Monday, February 25, 2008

The Spanish debate between Jose Rodriguez Zapatero and Mariano Rajoy

I happened to watch the debate with Mariano Rajoy and Jose Luis Zapatero. Oh, who are they you say? Zapatero is the current president of Spain of the PSOE party, the Spanish Socialists Worker Party, similar to our Democratic party. Mariano Rajoy is the leader of the Partido Popular, that was ousted from power after the Madrid terrorist bombings of March 11, 2004 and would be similar to our Republican party,.

Right before the elections between Aznar and Zapatero, Spain had its 9/11 which They call M-11 when Islamic terrorists bombed several Madrid railway stations. This caused the Spanish to capitulate and vote for Zapatero. The Spanish believed the terrorists attacked them because they were in Iraq. Although 90% of Spain was against the war in Iraq, Aznar, the head of the partido popular, was still the favorite to win the elections. The Madrid bombings changed that, and Zapatero, once in office, withdrew all Spanish troops from Iraq almost immediately.

The Spanish seem to have wanted to join the rest of the world in having debates during election season. France had its debates, and the US has had a plethora of debates. This was Spain's first debate in 15 years. I was able to watch it on Dish Network on channel TVE, the international channel of Spain. The Spanish conducted their debate in the style of the French where each candidate sat at a table in a relaxed atmosphere, and the moderator let them actually debate. Both candidates brought a ream of graphs and numbers that seemed to at times overwhelm the audience, that is if they had an audience. And, that was the other point, there was no audience, so you didn't need to worry about plants from the likes of MSNBC.

Rajoy opened the debate up with Reagan's line, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" I get the feeling Zapatero is not well liked in Spain. One of the comments I read said, "The only thing Zapatero has done is give gays the right to marry. I don't care one way or the other about what gays do. I just want to have a job."

Terrorism in Spain is a big issue, but not Islamic terrorism. Terrorism in Spain is with the group ETA, the Basque separatist group who have been responsible for bombings throughout Spain since the days of Franco. Recently, there was even a well-publicized bombing by ETA in France. Zapatero has continuously tried to negotiate with these home grown terrorists even as they continue their murder spree. Rajoy made a point of this. Zapatero is no different than Obama when it comes to terrorism. He believes everyone is rational, even terrorists, and negotiation works with madmen.

Both candidates are into the Kyoto protccol and the global warming hoax. But, who can blame them. They don't have the information we do. However, it is worrisome. The more other nations believe in the global warming myth, the more we will succumb to it.

I am betting that the Partido Popular will regain power once again. When talking about foreign policy, Rajoy encapsulated his opposition when he stated,"I will be with Sarkozy and Merkel, you will be with Chavez and Castro." (I think McCain should borrow that line for whomever the Democratic nominee is.) Merkel is the prime minister of Germany and Sarkozy the prime minister of France. Merkel is the head of the Socially Conservative Democratic party of the center right in Germany. Sarkozy is the head of France's UMP party, and he beat his leftist opponent Segolene Royal, France's Hillary Clinton because the French were fed up with the Islamic riots in France and the social policies which are benefiting mostly poor Muslims. Both Merkel and Sarkozy are allies of the United States, and the Bush administration. Rajoy could have also added Canada's prime minister to his list, but of course that wouldn't have meant as much to the Spanish since Canada is not part of the EU.

We are turning socialist, and Europe, although firmly entrenched in socialist policies, is trying to turn more to the right. We should take a lesson from the way Europe is abandoning its leftist politics.

Spanish elections are March 9th, and the next televised debate will be February 28th in Spanish of course. You can actually watch the debate live on televison española via the Internet.

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