Star quality in the political field

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Pedro Sánchez: Promoting himself to good effect.

SOME PSOE grandees in the provinces and regions resent Pedro Sanchez’s starring role.
He takes centre stage too often, they grumble, and instead of promoting himself he should be promoting them, and helping them do better in next May’s elections.
Many are out in the cold since they were ousted in the regional and local elections of May 2011 and are feeling the draught.
But Sanchez is promoting himself to good effect: a recent Metroscopia opinion poll puts the PSOE on 27.7 per cent of the intended vote, Podemos on 25 per cent and the PP on 20 per cent.
Opinion polls are just that: the voicing of an opinion for the benefit of pollsters, pundits and predictors and in a reversal of the old song, it’s a long, long time from December to May.
The voter who matters, the undecided floating voter, usually knows damn-all about politics but is currently taken with tall, attractive and media-friendly Pedro Sanchez. Sanchez and his advisers have perceived this and between now and May there will be more of him, not less.  Insecure party grandees had better get used to it.

Less good than it looks
AS usual, Denmark and New Zealand emerged as the world’s least corrupt countries.
In at 37, Spain was placed comfortably near the top of the list of 175 countries evaluated for the annual Transparency International corruption index.  Corruption in Spain is not systematic, the organisation maintained, before going on to point out that it focuses on public institutions and does not assess the public’s perception of corruption linked to party politics.  
Had it done so, Spain would have precious little to smirk about. It is precisely the nasty nexus between parties and sleaze that makes corruption the population’s greatest concern.

Now for the tough bit
PODEMOS might be able to trace its unconventional origins to the M-11 ‘Indignados’ movement prior to the 2011 municipal elections.
But it must go some way down the conventional route if it wants to get anywhere, and the first steps have been a little unsteady.
It will be subjected to the same scrutiny as other parties and promises become policies. The party’s Number Two, Iñigo Errejon has already displayed clay-feet symptoms over his €1,800 a month research grant at Malaga University. Not only has he not complied with its terms but he was the only applicant for the plum post dispensed by another Podemos member.  
Small beer compared with the PP and PSOE, but disappointing from a group that derides other parties as “the caste” and deprecates the feathers that line their nests.

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Different approach needed
CATALUÑA’S anti-independence group Societat Civil Catalana recently complained of an absence of “positive things” from Spain’s national government in Madrid.
Mariano Rajoy concentrates on demolishing independence sentiments instead of strengthening ties.  
What Cataluña needs is love and nurture, not all stick and no carrot.

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