A Man Called José

Check out the post on Barcelona Reporter about José Montilla’s rebuff to nationalist critics vying for the votes from more Catalanist sectors within the Catalan Socialist Party at the upcoming regional elections.

Despite wee José’s claims that the nationalists are “ridiculous” in fighting over the voters he’s supposedly driving out of the party with his ‘Spanishness’, he’s interestingly just decided to appoint good Catalan Antoni Castells as his running mate. Having had to run the gauntlet of Charnego jibes questioning his suitability to run for president, even from within his own party, Pepe, as Maragall liked to snidily refer to him as, is understandably a bit touchy on this issue. The barretina photo-op can only be a couple of weeks away.

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~ by Daniel on September 5, 2006.

2 Responses to “A Man Called José”

  1. Hello… thanks for the link (much reciprocated) and for letting me be the first to comment. Benvinguts to the world of blogging Barcelona!

    Anyway, I read a story from the ABC (I know, I know but sometimes you need to listen to what the baddies are saying… it’s not like El País would report it anyway)… saying that Maragall has planned an overwhelmingly Catalan nationalist onze de setembre celebration this year. The gist of the story was that this was designed as another veiled attack on the Catalanity of Montilla. A bit far fetched? Perhaps. But there’s a reason that ERC and CIU believe hey can win Catalanista votes from the PSC: some party members don’t want someone they consider to be Spanish as local party leader.

    Personally, I’d back the PSC if they seceded from their union with PSOE (and had policies which I agreed with). Maragall has suggested this as possible in the future… and now he’s out.

  2. Tom,

    Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that there will be some electoral damage to PSC from having Montilla as candidate – I can think of a few traditional PSC voters who would be reluctant to vote for him. Most catalanista PSC voters are also politically aware and committed voters, so we’ll be looking at a switch of party (ERC and possibly ICV, depending on how the latter plays things; CiU can forget about attracting this sector of the electorate) rather than abstention.

    On the other hand I’ve spoken to quite a few people who will be dragging out the Montilla vote, as they see an ‘immigrant’ as president as a crucial step forward in getting away from the nationalist hegemony (regardless of the party) in Catalonia and continued privileges for the Catalan-speaking middle class. Another factor to consider is the degree of abstention from heartland PSC voters that would have occurred had Maragall stood again.

    What has been ignored is whether these votes will matter. Dragging out the charnego vote in Badalona isn’t going to achieve anything, as it’s already a solid PSC seat; likewise, Artur Mas capitalizing on ERC’s fall from grace in Lleida is going to have a similarly minimal impact. I haven’t seen any analysis of how the marginal seats stand.

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