Living in the Past in Puerto de la Cruz… or What the Hell Just Happened to Democracy?

Posted: October 7, 2009 in Life, politics, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve decided that I want to become mayor of Puerto de la Cruz. Think it sounds far fetched? Puerto’s had two Irish mayors in the past, so why not a Scot?

I’ve been studying the political process and it seems dead easy. Apparently all I have to do is stand outside the town hall and stamp my feet over and over again whilst screaming à la ‘Violet Elizabeth’ style. “I WANT TO BE MAYOR, I WANT TO BE MAYOR…” and sooner or later they’ll just hand me the post.

It’s a tactic which seems to work well for Marcos Brito who has managed to have been mayor four times without ever once having been democratically chosen by the good people of Puerto de la Cruz according to the Spanish press.

This time he’s managed it through bringing about a motion of censure against Lola Padrón which most portuenses (i.e. those who democratically voted Lola into power in the first place) didn’t want.  Ironically, democratic was a word used by Marcos Brito many times during yesterday’s unfortunate development’s in Puerto’s corridors of power. I’m not sure who he was trying to convince.

I realise I’m naïve in terms of Spanish politics, but I’ve never managed to quite get my head around why there was a need for a motion of censure (apart from Marcos B desperately wanting to be Alcalde again). The best I can make out is some vague accusations about how the town’s money was being misused.

Fair enough, in the last two years I’ve witnessed all sorts of projects taking shape – new cultural and health centres, the sprucing up of the town centre with the facades of historic house being given a makeover, parks which had been allowed to become rundown being renovated etc. It’s been pretty clear where the money has been going.

However, in the four years before that (during Señor Brito’s previous tenure) I can’t remember anything much being done, so have no idea where the money was being spent. But presumably those who voted against Lola yesterday were happy with where the town’s money was ending up then and would like to see it end up there again.

Yesterday, after the decision, one of Brito’s key lackeys threw some light on the Coalición Canaria’s  (weren’t they the ones involved with the Butterfly Gardens fiasco in Icod and the controversy over Playa Las Teresitas in Santa Cruz?) accusations of the serious offences committed by Lola by specifically picking out the Socialist’s backing of the recent Gay Pride Parade, saying it was an insult to the Pope.

That was it? That was the best they could come up with?

Aah, so that’s the sort of serious offences committed by the Socialists. They support gay rights, women’s rights and are committed to equality for all. Now I got it.

It looks like the party’s over for a lot of people in Puerto de la Cruz. Still, if you’re a right wing fascist, let the good times roll.

There’s a joke here which goes along the lines of:

Q: “What’s the time difference between Tenerife and the UK?”

A: “About thirty years.”

Yesterday’s events illustrated why.

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