MOST people will probably know the Spanish local elections are due to take place on 22 May 2011.
In my local town, I believe for the first time ever, one of the major Spanish parties is actively looking to entice non-Spanish residents to vote for them.
I was wondering whether this sort of thing is routine across Spain or whether it is a relatively new thing.
First some background.
I live in the borough of El Ejido. This consists of the main town, El Ejido, a reasonably large amount of farmland that is mostly used for plastic greenhouses plus a number of smaller towns in the area, e.g. Guardias Viejas, Almerimar etc.
Of the smaller towns Almerimar is the one that is the most international and has the most non-Spanish residents. For this reason one of the Spanish political parties has asked me to publicise the following letter on our local community website:
“The political party know as the “Partido Popular” will be presenting their candidate in the municipal elections in El Ejido on 22 May 2011.
The party wishes to present their candidate at the municipal elections, Francisco Góngora Cara, who will stand for mayor of El Ejido, to the foreign residents of El Ejido.
Francisco Góngora in his meetings with local residents appreciates the participation and understanding of the party´s electoral programme for the next four years; he is also calling this meeting in order to know at first hand the worries, needs and aspirations of the foreign population here in El Ejido.
Francisco Góngora invites and looks forward to meeting and talking personally to the many people of different nationalities who are now resident in Almerimar and the municipality of El Ejido on Wednesday 23 March 2011 at 6pm at the Almerimar Golf Club.”
Is this sort of active solicitation of foreign voters something that is routine elsewhere in Spain?