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DireWolfSpirit

Catalun independence vote

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According some mathematics by the nationalists/separatists of my region, the additional lost 770 000 votes and the same percentage of yes votes lead to the fact 50 % of the Catalans voted yes. 

And you are actually not sure why the other people didn't vote. You don't know they didn't care, they didn't want to vote illegally or they were afraid to vote thanks to the Spanish aggression. 

The biggest issue in the situation is still the fact the two main actors are completely standing in opposite to each other. Rajoy is apparently against the autonomy of Catalonia. But (@Meera of Tarth should correct me if I am wrong) I don't think you should underestimate Puigdemont. 

From my newspaper this morning I learned Puigdemont isn't a politician leading his region to independence because he is an opportunist who is doing this because it is the best way to get votes. Maybe his party was opportunistic to use him as a candidate for the leader of Catalonia. But Puigdemont looks like someone who is completely convinced of the idea of an independent Catalonia. He wants this for decades. I think he isn't going to stop from realizing his dream because the EU is against it or the possible oppression by Spain. 

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The Flemish Mathematics:

 

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Posted (edited)

Liam Cunningham on the incidents

Monumental stupidity by the Spanish ‘authorities’. Game over! 

Just been watching the jack booted Spanish police thugs. I wonder if their families are proud of them.

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Tijgy said:

According some mathematics by the nationalists/separatists of my region, the additional lost 770 000 votes and the same percentage of yes votes lead to the fact 50 % of the Catalans voted yes. 

And you are actually not sure why the other people didn't vote. You don't know they didn't care, they didn't want to vote illegally or they were afraid to vote thanks to the Spanish aggression. 

The biggest issue in the situation is still the fact the two main actors are completely standing in opposite to each other. Rajoy is apparently against the autonomy of Catalonia. But (@Meera of Tarth should correct me if I am wrong) I don't think you should underestimate Puigdemont. 

From my newspaper this morning I learned Puigdemont isn't a politician leading his region to independence because he is an opportunist who is doing this because it is the best way to get votes.

But Puigdemont looks like someone who is completely convinced of the idea of an independent Catalonia. He wants this for decades. I think he isn't going to stop from realizing his dream because the EU is against it or the possible oppression by Spain. 

That's true, he had been a member of a Catalan nationalist party during many years (despite him being independentist) which didn't become independentist until the party of Rajoy started with some unwelcome behaviours. In fact, his party (which was a colaition of two parties) split in two again after decades due to the "independentist" issue, because the two parts of this coalition were Catalan nationalists but didn't agree on the independentist side. But I don't know what will happen in the next days. 

Rajoy is indeed opposed to the autonomy of Catalonia and the fact that he gained support from certain leaders in Europe after what he did will not stop him from being even more implacable (the Spanish Police is still in Catalonia), and Puigdemont will likely declarate the Independence. This Schrödinger's cat sceneario is not stable.

Tomorrow Europe will debate about the situation, and the King of Spain has just made a discourse in which the word dialogue is not present.

Quote

Maybe his party was opportunistic to use him as a candidate for the leader of Catalonia.

Maybe it was opportunistic, but the issue was more complex. Puigdemont became the President of Catalonia because the anti-capitalist party didn't want the candidate who won the elections (Artur Mas) to be President because they considered he was too conservative for them. In the Catalan Parliament there are 135 seats, and the coalition of "Junts pel Sí" that won the "plebiscitary" elections of 2015 didn't have an absolute majority, they only had 62 seats. They needed some support from the indepedentists/anti-capitalists, which had 10 seats.

During three months there was no President. In the last days before the elections had to be called again by law because there was no President, the anti-capitalists decided to vote in their regional assemblies whether or not they should be independentists and vote for Mas or be more anti-capitalists and vote against him.

After lots of assemblies in the finale one the results were 1515-vs-1515, so their response was that they could not decide anything. In the last moment, Mas decided to leave the Parliament and proposed Puigdemont, the mayor of Girona, and he became the President of Catalonia.

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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Posted (edited)

@Tijgy the link to the official results in English

(95%of votes counted)

Yes: 2,262,424

No: 176,565

Blank: 45,586

Null: 20,129

(770,000 votes not cast)

The % of participation changes if you count those around  "770,000" confiscated votes as people who did not vote at all from 42% to around 50% if you subtract them from the list of registered voters since the ballots were confiscated. If you count the 770000 ones then the participation is 56,7% but then the percentages and the number of votes of each option are not known.

The logical thing is to say it was "about" 50% if you subtract the confiscated votes. It is a rough figure, though, since it is impossible to know exactly how many votes were confiscated, since we only know the number of polling stations that were closed.

Results by regions of Catalonia

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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On 2/10/2017 at 10:39 PM, Meera of Tarth said:

Then, they arrested seniors of the Catalan Government, illegaly suspended the Catalan Economics Department, and ordered the Catalan Police to obey the Spanish orders of a Colonel as if it was an State of Emergency on the 1st of October(something that was not since the results of the referendum would not be applied 'cause it was unconstitutional, and thus they could not legally justify this action), amongst other procedures.

Even after saying that the refrenda was illegal, instead of ignoring the issue and wait till the Government of Catalonia possibly declared Independence  (in case the Yes vote won) the Spanish Government decided to hit hundreds of innocent people of all ages who were just standing in queues in the polling places.

Rajoy did try to prevent the referendum from happening by targetting its logistics (confiscating material, threatening people involved in its organization with legal action, etc.), but as with anything that man does (he's like a case study for the effectiveness of reverse psychology) it only strengthened the resolve of those he wanted to deter. I very much doubt he personally ordered anyone to hit hundreds of people, but the national police and the Guardia Civil (tasked with closing voting centres and confiscating material) met with determined resistance by the people who wanted to hold the referendum (they barricaded themselves within the voting centres, tried to hide the material, etc.), and quickly changed into riot mode. As a result, many people (most of them civilians, but also some law enforcement) were hurt. Rajoy was a bit between a wall and hard place, though. If he'd just let events unfold his voters and his current political partner (Ciudadanos) would have asked for his head.

On 3/10/2017 at 2:48 AM, Meera of Tarth said:

Might I add that the non-binding referendum of 2014 had two questions:

Do you want Catalonia to be an State?

If so, do you want this State to be Independent?

After the incidents of Sunday, and him being proud of them (at least in public) which is a shame, I think that only international mediation and public apologies for the brutal assaults would lead to certain stability.

You might indeed. Pro-independence sentiment in Catalonia ebbs and flows, and for quite some time it has been flowing, encouraged by the Catalan government, the poor public image and political skill of the Central government and to an extent the economic crisis and a general malaise which seems to be the sign of the times.

I don't think either international mediation or public apologies are forthcoming, sadly.

22 hours ago, mormont said:

Best typo ever.

I must admit, I have no idea where this will go next. Rajoy has escalated at every turn: what can he do now? I mean, he can refuse to recognise the result, but he could have done that anyway, without the violent suppression by police. Surely he has to be thinking about negotiating now? He must see that refusing to do so is only going to make this crisis worse.

In my wet dreams new elections would be held on both state and regional levels with a compromise that both the resulting governments would sit down and negotiate with EU mediation. I definitely think Rajoy's government can and should fall (its support has been dwindling, and I think Ciudadanos and the Basque nationalists are incompatible enough that he won't be able to pass another budget), but the Catalan government really should take a step back. If Puigdemont unilaterally declares secession, Rajoy will counter by intervening the Catalan government and Chaos will ensue. The only hope for dialogue is both sides taking a step back. The Catalans must renounce independence and the Spanish must accept an increased devolution of state powers and a more fair financing of these (Rajoy -or his successor- will have to sell this to the right wing Spanish electorate, which will be hard, but I think possible). 

15 hours ago, Fez said:

Regardless of anything the national government has done, I don't see how anyone can consider the results legitimate considering the estimated turnout was 42% and the widespread reports that most residents opposed to independence boycotted the referendum.

The results were bound to be considered legitimate and sufficient by the Catalan government and illegitimate and insufficient by the Spanish one. That said, the Catalan demonstrations in the street on Sunday and today should definitely convince anyone that the pro-independent faction is representative of a large enough part of the Catalan population that dismissing it is not an option. It's impossible for a Spanish government to give them everything they want, but the classic compromise which makes no one truly happy but is seen as fair and accepted by all must be reached (much like the Spanish Constitution, back in the day).

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Why 'must' the Catalans renounce independence?

People have the right to self-determination. If the Spanish constitution says otherwise, that is because it's a relic, and should be amended.

In a democracy, you can't insist that a region stays part of a state if its people want to leave. The last few days give you a taste of what happens when you try to do that.

If concessions from the Catalans are needed, they can't include 'renouncing' independence. Too many Catalan voters will never accept that. You can't order people not to want something.

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There needs to be a clear supermajority for a major decision like the independence vote, because otherwise you are violating the rights of people who want to remain part of Spain. The EU-proscribed threshold to recognize the Montenegro independence referendum (last successful independence referendum in Europe) was at lease 55% voters voting Leave, and at least 50% turnout. The smart play for the Spanish government would have been to allow a legitimate referendum to take place, and then actively campaign for the Remain side.

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44 minutes ago, mormont said:

People have the right to self-determination. If the Spanish constitution says otherwise, that is because it's a relic, and should be amended.

In a democracy, you can't insist that a region stays part of a state if its people want to leave. The last few days give you a taste of what happens when you try to do that.

Peoples have the right to self-determination. The obvious problem with that is that there is no clear-cut definition of a people. In this case it comes down to the Catalan regional government saying Catalans are a people, the central government saying they aren't. The Spanish constitution just says that there is only one Spanish people.

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46 minutes ago, Loge said:

Peoples have the right to self-determination. The obvious problem with that is that there is no clear-cut definition of a people. In this case it comes down to the Catalan regional government saying Catalans are a people, the central government saying they aren't. The Spanish constitution just says that there is only one Spanish people.

Except that the Spanish government recognises Catalonia as a distinct region with its own devolved level of administration, etc. So what the Spanish constitution effectively means by 'there is only one Spanish people' is, 'the current Spanish state is indissoluble', not 'there is no such thing as Catalonia'. Moreover, the Spanish constitution is not the only arbiter of that question anyway.

I can agree that moving to independence on the basis of this particular vote is in many ways problematic. I can't agree with the idea expressed above that it's reasonable to ask that as part of resolving the current crisis, Catalonia should simply accept that it will never be independent.

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"It says so in our constitution" is not a valid argument and, if that's the only thing stopping Catalonia from leaving Spain, things are going to get ugly sooner or later.

I live in Serbia and our constitution clearly states that Kosovo is a part of Serbia when in reality it's not and it's a pretty bad situation. It does not affect lives of huge majority of the population, but those that are affected are facing a ton of problems on a daily basis.

There is nothing good that can come out of trying to force someone to remain in the same country with you when they clearly don't want to. We in former Yugoslavia learned that the hard way and I hope other countries have learned a lesson from our stupidity.

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1 hour ago, mormont said:

Why 'must' the Catalans renounce independence?

People have the right to self-determination. If the Spanish constitution says otherwise, that is because it's a relic, and should be amended.

In a democracy, you can't insist that a region stays part of a state if its people want to leave. The last few days give you a taste of what happens when you try to do that.

If concessions from the Catalans are needed, they can't include 'renouncing' independence. Too many Catalan voters will never accept that. You can't order people not to want something.

There's no moral reason, but dialogue and negotiation with the Spanish government will not be possible otherwise. The Spanish constitution may be dated (though it's not even 30 years old), but no Spanish government will accept to negotiate on what is basically a demolition of its most basic legality. The constitution could be modified, but this would (legally) require the modification to be submitted to a referendum of the Spanish people. I really don't think a constitution which allowed parts of the state to secede would be acceptable to most Spaniards (I guess they could try, but I'd be willing to bet good money on this particular hunch).

If no negotiation is possible (and I agree, it seems very difficult), then basically the Spanish state and the Catalan proto-state (or whatever one would call it) will clash until one of the sides give up. It will not be pretty. If the Catalans are that determined to achieve independence then I guess it's what will happen sooner or later, but both Spain and Catalonia will pay a high price.

BTW, the right of self-determination of regions or territories within states is a very thorny issue (except in cases of colonialism explicitly acknowledged as such by the UN). It can certainly be argued, but stating it as a matter of fact is a mistake, I think. Many people (and indeed European states and governments and possibly the EU itself) would disagree.

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30 minutes ago, Mentat said:

There's no moral reason, but dialogue and negotiation with the Spanish government will not be possible otherwise.

Then it is not possible.

Insisting on unrealistic and undeliverable preconditions would doom any negotiations before they start. Again, as a practical matter and regardless of what the constitution of Spain says or what the non-Catalan people of Spain want, trying to force a region to remain part of your nation-state against their will is a complete and utter dead end. It will lead to dark places that will make the last few days seem like a summer day in the park.

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3 minutes ago, mormont said:

Then it is not possible.

Insisting on unrealistic and undeliverable preconditions would doom any negotiations before they start. Again, as a practical matter and regardless of what the constitution of Spain says or what the non-Catalan people of Spain want, trying to force a region to remain part of your nation-state against their will is a complete and utter dead end. It will lead to dark places that will make the last few days seem like a summer day in the park.

You may well be right, but if that is the case, then all the calls to negotiation, dialogue or mediation are pointless posturing (and if renouncing independence is an unrealistic and undeliverable precondition for Catalans, renouncing legality is surely one for the Spanish government). We might as well say: "May the best man win" and hope for the least amount of people to get hurt in the conflict.

I agree trying to force a region to remain part of your nation-state against their will is, in the long run, pointless and counterproductive, but a Catalan secession (followed more or less shortly by a Basque one, with other regions stroking their chin in a pensive mood) would be pretty disastrous for Spain (which uses its rich regions' surplus to subsidize its poor ones) and the Spanish government is well aware. It will fight this tooth and claw, in the hope, however slim, it can be avoided. As I said, it won't be pretty.

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8 minutes ago, Mentat said:

You may well be right, but if that is the case, then all the calls to negotiation, dialogue or mediation are pointless posturing

Not at all. Nothing I said suggests or implies that: quite the reverse, I'm pointing out that in order to negotiate or enter dialogue you need to allow room for compromise, not insist on ruling out one party's main objective from the start.

8 minutes ago, Mentat said:

(and if renouncing independence is an unrealistic and undeliverable precondition for Catalans, renouncing legality is surely one for the Spanish government).

Again, not at all. 'Legality' in general is not the issue here: one particular provision of the Spanish constitution is. Nobody's being asked to abandon even that, either. They're merely being asked to leave open the possibility of amending it as one potential outcome.

8 minutes ago, Mentat said:

I agree trying to force a region to remain part of your nation-state against their will is, in the long run, pointless and counterproductive, but a Catalan secession (followed more or less shortly by a Basque one, with other regions stroking their chin in a pensive mood) would be pretty disastrous for Spain (which uses its rich regions' surplus to subsidize its poor ones) and the Spanish government is well aware. It will fight this tooth and claw, in the hope, however slim, it can be avoided. As I said, it won't be pretty.

Politics is usually about choosing the least bad option. So far, Rajoy seems to have consistently picked the worst ones.

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2 minutes ago, mormont said:

Not at all. Nothing I said suggests or implies that: quite the reverse, I'm pointing out that in order to negotiate or enter dialogue you need to allow room for compromise, not insist on ruling out one party's main objective from the start.

Again, not at all. 'Legality' in general is not the issue here: one particular provision of the Spanish constitution is. Nobody's being asked to abandon even that, either. They're merely being asked to leave open the possibility of amending it as one potential outcome.

Politics is usually about choosing the least bad option. So far, Rajoy seems to have consistently picked the worst ones.

I'd slightly amend that to say that in order to negotiate or enter dialogue both parties need to allow room for compromise, not insist on ruling out the other party's main objective from the start. If both parties main objectives are incompatible, then someone is going to have to make do with secondary objectives. Otherwise, negotiation is pointless and calling for it disingenuous. 

The whole Spanish legal system is based on the unity of Spain. This is article two of the Constitution. It foresees its possible amending in the future, but also a strict procedure for said amendment (which requires two thirds of both the Spanish parliament and senate and to be ratified via a referendum of the Spanish people). All Spanish public officials swear to observe and uphold the constitution when they're sworn into office. The Spanish government could conceivably negotiate on the basis of a constitutional amendment leading to a legal referendum, but this amendment would be highly impopular and it's extremely unlikely it would be ratified by a majority of the Spanish people (thus this negotiation would not be in good faith). It's also worth asking what the Spanish government would get out of these negotiations. The political cost for anyone allowing or conceding to secession would be sky high. Finally, a Spanish government that simply decided to ignore the constitution would be seen by most as performing a coup d'etat. Maybe at some point in the future Spanish public opinion will change, but we're definitely not anywhere near there yet.

I have no sympathy for Rajoy, and I agree this has been mismanaged from beginning to end.

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3 hours ago, baxus said:

"It says so in our constitution" is not a valid argument and, if that's the only thing stopping Catalonia from leaving Spain, things are going to get ugly sooner or later.

And therein lies the problem. The dye is cast now, and there’s no going back.

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11 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

And therein lies the problem. The dye is cast now, and there’s no going back.

Small nit to pick: It's the die that is being cast.

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36 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

And therein lies the problem. The dye is cast now, and there’s no going back.

As I said, I just hope that lessons have been learned from the clusterfuck that was Balkans in the '90s.

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