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“Si, Podemos”

"Vista de Madrid desde Torre Espacio 01" by Guzmán Lozano - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vista_de_Madrid_desde_Torre_Espacio_01.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Vista_de_Madrid_desde_Torre_Espacio_01.jpg

Podemos, which translates to “we can,” is a new political party in Spain that is quickly gaining popularity with its message against both corruption and budget cuts for important social programs. The party itself is less than a year old – and since its inception, it has gained over 340,000 members. In May 2014 the party won 1.2 million votes and 5 seats in in the European Parliament. 28% of the Spanish population supports the party today, according to democracynow.org. With such impressive numbers, it is possible that Podemos could win Spain’s next general election.

"ElectionMonthlyAverageGraphSpain2015" by Impru20 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ElectionMonthlyAverageGraphSpain2015.png#mediaviewer/File:ElectionMonthlyAverageGraphSpain2015.png

“ElectionMonthlyAverageGraphSpain2015” by Impru20 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Above is a graph of opinion polls about voting intention for the upcoming 2015 Spanish election. The purple line is Podemos, the blue line is PP and the red line is PSOE.

This support follows the disappointing performance of Spain’s government, which is the fifth largest economy in the E.U.,  as the previously ruling Socialist party passed a series of budget cuts to public programs, followed by more cuts under the People’s Party which also added political corruption to the list of problems. Podemos promises a list of welcome changes once elected, including mandatory retirement at age 60 and a guaranteed minimum wage.

On January 31st, a large rally was held in Madrid in support of Podemos:

 

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