The battle of the cities (Bendodo and the pachyderm)

The PP has delivered Elías Bendodogeneral coordinator of the party, the direction of the campaign of the municipal and autonomic ones next May 28. It was an expected decision because the man from Malaga he directed two unevenly successful ones in Andalusia, that of 2018 and that of 2022. In the first, the results of the PP were not brilliant, but the sum with Ciudadanos and with Vox propelled Juanma Moreno to the presidency of the Junta de Andalucía. In those of last June, the success was complete because the PP swept away a historic absolute majorityabsorbed Ciudadanos and contained the expectations of Vox.

BendodoHowever, it faces a double campaign (municipal and regional) that is a battle in and for the cities. The party that is made with the largest number of cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants will take the cat to water: the municipal and the regional. This is the list of cities that exceed the bar of 50,000 inhabitants (they are cited to observe their geographical, cultural, economic and political diversity) and in which the PP and the PSOE risk their future in the short and medium term:

There were not 7,000 socialists at the gates of the prisons

Jose Antonio Zarzalejos

Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Bilbao, Alicante, Córdoba, Valladolid, Vigo, Gijón, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Vitoria-Gasteiz, La Coruña, Elche, Granada, Terrassa, Badalona, Cartagena, Sabadell, Oviedo, Jerez de la Frontera, Móstoles, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Pamplona, ​​Almería, Alcalá de Henares, Fuenlabrada, San Sebastián, Leganés, Getafe, Burgos, Albacete, Castellón de la Plana, Santander, Alcorcón, San Cristóbal La Laguna, Marbella, Badajoz, Logroño, Salamanca, Huelva, Lérida, Dos Hermanas, Tarragona, Torrejón de Ardoz, Parla, Mataró, Algeciras, León, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Alcobendas, Cádiz, Jaén, Reus, Orense, Roquetas de Sea, Gerona, Telde, Baracaldo, Santiago de Compostela, Lugo, Lorca, Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Las Rozas, Cáceres, San Fernando, San Sebastián de los Reyes, Mijas, Puerto de Santa María, Cornellá, Pozuelo de Alarcón, El Ejido, Chiclana de la Frontera, Melilla, Torrent, Toledo, Vélez-Málaga, Torrevieja , Sant Boi de Llobregat, Talavera de la Reina, Fuengirola, Ceuta, Arona, Pontevedra, Orihuela, Coslada, Valdemoro, Rubí, Manresa, Getxo, Palencia, Alcalá de Guadaíra, Gandía, Avilés, Molina de Segura, Santa Lucía de Tirajana, Estepona, Benalmádena, Majadahonda, Paterna, Benidorm, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Torremolinos, Villanueva y Geltrú, Sagunto, Castelldefels, Viladecans, El Prat de Llobregat, Collado Villalba, Ferrol, Arrecife, Line of Conception, Ponferrada, Irún, Boadilla del Monte , Granollers, Aranjuez, Zamora, Mérida, San Vicente del Raspeig, Alcoy, Motril, Ávila, Arganda del Rey, Sardañola del Vallés, Linares, Pinto, Cuenca, Colmenar Viejo, Huesca, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Calviá, Granadilla de Abona, Elda, Siero, Utrera, Villarreal, Mollet del Valles, Torrelavega, Segovia, Ibiza, Rincón de la Victoria, Tres Cantos, Guadalajara, Zaragoza.

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Others can be added to this data: In Spain there are a million more women than men in a population census of 47,615,000 citizens, which includes more than five and a half million foreigners, a percentage of whom have the right to vote in municipal elections. The INE published a comprehensive report about it last November, which is very useful. Other data of interest: 78% of Spanish municipalities have less than 5,000 inhabitants and they represent 9.4% of the total population. 16% of the citizens of our country are dispersed in 84% of the surface of the national territory and more than 70% of Spaniards live in large urban areas.

This numerical exordium is necessary to understand that the Spanish electoral roll it is especially urbanthat cities pose different problems and that designing the 28-M campaign only as a kind of plebiscite on Sánchez and his general policies would be like “thinking of an elephant” contrary to George Lakoff’s good political communication criteria. The plebiscitesto name them in a plastic way, They are more typical of legislative elections than of territorial ones. In the latter, management proposals must be landed (services, infrastructures, benefits that are the responsibility of the Town Halls, associations, the role of the Provincial Councils); to these proposals we must add those that affect the autonomous community (the Government of 12 on 28-M is elucidated) and, finally, establish a national choreography in which it is inevitable to introduce the assessment of government policies.

The PP would be confused if it does not territorialize its messages and focuses on throwing out Pedro Sánchez de la Moncloa

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The last thought is that the PP would be seriously confused if it does not territorialize its programmatic messages and focuses on a strong idea —throw out Sánchez de la Moncloa— that does not directly concern the management of cities that suffer from serious problems that only partly depend on the central government (housing, for example, and the distribution of budget items and NG funds from the European Union, decisions in the called water war that concerns several communities and simulation of co-governance). If the PP obtains in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants a result that makes it recover mayoralties and councilswresting autonomous governments from the PSOE through its results in the cities, will of course have an advantageous base to face the generals.

The citizen platforms of 2015, which were highly successful in the municipal ones of that year, effectively responded to their immersion in urban problems. Political parties as territorially established as the PP must diversify their political offer, which must be efficiently managed for an urban electorate that in the last four years has gone through traumatic situations and, especially, the confinement and restrictions of the pandemic from 2020 until well into last year. The aspirations of urban citizens require a new political sociology that provides them with certainty and a different way of life through the implementation of services and infrastructures that alleviate them in this permanent fight with the hostility of cities that seem to work against the well-being of their citizens. settlers.

Sánchez and his policies, in short, They are the great plot pachyderm of Spanish public life. But, precisely for this reason, it is not necessary to increase its volume and multiply its presence in territorial elections in a country as diverse as Spain. Bendodo has the most difficult assignment of all those currently possible in the PP. If he is wrong in the hegemonic mental framework in these elections – which is not only what the President of the Government does and says – the destruction could be of an extraordinary magnitude.

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