Thursday, December 7

Day of reflection on the beach: between abstention, confusion and “we have voted by mail but without much desire”

The Andalusian president, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, has repeated on several occasions that there is time to go to the beach and that what he touches on Sunday is to go to vote. His request is not accidental since the choice of the date, in June and in the middle of a bridge for many Andalusians, suggests that abstention will be high. Although in reality, in the walk through Andalusia that flees from the campaign under the umbrella, Moreno, tanning and abstention are the big winners. At least that’s how it is on the Poniente Beach in Motril (Granada), which is relatively busy for not being summer yet. It is a possible thermometer of what can happen, since it is a place that attracts people from Granada, Jaen and Cordoba because it is one of the closest sea oases to these Andalusian cities. On the contrary, in Cádiz, Málaga or Almería they have the electoral college within a shot of the ball from Nivea.

The last debate reveals an ultimatum from Vox to Moreno to enter his Government before a third of undecided Andalusians

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As soon as the tour begins, a little affectionate nickname: “This is stupid.” That’s what one kid says to another. The two seem to have revolutionized hormones while sharing a morning on the beach with another group of young people who have just finished their university entrance exams and who have other concerns on their minds that are not the Andalusian elections this Sunday. He calls him silly because seconds before he has shouted that he intends to vote for Vox. “If he is not even 18 years old, but that is what his parents have told him,” answers one of the girls in the group. Everyone continues in their particular universe and is reluctant to talk about the elections, but there are those who do remember the ballot boxes on the walk they take Andalusia to Poniente Beach.

“I am going to vote for Juanma. Write it down, boy, let them read it in the newspaper”, says Inés Iglesias. Along with family and friends, she is on this Granada beach enjoying a weekend that coincidentally coincides with an air show. The problem is that Inés has not correctly calculated her chances of voting. Despite being on the Costa Tropical of Granada, she is from Malaga, like her husband, but they don’t think they will arrive at her polling station on time on Sunday. “Can’t you vote online? I thought so, that until eight o’clock I could. I was going to mess with the mobile and I was going to do it. What a great disappointment.”

Doing a quick poll among the six adults that make up the group, two are not going to vote, two of them had better do it if they don’t want to sleep on the sofa – that’s what their partners tell them – and the other two have already made by mail. “I don’t believe in politics, I only vote for the animalist party,” says one of the bathers who does not give her name. Meanwhile, Inés is clear that “Juanma is the best and that is why we have to vote for him”. As political scientists point out about the image of leadership that the Andalusian president has managed to create and that attracts the undecided, this potential voter of Moreno Bonilla is so because he likes his profile: “He is one of those people who convey confidence. The ones you believe when they speak”.

Two other of his friends, José Luis, a native of Córdoba, and Flora, a resident of Seville, have fulfilled their right to vote and have already exercised it by mail. “I am clear that I am not going to vote for the PSOE. After 37 years and with what they have stolen from us, I do not vote for them for sure”, says the Cordovan. Flora affirms that she has never decided on her vote in advance, but that this time she is going to bet on the PP. “I voted for Felipe González’s PSOE, because my grandmother voted for him, but Moreno does it very well and I think that if he doesn’t twist, he will continue to do so,” she says.

disenchantment with politics

Continuing along the beach, one comes across all kinds of people. Also with those who go calmly through life, but as soon as they are asked about the elections they speed up their pace. This is the case of a young man who prefers to bow his head and give his walk a brisk walk when asked what he is going to do on Sunday. “I don’t care about politics, but the best ones are from Vox,” he says, shouting in the distance. At this point it is worth stopping and going to one of the nearby restaurants, which are good thermometers of how many can put aside the polls for the summer red wines. Chema Rodríguez, manager of the Natalio restaurant, says that he has cast a blank vote and that he is “disenchanted by politics.” He does not notice a special climate or more reservations than usual. “We have the same volume of people that we usually have, but I think it has more to do with the airshow than with whether the staff is thinking about going to vote or not.” Catalan by birth and Motrileño by adoption, he confesses that in the atmosphere among his clients the debate on the elections does not float. “I used to vote with enthusiasm, but not anymore.”

“Little boy, have you seen how the mayor of Motril has us on the beach? I can’t vote for it,” says Encarna, a retired resident of Granada who spends her days off on this tropical beach. She does not want to say in whom she has placed her trust through postal mail, but she does make it clear that Luisa García Chamorro, councilor of Motril and of the Popular Party, has made her lose the desire to vote for those acronyms. “Although the problem is not the parties, but the people, you just have to see how they have the beach. We have abandoned garbage containers and you can’t be in the sand because it’s raised”. Encarna says that she is a convinced voter of the PP “for all her life”, but that she is tired of seeing how they have Motril. An argument that not all the neighbors share because Jorge, just five meters away, assures that “the PP is going to devastate”. “We are going to destroy”, she says to the questions of this medium. “It’s time to remove the chorizos that are ruling in Madrid,” he says, a little confused about what the elections that are going to be held on Sunday are.

A normal day to day

One of the best known places in Playa Poniente is the campsite that has the same name. Usually packed with people in high season, it’s not too bad of a crowd these days. “It is true that we have received reservations that tell us that on Sunday they are going to leave a little earlier to vote,” says Gerardo. He shares management with Marialena and at the moment in which this medium approaches them, a young man, who works in a dealership in Granada and whose name is Eloy, is reserving one of the plots to spend his vacations in this establishment. “I am not going to vote. I have never voted and neither have most of my friends,” he says. “People are fed up and wanting to get days off to start thinking about going to vote.”

Gerardo, the manager of Camping Playa Poniente, does not feel that the weekend will be very different from any other. “You hear among customers that they talk a little more about who they are going to vote for, but not much.” The day to day is the most normal and perhaps this Saturday the opinion of someone who plans to go to their polling station will change. “I think that then there may be some other client who is not going to vote on Sunday anyway.” A few meters from there, José Molina, a retiree who has lived in Motril all his life and who is famous, as he himself says, for his “war actions like Pepe el pollero” observes the conversation. Former manager of a barbecue, he knows the feelings of his neighbors and witnesses in a few words what is going to happen: “People are not going to vote massively because everyone is tired.” As he Incarnates, he believes in particular that the Motril beach is abandoned. Moreover, he maintains that Playa Poniente “is for the poor” and Playa Granada, which is a few kilometers from it, is “for the rich.”

Before leaving this journey on foot under an umbrella, another middle-aged couple from Granada, although they are spending these hot days on the Motril coast, do not want to talk much about the elections. “We have voted by mail because we knew we were going to be on vacation, but we didn’t feel like it either.” When asked if they were clear about who they were going to vote for, they prefer not to answer and continue walking back to the apartment where they spend the summer even in the spring. A couple that, unwittingly, exemplifies with their unease that a part of the voters are tired of the political class. At least, a portable speaker breaks the atmosphere of heaviness, typical of humidity and of matters as tense as elections. He plays C. Tangana at full volume and the chorus sounds: “Before they came to see you. Now they can’t even see you. Before you were al dente, you stomped much harder”.