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Catalun independence vote

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33 minutes ago, theguyfromtheVale said:

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

I could have sworn it was “dye,” but it appears you’re right (I still think dye makes more sense grammatically). Regardless, the point stands that they’ve reached a point of no return, and nothing good will come from the Spanish government denying them the right to a referendum for independence.

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25 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I could have sworn it was “dye,” but it appears you’re right (I still think dye makes more sense grammatically).


Why would dye be cast make more sense? What does casting dye achieve?


Anyway, I agree they've crossed the Rubicon: as has been said the Spanish government, whatever the rights and wrongs of the Catalan approach, couldn't have picked a better way to solidify support for independence.

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4 hours ago, mormont said:

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 think, first of all you have to distinguish between the Catalans as a people and the administrative region called Catalunya. Catalunya itself also has 4 distinct provinces, maybe only 3 out of 4 of them would like to become Independent  -should the fourth then not have the right to stay with Spain? The question is: how distinctive do you have to be, to have a right to self-determination before the right to self-determination becomes a lazy excuse for a lack of solidarity with your neighbours? Maybe we can agree that the (sometimes arbitrary) administrative partition of a state into several regions does not by itself suffice to imply that each region has the right to self-determination just because the rich region doesn't want to share with the poorer ones. IMO there has to be something more, a kind of cultural and/or historical distinction that allows us to say: this people living in that region has the right to self-determination, which then begs the question: who has the right to vote in this referendum? The Catalan government basically decided: those who live here are Catalans. In this case it's easy, because most Catalans live in one province (Catalunya). But what about the Basques? They live in Spain and France and while in Spain they may have a majority in their administrative region, in France they probably haven't. Which means tough luck to the French Basques?

In the case of Catalunya, I think that both sides went about this in a very ham-fisted way: that the central government wouldn't negotiate at all, was a big mistake - especially when you count the experience with the ETA. The kings speech was also very divisive and one-sided, especially when you consider that Catalunya is mostly republican, which gives his whole intervention the bad taste of pure self-interest. But the Catalan government trying to put nationalism above legality is also rather questionable, especially when you consider that society within Catalunya is also rather split on the issue of independence. Yes, you can say that the right to self-determination trumps the constitution, but then where do you draw the line? How many people with a common interest does it need to trump the constiution and why have one at all, if you clearly don't have to stick to its rules?

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8 hours ago, Gorn said:

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.

I disagree. To require a supermajority in an independence vote is unfair, since it actually gives more "rights" to the citizens that are content with the status quo than the ones that are not. You give the example of Montenegro, but in many other independence referendums 50%+1 has been deemed acceptable.

If 54% of one place's people want to rule themselves, a don't see why they should bow to the rest of the people than doesn't.

6 hours ago, Mentat said:

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).

The problem with the Spanish constitution in not (only) that it's dated, but that it was written and approved in very harsh conditions. The dictator Franco had just died, some political parties were still banned, there was people still in exile, the military was always menacing with intervention, the apparatus of the regime was maintained,... Basically voters had to choose between another military junta or that constitution.

And after 40 years of fascist dictatorship with continuous repression, banning of the language and without any kind of self-governance, the Catalans even welcomed that constitution in 1978. But right now, a huge majority of the Catalans would never accept a remotely similar text.

And I agree with you that the Spaniards won't agree to change their Constitution to accommodate the Catalan wishes. That's why I think there are only two viable solutions: the Spain manages to submit Catalonia by force, or Catalonia manages to get independent. Either way, it won't be pretty (Although I find the last option preferable. At least it'll resolve the problem once and for all.)

2 hours ago, Alarich II said:

But the Catalan government trying to put nationalism above legality is also rather questionable, especially when you consider that society within Catalunya is also rather split on the issue of independence.

The Catalan government is not putting "nationalism" above legality. It's putting the will of its citizens above legality. Which is what every legitimate government should do.

Actually, the root of all problems, is that that the Spanish constitution is only supported by about 20% of the Catalans, according to every poll. Which brings me to your point that the Catalan society is split. In reality, not much. There's about an 80% support that the issue should be resolved in an independence referendum, and that the losing side will accept the result.

The divide is not among the Catalans, but between the Catalans and the rest of Spain.

2 hours ago, Alarich II said:

Yes, you can say that the right to self-determination trumps the constitution, but then where do you draw the line? How many people with a common interest does it need to trump the constitution and why have one at all, if you clearly don't have to stick to its rules?

 

I don't think this debate is relevant when discussing about Catalonia, because it clearly meets all the possible criteria that anyone could require to apply for independence: a size and population similar to the average European country, a distinct culture and language, a national identity going back to about a millennia ago, it is defined as an historical nationality in the Spanish laws, they had self-governing institutions that where abolished after losing wars,...

 

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Resolution voted unanimously by the Flemish Government:

 

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7 hours ago, Mentat said:

 

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.

From a legal point of view are partly right. Self-determination is a right and it is laid down in international treaties such as the International Covenant of Civil and Political rights to which Spain is a party. The UN explicitly acknowledges it as well. However, there is no clear definition of “people” so it is unclear to what groups it actually refers. It is generally accepted that the right of self-determination grants colonies the right of independence from their colonial powers and that it grants people freedom from military occupation. It also allows a people to get access to governmental representation and to use their language, but independence is another issue.  Catalonia already enjoys a certain amount of autonomy and international law isn’t exactly keen on breaking up existing states. I guess experts on the issue could argue that Catalonia has a right to become independent, but you’ll also find some whole make a strong case by arguing the opposite.

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Unless they have been hiding a working Fusion reactor to power desalination Catalionia does not have it's own water reserves. Negotiated access to rivers and such that originate in other provinces takes a long time, and there is nothing to show the reactionaries trying to achieve independence have done any planning (ahem, Britain).

Do you think other regions in Spain and a country like France will want to just ship water to the region?

I don't have any connection to Spain other than playing them in EU since EU1, my favourite country to play as, but I do maintain some knowledge about world water issues, from my Ivory Tower here in British Columbia.

It's really bad that the mismanagement of this country has led to this kind of issue. Unless I am wrong, it's not all of the Aragon (1200ish), that's separating either, it's a region that hasn't existed for over 800 years as an independent "country". Where is the nationalism coming from?

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12 minutes ago, Queen of Procrastination said:

From a legal point of view are partly right. Self-determination is a right and it is laid down in international treaties such as the International Covenant of Civil and Political rights to which Spain is a party. The UN explicitly acknowledges it as well. However, there is no clear definition of “people” so it is unclear to what groups it actually refers. It is generally accepted that the right of self-determination grants colonies the right of independence from their colonial powers and that it grants people freedom from military occupation. It also allows a people to get access to governmental representation and to use their language, but independence is another issue.  Catalonia already enjoys a certain amount of autonomy and international law isn’t exactly keen on breaking up existing states. I guess experts on the issue could argue that Catalonia has a right to become independent, but you’ll also find some whole make a strong case by arguing the opposite.

- It doesn't really make any sense to limit the right to self-determination to colonies. But that is my opinion since I read that indeed in international law the right to self-determination is limited to colonies, but this is actually a consequence of the fact the Western powers actually wanted to prevent autonomous regions in Europe like Scotland, Corsica, ... to invoke that right. 

- They actually are planning to send military to Catalonia. 

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The right of self determination is not about splitting left and right - the right is about participation in the public will formation. Which is clearly the case here and not the case for colonies. 

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7 minutes ago, Whitering said:

It's really bad that the mismanagement of this country has led to this kind of issue. Unless I am wrong, it's not all of the Aragon (1200ish), that's separating either, it's a region that hasn't existed for over 800 years as an independent "country". Where is the nationalism coming from?

@Meera of Tarth can explain it probably better than me, but I think it could be considered as a soeverein principality, which existed until 1714 when Spain was centralized. 

The National Day of Catalonia still commemorates the fact they lost their sovereignty in 1714. 

And where does it comes from? Probably the fact the central government tries to attack their culture, language; the history of Franco, ... 

 

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Posted (edited)

46 minutes ago, Tijgy said:

- It doesn't really make any sense to limit the right to self-determination to colonies. But that is my opinion since I read that indeed in international law the right to self-determination is limited to colonies, but this is actually a consequence of the fact the Western powers actually wanted to prevent autonomous regions in Europe like Scotland, Corsica, ... to invoke that right. 

Well it's not just colonies minorities and indigenous people also have rights like a right to governmental representation and to speak there language etc. This is more international self-determination/ certain autonomy. It doesn't really grant them the right to have a state. self determination connected with decolonization, because it has mainly been used in that process and yeah Western states certainly want to prevent the independence of these regions. 

Quote

- They actually are planning to send military to Catalonia. 

Christ.. deescalation is needed here

From a legal point of view it get's complex there. I bet some, not me though, would argue that sending the military is within Spain's rights. The whole military occupation thing is more about a situation were country A conquers Country B and suppresses the people there. I doubt it would apply to the present situation. 

Edited by Queen of Procrastination

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Posted (edited)

13 hours ago, Mentat said:

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.

First bolded: totally agree

Second bolded: I don't know who ordered it, some senior of the Police I suppose, but Rajoy is politically responsible for the assaults, even if it was not his order. He was the one who brought them to Catalonia and didn't tell them to not hurt people. The senior of the Catalan Police let use the force only if people were acting violently, and didn't permit the use of batons unless someone started hiutting the police. The National Police of Spain, didn't. What a shame, considering that the referendum was unbinding because it was illegal, but they had to hit people, of course. , even hitting their heads!!!!.:crying:

Third bolded.: This is false. Sorry if I have not understood you properly, but I'll speak for the experience of close friends.

People were pacific, they were not violent at all. Even when some people were hit by the policemen, some only insulted the policemen, but they didn't act violently. You can speak of random people (I've only seen 1 person out of 5 milion in a Spanish TV channel actually throwing a chair to a policemen, and I tell you that the Spanish TV is good at finding images) but then we could also talk about other minorities, such as dozens of people from Spanish Towns shouting to the Spanish Forces days before "A por ellos, oe oe", "Go for them!", but this is not fair since it doesn't represent the people from Spain. So of course, maybe it was more than 1/+5,300,000 people but saying people were rioting is actually twisting the reality in a way I am not even capable of reading. The images speak for themselves. People were standing in queues or showing pacific resistance with human chains, shouting "We will vote" (we could say, they should not have shouted this??-even that is not vioelnt), but they were not violent! Furthermore, they were not armed, and those who were hurt couldn't even defend themselves because they were normal people going to vote. There are other minorities, such as one Policeman of the National Spanish TV who didn't want to hurt people So I'd prefer not to generalise minor events and generalise them.

This issue is affecting me personally, since I know people who were on those queues since 5am, and they are normal people in their twenties and thirites, and managed to either run or hide in corners so as the batons didn't hit them, and were just pushed, and saw everything. They saw how people in their seventies who were not able to run were brutally hit. I was feeling so bad since during two hours I had no news about them apart from the images of TV that were arriving to all the TV channels of Europe. I am anxious these days but these friends are very affected, even crying. So I'd prefer not to talk about the nature of the incidents  again since we all have seen them.

Forth bolded: Agree, and I think that Ciudadanos and PSOE and the Basques should ally so as to stop the Government.

Quote

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.

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). 

Yes, I agree with the bolded.

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, Mentat said:

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),

The Spanish Constitution will be 39 years old in two months.

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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10 hours 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.

I agree with that. Nations have the right of self-determination.

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1 minute ago, Meera of Tarth said:

I agree with that. Nations have the right of self-determination.

Present international law does not recognize ethnic and other minorities as separate peoples, with the notable exception of cases in which such groups are systematically disenfranchised by the government of the state they live in.

 

But I guess this entire thing has turned into a Monty Python sketch and as long as you crie "Help! I'm Being Repressed!" everything is fine. 

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31 minutes ago, Whitering said:

It's really bad that the mismanagement of this country has led to this kind of issue. Unless I am wrong, it's not all of the Aragon (1200ish), that's separating either, it's a region that hasn't existed for over 800 years as an independent "country". Where is the nationalism coming from?

It's hard to summarize but the short of it would be:

The principality of Catalonia was a frontier land, forgotten territory of the crumbling Frankish Empire. It had been ruled independently for many years, but in 988 the Catalan ruler decided not to renew his oath of fealty to the new Frankish (Capetian) kings. This is considered the birth of the Catalan nation. From here, the distinct Catalan culture and language develops.

In 1150, the Catalan ruler marries the heiress of the neighboring Kingdom of Aragon. Their descendants will rule both kingdoms, but as different states. Both Aragon and Catalonia retained their own courts, laws, coinage, etc., in a similar way that the different states that composed the Holy Roman Empire.

By the marriage of the king of Aragon (and Catalonia) and the queen of Castille, the Hispanic monarchy is founded in 1474. Each of the constituent states retained their own laws, but the subsequent kings tried to homogenize and unify their dominions according to the Castilian laws, which were much more favorable to their interests (the Catalan tradition was full of "checks and balances", and the royal power was severely limited by the courts). This led to a series of clashes between the Catalans and the Spanish nobility, the last of which, in 1714, ended with the suppression of Catalan self-government and its forceful integration to Spain.

Since then, some attempts were made to regain independence, or at least stablish a confederal relationship with Spain. The last one in 1934, ended with the Catalan president in jail. Then we had a devastating Civil War, 40 years of dictatorship, 40 more years of unstable democracy... and here we are.

 

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5 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

But I guess this entire thing has turned into a Monty Python sketch and as long as you crie "Help! I'm Being Repressed!" everything is fine. 

Was Scotland crying this?

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Tijgy said:

@Meera of Tarth can explain it probably better than me, but I think it could be considered as a soeverein principality, which existed until 1714 when Spain was centralized. 

The National Day of Catalonia still commemorates the fact they lost their sovereignty in 1714. 

And where does it comes from? Probably the fact the central government tries to attack their culture, language; the history of Franco, ... 

 

The charters were lost due to the Nueva Planta Decrees of Philip V, indeed. 

Angered by what he saw as sedition by the Catalans and taking his native France as a model of a centralized state, Philip V suppressed the institutions, privileges, and the ancient charters (Spanish: fueros, Catalan: furs) of almost all the areas that were formerly part of the Crown of Aragon (Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands). The decrees ruled that all the territories in the Crown of Aragon except the Aran Valley were to be ruled by the laws of Castile ("the most praiseworthy in all the Universe" according to the 1707 decree), embedding these regions in a new, and nearly uniformly administered, centralized Spain.

The other historic territories—Navarre and the other Basque territories—supported Philip V initially, whom they saw as belonging to the lineage of Henry III of Navarre, but after Philip V's military campaign to crush the Basque uprising, he backed down on his intent to suppress home rule.

The acts abolishing the charters were promulgated in 1707 in Valencia and Aragon,[1] in 1715 in Majorca and the other Balearic Islands (with the exception of Menorca, a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain at the time), and finally in Catalonia on 16 January 1716.[1]

The decrees effectively created a Spanish citizenship or nationality, that judicially did not distinguish between Castillian and Aragonese anymore, both with respect to rights and law. They abolished internal borders and customs except for the Basque territory, giving grant to all Spaniards to trade with American colonies (not only Castillians, as before).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nueva_Planta_decrees

Bolded: yes.

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

It's hard to summarize but the short of it would be:

The principality of Catalonia was a frontier land, forgotten territory of the crumbling Frankish Empire. It had been ruled independently for many years, but in 988 the Catalan ruler decided not to renew his oath of fealty to the new Frankish (Capetian) kings. This is considered the birth of the Catalan nation. From here, the distinct Catalan culture and language develops.

In 1150, the Catalan ruler marries the heiress of the neighboring Kingdom of Aragon. Their descendants will rule both kingdoms, but as different states. Both Aragon and Catalonia retained their own courts, laws, coinage, etc., in a similar way that the different states that composed the Holy Roman Empire.

By the marriage of the king of Aragon (and Catalonia) and the queen of Castille, the Hispanic monarchy is founded in 1474. Each of the constituent states retained their own laws, but the subsequent kings tried to homogenize and unify their dominions according to the Castilian laws, which were much more favorable to their interests (the Catalan tradition was full of "checks and balances", and the royal power was severely limited by the courts). This led to a series of clashes between the Catalans and the Spanish nobility, the last of which, in 1714, ended with the suppression of Catalan self-government and its forceful integration to Spain.

Since then, some attempts were made to regain independence, or at least stablish a confederal relationship with Spain. The last one in 1934, ended with the Catalan president in jail. Then we had a devastating Civil War, 40 years of dictatorship, 40 more years of unstable democracy... and here we are.

 

Good summary.

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Just now, Meera of Tarth said:

Good summary.

I don't understand. Should't the summary be more about the last 40 years ? I can hardly see a pre napoleonic claim as something really solid. It's some fascinating history but ... I mean really ? pre napoleonic ? 

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