PS Bunch Of Incompetents ; Equality Or Sham ? ; Clarification Needed At Lugar do Baixo Marina

(10th August). ‘Ex-Leader Predicts Bad Results For PS-M’. Duarte Caldeira expects the worst outcome for the socialist party. A founder and former parliamentary member of the PS-M, he spares no criticism of the party leadership. He fears that the elections scheduled for the months of September and October are going to stay as bad memories for Madeirans, as the worst result ever in the history of the party. "The PS is in a sorry state " he said. At a parliamentary level, he singles out just two politicians of any value, the rest of the group he says consists of "a bunch of incompetents". Nothing like sticking the knife in when the party is almost already dead. Uncle Bertie and the cronies must be laughing their socks off.

‘Quotas: Inequality Or Justice? – After the elections, the country will see if the parity was a sham or the beginning of a new era’. Whether you agree or not with the mandatory requirement that a third of electoral lists are women, the law of parity has at least achieved one purpose : preventing the masculine status quo continuing to clash with the entry of women in politics. Invited to ‘give a face to a party’, the women mastered the opportunity to prove their abilities. So say some of the candidates heard by the Diário. No one says it openly, but there are those that suspect that once the elections are over, that one will come to see the ‘distancing’ of the ‘imposed candidates’ in the favour of male candidates more desirable for the party structures. There is nothing in law, once the elections are over, that forces the top politicians to show equality in the allocation of portfolios and the top jobs in politics. The election rules themselves require that there cannot be more than two consecutive male candidates on the lists. In a country where female participation in political office is very low, and gender discrimination of women continues at many levels, the past few months have brought ‘to light’ complaints within political parties on the difficulty of finding enough women. Never before has it been seen in Portugal, so much interest in the inclusion of  ‘ladies’ on the electoral lists, and at the time of submitting the official lists, some parties are keen to shout publicly about their pride in fulfilling the law of parity. A female candidate in Santa Cruz said "The law is good in a society that still discriminates, because in some cases it could guarantee women an opportunity to prove their capabilities".  In contrast, the number three candidate for the PSD in Machico (also a woman) disagrees with the imposition of seats for women on electoral lists, but admits that it is an effective way to ‘open the political doors’ to the female sex. It’s a really interesting long article on the subject, which left me a little surprised that women in politics didn’t especially support the law of parity, and a controversial comment was made was that women candidates would be more attractive on the posters and political propaganda, and that might make a party more attractive to a voter. Well I will be voting in the local elections, and although I am open minded at present (particularly as my vote will be a waste of time anyway), I will be looking out for the parties that have women placed at exactly number 3, 6, 9 etc. on their lists, and not casting my votes in those directions.

‘JPP want everything in Santa Cruz’. Rework the policies, support investment and reset priorities. These are some objectives that a Group of Citizens ‘Juntos pelo Povo’ (Together for the People) delineate for Caniço. Carlos Costa is the political representative of the JPP, and stresses that the movement is banking on "getting everything" in Santa Cruz. "Our intent is to win all the parish elections together with the municipal council (câmara) and the municipal assembly", he said yesterday. The candidates led by Filipe Sousa were outside of the church in Caniço to present some of the proposals of the movement, when it challenged the delay in implementation of some urbanization plans in the area. I wish you all luck, I really do, but the snag of course is if successful on the scale outlined, where will you turn for money and government support … the social democrats in regional government of course. That means Santa Cruz will probably be number 11 on a priority list of 11 regions, and the reality is you will have less and achieve less than with the status quo. I love to see democracy at work … thanks Uncle Bertie.

In another sort of related article : ‘Independents In Santa Cruz ‘Seen’ As Socialists – Two years after leaving the PS, they continue as socialists on the câmara website’. Filipe Sousa (mentioned above, and now in the JPP) abandoned the PS-M socialists two years ago, along with two other PS councillors, but the câmara (mostly PSD) left them as socialists on the official website, with photographs and all. Those concerned were appalled by the situation but nothing changed. The Diário contacted the President of Santa Cruz last week on the subject, but he refused to make a statement on the matter. However, the inside whisper was that "there were more important things to be done". Miraculously the website has now just been changed.

"In The Truth The People Don’t Know" – Fransisco Dias Challenges Jardim to clarify the future of the marina of Lugar do Baixo’. The socialist candidate to the council of Ponta do Sol takes up the theme, challenging Jardim to "clarify exactly" the future of that undertaking. "When Dr. Alberto João Jardim came to Ponta do Sol last week he said that the people knew what was going on in the marina of Lugar do Baixo, but in the truth the people don’t know, but they want the matter clarified". He recalls that when the matter was raised by his party PS-M in the legislative assembly about why there were discussions going on in private, without a public tender, the question was ‘flunked’ by the socialist democrats.

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