- Dar a conocer la realidad de Cantabria como región
- Explicar el marco normativo de la actual democracia y Cantabria.
- Adquirir unos conocimientos básicos de política, sociedad y cultura de la región.
- Desarrollar el pensamiento crítico.
Introducción a Cantabria, su riqueza socio-cultural y organización política.
- Saber Vivir en Democracia. La Constitución y el Estatuto.
- Cuestionario: ¿Qué sabes de política?
Realizar una lectura reflexiva de los textos y responder, previa visita al Parlamento, cuestiones básicas sobre aspectos socio-políticos de la comunidad de Cantabria.
Living in a Democracy
In the past, political power was in the hands of centralized figureheads and citizens had no say in decisions that affected the population. Unfortunately, this form of government is still present in some countries today, like in modern day dictatorships. In a dictatorship, the society has no right to their own opinion.
In Spain, we are fortunate enough to live in a democracy. Democracy is the basic pillar of a just and tolerant society. Living in a democracy guarantees that individual people have rights unlike in a dictatorship. These rights include human rights, freedom of speech, and being an equal before the law.
It is important to note that for a democracy to be fair and work properly there must be a working system of checks and balances between the three branches of the democratic system.
It is the independence of each branch that guarantees the rule of law and the fact that the three powers are subject to such laws which keeps the system functioning properly.
In a democracy, citizens can and should participate in public affairs and decide on them through the councilors, senators or deputies that citizens over the age of eighteen elect into office every four years. This is called representative democracy. This is a vote for people who represent us in the institutions. The vote is thus the first direct action, but not the last important role that citizens have in a democracy. Citizens also have to care about what happens in the councils and in Parliament because they have the right to do so, and the obligation to demand that the elected representatives carry out what they promise in their campaigns.
- THE SPANISH CONSTITUTION: The Law of Laws
The Spanish Constitution is called the “Law of Laws” because all the laws in Spain emanate from it. The Constitution was approved by referendum in 1978 and since then the rights and responsibilities of all Spaniards have remained the same. The Constitution also organizes the State scoring three levels of government:
Municipalities: LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Autonomous Communities: REGIONAL DIRECTORS
Spain. The State itself: STATE ADMINISTRATION
The first refers to local councils who run the local governments composed of the Mayor and Aldermen, and the last, the State Administration deals with matters that affect all Spanish people equally, regardless of where they live: the judiciary, property, the various ministries, etc..
The remaining level, the Regional Administration, is what will be focused on now because it is the central part of the tour. The Constitution says in Article 2: "The right to autonomy of the regions that make up the state." We refer to the Autonomous Communities, the 17 autonomous communities that make up the Spanish state and that can govern themselves through the 17 Statutes of Autonomy. One of them is ours, Cantabria.
1. THE STATUTE OF CANTABRIA
This is our law which was passed in 1981. It embodies our identity, skills and resources. We are recognized as a historic community and this law affirms our right to self-government.
Self-government means that the main institutions of government of Cantabria (the regional government and parliament), decide many important issues affecting the daily lives of all health and education, for example. The politicians govern us in Cantabria and should devote all their efforts to improve our region because they are from our land and because they want the best for our people. Self-government is ultimately a way of bringing the government closer to citizens.
Cantabria is one of those 17 Autonomous Community of the Spanish state (with two autonomous cities, Ceuta and Melilla). With just over 5,000 km. square has a population approaching 600,000 people.
Although we are more and more dependent on the services sector, Cantabria has a large livestock well known in Spain and an industry capable of providing work for thousands. The cultural richness and a lovely setting make Cantabria is growing destination of choice for Spanish and foreign tourists.