Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Politicking. Can it be true? The election is only 2 months away. Can I bear any more advertising and insanity? I don’t have a TV but political ads crop up every time I open any page on the Internet. You’d think I was President Obama’s best buddy considering all the e-mails I get from him and his team. I could scream “uncle” enough already but there’s one more convention to go. This one I can bear to listen to, parts of it at least, though it may prove to be less shocking or amusing (Clint Eastwood) than the Republican one. That leads me (as so many topics do) to politicking in Spain. Political campaigns are publically financed so all the ads for the parties (once they gain a certain percentage of votes they are eligible for public financing) are grouped together at the end of a regular TV program with a warning before and after that this is political advertising. This made them very easy to avoid and since most often it was the same ad repeated, millions weren’t spent on drumming a message into our heads. Here I did hear a person interviewed on the radio about her choice of candidate for president, say she’d decide once she saw all the ads. I never heard anyone say that in Spain. This campaigning goes on right up to the bitter end. On election day I have been handed ads, pamphlets, and flyers as I was walking into the polling place. “Isn’t this a bit late?” I asked, surprised and annoyed as these were shoved into my hand. In Spain there was the “dia de reflecion”. That meant there were no ads in any form of the media. Voting took place on Sundays which gives more time to vote. There’s no scrambling to vote before going to work or worrying about long lines afterwards. So when corporations are people and money can determine the result of an election, wouldn’t it be great to have public financing and less circus?