A Party for the Citizens…
Continuing my investigations into the Spanish political chaos I visited the first of the main political parties late last week. No particular order or preference was involved. Their offices just happen to be the closest to where we live.
Ciudadanos – Citizens in English. A very new party that only arrived on the scene in 2005. They only contested the regional Catalan elections in 2010 making some headway and burst onto the national stage in 2014.
The orange party!! “C’s” – a nice catchy little abbreviation and logo. But what lies behind their front?
It seems that the PP (one of the big 2 and current ruling party) is more to the right than the C’s. Rather than see themselves as right wing they see themselves as more central. Orange logo, centre/neutral. Could they be the equivalent of the UK’s Liberal Democrats? This is not what I had imagined them to be.
It was very difficult getting much useful information from their headquarters in Madrid. I was not invited to enter and sit in their offices. A young woman named Mari Luz spoke to me for only a few minutes in the lobby of their building. Hardly good PR to begin with but nevertheless she was pleasant enough and gave me an email and telephone number to contact with any specific questions. As if I wasn’t trying to ask them there and then. I could easily obtain these contact details on their website so I am not sure what help that actually was.
My first question was where does C’s see themselves? The answer I got immediately had me thinking of the Liberal Democrats. A party of the centre. Perhaps trying to be all things to all people.
Admittedly it shows my ignorance, but I was expecting the C’s to be more right wing than the PP. I have no idea why. Maybe that assumption was based on the fact that the other new kid on the block, Podemos, was clearly to the left of the socialist side of the big two.
I wanted to ask them about their seemingly total commitment to the EU project and further European integration – they support the EU armed forces project for example.
I wanted to ask why there is no mention in their policies and rules about immigration.
I wanted to commend them on their stance on political and civil service corruption. An admirable set of policies and probably the main reason why Ciudadanos is now firmly on the political map. But I also wanted to ask them how they could be simultaneously so committed to the EU cause – possibly the most corrupt political system in Europe. Wasn’t that a complete contradiction?
Alas I never got the chance and I had the distinct impression that she was trying to get rid of me. So I took the handwritten email address & telephone number and went home to type my questions. I am now waiting for their response and will update if any further information is received.