Thursday, June 14, 2007

Question Time

Life is not easy for an opposition leader who has dedicated all of his efforts to a single theme. With the issue of ETA off-limits for the moment because of the need to present at least a formal show of unity against the threat of new attacks, Partido Popular leader Mariano Rajoy had to find a new topic for yesterday's parliamentary questions session with the Prime Minister. What would it be? Would he turn to the economy and ask something about job security and about those who have to survive on low salaries and short term contracts? Perhaps he would take up the problem of young people getting access to affordable housing? Or we could just get some old fashioned right wing populism on crime or immigration. In reality we got none of this. Before the session, Rajoy was caught unawares by a microphone that had not been turned off as he commented to his sidekick Eduardo Zaplana that he had been given an "absurd" question to put to Zapatero. You can see the video here on Rajoy was right, the only thing the combined might of the party machine could propose for him to ask was on the plans that the government hoped to implement before the next election. You can hardly see legions of party researchers beavering away all night on that question. Next week we might get "What plans does the President of the government have for this weekend?"

Something about nature of this episode tells me that it will not be too long before Mariano and Eduardo return to their favourite topic.


Theresa said...

It's too bad that PP and PSOE can't set aside their differences and really get some work done. I think more was accomplished in the few months following the first democratic elections in Spain than in all the years since then. People seemed to be more willing to work together and compromise in those days. Now, it seems like all they do is accuse each other of messing things up.

Tom said...

Theresa, in my experience it's the PP who have done most of the accusing. They held daily press conferences when in power and do the same in opposition, in stark difference to the present government.

I agree that it would be great to see a resolution to the Basque Country's problems... but do you really believe that both parties are equally to blame for not agreeing?