Written on June 23, 2008 by DeansTalk in Arts & Cultures & Societies

Written by Rafael Puyol, translation by Rolf Strom-Olsen

On occasion, one senses a disturbing disjuncture between that being discussed by our politicians or filling the airwaves with that which is actually of interest to Spaniards.  That’s what one would conclude, at least, based on the results of the latest CIS poll.

With everything that is happening, it is not surprising that the principal concerns of our citizens are unemployment, the economy, and housing, with ETA terrorism and immigration rounding out the top five.    

I wanted, however, to pass to the end of the extensive list to see the questions which elicited less interest and I considered, in order to analyse them,  the two types of techniques that are used in conducting polling.

This first encourages those being polled to name the three principal problems facing the country. The breakdown of the results allows up to nine areas to be enumerated that failed to reach a threshold of 1% of the overall responses: infrastructure, the problems of livestock and fisheries, corruption and fraud, war in general, racism, public services, nationalism, problems relating to women and the Estatuto of Catalonia.   

The second approach involves subject areas that exercise greater influence on those being polled. The results that fail to meet the 1% threshold of interest include things such as "drugs," "violence against women" and "international terrorism."

This already makes it clear. Something worrying can be discerned in these results and should cause us to reflect. If we go by the statistical frequency with which points of national debate appear in our political discussions or on our airwaves, arguments about nationalism (including the Catalan Estatuto), violence against women, or corruption, to name but a few, would enjoy pride of place.  The average man on the street, however, does not consider these objectively important or a source of personal concern (even if they are).

To these responses, one more has to be added: "the government, politicians and political parties," which falls to the lowest level of individual interest in the poll. At least, in this case, Spaniards have not lost their common sense.


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