Andalusia’s first electoral debate, broadcast by RTVE, brought together six candidates, three conservatives – PP, Ciudadanos and Vox – and three progressives – PSOE, Por Andalucía and Adelante Andalucía – each fighting for their space in search of someone to clash or not meet anyone at all. This was not a traditional debate of proposals, but high ideological tension, that is, anything that could shake the flat and silent campaign that the candidate for victory, Council President Juan Manuel Moreno (PP), had developed.
The dynamics were like this: everyone is against Moreno, except for his vice-president Juan Marin (citizens). Both defended the Andalusian government, which they shared for three and a half years, but here there was a different distribution of roles: the popular took refuge in a low, calculating, institutional profile, at times disappeared from the debate; while the orange candidate has dedicated himself to hand-to-hand combat right and left, especially against the Vox candidate, Macarena Olona, who is looking to take her seat on the Governing Council. This was the hardest part for Moreno, but Marin was in this fight. At least the first third of the program.
The Chairman of the Council screwed himself to the center and refrained from any direct confrontation with his opponents, the left, who challenged his leadership – economically, socially, in the context of the pandemic, and the far right, who shocked him without data, but under the slogan “heir to the socialist farm “. Moreno had a direct dialogue with the Andalusians. Again and again he looked directly at the camera, arms outstretched to both sides, in a cross, pointing “right and left”, distancing himself from the poles, equating what came to him “from PSOE and Vox” . “I’m a man of fashion tonight and I’m the recipient of all the sticks,” he joked, “the right and the left they will match in many cases, as they did in the parliament knocking down budgets,” he joked. sure. This is the main idea that Moreno brought to the debate and which he repeated several times.
It was convenient for the popular to remain silent when a hubbub arose between the other five candidates, disputing the word. But little by little they pushed him into the arena. PSOE candidate Juan Espadas and candidates to his left, Inma Nieto of Por Andalusia and Teresa Rodríguez of Adelante Andalusia, worked as a bloc against the Moreno-Olona tandem. Together they pointed to them as a threat to the future government they might form, but individually they also targeted the president. Especially Nieto, who took the measure of his clashes at the control meeting of the government in Parliament.
37 years PSOE
Moreno was only interested in answering directly to his socialist rival, whom he reminded several times of his past “in the governments of Manuel Chávez and José Antonio Grignan”. “37 years old, 37 years old!” Moreno repeated in every set with the Swords, reminding him that “he has been in public administration since 1990.” From the very beginning, the PSOE candidate tried again and again to face the chairman of the board, accusing him of “appropriating the merit of others”, emphasizing that the employment and economic growth figures raised by the Andalusian government had an “indispensable ally” in PSOE and United We Can leadership.
“Do you agree with the increase in the minimum interprofessional wage? And what about the intermittent ongoing work of labor reform?” he asked without answer. Swords rarely contacted the Vox candidate, but his every outburst was directed against the PP candidate, making him an accomplice to accusations of sexism and xenophobia. “Mr. Moreno, that racist speech we just heard…” The socialist ignored Olona, convinced that all his screen time would serve to bring the socialist electorate out of its apathy.
Moreno never lost his temper, his suit never wrinkled. This is the one who took the least risk and the least loss, but at the cost of his rivals supporting their messages without resistance. He did not discuss the Vox candidate’s sexist and xenophobic accusations, but questioned the State of Autonomies, which she did not mention but which is in her political proposal. “I need you to believe in Andalusia and the autonomous state,” he told her.
The most intense moment of the debate was the intense pulse and extremes, starring Macarena Olona and Teresa Rodriguez. Particularly rude and aggressive shouted in the block of social policy, when the ultra-right once again associated crime with immigration. “Don’t you dare compare Andalusian immigrants with those who come here in droves and with machetes,” Olona snapped at the woman from Cadiz. “You have never walked in Andalusia, you do not know the real Andalusia. Racist!” Rodriguez replied.
machismo and racism
The rest of the candidates preferred to ignore it. The Vox candidate also denied gender-based violence and said, raising her tone and hand, that she would repeal laws against gender-based violence and equality between men and women. “A rapist is a rapist, and a man is a man. There is no gender violence. This is a sectarian policy, pure rudeness,” he assured. “You’re here for feminism,” Rodriguez indignantly responded, eventually calling Vox “a political weapon of sexist terrorism.” He also turned to Moreno and blurted out that “his silence” and his health adviser calling it “domestic violence” are “complicit in sexist violence.”
There was no dynamic between the two forces to the left of the PSOE, good or bad. The candidates of Por Andalucía and Adelante Andalucía systematically ignored each other after having pulsed for months and even days before the same debate was held, from which the former wanted to exclude Rodriguez.
His candidate, Inmaculada Nieto, started by introducing herself and her six-party coalition, but forgot or didn’t want to mention that her proposal was backed by Yolanda Diaz, the government’s vice president. This is the best letter of recommendation a candidate has, who is still little known to many Andalusians despite being a parliamentary veteran. And the best antidote for the bad memory of a coalition born in fits and starts and in an internal dispute between its members.
Nieto held parliamentary debates with the tables he has, especially in his pulse with Moreno, with Marin and with Olona. The Vox candidate spoke of emotions, humiliations, sensations, and two left-wing candidates responded with facts and figures, each with their own style. Nieto had data on women killed in sexist violence, he even located them by province, and Rodriguez opposed him, nipping the “denier” speech in the bud. The woman from Cadiz was seen outraged and did not want to shut up, even when she lost her turn to speak. In debate, these two leftists were able to complement each other, but not at the polls, so they offer two ballots instead of one.
The final block, devoted to post-election agreements, did not advance a single scenario. Espadas insisted on asking Moreno if he would agree to a government with Vox, who replied that he wanted to govern alone and asked the Socialist “if he was going to form a Frankenstein government with eight political parties”. “Better Frankenstein than the Exorcist,” he snapped. “It’s you who says whose party agrees with Bildu and the ERC,” another abounded. The two agreed on something: one or the other will be president, the first will be able to understand the conservative forces, and the second will seek alliances with the left.
Nieto and Rodriguez advocated a “progressive and feminist” executive, the former emphasizing the “social”, the latter emphasizing “the ability to make decisions based on autonomy”. Olona avoided presenting himself as a comparison to the PP and encouraged the epic to speak of his party with the “policy-making power” of the government. All candidates walked out the door convinced they had won the debate. Today’s campaign is more intense than yesterday, and it doesn’t necessarily benefit everyone.
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