Twenty-three million Spanish voters are being prepared for a poll which could end 40 years of one-party rule -- a national referendum on democracy.
TV Street scene, Madrid, spain.
SVs Pedestrians crossing street, PAN TO referendum poster. (2 shots)
SVs Newspaper stands with pornographic magazines displayed.
CU PULL BACK Shoe-shine man reading newspaper.
SCU Referendum poster ZOOM IN TO CU 'Vote No' sticker.
CU AND GV Referendum poster. (2 shots)
GV AND Abstention supporters with placards and banners handling out leaflets. (2 shots)
SV ZOOM IN TO CU Woman wearing 'No Vote' stickers on raincoat.
CU PAN FROM 'No Vote' daubed on wall TO referendum announcement.
Initials VS 2.30
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Background: Twenty-three million Spanish voters are being prepared for a poll which could end 40 years of one-party rule -- a national referendum on democracy.
SYNOPSIS: For the voters, it's the choice of continuing the present one-party system bequeathed by the late General Francisco Franco, or a multi-party state. The poll takes pale on Wednesday (December 15) -- the result of a bill passed by Spain's parliament, the Cortes, which could be its own death warrant. Already, previously unheard-of freedoms to publish are evident on the Spanish pavements. Now, in a startling transformation, the heirs to a dictatorship are being asked if they want the choice to elect their own representatives - of any party.
Not all of Spain wants a multi-party system, preferring to remain with the single-party state under which representatives to the governing Cortes are largely self-elected.
Left-wing opposition parties -- unrecognised under present law, and standing to benefit in a 'yes' vote -- are urging their supporters to abstain from voting. This is because they were not sufficiently consulted on the proposed reforms, they say. Other opposition groups urge a direct 'no'.
But opinion polls indicate a large 'yes' vote for the multi-party proposals. One showed 52 per cent of voters in favour, and only four against.