The first electoral debate in Andalusia, broadcast by RTVE, brought together six candidates, three conservatives -PP, Ciudadanos and Vox- and three progressives -PSOE, Por Andalucía and Adelante Andalucía-, each one fighting for their own space, looking for someone to collide with or not to collide with anyone at all. It has not been a traditional debate of proposals, but of high ideological voltage, that is, everything that can shake the flat and silent campaign that the candidate to beat, the president of the Board, Juan Manuel Moreno (PP), has designed.
The first Andalusian electoral debate, live
The dynamics were these: everyone against Moreno, except his vice president, Juan Marín (Citizens). Both defended the Andalusian Government that they have shared for three and a half years, but here there was a different distribution of roles: the popular one sheltered in a low, prudent, institutional profile, at times disappeared from the debate; while the orange candidate dedicated himself to the melee to the right and left, especially against the Vox candidate, Macarena Olona, who aspires to occupy her seat in the Governing Council. This was the trickiest part for Moreno, but that fight was fought by Marin. At least the first third of the program.
The president of the Board screwed himself to the center and refrained from any direct confrontation with his opponents, that of the left that challenged his management -economically, socially, in the pandemic- and that of the extreme right, which shook him without data but with the slogan of being “heir to the socialist farmhouse”. Moreno’s was a direct dialogue with the Andalusians. Over and over again, he looked directly at the camera, with his arms extended to both sides, in a cross, pointing to “right and left”, distancing himself from the poles, equating what came to him “from the PSOE and Vox”. “I am the man in fashion tonight and I am the recipient of all the sticks”, he joked, “on my right and on my left they will coincide on numerous occasions, just as they coincided in Parliament knocking down the Budgets”, he assured. It is the main idea that Moreno brought to the debate, and that he repeated several times.
The popular was comfortable in his silence when the hubbub was formed between the other five candidates, disputing the word. But little by little they were pushing him into the arena. The PSOE candidate, Juan Espadas, and the candidates to his left, Inma Nieto, from Por Andalucía, and Teresa Rodríguez, from Adelante Andalucía, worked as a block against the Moreno-Olona tandem. They pointed them out together, as a threat from the future government that they may form, but they also individually targeted the president. Especially Nieto, who has taken the measure of the suit of his confrontation in the control session of the Government in Parliament.
The 37 years of the PSOE
Moreno was only interested in directly replying to his socialist rival, whom he repeatedly reminded of his past “in the governments of Manuel Chaves and José Antonio Griñán.” “The 37 years, the 37 years!”, Moreno repeated in each set with Swords, reminding him that he “has been in the Public Administration since 1990.” From the beginning, the PSOE candidate sought again and again face to face with the President of the Board, accusing him of “taking credit for the merits of others”, stressing that the employment and economic growth figures raised by the Andalusian Government have had an “indispensable ally” in the Executive of PSOE and United We Can.
“Do you agree with the increase in the minimum interprofessional salary? And with the discontinuous permanent jobs of the labor reform? ”, He asked, without answer. Swords rarely hooked up with the Vox candidate, but each of his outbursts was thrown at the PP candidate, making him co-responsible for the sexist and xenophobic allegation. “Mr. Moreno, this racist speech that we have just heard…”. The socialist ignored Olona, convinced that every minute of him on screen will serve to get the socialist electorate out of lethargy.
Moreno has never lost his composure, his institutional suit has never wrinkled. He is the one who risked the least and lost the least, but at the cost of letting his rivals prop up his messages without resistance. He has not discussed the sexist and xenophobic allegation of the Vox candidate, but he has questioned the State of Autonomies, which she has not mentioned, but which is in her political proposal. “What I need is for you to believe in Andalusia and in the autonomous State”, he told her.
The most tense moment of the debate has been the intense pulse and from the extremes starring Macarena Olona and Teresa Rodríguez. Especially rough and aggressive, shouting, in the social policy bloc, when the far-right once again linked crime with immigration. “Don’t you dare compare Andalusian immigrants with those who come here en masse and with machetes,” Olona snapped at the woman from Cádiz. “You have never walked through Andalusia, you do not know the real Andalusia. Racist!” Rodríguez replied.
machismo and racism
The rest of the candidates preferred to ignore her. The Vox candidate also denied gender violence and announced, raising her tone and arm, that she will repeal the laws to combat gender violence and equality between men and women. “The rapist is the rapist and the man is a man. There is no gender violence. They are sectarian policies, pure hembrism, ”she assured. “You are here for feminism,” she replied, indignantly, Rodríguez, who ended up calling Vox a “political arm of sexist terrorism.” She also turned to Moreno and snapped at him that “her silence” and her Health advisor calling it “domestic violence” are “accomplices of sexist violence.”
There was no dynamic, neither good nor bad, between the two forces to the left of the PSOE. The candidates for Por Andalucía and Adelante Andalucía systematically ignored each other, after having waged a pulse for months and even days before this same debate was held, from which the former wanted to expel Rodríguez.
His candidate, Inmaculada Nieto, has begun by presenting herself and her coalition of six parties, but she forgot or did not want to mention that her proposal is sponsored by Yolanda Díaz, Vice President of the Government. It is the best letter of introduction that a candidate still very unknown to many Andalusians has, despite being a veteran in Parliament. And the best antidote against the bad memory of a coalition born in fits and starts and in an internal dispute between its members.
Nieto has made a parliamentary debate, with the tables he has, especially in his pulse with Moreno, with Marín and with Olona. The Vox candidate has talked about emotions, humiliations, sensations, and has been answered with data and figures by the two left-wing candidates, each with her style. Nieto has wielded data on women killed by sexist violence, he has even located them province by province, and Rodríguez has stood up to him, nipping a “denier” speech in the bud. The Cadiz woman has been seen outraged and she has not wanted to shut up even when she lost her turn to speak. In the debate, these two lefts have been able to complement each other, but not at the polls, which is why they offer two ballots instead of just one.
The final block, dedicated to the post-election agreements, did not advance any scenario. Espadas insisted on asking Moreno if he will agree to a government with Vox, who replied that he wants to govern alone and questioned the socialist if he “is going to form a Frankenstein government with eight political parties.” “Better Frankenstein than The Exorcist,” he snapped. “You say it, whose party agrees with Bildu and ERC”, the other abounded. The two agreed on something: the president will be one or the other, the first will know how to understand the conservative forces, and the second will seek alliances with the left.
Nieto and Rodríguez defended a “progressive and feminist” Executive, the first with an emphasis on “the social”, the second emphasizing “the ability to decide from autonomy.” Olona avoided presenting herself as a comparsa of the PP, and appealed to the epic to speak of her party with “strength to condition the policies” of the Government. All the candidates walked out the door convinced they had won the debate. Today’s campaign is more stressed than yesterday, and that doesn’t necessarily benefit everyone.