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Victoria Silverwolf
Here's the news article:

Socialists Oust Spain's Ruling Party


QUOTE
MADRID, Spain - Spain's Socialists scored a dramatic upset in elections Sunday, unseating conservatives stung by charges they provoked the Madrid terror bombings by supporting the U.S.-led war in Iraq and making Spain a target for al-Qaida.

It was the first time a government that backed the Iraq war has been voted out of office. Incoming prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has pledged to bring home the 1,300 troops Spain has stationed in Iraq when their tour of duty ends in July.


Here is what really scares me:

QUOTE
The arrest of five suspects, including three Moroccans, and a reported al-Qaida claim of responsibility, raised the disturbing prospect that terrorists aligned with Osama bin Laden had changed the course of a national election. The Spain government has insisted its prime suspect in Thursday's rail bombings was the armed Basque separatist group ETA.


Did the terrorist attacks in Spain result in this victory for the Socialist Party? Or was it the ruling Popular Party's statements that blamed the attacks on ETA instead of al-Qaida? Or would the victory have happened anyway?
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Christopher
I think that Aznar, by standing with Bush brought his party down. Very well planned by whoever did it. Just before an election???
I would expect Spain will no longer be an ally for Bush. As much as I disagreed with War with Iraq I find this troubling. When politicians get nervous they get stupid. The timetable for turning over Iraq is close at hand. But there are still huge problems. While I disagreed we are there and it is done. It is very important to stability worldwide that Iraq now be successful. To have politicians worried about re election panic and start pushing for an even faster withdrwal would be very bad.

The outrage over the killings was definetly the determining factor. The Socialists milked for all it was worth. Same as Bush would be out if Iraq had happened before 9/11.
CruisingRam
I do think this is troubling, but I doubt that the goverment has turned over simply because of this single event- had this not happened, I think there is a very good possiblity that the election results would have been the same- the war in Iraq is very unpopular in pretty much every country in the world except ours, and ours it is not exactly a slam dunk either!

In some ways, I hope any goverment that supported going to Iraq is voted out of office- this represents a very important check and balance- make a war of aggression, lose your job, that simple.

I am just hoping that this doesn't strengthen the resolve of Al-Quaida though, because if they see the election as a victory for themselves, we could see alot of violence around election time in every western country.
Titus
Did the terrorist attacks in Spain result in this victory for the Socialist Party? Or was it the ruling Popular Party's statements that blamed the attacks on ETA instead of al-Qaida? Or would the victory have happened anyway?

I believe it did, but not in the sense as if it caused a huge come from behind victory. According to the article, the ruling party only held a three to five point lead going into the attacks. There are two parts of this article that say a lot about how the Socialists won.

QUOTE
Some voters, however, expressed support for the ruling party precisely because it endorsed the Iraq war, and for its crackdown on ETA.

Mari Carmen Pinadero Martinez, 58, a housewife, said she "voted to help the government end terrorism" as she cast her ballot near the downtown Atocha railway station where trains were bombed.


This tells me that there was still solid support for the ruling party by many and that no matter what, the election would go down to the wire.

QUOTE
"I wasn't planning to vote, but I am here today because the Popular Party is responsible for murders here and in Iraq," said Ernesto Sanchez-Gey, 48, who voted in Barcelona.


This tells me that a lot of undecided or apathetic votes went to the Socialists, enough to swing the election in their favor.

So yes, the attacks I believe, did perpetuate a swing of the election in the Socialists favor. But I don't see it as a 'message' sent by the people of Spain to the ruling party that their days were numbered.
Schoolboy
The clear majority were against war in Iraq so Aznar was always going to have a challenging election because he defied the people on this. And now, aside from the 10,000 Iraqis who died, Spanish civilians are paying the price of his policies.

Then you have the cynical finger pointing to ETA to undermine any pro-basque separatist parties despite the lack of evidence.

The two together were lethal. Either way, the government brought this defeat on itself. It could have acted against terrorism without supporting illegal wars. It could have helped America without inflaming hatred against itself. There were other ways.

Schooly
Robin_Scotland
It is worrying, but I get the feeling that it wasn't people changing their vote at the last minute, rather the apathetic turning out in force as a result of the attacks.

Either way, the events last week seem to be an important factor. I would blame the Popular Party for immediately trying to blame ETA more than the attacks themselves, all that showed was cowardace in the face of an election. They should have stayed strong, and admitted that the attacks could well have been a result for US allegiance. Afterall, anyone with common sense would realise that terrorism (and especially terrorism like this that aims to kill as many as possible rather that a specific target) is never justified, regardless of who the government supports.

The victory might have happened anyway, of course, you never can tell.

I doubt Spain will throw away its friendship with the US, regardless of whether it will move more towards what some classify 'old Europe'. I do think it is time, however, for the US to actively seek to rebuild bridges with Europe. If Socialist Spain is snubbed in the future in the same way France and Germany were last year, I think we will find that the rest of 'new Europe' will follow suit, pledging more allegiance to the Europe than the US.
Paladin Elspeth
I'm certain the train bombings tipped the scales for the election. You can imagine France and Germany's leaders saying, "We told you not to get involved."

Spain, I am sure, will continue to be our ally, but not necessarily in future anti-terrorist undertakings. Guess we'll just have to wait and see. People are tired of violence, and many are unwilling to subject their countrymen to it in the name of eradicating it.
Lone Wolf
QUOTE
The victory might have happened anyway, of course, you never can tell.


Umm, no

Sorry for the large text block, stealing from other forums. Firewall sucks.

QUOTE
HEADLINE: Campaigning starts in Spanish elections; polls predict win for ruling conservatives

LENGTH: 411 words

DATE: February 27, 2004

BYLINE: CIARAN GILES; Associated Press Writer

Campaigning for Spain's March 14 general elections started officially Friday, with two opinion polls predicting the ruling conservative Popular Party would win but likely lose its majority in Parliament.

. . .

The first two opinion surveys published after the campaign start both predicted the Popular Party would win the election but would have to form a coalition with another party to govern.

In one poll published by the right-leaning La Razon paper, Rajoy's Popular Party stands to gain between 170 and 171 seats, just below the majority threshold of 176 seats in the 350-seat Congreso and well below the 183 the party won in 2000.

The paper's survey, carried out by the private Celeste-Tel group, indicated the Socialists could improve from a current 125 to between 141-142.

. . .

The survey had a margin of error of nearly 4 percent, the paper said.

. . .

In another survey carried out by the Opina Institute for the private Cadena SER Radio, the Popular Party may take between 166-172 seats while the Socialists could win between 136-144.

The poll showed that while 57 percent believe a change of government was needed, the majority believed Rajoy would win.


The actual vote ended up 164/147 in favor of the socialists. almost a 50 seat swap, far outside the 4% marginf of error for the polls.

To say that the terror attacks did nothing to change the political face of this election is, simply, dumb. At least 10-15% of the Spanish population changed it's vote in the space of two weeks.

Sorry, but if we are in a war on terrorism, terrorism just won a battle. Whether you agree with the war on Iraq or not, Al-Qaeda has managed to change the entire power structure of a western country to one more in line with what it wants through violent means.
Robin_Scotland
I doubt al-Qaeda are interested in the Spanish government to that degree. If the intention was to replace the government with one that wouldn't be aggressive towards terrorist factions, then killing 200 innocents is not the way to go about it.

The Socialist party may want to pull troops out of Iraq unless the UN becomes more involved, but it is rather short sighted to assume they will back down from the war on terror. There is more incentive than ever for the Spanish government and, more importantly, the Spanish people, to join the fight against international terrorism. It is important once again to not confuse Iraq with terrorism. Most of Europe supports the fight against al-Qaeda and international terror. If al-Qaeda are responsible, Spain will see them as an even greater enemy than before. A tactical mistake on the part of al-Qaeda in my opinion.

QUOTE
At a news conference in Madrid, Mr Zapatero said his priority will be a "systematic fight against terrorism of all kinds".
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3512144.stm

Keep in mind that 90% of the people didn't want a war in Iraq, yet their government supported it. The terror attack is certainly a factor (although in my opinion the governments reaction a more decisive one), but the driving force behind the ousting of the Popular Party was there since last spring.
GoAmerica
QUOTE(Victoria Silverwolf @ Mar 14 2004, 11:07 PM)
Did the terrorist attacks in Spain result in this victory for the Socialist Party?  Or was it the ruling Popular Party's statements that blamed the attacks on ETA instead of al-Qaida?  Or would the victory have happened anyway?

The terrorist attacks did influence the elections in Spain but only because it boiled up the debate over involving Spain in the war in Iraq again. I think the Populist Party would have won significantly if it had not been for the bombing.
Google
Eeyore
I think that the bombings had a dramatic impact on the political climate of Spain as did 9-11 on our political climate.

But the bombings alone most likely did not account for the dramatic change of government. I think leading the country into Iraq against public opinion had an impact on this vote. I heard on NPR today that a factor was that the government's efforts to place the blame on domestic terrorism also led to an anti-government vote. (Who knows who did it at this point? May even have been ETA, but the elections are recorded now and the country will go in a new direction.)
Horyok
QUOTE
Did the terrorist attacks in Spain result in this victory for the Socialist Party? Or was it the ruling Popular Party's statements that blamed the attacks on ETA instead of al-Qaida? Or would the victory have happened anyway?


I believe the Spaniards got really tired of the lies and haughtiness of Aznar and his government during the last crisis (the Iraq conflict, the wreck of the 'Prestige' tanker and Al'Qaida attacks). They simply voted against him as a punishment for all his faults, as a way to say that he can't get away with that.

Thank God, Spain is turning back to a more normal relationship with its European neighbors. There are good chances that the European constitution will be signed now and that the Iraq conflict can see a better end.
Passion51
QUOTE(Horyok @ Mar 15 2004, 03:09 PM)


Thank God, Spain is turning back to a more normal relationship with its European neighbors. There are good chances that the European constitution will be signed now and that the Iraq conflict can see a better end.

Not to change the subject, but just how does this make things better in Iraq?

The scary thing about all this is how it will be viewed in the terrorist 'community'. I imagine they believe their actions turned around a free election. That will certainly embolden them. And seeing the appeasers taking office must have them jumping for joy.

I think it might be time for GWB to address not just the nation, but the world. If we keep playing cops and robbers with these people the world is in for a whole lotta hurt. Find me a terrorist who responds to diplomacy rather than military might. There are none. When will the left learn?

The only good thing about this attack and its political aftermath is that it might head off another attack here for the time being. Even those evil bastards have to know that Kerry would have absolutely NO chance if that happened. And you know as well as I do that they need Kerry in power to help advance their mission.
Jaime
Passion - start a thread if you'd like to discuss other matters. The topic for this thread is:

Did the terrorist attacks in Spain result in this victory for the Socialist Party? Or was it the ruling Popular Party's statements that blamed the attacks on ETA instead of al-Qaida? Or would the victory have happened anyway?
Argonaut
Did the terrorist attacks in Spain result in this victory for the Socialist Party? Or was it the ruling Popular Party's statements that blamed the attacks on ETA instead of al-Qaida? Or would the victory have happened anyway?

There has been much speculation on these questions here on AD and worldwide as well. I myself just do not know the answers. I wonder if they conducted exit polling in Spain? It might help us to hear from the Spanish voters on this issue (in the form of a credible poll as opposed to a few random quotes). Does anyone have any links to such polling?

I would imagine that governments worldwide would be interested in knowing why the Spanish voted as they did. It is interesting to note that while it is said that 90% of Spainiards opposed Aznar's decision to go to Iraq, 42% still voted to keep his party in power (compared to the Socialists 48%). One would think that the Socialists would have won an even greater majority if that issue was the deciding factor. Exit polling might help with that question as well. hmmm.gif
Hugo
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Mar 14 2004, 11:38 PM)

I am just hoping that this doesn't strengthen the resolve of Al-Quaida though, because if they see the election as a victory for themselves, we could see alot of violence around election time in every western country.

Well geewhiz, why would it not. There is one thing that would force me to vote for Bush. That is a terrorist attack designed to give Kerry the election.
Artemise
QUOTE
QUOTE (CruisingRam @ Mar 14 2004, 11:38 PM)

QUOTE
I am just hoping that this doesn't strengthen the resolve of Al-Quaida though, because if they see the election as a victory for themselves, we could see alot of violence around election time in every western country.



Well geewhiz, why would it not. There is one thing that would force me to vote for Bush. That is a terrorist attack designed to give Kerry the election.


This logic is incredibly faulty. On this premise it means that all of us have to continually engage in perpetual wars or we are playing into the hands of terrorists and anyone who does not support those wars ( even if wrongly waged on bad intel) are giving terrorists more power, that is backwards. Im not buying that we have to keep invading and threatening countries in order to keep terrorists a bay, its not going to work. We are just making more of them.
Does anyone remember that Iraqis were not terrorists and not involved in 911 and are not Al-Quaida?

If this WERE any kind of victory for Al-Quaida it just means one more country will not have to suffer further attacks on its soil, good for Spain and for the Spanish people, to have some common sense and oust a democratically elected leader that did not follow the will of the people when they were against what we now know was a needless and irresponsible war. More should follow suit, then we can begin to stop this madness that is entrenching us all and find some real solutions.

90% of Spaniards never supported the war and I believe that was most of the reason the elections were overturned. Its also been suggested that the Spanish believe Aznar was withholding information for political reasons in blaming ETA , which was a big stretch because this is not ETA's M.O. by a long shot, for a long time. The attacks probably made for a greater turn-out than usual, but Aznar sunk his own boat by playing ball with Bush. Spaniards didnt buy it and the overturn means they are not a paraniod or vengeful nation, even in the face of horror.
I am very sad for this recent tragedy but Im glad to see democracy work at its best, in a country I hold dear to my heart and proud of the Spanish people for standing by what they believe in ultimately, without coercion.
giftzahn
Here you have an online Poll: http://www.periodistadigital.com/textos/encuesta.php?o=23095

....of course it would be better to have another kind of Poll, but I'll try to find another one later!

The translation to the Title and Options are the following:


Did the 11-M influence your vote?

Options:

No, I voted for the same party I wanted to vote
Yes, I didn't want to vote at first but I voted PP
Yes, I didn't want to vote at first but I voted PSOE
Yes, I changed my vote and voted PP
Yes, I changed my vote and voted PSOE

Greetings!

P.S: I hope you can go directly to the poll...maybe it asks you to subscribe to the online newspaper of spanish newspapers!...smile.gif It is for free anyways!! smile.gif

P.S1: The Poll is relatively new, so it is maybe too early to draw any conclussions!
Artemise
This is an ongoing vote, exit polls as were asked for, non conclusive so far.
So far:
No, voté al mismo partido que pensaba antes: No, I voted the same party that I was going to:
votos: 351 (83%)
Sí, pensaba abstenerme y voté al PP: Was going to abstain and voted PP (Aznars)
votos: 7 (2%)
Sí, pensaba abstenerme y voté al PSOE- Was going to abstain and voted Socialist Party.
votos: 20 (5%)
Sí, cambié mi voto y se lo dí al PP- Changed my vote and voted PP
votos: 6 (1%)
Sí, cambié mi voto y se lo dí al PSOE- Changed my vote and voted Socailist Party
votos: 41 (10%)

I would like to input here that Socialist Party and Popular Party have no implications by their names, for American understandings. Spain is socialist by all standards. Spains Catalans are called Republicans which have no semblance to our political right, are in fact leftists in ideology, desiring ( at least in theory) independance from Spain and believe in total, individual, self determination with highly a tolerant social viewpoint. Although Catalans believe that Spain should be out of their business, and are pretty much extreme capitalists, they were militant Anarchists, fighting against the Spanish government and Franco, and actually achieved anarchy for one day, until Franco destroyed that movement in the civil war with the help of the US government who delayed petrol shipments to the Republicans in order to support Franco. ( any suprise there?)
There have always been long held grudges in Spain, as long as 500 years from the marriage between Isabel of Castilia and Ferdinand of Aragon in 1469 which supposedly 'united' Spain, but it did not. Basque separatists have continually waged a low level terrorist war against Spain for independance, Catalans have claimed they wanted independance while reaping the benefit of closer European ports and benefitting from Spain as a country, both have exclusive languages.

Aznar was a Falangist/fascist in his earlier days, a Franco supporter. Republicans (leftists),were trounced by Franco and by Catalan accounts , oppressed from that day forward, only some of which of which is literally true, but the Spanish have enough history to be suspicious and shy of political coercian into wars, since some the survivors of that terribly bloody civil war are still alive today, the stories live on, the history is too close, and they are vehemently against the concept of being at war.
The Spanish had seen so much needless bloodshed in the civil war, the up close slaughter of neighbors and their own extended families that they are a nation that does not appreciate flagrant wars, its almost a genetic memory, hence, possibly, Aznars support of the US (being a fascist from long ago) reason for his partys subsequent public overthrow, ( Spaniards not able to stomach the lies and the horror of the consequences)
http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,...1497950,00.html
http://spain.asinah.net/en/wikipedia/j/jo/...aria_aznar.html
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