I'm gradually learning about Spanish politics. There's now only 10 days to go before another general election, after the previous failure to reach a majority government, and I'm surprised there isn't the same feverish atmosphere here in Madrid as there was last year when I was visiting around the time of elections - the Spanish have a reputation for being particularly political, yet it doesn't seem to have figured in general conversation quite as much this time round - perhaps a certain resignation is setting in after the ineffectual first result.
At any rate, the live TV debate between the 4 party leaders this Monday (the 13th June, therefore dubbed 13-J, which sounds a bit like a failed nineties boyband) was still a big deal. Despite my limited grasp of a) Spanish, and b) the finer points of the politics, I've attempted to illustrate the impression I was left with of each party leader:
Pedro Sánchez was by far the hardest to caricature, he's so bland - like a terrifying cross between the man who delivers Milk Tray and a friendly Terminator. He yammers on about change so much that he ironically sounds like a stuck record. Meanwhile I couldn't really focus on any actual policies of Pablo Iglesias because I kept being distracted by his angry/upset reactions to Sánchez and Rivera.
Amusingly, the news said the following day that "all four leaders were considered winners" of the debate, which is like something you'd say at a toddler's party. Meanwhile, the campaign rolls on, with Rajoy yesterday proclaiming how excited he was to be in an artichoke field.