Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Election Result

The orange t-shirt lot - the Partido Social Democrata (PSD) - won both the Câmara Municipal of Lajes das Flores and the Junta da Freguesia (parish council) of Fajã Grande, the elections to both having been held simultaneously on Sunday.

The PSD are Portugal's centre right party, the equivalent of Britain's Conservative ("Tory") party. I find it hard to understand the relevance of national party politics in constituencies as tiny as the concelho of Lajes das Flores (1,500 souls) or the freguesia of Fajã Grande (pop. 225): in Britain, such small and remote units would be contested by independents (i.e. unaffiliated to any political party) but the PSD's win represents victories for the incumbents as presidente of the Câmara (João Lourenço, the owner of a builder's merchants) and the Junta (José Teodósio Fragueiro, a taxi driver).

It was about 55% of the vote in favour of the PSD as against 45% to the other lot but the truly extraordinary statistic of the election in Lajes to my mind was the turnout - 81%. You'd be lucky to get a 40-50% turnout at a local election in Britain.

As for the other lot, the Partido Socialista (the centre left party of Portugal equivalent to Britain's Labour Party), they can console themselves with the fact that they retained the Câmara of Santa Cruz das Flores and are also the party of government of the Azores and Portugal as a whole (although in a general election a few weeks ago they lost their overall majority and are now a minority government). Back to ministering to the cows for Luis the veterinário (pictured above) for now, though. Not to mentioning giving our cats their booster jabs next week - "auld claes an' parritch" as we Scots say.

I leave you with a picture of José Teodósio (in the middle, blue jeans and striped shirt - a nice man) with his PSD equipa as pictured in an election leaflet. Now I don't understand the Portuguese electoral system but you're looking at getting on for 10% of the entire adult population of FG here - are we voting for all of them? Seems to me like an awful lot of chiefs for such a small wigwam.


Kathie said...

My understanding -- which may of course be entirely incorrect -- is that each party runs a full slate of candidates for all the available positions, with each candidate assigned a number in order of priority.

The decision as to who's elected is based on the proportion of votes each party receives. Thus, if the outcome was 55% PSD - 45% PS, the top 55% of the PSD slate and the top 45% of the PS slate would take office.

Or not.

Neil King said...

Sounds plausible Kathie except that, if you take out 45% of the PSD's faces and substitute them with 45% of the PS's faces, then you still have a helluva lot of chiefs.

There's also some distinction between candidatos efectivos and candidatos suplentes (think I've spelt that right) which I don't understand ...

Marisa said...

The Junta de Freguesia and the Assembleia de Freguesia works with a team, there's the President and the vice and the secretary for both,and the rest of the members, some represent the other partys(ies?).The suplentes means that if by any reason some of the efectivos can't assume their role, they take the place.
These bunch of people that you see in the picture are supporters from this party, they are not all candidates for chief.