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As this article goes way beyond the reaches of Mijas, this is not a political post and I am not touting for votes. But, I do find it strange that so many people ask me whom they should vote for in the upcoming local elections in Spain.

I am a politician, after all, and I will be standing in the next elections. I am not sure what is going through their heads when they ask me this. But it shows what a crap politician I am when I tell them that they need to decide.

I had a conversation recently with a Spanish friend you said quite simply, “Yo soy de la izquierda” (I am from the left). I am not even sure what that means: that whomever the left presents, be it a dancing monkey wearing a red tee-shirt, they would still vote for them? I have never seen life in monochrome, let alone in red/blue colours.

Sure, I am technically a conservative councillor (PP), but I don’t wear blue underpants. My commitment was never primarily to a party but to a person. My personal political leanings whilst living in the UK had always fluctuated depending on who was standing and whether I trusted them or not to do a good job. I could never state unequivocally, “I’m from the left”, or “I’m from the right”. Maybe that’s why I never went into politics before.

So, how can I answer that question, “Who(m) should I vote for?” Sorry, I can’t resist the grammatical dogmatism there.

Local politics and National politics are different animals with similar names: I guess a bit like a Giant Panda and a Grizzly Bear. Both are technically bears, but I know which I would rather meet on a walk in the forest.

We need to remember that in Spain you don’t vote for an individual but for a party list. So what advice can I give?

First of all, is there anyone on any list that you know and trust? It’s a good starting point.

What experience do you have of the various politicians? Have you been here long enough to have seem a variety of parties in government? Which do you think did a good job? And of course, what experience to the individuals on the list bring with them?

Do you like the performance of the party/parties currently in government? Have they done a good job over the past 4 years in caring for your community and managing your money?

Has the current government carried out its election promises from 2019?

Which councillors have you found to be accessible and which of them answer your calls for help? Which ones ignore you unless of course it’s election time?

You can look at track records of the various parties, approachability, concern for you as an international resident. There are so many criteria we could use to make decisions, but it will often come down to a gut feeling. I know whom I will be voting for and not because of the party, but it is up to everyone to make their own decisions.

The only plea I would make it not to define yourself randomly by “left or right”, but to use your head wherever it takes you.

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