Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Go to the new DM blog.

Who Won In Spain?

I'm only going to say this once: The Spanish election results are not a victory for al Qaeda.

While clearly the 11-M attacks had some impact on the election, it was not the only factor in the outcome. Many wingers claim that the PP was poised to win 'handily', and thus the terrorists swayed the election the other way. But if you look at the polls leading up to the election, you can clearly see that support was already falling away.

Here's a report from 3/4:

Support for the Spanish People's party government is ebbing away as concern about terrorism and separatism dominates the general election campaign, according to opinion polls published yesterday.
Nine days before polling, its lead over the opposition Socialists has fallen to 5-7 points.
Two months ago some polls gave [the PP] a lead of almost 11 points.

And a day before the election:

Before the attacks, polls gave [the PP] a 3-5% point lead over the Socialists...

So there was a already a downward trend for the ruling party, and its fate seems only to have been sealed by the Spanish government's bumbling attempt to pin blame for the attacks on ETA and not al Qaeda:

A lot of people were already angry with the goverment before the 11-M, but many of them didn't feel happy with the socialist party either. But it's true that after the bombs, and when the spaniards realized that it was not ETA, and after the way the government handled the situation, many people decided to vote against the goverment. It was a punishment to the goverment more than a reward to the socialists.

In other words, the democratic process worked. The people were already down on the folks in power, turned out in record numbers, and voiced their displeasure with a government that defied their will, was not effectively dealing with terrorism, and lied to them. Democracy won.

That's what is supposed to happen, although you'd never guess it from what fascist savants like David Brooks write:

[I]t was crazy to go ahead with an election a mere three days after the Madrid massacre.

So after 9/11 we were told to go shopping and go about our lives as normal because otherwise "the terrorists have already won." But heaven forfend that an election in a democracy could go on in the wake of an attack--that's just crazy talk! There's more:

If a terrorist group attacked the U.S. three days before an election, does anyone doubt that the American electorate would rally behind the president or at least the most aggressively antiterror party?

Ah, now I see where the wingers are heading: the Spaniards might have been foolish voting after a tragic failure to prevent terrorism, but we won't make the same mistake. Might as well cancel the election because we know Bush will win. And thus, so will al Qaeda.


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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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