did serious legalization.

Rajoy: "It is a lie" and we had a pact with Europe to do the legalization and were small, in the last four years inmigrant doubled.

ZP: We sent back 200.000 more people.. oh and I have here a regularization with a bus ticket... and by the way, all the things you propose the immigrants to do like not marrying polygamously... it is already the law of the land, and then some platitudes saying that most immigrants are OK people.

22:50 ETA terrorism
Rajoy: You talked with ETA.... in good faith for Christ's sake..."ETA was almost dead and now it is strong"

Zapatero: My goal to reduce victims... and I expected your support in my talks...it was standard procedure and you debilitated the government in this fight. oops..."If ETA was so dead at the end of your government why did you attributed to ETA the 11-M attack".

Rajoy: A long list of sentences with the same structure insisting on the Zapatero flips-flops regarding the ETA talks. First I talk, now I do not because we get closer to the elections. "Who are you? The Zapatero who does not talk politics with ETA or the one who says he does".

Zapatero looks angry...:"you were the ones that lied to the people and the ones who never supported a government in a the fight against terrorism".

Nasty exchange... and it continues... with more terrorism and foreign policy.

23:00 HALFWAY THROUGH

kcurie
Rajoy has two topics. Inmigration and terrorism and insists on them. Zapatero tries to show the record but got angry on the terrorism issue (kcurie).... any more input from the comments?

Debate resumes

23:10 Territorial model
kcurie
Rajoy. You should have not reformed the Catalan Statute. Nobody asked for this debate, and now Spaniards have different rights.

Zapatero: We believe that it is good to reduce central power and we did it in 5 Communities... and you agreed except with the Catalan one while trying to sow hatred among different Spaniards... oh and Spanish speakers are not persecuted in Catalonia

Rajoy: "Spanish is not persecuted in Catalonia but you can not study in Spanish".. and by the way, those that said that Spain were breaking were your own party fellows. "You have no idea about the Spanish nation".

metavision
Zapatero: "Mr. Rajoy, it looks like YOUR apocalypsis is getting postponed in history..."

kcurie
ZP: and I am also glad that you no longer will bring the water from one area of Spain to the other and support getting water from the sea.

Zapatero at his best.. excellent attack recalling that Rajoy supports the same article if it comes from Andalucia but not from Catalonia. He recalls one article supporting euthanasia if it is desired by patients... meanwhile the Community of Madrid government (PP) tried to imprison doctors in Madrid hospitals who were in intensive care applying it. [editor's note, by Migeru] Citation needed! :-P

Zapatero is brilliant here... Rajoy is uncomfortable... Zapatero is solidifying the Andalusian and Catalan base without losing support in other areas of Spain. Great narrative.

23:30 Future and environment.
Rajoy: A disastrous public housing policy. Government has done nothing, you did not think well about it. You said you would resolve this problem... and you did not. Zapatero: Ok... housing... Shows a graph with the decrease in the bubble price. Rajoy: We do more where we govern.

kcurie
What a lame exterchange. I do not know who was worse.
Research and education
Zapatero: we put our money where our mouth is... you created laws without funding.

Rajoy : "Did you read the last PISA report?" which indicates that spaniards have lost reading comprehension.

CLIMATE CHANGE
Zapatero: "you raised CO2 emissions by 40% and we reduced it".. and it is very important to support anti-climate-change policies because we have big companies in the wind area.

Rajoy: "We signed Kyoto".

kcurie
Rajoy then he clearly distorts the record saying that Kyoto has not been fulfilled... forgets to mention that it is because the PP government raised 40% CO2 emissions

Zapatero tries to underscore this point with a graph... he should not have... a direct answer would have been better.

23:40 THE BITTER END!!!
Very heated exchange where Rajoy accuses Zapatero to attack "the victim of terrorisms". I do not know what he was talking about. [editor's note, by Migeru] Something to do with the "Association of Terrorism Victims" (AVT)? Zapatero says something like "where did you get that?" and "I can not accept this accusation. Where did I attack anyone?" This nasty attack helped Zapatero clearly but probably also rallied the rabid right-wing (such as Federico Jiménez Losantos, the Spanish Rush Limbaugh)

23:45 FINAL STATEMENTS...

Rajoy
Arrgggghhhh Back to infomercial.. it is disgusting.. he is treating viewers like stupids with a crazy voice tone...." if a girl is born now I want that she...."..
kcurie
I am going to throw up...really
Zapatero
More institutional.. half infomercial with short referent about a brilliant future plus "I asked your vote for 'this' and we did it"... where "this" goes from Iraq to women's rights. It is not good but not disgusting. He ends up with "good night and good luck"... are they following US politics or what?

THE END...

kcurie
So it needs some formatting.. but I will leave it to others... and add any new comments. And now to the spin area where the most important thing is "not to be the loser".

THE DAY AFTER...

kcurie
13 million people watching. Phone polls give winner zapatero as always but eveybody stresses the great performance of Rajoy. Left-wing newspapers focus on the zapatero win while right-wing newspapers focus on Rajoy attacking Zapatero very effectively: as always the most accurate report (or the one i agree more) is La vanguardia header ( http://www.lavanguardia.es/ ) "Rajoy attacks (acosa) Zapatero in a tough and bitter debate"

Display:
I would like to put any comment from people watching the debate about the topics discussed during the debate in the main diary.

So.. this is not a personal diary in any sense. I hope everybody agrees.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 03:09:54 PM EST
Thanks for the public service!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:03:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks!!

wellt eh public service is over......

basically to sleep.. I hope more people chim in.. and I hope the Fp can update and format at will... I do not use firefox.. so I can not make it look nice.. :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:04:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd do such clean-up but my eyes are closing... good night and good luck!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:06:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did some spelling corrections. I may put some more work into improving the text before I go to bed.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:14:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok I quit then from updating...

tomorrow I will see.......

Good night and good luck.

a pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:16:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Collons, you undid my edits!

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:31:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My friends, was I the only one to hear Rajoy say "what is that?" when Zapatero mentioned "a ´bonobús´" (a reduction ticket for frequent users of bus transport)?.

I think Zapatero should have mentioned this after the pause.

Other comments: I didn´t like at all Zapatero racing in things immigration to show that he ejected more immigrants. He could and should have been more pedagogical and point out how racist Rajoy had positioned himself.

Zapatero was leaning forward and looked like needing convincing you, not his best performance. Rajoy was aggresive, cynical but more articulate.

Zapatero failed to sell the infrastructure effort but placed three or four extremely good attacks on Rajoy. He very effectively exploited last year/last month inflation data. Zapatero was very far from the effectivity and calmness of his economy minister, who shot down the rising star of PP.

All in all I think Zapatero underperformed according to expectations and Rajoy kept to the lack of any moral scruples that characterizes a whole generation of conservative dirigents.

by alv on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:28:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes!

I could confirm it!

Rajoy doesn't know what is a "bonobús"!!!

Amazing. Check by yourself:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=gnXexzP5P-0

Forward to minute 3.10.

by alv on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 04:03:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zapatero: "y ustedes hicieron las regularizaciones con un bonobús, que valía un bonobús siendo Vd. ministro del Interior"

Rajoy: "qué es eso? je je je un bonobús?"

---

Zapatero: "and you legalized with a bonobús, for a reduction bus ticket was enough at the time when you were home affairs Minister"

Rajoy: "what is that? hehehe, a bonobús?"

by alv on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 04:09:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfair criticism?

The PP thing arrived and his appearance is as sloppy as his thinking.  The back of his pants look like an old curtain, his jacket does not button right and he stands up as inadequately as hanging marionette.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 03:22:06 PM EST
I do not know if unfair :)... but I am sure they will fix it in the process... to the white room.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 03:25:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot to ask.. are you following cuatro? or la sexta or maybe la primera?

It will be the same signal..but the pre-commentators ( I like the word... commentator) are different.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 03:27:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I plan to follow Cuatro with Iñaki Gabilondo, but the PP commentator (potato-head woman) and the CAM woman are really annoying.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 03:40:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just read you it the open thread...
I still have to decide..

not that it matters too much...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 03:41:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the left view, Cuatro has......
the half-reformed socialist...
Rdrgz. Ibarra.  Yikes!

On the other hand, it has recent episodes of Los Guiñoles on the breaks.  That makes it worthwhile.

(´I will not insult the marrano rajao´,
I will not...?  Oooops!)

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 03:59:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guiñoles.. the best!!!

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 04:00:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PP: zero.  Started very defensively with not-new criticisms and humilliation.

PSOE:  Started well but bit the hook of attacking back!!!  Argh.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 04:18:55 PM EST
From what you write, it seems Zapatero can bite!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 04:53:09 PM EST
Right now he is quite angry... I am ot sure it is good for him.. I am not sure..

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 05:03:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
anyone commented yet how cool it is that you're doing this?

Awesome.

by Nomad on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 05:01:09 PM EST
Only metavision.. no more love here.. :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 05:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Many thanks!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:26:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vile, bile... denial = PP.

It´s the SAME scene as in parliament during the last 4 years.  

MR is gesticulating nervously  and showing embarrassment by looking down and away, with uncontrolled laughs, but he seems to hit a robot button when he talks and the learned rote comes out!

Brutal attacks on biased, OT information, with a trailer of "you lied!" by the PPer who has his own ´reality´.  Zapatero has warmed up and braced himself to answer back correctly and much more respectfully.  He is really good at debating and looks straight in the eye.
 

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 05:11:29 PM EST
"Mr. Rajoy, it looks like YOUR apocalypsis is getting postponed in history..."

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 05:19:09 PM EST
One of the best lines... no doubt. Updated...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 05:27:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MR has the look of a rasputin!!!!  His eyes literally BUG OUT! as in a severe thyroid disease and looks

scary insane!!!!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 05:23:05 PM EST
Great job, all on your own!

I lost the debate! as I always do by screaming at the tv, at the end:  It was too damned much to hear the rabid, PP beast re-re-repeat his learned attack tricks.  Disgusting, dishonoring, demeaning to the human race...  

Zapatero could have done better not getting hooked on attacks, but he wins hands down and in his sleep because he´s a much better debater and controls himself a lot more.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:21:56 PM EST
Fantastic!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:51:37 PM EST
I mean, excellent!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:55:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks for the live blog. appreciated.
by Almanax on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 07:59:12 PM EST
Thanks kcurie, great job!
by Fran on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 12:13:08 AM EST
US-style television debate -- was it followed by US-stype instant telephone polls?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 02:21:04 AM EST
Absolutely....

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 04:09:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, who is the winner or what else was polled?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 04:50:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Updated now.. all opinion polls show that Zapatero wins.. but not by a large margin.. this is quite normal since all the minor parties are with zapatero and the right-wing is quite isolated now.

All polls agree that Rajoy attacked Zapatero quite effectively.

Right-wing radios are in extasis after so mcuh attack.. they would love to see Zapatero bite the dust.. it is somehow violent. left-wing media says that Zapatero won the debate

Both things are true. But there are a lot of aspects of the debate which make it impossible to predict its impact on the base and on the low-information voters (so-called centered, teh real center has already made his mind)..

it is very difficult to know if watching zapatero angry was good or bad.. it is difficult to know if Rajoy extreme attack on the victim of ETA terorism was useful for attracting more voters or mobilizes the left.

And then of course, even my perception on certain parts of the debate coudl be wrong.
It is difficult to know if the strong argument about Catalonia and Andalucia and the rest of Spain looked like I saw it.. a complete consolidition of the two most important regions for the left without any effect to otehr voters.
In the same way, the attack on inmigrants of Rajoy seems very effective to me.. I think it gets a lot of votes here.. but I can not be completely sure about my perceptions either

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 05:11:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for the live blogging. I was able to catch some of the first half of the debate in fits and starts, over a slow internet connection. I was disappointed by the American-style theatrics, but I suppose that's just me being naive.

I'm not sure it will make many people change their minds.

You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.

by Vagulus on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 10:45:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the end, the core of the debate was too nasty for an american audience.. methinks.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 12:17:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IIRC, up to 9.4 million people watched the debate just on TVE and that´s about 20% of the population.  (Don´t know how they know and count.)

The Opina poll after the debate (on Cuatro) broke down the results by age group and it seemed that over 70% had their mind made up before, but across all age groups, they found that around 10-12% of respondents decided their vote based on the debate!

I hope they saw the major style differences that I see.  If I had known, I´d have given a debate party.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 12:04:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Incredible editting work!!!!

Awesome!!!!

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 04:14:51 AM EST


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