Party poopers

In conversation with a friend last night, we realized that neither of us had seen any pre-election coverage of the new Catalan political party Ciutadans de Catalunya, or ‘bastard anti-Catalan shits’, as they’re sometimes known.

Ciutadans de Catalunya is something of a one trick pony; it’s based on the concept of anti-nationalism and defending the rights of easily dismissed Spanish-speaking Catalans. It pads out its programme with other stuff, but the key issue is always the same.

But it is a political party with a manifesto and a full programme of electoral events, and as such you’d expect it to get the odd snippet of media attention. As far as the Catalan state media-apparatus is concerned, Ciutadans may as well be fighting elections in Namibia for all the attention they’re given. Only on the satirical show Polònia does the group get exposure on TV3, and then they’re portrayed as aliens (presumably to get across the idea of the party being for people from ‘outside’). And, whilst it’s a fringe set-up, it does have support; though many people might not take it too seriously as a voting option, especially with socialist candidate José Montilla paying lip service to a less nationalist style of government and drawing in Spanish-speaking electors, plenty of people are in broad agreement with toning down state nationalism, so it’s odd that the party is not given a platform to promote its ideas, however difficult to swallow these may be for the media elite. After all, for democracy to function effectively, all parties need to be able to get their message across in more or less equal conditions.

Strangely enough, when the party was just a twinkle in the eyes of a group of 15 slightly oddball intellectuals, the media were clamouring round to get a take on what they saw as a whimsical little addition to the political scene, seemingly safe in the knowledge that it would fizzle out in the same way previous initiatives such as Foro Babel had. But now they’ve formed a serious political party which could shift the axis of the national debate, the media seems to have made a collective decision to make sure that the nationalist hegemony is kept alive. Even TV stations and papers which are generally a bit more sympathetic to the idea of a non-nationalist alternative don’t seem to be biting.

Of course, the boys from Ciutadans don’t need anyone to help them form conspiracy theories, but unless my mate and I have just been following the wrong media at the wrong time, they do seem to be about as visible as the dowdy cardigan-wearing admin girl as far as the press and TV are concerned.  


~ by Daniel on October 15, 2006.

2 Responses to “Party poopers”

  1. They seem to have moved directly into the territory where the PP would hope to pick up votes – they are also getting support from those on the right in the PP who can’t stand Pique. In the end the question is going to be what political space they can occupy, where is the demand for an anti-nationalist party coming from?

  2. Yeah, they’ll sell themselves to anyone who’s vaguely pissed off with nationalism, so they’re building up a support base from both the right and the left. It all started out as a left/liberal thing, but the ‘intellectuals’ have stepped back and the party now seems to be plugging away at disenchanted PP voters as well.

    Regarding the lack of coverage from media normally in line with this sort of thing, I wonder if it might be a worry that Ciutadans could rob votes from the PP that is stopping them getting any space.

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