Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
DireWolfSpirit

Catalun independence vote

368 posts in this topic

The President of Catalonia has spoken

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41503429

In a TV address, Mr Puigdemont accused the king of adopting the Spanish government's position.

"This moment calls for mediation," he said. He has indicated that Catalonia could declare independence next week.

King Felipe made his own TV address on Tuesday night, calling Sunday's Catalan referendum illegal and undemocratic.

Twenty-four hours later, Mr Puigdemont claimed that the king had rejected a moderating role granted to him by the Spanish constitution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Meera of Tarth said:

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

Sure, but what's a nation exactly?

4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

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,...

I come from a region that meets all most of these criteria as well, and yet very few people see it as a nation. There is an autonomist movement/party, but it isn't very popular and doesn't speak about independence anymore.

How do you tell the difference between a region with a strong cultural identity and a nation?

Edited by Rippounet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours 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.

 

Lovely post. Too bad it's a fairy tale.

The County of Barcelona has never ever been an independent state. Period.

Part of the current problem we are living today derives from the regional pact within Spain that ceded education (among many other functions) to regional governments. If two generations of catalans have been fed this bullshit in school (Spain opressed Catalonia) for the last 40 years the situation is very difficult to difuse.

See, I'm willing to concede for argument's sake that what you label the Principality of Catalonia was independent in 988 AD. Is that enough reason to secede in 2017? Sorry buddy, it ain't. It's simply foolish.

Let me toast with you for the future of Catalonia as one of the most pivotal regions within Spain as has been the case for, why... forever in history.

¡Viva España y viva Cataluña!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't help feeling sad when reading this thread, for I see those in favour of the case for catalan independence have been force feeding you bullshit.

What you are not explaining is that what we are living in Spain at the moment is a coup d'etat in slow motion by a regional government that is dividing its population by imposing its political agenda of the other half of its own population. This coup wants to deprive the rest of Spaniards of a constitutional sacrosanct principle since 1812 that says that the sovereignty of the Spanish nation resides in the Spanish people and not in a single individual or in a group of individuals. 

One of the multiple reasons as to why this attempted consultation is not valid is that the Catalan regional government cannot simply call for a referendum for independence without asking the depositories of the sovereignty for their opinion. Because guess what Meera of Tarth, I have the same right as you have to determine what my country is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think what would be interesting is to know what is the percentage of Catalans who really want independence from Spain. In other words, how many people were in favor of independence before the referendum, and -perhaps more importantly- before the very bad reactions from Spanish authorities.

Such numbers aren't easy to find. A quick google search gave me this, but the source is unreliable:

Quote

Previous opinion polls show that Catalonia’s independence is supported by 41 percent of its residents, with 49 percent against it, and while as much as 80 percent of Catalans are in favor of the referendum, most of them believe that the vote should be agreed upon with the central government in Madrid.
https://sputniknews.com/europe/201709301057836910-catalonia-independence-referendum-poll/

So what I'm wondering now is... Are these numbers accurate? Because if the majority in favor of independence is only temporary -as a reaction against Spanish actions- then the whole issue can be cast in a very different light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On 10/4/2017 at 6:21 PM, The Inquisitor said:

I can't help feeling sad when reading this thread, for I see those in favour of the case for catalan independence have been force feeding you bullshit.

What you are not explaining is that what we are living in Spain at the moment is a coup d'etat in slow motion by a regional government that is dividing its population by imposing its political agenda of the other half of its own population. This coup wants to deprive the rest of Spaniards of a constitutional sacrosanct principle since 1812 that says that the sovereignty of the Spanish nation resides in the Spanish people and not in a single individual or in a group of individuals. 

One of the multiple reasons as to why this attempted consultation is not valid is that the Catalan regional government cannot simply call for a referendum for independence without asking the depositories of the sovereignty for their opinion. Because guess what Meera of Tarth, I have the same right as you have to determine what my country is. 

Ah yes, because you aren't force feeding people bullshit right now either eh?

Edited by Sword of Doom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, The Inquisitor said:

What you are not explaining is that what we are living in Spain at the moment is a coup d'etat in slow motion by a regional government that is dividing its population by imposing its political agenda of the other half of its own population. This coup wants to deprive the rest of Spaniards of a constitutional sacrosanct principle since 1812 that says that the sovereignty of the Spanish nation resides in the Spanish people and not in a single individual or in a group of individuals. 



It seems to me that the constitution of Spain is pretty specificlaly designed for it to be impossible for an individual region to ever legally leave. This may be a mindset that the majority of Spanish people accept as normal, but it doesn't take bullshit-feeding from Catalonia for people from other places with more deeply held notions of regional independence and self-determination to sympathise with the secessionists.

Also: regardless of how insiduous and sneaky Catalonia's govermnent is being, the Spanish government have responded to it in completely the wrong way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Sword of Doom said:

Ah yes, because you are force feeding people bullshit right now either eh?

Such as?

Yep, like I imagined. Clueless. 

Nice meeting you pal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, The Inquisitor said:

Part of the current problem we are living today derives from the regional pact within Spain that ceded education (among many other functions) to regional governments. If two generations of catalans have been fed this bullshit in school (Spain opressed Catalonia) for the last 40 years the situation is very difficult to difuse.

 

And your reasoning doesn't explain why some people that has had this "bullshit" education -according to you-doesn't want independence and some people who has studied in the sixties in the dictatorship having to sing Francoists anthems every morning are independentists.

Quote

See, I'm willing to concede for argument's sake that what you label the Principality of Catalonia was independent in 988 AD. Is that enough reason to secede in 2017? Sorry buddy, it ain't. It's simply foolish.

The issue has nothing to do with the fact it was independent or not during a few years in Medieval times. It is irrelevant for the definition of nation, and thus it would not change the fact that Catalonia is a nation, whatever it happens, with or without an State.

2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Sure, but what's a nation exactly?

 

Edited by Meera of Tarth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, polishgenius said:


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.

Having photos and video of angry cops beating firefighters who are acting as human shields for people trying to vote is never going to win people to your cause. While cops can claim to protect the public, their role is more complicated and frequently winds up in more antagonistic interactions - firefighters exist solely to protect the public and save lives. Most people get this distinction on a subconscious level, and that's why this is always a losing prospect.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned in all this is how youth unemployment just adds to the tension. Nationally its at 38.7% (current figures) and in Catalan it was at 34.3% last year. That is never a good thing when dealing with a situation like this, and Rajoy seems to be taking the worst case options to further inflame things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

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.

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.)

The rationale between supermajorities is that they're decisions that would be very hard or costly to reverse. A 66% majority is unlikely to become a minority in 6 months; a 50,1% majority... who knows. That doesn't mean you have to agree with it or support its application to any particular case, though. Plenty of votes on decisions that would be very hard or costly to reverse have been done without a supermajority requirement (Brexit being the most recent example).

You're right that, after the dictatorship, the people would have taken any democratic constitution and ran, even if they didn't totally agree with it. That said, I do think a lot of effort was put into reaching a consensus between 7 people with a very different political stance, who represented the main political parties of the time (what banned political party are you referring to? The communist party had already been legalized).

Submitting people by force will never work in the long run (though that might not matter to the short-sighted). It's really tragic that, if the whole thing had been properly managed, we never would have even gotten here. The flames of independence have been fanned by an extremely disagreeable and corrupt Spanish government when they could have been doused by a diplomatic and honest one. We're probably past the point of no return, but I wish we weren't.

Nice to see you posting in this thread (as the only boarder I was aware is Catalan).

11 hours ago, Meera of Tarth said:

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.

I didn't mean to imply the Catalan people attacked the police (though some of them did report being hurt), just that they did everything in their power so that the police couldn't stop the referendum from happening (trying to stop them from entering the voting stations with barricades, locks or standing in front of them; hiding the ballot boxes, blockading roads with tractors, etc.). I'm also not saying this in any way justifies the police beating them. I don't think it does.

I'm sorry if any of your friends or loved ones were hurt.

11 hours ago, Meera of Tarth said:

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

You're right. Epic math fail!

7 hours ago, The Inquisitor said:

I can't help feeling sad when reading this thread, for I see those in favour of the case for catalan independence have been force feeding you bullshit.

What you are not explaining is that what we are living in Spain at the moment is a coup d'etat in slow motion by a regional government that is dividing its population by imposing its political agenda of the other half of its own population. This coup wants to deprive the rest of Spaniards of a constitutional sacrosanct principle since 1812 that says that the sovereignty of the Spanish nation resides in the Spanish people and not in a single individual or in a group of individuals. 

One of the multiple reasons as to why this attempted consultation is not valid is that the Catalan regional government cannot simply call for a referendum for independence without asking the depositories of the sovereignty for their opinion. Because guess what Meera of Tarth, I have the same right as you have to determine what my country is. 

I don't think anyone is arguing that the Catalan referendum complied with Spanish legality or that the Catalan leaders aren't currently very firmly outside the law with the excuse/justification (pick your favourite) of following the will of the people or exercising a right that currently lacks firm international recognition. It's also kind of true that they have a very slim majority (and I say kind of because you never know what way the Comuns will vote on any given day). That said, this is an internet opinion board. You can state your opinion, but you can't really force feed anyone anything even if you wanted to, and with lots of people with a high level of education lies tend to be very short lived (or, as we say in Spain, have very short legs). Also, words like sacrosanct will not win you any arguments on this particular board :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

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.

Yes, the Catalan government is putting nationalism before legality. They are are very, very open and frank about it: they consider the rights of their "nation" more important than the principle of legality. Look at Scotland to see how you can resolve this within a legal framework.

Now, your 80% figure is misleading: yes, the people who happen to live in Catalunya at this moment in time want a referendum, but no, not 80% want to become independent: the pro/against independence vote is very much split. So wether the Catalans actually want to be independent or not is not even clear and still their government wants to declare independence on the basis of this referendum.

I'm not saying that Catalunya can't be independent (they would - of course - not be part of the EU and with Spains vote to block their entry, it is questionable if they ever will). I do believe that they should be allowed to hold this Referendum. But you have to negotiate this in a legal framework and the Catalan government was unwilling to do so, because it saw a closing window of opportunity. As unemployment recedes and the economy picks up, the monetary transfers from Catalunya to poorer regions would generate less resentment and it became less likely that a negotiated referendum in two or three years would yield the same pro-Independence result as now. Especially since the "radical" independents weren't even sure to be part of the next Catalan government. So they tried to push this through now, regardless of the consequences. They are not the poor martyrs here.

Of course the Spanish government totally fucked this up: Blocking all attempts at democratic participation and self-determination will of course strengthen the radicals. At some point you have to recognize that in a liberal, western democracy, a state has to justify its existence by being something that the people it organizes, actually need. And you have to have a public discourse about that and not a categorical refusal to talk about these demands. And finally, can I just say that the Spanish king is a totaly douche?

 

Quote

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,...

The same goes for many, many regions in Europe where to some degree they all meet those criteria. So yes, this is very much relevant to the discussion on wether a region, a municipality or a city can just unilaterally declare independence: for example if in one of the four Catalan provinces a majority wants to stay with Spain, why should the other three be able to force them into a Catalan state?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Alarich II said:

Look at Scotland to see how you can resolve this within a legal framework.


Again though: the difference is that the British government was willing to entertain the notion of Scottish independence. And indeed there is no rule saying that all British people get to vote on Scottish independence (my dad actually found this quite strange- unlike me he's born and brought up in Poland and I did find it interesting even there the possible difference in national thinking that showed, since no-one in the UK I ever talked to about it even considered that that might be weird. But anyway). It's an entirely different situation. People supporting the Spanish government's stance on this cannot use Scotland as an example of how it should be done without also accepting that the British government's approach is an example of how it should be done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Alarich II said:

I'm not saying that Catalunya can't be independent (they would - of course - not be part of the EU and with Spains vote to block their entry, it is questionable if they ever will). I do believe that they should be allowed to hold this Referendum. But you have to negotiate this in a legal framework and the Catalan government was unwilling to do so, because it saw a closing window of opportunity. As unemployment recedes and the economy picks up, the monetary transfers from Catalunya to poorer regions would generate less resentment and it became less likely that a negotiated referendum in two or three years would yield the same pro-Independence result as now. Especially since the "radical" independents weren't even sure to be part of the next Catalan government. So they tried to push this through now, regardless of the consequences. They are not the poor martyrs here.

Of course the Spanish government totally fucked this up: Blocking all attempts at democratic participation and self-determination will of course strengthen the radicals. At some point you have to recognize that in a liberal, western democracy, a state has to justify its existence by being something that the people it organizes, actually need. And you have to have a public discourse about that and not a categorical refusal to talk about these demands. And finally, can I just say that the Spanish king is a totaly douche?

The problem is the legal framework is just a big roadblock here. Basically the Catalans would only be able to achieve independence legally if the majority of Spaniards decided to allow it (the actual majority of Spaniards voting in a referendum, rather than their representatives). This is, nowadays, unrealistic. The Spanish government could conceivably allow a non-binding referendum (it would have to be carefully worded to avoid constitutional court interference, but I think it could be done), but only knowing that if the Catalans actually voted for independence the answer would have to be "Well, sorry... ain't gonna happen". This seems dishonest. One could criticize the constitution for this, but it's hard to ignore that it's a very similar constitution to that of most continental democracies. Nation states just don't like parts of their territory seceding.

The closing window of opportunity argument relies heavily on knowing what would happen in two or three years which I think is slightly cavalier. The ascending powers in Catalan politics seem to be ERC, CUP and the Comuns. Of these three, two are strongly pro-independence and the third is wishy-washy. It's true that economic prosperity tends to de-polarize politics (to the extent that an option involving more devolved government and money but not actual independence might be more palatable), but betting on more economic prosperity in two or three years (and that said prosperity will be distributed evenly so as to make everyone happy) also seems a bit of a gamble (and might be counterbalanced by other factors, like inflaming political discourse, etc.).

On your second quoted paragraph, we're in agreement. The Spanish king seemed to be more in the line of justifying the governments previous (and future!) actions than to offer any kind of conciliation or middle ground. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Mentat said:

Basically the Catalans would only be able to achieve independence legally if the majority of Spaniards decided to allow it (the actual majority of Spaniards voting in a referendum, rather than their representatives). This is, nowadays, unrealistic.

And that is the core of the problem: undermining the right of other people in the name of nationalism. And this goes both ways. Just because someone in Galicia has property in Catalonia does not make him any of a lesser being or taking away his rights to vote what should happen with his property. Yet this is what this freedom movement is all about: violation of rights and then call everyone for help to protect their rights. And this will fail. The french prime minister is furious and if anything this is a good indication that things are not smooth. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, polishgenius said:

People supporting the Spanish government's stance on this cannot use Scotland as an example of how it should be done without also accepting that the British government's approach is an example of how it should be done.

I agree with that and I believe that the Spanish government should have looked at it as an example.

48 minutes ago, Mentat said:

The problem is the legal framework is just a big roadblock here. Basically the Catalans would only be able to achieve independence legally if the majority of Spaniards decided to allow it (the actual majority of Spaniards voting in a referendum, rather than their representatives). This is, nowadays, unrealistic. The Spanish government could conceivably allow a non-binding referendum (it would have to be carefully worded to avoid constitutional court interference, but I think it could be done), but only knowing that if the Catalans actually voted for independence the answer would have to be "Well, sorry... ain't gonna happen". This seems dishonest. One could criticize the constitution for this, but it's hard to ignore that it's a very similar constitution to that of most continental democracies. Nation states just don't like parts of their territory seceding.

The closing window of opportunity argument relies heavily on knowing what would happen in two or three years which I think is slightly cavalier. The ascending powers in Catalan politics seem to be ERC, CUP and the Comuns. Of these three, two are strongly pro-independence and the third is wishy-washy. It's true that economic prosperity tends to de-polarize politics (to the extent that an option involving more devolved government and money but not actual independence might be more palatable), but betting on more economic prosperity in two or three years (and that said prosperity will be distributed evenly so as to make everyone happy) also seems a bit of a gamble (and might be counterbalanced by other factors, like inflaming political discourse, etc.).

On your second quoted paragraph, we're in agreement. The Spanish king seemed to be more in the line of justifying the governments previous (and future!) actions than to offer any kind of conciliation or middle ground. 

Of course, the consititution in its current form makes it very hard to secede but there are several legal options (probably not all are equally suitable or easy):

- Hold a national Referendum and convince the rest of Spain why they should let you go

- Negotiate more regional autonomy with regards to taxes etc. - basically step by step restoring the status of an autonomous province of Spain.

- Negotiate a constitutional reform that allows regional independence under certain preconditions (who is allowed to vote, what constitutes a Region, quorum and majorities, is there a "right to return", is Spain allowed to block the EU accession of an Independent Region etc. etc.)

The problem is that the Catalan government very obviously has no long-term political strategy with regards to independence, otherwise they wouldn't have made this about independence or nothing. And the way they've tried to make this happen very clearly suggests that they were in a hurry - and we may speculate as to why, but I do believe that the reason is that they saw their chances getting slimmer by every passing month and year. I don't think that it is unreasonable to assume that the current Catalan government has or had some expectations (justified or not) about how public opinion would develop in the next years and the radicals within the current coalition acted accordingly in order to quickly grasp that opportunity. Of course, all this is now moot, since Spanish government through its own stupidity has lost the battle for public opinion.

Edited by Alarich II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

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.

The problem with independence being decided by 50%+1 of population is that, in two or four years, you might easily have a new government which doesn't believe your country should exist at all. I hope I don't have to explain why that's a bad thing.

Edited by Gorn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, The Inquisitor said:

 I have the same right as you have to determine what my country is. 

Yes, and no.

You certainly have the right to decide if you want to remain part of Spain. But to claim the right to insist that other people remain part of Spain, against their will, is - apart from anything else - just not workable. I'll ask again what I've been asking throughout the thread: put aside the questions of whether you should be able to do that. How are you going to do it? Are you claiming the right to use force, for example?

Listen to those who've been down this road, would be my advice.

As for 'what counts as a people', this is a problem that solves itself. Independence movements don't spring up among random groups of people. They arise where people have sufficiently strong bonds of identity to count as a people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, mormont said:
11 hours ago, The Inquisitor said:

 

Yes, and no.

No, Mormont, it isn't so. You are wrong, which is understandable since I presume you are not familiar with the specifics of the Spanish rule of the law.

The makeshift and pathetic charade of a vote that was held last Sunday was declared illegal by various reasons, among them that in essence it violated the principle that the sovereignty of the Spanish nation resides on all Spaniards.

With this sorry excuse of a referendum, non catalan Spaniards were robbed of their right to determine what they want their country to be.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Alarich II said:

Of course, the consititution in its current form makes it very hard to secede but there are several legal options (probably not all are equally suitable or easy):

- Hold a national Referendum and convince the rest of Spain why they should let you go

- Negotiate more regional autonomy with regards to taxes etc. - basically step by step restoring the status of an autonomous province of Spain.

- Negotiate a constitutional reform that allows regional independence under certain preconditions (who is allowed to vote, what constitutes a Region, quorum and majorities, is there a "right to return", is Spain allowed to block the EU accession of an Independent Region etc. etc.)

The problem is that the Catalan government very obviously has no long-term political strategy with regards to independence, otherwise they wouldn't have made this about independence or nothing. And the way they've tried to make this happen very clearly suggests that they were in a hurry - and we may speculate as to why, but I do believe that the reason is that they saw their chances getting slimmer by every passing month and year. I don't think that it is unreasonable to assume that the current Catalan government has or had some expectations (justified or not) about how public opinion would develop in the next years and the radicals within the current coalition acted accordingly in order to quickly grasp that opportunity. Of course, all this is now moot, since Spanish government through its own stupidity has lost the battle for public opinion.

The first option would imply that if you don't manage to convince the rest of Spain, you're stuck. This wouldn't be acceptable to the Catalan independent movement. If the Spanish government could pull it off I would be astonished. It would be nothing short of mesmerism.

The second option would have been viable a couple of years ago, I think. In the hands of an extremely skilled and popular politician it might still be possible (though I have serious reservations). Lots of very unlikely things would have to happen for this to be an option.

The third option, again, would require a referendum in Spain to ratify said reform. It's extremely unlikely this would pass.

I basically see only two solutions. One is that the Catalans (grudgingly) acquiesce to leave their desires for independence for some point in the more or less distant future (be it because they're subdued by force, appeased by an olive branch of economic and political measures or simply grow weary of unrest and see they lack the kind of international support that would make a Catalan republic a viable independent country). The other is that the Spanish state (grudgingly) allows a referendum to be held or for secession to occur. This would require extreme levels of civil unrest and violence (far above what we saw last Sunday) or very forceful international pressure. Right now, both sides are very polarized, and determined to stick to their guns.

I agree that the Catalan government was in a hurry to achieve their goals. To me the main reason is that politics are inevitably short-sighted, and that the emergence of very extreme pro-independence political parties (CUP) have forced the more moderate elements within the Catalan government to 'up their game' so as to speak. Otherwise the government would have failed and been forced to hold new elections, with the 'Together for Yes' coalition having nothing to show for its years in office (which I think would have been bad for the ERC half of the coalition and disastrous for the PDCat half). It can also be argued that popular sentiment drove them forward, though I'm not sure I agree. I think that from 2012 onwards, Catalan politics have been slightly ahead of popular feeling in this regard. All this is speculation, and very debatable, though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0