Anything goes to win an election at the expense of the pandemic
In the middle of a presidential midterm, the United States holds an election known as midterm. The appointment at the polls is the best barometer for Democrats and Republicans to know how the mood among citizens is. The elections in Madrid on May 4, in this sense, have become a kind of midterm elections for Pedro Sánchez, who has launched his own campaign to try to counteract Isabel Díaz Ayuso given the little affection of the socialist candidate, Ángel Gabilondo. Even if this means using all the gear of the Moncloa.
The decision not to extend the state of alarm announced on Tuesday in a surprise appearance of the Spanish president after the council of ministers - in which he announced a rain of vaccines - can only be explained by the fear of having to face this debate at the gates of the elections. In exchange, Sanchez will be accountable in Parliament next Wednesday under the pretext of explaining the recovery fund and thus tiptoe around the management of the pandemic. The comings and goings of the PSOE with the coronavirus are difficult to explain: six months ago the alarm was essential for lack of alternatives; now, however, it defends the opposite, despite criticism from all communities - from those governed by the PP, to Euskadi, through Valencia.
On the other side of the coin, the PP is trying to balance in order not to mobilise the useful vote towards Isabel Díaz Ayuso too much and leave Vox without seats in Madrid -it needs to exceed 5% of the votes-. Pablo Casado and much of the Madrid press have dressed Santiago Abascal as a democrat after it was the same leader of Vox, also according to the police, who broke the police cordon to face the demonstrators who boycotted his rally in the working-class neighborhood of Vallecas. After the riots and the condemnation of the violence of the demonstrators by a few socialist ministers, one has to wonder if it is not dangerous to equate all forms of violence, ignoring the verbal aggressions of Vox while there are citizens who try to shield their neighbourhoods from xenophobia, sexism, and class hatred embodied by the ultra party. Podemos speaks of the elections as a question of democracy and applauded a "symbolic disinfection of fascism" in the square of the Vox rally.
Gabilondo, on the other hand, does not stop talking about stopping extremism. With this strategy, the socialist candidate is putting his partners in the Spanish government and Vox in the same bag. At the same time, he calls for "stopping the spiral of confrontation" although he does not stop confronting Pablo Iglesias. The PSOE needs to keep the vote of Ciudadanos at all costs to resist in Madrid. Even if this means for Sánchez to question without evidence the data of the Spanish capital at the epidemiological level. In the Madrid campaign, post-truth has become the daily bread.
Isabel Díaz Ayuso seeks to set the trend for May 4. Yesterday, the president of Madrid wore a white t-shirt with the campaign slogan that has already become fashionable for the party: "or freedom". To this we can add the creation of the Ayushop, a virtual shop with merchandising for fans of the PP candidate. It has been promoted by a councillor of the party indicted for corruption, according to eldiario.es.
Since journalists have returned to the press room of the Moncloa - until less than two months ago it was prohibited due to the covid-, they have encountered an uncomfortable reality: if Pedro Sánchez appears at a press conference, he appears initially with a teleprompter, reading from a small screen. The Spanish President thus announced the rain of vaccines that the Spanish government foresees until the end of August.