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Vote Grumpy !

By Mr Grumpy - Sat 12th Oct 2013

Why in the name of Satan’s underpants does Spain need so many Politicians in order to make a mess of things, when half the amount could make the same mess, but at least with half the cost ?

Although I am at risk of sounding like a manifesto handed out by some vegetarian with a beard hanging around a train station in London, bear with me on this one...

Spain’s complex form of Government employs some 350 Politicians in Congress – the lower house of Parliament – and 266 in the upper house, the Senate.

Moving on from that each of the 17 Regions / Autonomous Communities has their own Governing body, as do each of the 50 Provinces.

Then, if that were not enough, each of the 8’112 Municipalities then elects their own local Government, to bring the total number of elected politicians to be an estimated 68’285.

That’s 68’285 people who have all had a hand in messing things up, and 68’285 people who would probably dole out countless excuses as to why it was ' not them, but somebody else...'

Now I’m not naive enough, or eat enough lentils to believe that Spain can survive without any form of government – local or otherwise – but I am pretty sure that there is probably around 50’000 politicians too many.

So how would major decisions be decided democratically ? How could the people be certain that their will had been made known ?

Well, I say how can they be sure of this even now, with the 68’285 Politicians currently in service.

Personally, I can’t see how Spain (or any ‘Democratic’ country, for that matter) could do any worse than publishing a list of matters warranting an opinion or decision in the local paper, similar to a football pools coupon. Showing my age there, maybe.

A list of issues to be discussed by the local / Provincial - maybe even Regional Governments –could be listed each week for perusal by the public, and those that were in any way remotely interested could be invited to submit an opinion via a secure, online password maybe ? Votes then counted up and mass opinion verified before a much smaller an select handful of elected individuals goes into battle.

Call me naive, idealistic, misguided if you like. Remind me that such a system of Government would be open to corruption and abuse, and I might agree.

Then again, isn't the current system corrupt and open to abuse, and surely the salaries of an estimated 50’000 Politicians could be put towards far better use (despite recent legislation being kind enough to cap the salaries of all city Mayors at 'just' €100'000). Furthermore, I can’t see the opinion of the great unwashed public agreeing to build a few more Empty Airports / Unused Motorways / Earthquake-struck Gas terminals etc...

I might even put my name down as the guy responsible for updating the spreadhseet down the local Ayuntamiento.

Comment on this Blog

ah, C'mon Mr Grumpy! Spain needs all those politicians to check over the laws that they pass, to make sure that they are actually lawful and legal. You know - like the law they passed to charge extra tax on diesel since around 2003, that has recently been discovered to be illegal by EU standards: The Government will have to compensate the diesel drivers when they all start claiming their tax back. It'll need a good few politicians to check that the right amount is returned to each driver, won't it?
Elaine - Wed, 6th Nov 2013
That is a very valid and very interesting point Ed, and one that can not be quickly and easily answered. The first reason being nobody can seem to to agree on the definition of "A Politician" and whether the number quoted include salaried and nonsalaried. Therefore, a portion of the numbers quoted could include Volunteers, and could include what many of us would consider to be Civil Servants. At the top end of the scale, the figures have been put at 455'568 'Politicians', however the true number of salaried, elected Policiticans (as opposed to Town Hall Employee, Advisors & Civil Servants) is thought to be closer to 65'000. Have a look at this article >> HERE << if you are interested.

Mr Grumpy - Sun, 13th Oct 2013
Great post Mr Grumpy... You'd get my vote! Where did you find these stats on the number of elected politicians? I always knew there was one politician too many in Spain but this figure is just astounding! I never knew there were so many!
Ed Bishop - Sun, 13th Oct 2013

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