Newsletter: Parties want to talk about cows and tractors and the countryside but Covid and the Ukraine crisis with Russia demand political attention.
Unless an unexpected black swan appears, the main news stories for the next two or three weeks in Spain are going to be the regional elections in Castilla y León, the international crisis with NATO and the EU against Russia in Ukraine, and the ongoing, seemingly never-ending Covid pandemic. How will each party react and position itself, with its own voter target segment in mind and the image they want to try to present? Events often force reactions, whether politicians like it or not.
The official compaign for the regional elections does not begin until Saturday, but obviously parties have started to take up their positions and, despite, their best efforts to maintain messaging and narrative discipline, the stories have already begun to cross paths. So far, there has been a marked rural focus to events, but now even Vox has had to adopt a position on the Ukraine crisis. Castilla y León is Spain which is Europe and NATO and so we can't have politicians who don't have an opinion on that complex whole that is our world in 2022.
With so very many Covid cases generated since the start of December, with 14-day incidence rates in to the several thousand per 100,000 people in multiple age groups across the country, even if the peak of this wave were to happen over the next few days, the backlog of cases will take at least another long couple of months to manage back down, just like last year. Will the management of the pandemic become one of the most debated issues of the campaign? How angry or fed up are voters at this point? Will there be problems because of the antivaxxers and the debate that might provoke?
There are currently two election debates pencilled in for January 31 and February 9, but only for candidates for three out of the five main parties. No Vox or Podemos becuase they didn't have enough for a group of MPs in the regional parliament at the last election. How relevant are those debates going to be when we get almost all of our news in the 21st Century from the Internet and on phones, and when political parties have the same communications channels in real-time as the media do?
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