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The Coloms a la Sala

I don’t know whether this is relevant to you but let me tell you that I am interested in this kind of Mallorcan snippet.

Shortly after we arrived in Mallorca in 1987 to make our permanent home in the south-east of the island I was surprised to hear about a political party making wind in local municipal affairs here in Felanitx, a party called Coloms a la Sala. You can imagine my surprise. What was that supposed to mean, Pigeons at the Town Hall?

The party was officially founded in the Autumn of 1990 and inscribed into the Registro de Partidos Políticos del Ministerio del Interior de España (Register of Political Parties) December, 1990. I knew a few of its founding members; one of them was an architect who I was in contact with. I imagined they were rather left-leaning in their political views. I was even more surprised when I learned that the party made it into the town council of the Ajuntament de Felanitx with first two seats in 1991 and later with one councillor, in 1995. I seem to remember that in 1999, the party was not elected into the town council and thus, formed part of the opposition. I am not quite sure but CALS, as they were called for short, did not stand for municipal elections after 2003. My wife and I are listed in the local electoral register and I think we gave them our vote at least once.

What’s interesting about all that is the fact that there are a total of 9,111 political parties registered in the register of the Ministry of the Interior in Madrid. I am not sure how many parties there are registered in the UK or in the States, but if anything I would have thought that number to be in the hundreds (UK) or dozens (USA) at the most and certainly not in the thousands. This may go to show that democracy may well be much deeper enshrined here in Spain than us Northern Europeans would ever imagine.

The town hall in Felanitx, shown in the photo, has been extensively rebuilt and renovated over the last two or three years. Building work was completed a while ago; the last eight months or so were used to install electricity, telecommunication and other services. In November, the new Ajuntament, or La Sala, as the locals call it, was re-inaugurated. I don’t think the Coloms a la Sala were there for the ceremonial act.

Next Friday, the Consell de Govern will hold a meeting in Felanitx where the President of the Balearic government will be present. Felanitx en Moviment, a faction of local dissidents, has launched a page on Facebook alerting us of the upcoming event and inviting us to make our voices heard with regard to the new government’s current linguistic policy. The spirit of the Coloms a la Sala is seemingly still there in Felanitx. I wouldn’t be surprised if Felanitx en Moviment was composed by the offspring of erstwhile members of the Coloms a la Sala.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Spain. The date: January 12th, 2012. The time was 12:51:21.

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