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Source: (consider it) Thread: Catalonia Independence
Cod
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# 2643

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
As you say, there are two forms of nationalism. A nationalism that is defined by ethnicity is a thing of great horror, a xenophobic and racist evil, the first few steps down a road that leads to concentration camps and gas chambers. It's the sort of nationalism that the UK government has embraced in it's barking mad hostility to immigrants and pursuit of a disasterous Brexshit.

I suggest that nationalism in a country that is predominantly one ethnicity (say 83.95% for example) is always going to be ethnic. It may be ostensibly civic, but let's not kid ourselves that those civic values won't be determined by that overwhelming ethnic majority in their interests.

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"I fart in your general direction."
M Barnier

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Marvin the Martian

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# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
However, I think that in the absence of genuine oppression, it's a legitimate to argue that the entire state has sufficient interest in the matter for them to have enforceable rights too.

That does rather depend on what you class as "genuine oppression". Is denial of self-determination enough, or do the population have to be actually mistreated?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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fletcher christian

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# 13919

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Self determination for who though? It's not at all clear how the vote would break down. There was a significant rally in Barcelona over the weekend against independence. The problem is that both sides have a tendency to inflate the value of their argument and its support.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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fletcher christian

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# 13919

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I think if there was a genuine case for oppression (for example, being treated like a second class citizen on the basis of race - perceived or otherwise - or of regional difference) then yes, I could understand that Catalonia might be somewhat justified in taking the route they have. As it is what have done is to pull a stunt that they hope will garner further support and feed into the narrative of both difference and oppression. What they should have done - seeing it's a peaceful revolution and all - is sent an elected party representing the independence concerns to petition Madrid for a change or addendum to the constitution to permit the vote. That currently has an inherent problem as far as I understand it as the various groupings representing the independence concern are deeply fractured and split (which in turn doesn't bode well for the future peace and stability of an independent Catalonia, but that's another story) so getting to that stage would take a long time, as would petitioning Madrid. They clearly see this stunt as enabling them with a certain impetus of groundswell to move the issue forward through illegal means. I find it profoundly difficult to have sympathy with that.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Cod
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
That does rather depend on what you class as "genuine oppression". Is denial of self-determination enough, or do the population have to be actually mistreated?

I think that every independence movement is different, and therefore the rights and wrongs of them need to be taken on a case by case basis. The problem with absolute rules such as the right to self-determination is that they tend to ignore the complexities of each situation and gloss over the question of whether there is a valid group whose self-determination has been denied. So I'm tempted to agree, on the basis that it's become too easy for a group of spokespeople to claim to speak on behalf of a group, make unilateral demands, and cause a whole heap of trouble. I think there is also a contradiction, perhaps even hypocracy, in the way the right of self-determination has been treated. It is discussed as if any group of people capable of defining themselves at that particualar moment, have right to create their own state. The reality is that the laws of the average developed, democratic country, do not give the right to any part of its territories to secede, and the reasons for this should hardly need explaining.

I'll add that I am particularly suspicious of secessionist movements that want to split away from multi-ethnic states and from them create nation states dominated by one particular ethnic group, and it strikes me as a lot of humbug when such movements claim they are motivated by "civic nationalism", even if they genuinely believe their own claims. If self-determination means the right of any particular ethnic group to have its own state (as compared to the merely right of an existing political state not to be invaded by another) then it positively encourages ethnic ghettoisation.

I see that the Catalan government has suspended its declaration of UDI. I was interested to see that it happened in the Catalan parliament, sittings of which I thought had been suspended by the Spanish constitutional court.

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"I fart in your general direction."
M Barnier

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Enoch
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# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
I think if there was a genuine case for oppression (for example, being treated like a second class citizen on the basis of race - perceived or otherwise - or of regional difference) then yes, I could understand that Catalonia might be somewhat justified in taking the route they have. As it is what have done is to pull a stunt that they hope will garner further support and feed into the narrative of both difference and oppression. What they should have done - seeing it's a peaceful revolution and all - is sent an elected party representing the independence concerns to petition Madrid for a change or addendum to the constitution to permit the vote. That currently has an inherent problem as far as I understand it as the various groupings representing the independence concern are deeply fractured and split (which in turn doesn't bode well for the future peace and stability of an independent Catalonia, but that's another story) so getting to that stage would take a long time, as would petitioning Madrid. They clearly see this stunt as enabling them with a certain impetus of groundswell to move the issue forward through illegal means. I find it profoundly difficult to have sympathy with that.

Is it just me, or are you also picking up a flavour of 24th-29th April 1916? If so, the actions of the Madrid government at the moment could well have the same effect as the actions of the London government did then.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
The reality is that the laws of the average developed, democratic country, do not give the right to any part of its territories to secede, and the reasons for this should hardly need explaining.

They do to me. Or at least, they do if they amount to anything more than the government saying "we rule here, and if you don't like it then fuck off".

quote:
If self-determination means the right of any particular ethnic group to have its own state (as compared to the merely right of an existing political state not to be invaded by another) then it positively encourages ethnic ghettoisation.
To which I reply only: Israel.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Kwesi
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The notion that the decision of a group of people in a particular territory can gain statehood by declaring themselves a nation explains very little about how states actually come into being, and were it so it would be a cause of great instability and conflict i.e. civil and international war. The principle of national self-determination is one of the daftest ideas known to the modern international system and was ignorantly advanced by Woodrow Wilson, president of a nation which had fought a bitter war to deny the right to its own citizens. Applied to Europe at the end of WWI it created a justification for the territorial ambitions of HItler; and in the Middle East the ruinous consequences of the Balfour Declaration and presently the ambitions of the Kurds. Elsewhere it was used to justify the murderous partition of India, and applied to Africa would encourage the worst excesses of tribalism and political anarchy.
Why the claims of the Catalonians should be encouraged I fail to understand. The individuals who live there enjoy full civil liberties as citizens of Spain and the European Union, are economically the most prosperous region in Spain, and have their language and culture protected. The price of secession would be to destabilise Spain and other parts of Western Europe. It is too high a price for Spain and the rest of the European continent to pay, however civic or civil or even democratic Catalonia's nationalism might claim to be.

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Martin60
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Don't you just LOVE the way nothing works. 90% of 40% of the electorate doth not an independent Catalonia make.

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Love wins

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fletcher christian

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Posted by Enoch:
quote:

Is it just me, or are you also picking up a flavour of 24th-29th April 1916? If so, the actions of the Madrid government at the moment could well have the same effect as the actions of the London government did then.

I'm not sure that is comparing like with like. Much as I personally wish my country's history to have been written in a different manner there are many who would still vociferously argue that no peaceful means were open to them. I on the other hand find myself firmly in the Sean O'Casey camp. The price that was paid for the quest for independence here was very high and not just morally ambiguous but morally dubious at least. There are no blood martyr's to Catalonia's 'cause' either. Catalonia is wealthy; Ireland in 1916 - and specifically Dublin - was the worst slum in Europe. Spain has been heavy handed, but as far as I know has not killed anyone. Britain set Dublin city alight, killing many innocent people. It had a gun boat sitting on the Liffey firing shells up O'Connell Street! The British soldiers made their way up the opposite side of the GPO by knocking through the walls of the houses, literally shooting dead every occupant they found, regardless of who they were. Shooters occupied the roofs and homeless children who were still wandering the streets were shot dead. Tanks were finally driven up O'Connell Street. I think it would be quite a stretch to compare Spain's handling of Catalonia to that.

All that said, if you were only to compare the method, then yes there might be some similarity. The rebels in the GPO effectively pulled a stunt. They knew they could not possibly win and yet declared an independence, but without any kind of vote, and very possibly at that stage without any kind of mandate from the populace. It's still not quite comparable to what is taking place in Catalonia, but granted there may be some similarities at a stretch.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
The notion that the decision of a group of people in a particular territory can gain statehood by declaring themselves a nation explains very little about how states actually come into being, and were it so it would be a cause of great instability and conflict i.e. civil and international war.

Yes, because denying people the right to govern themselves has never led to instability and conflict.

People aren't going to stop wanting self-determination just because you say so. Deny them any peaceful way to get it and all that will be left to them are violent ways.

quote:
The principle of national self-determination is one of the daftest ideas known to the modern international system
Does that mean Britain can have the Empire back?

quote:
Applied to Europe at the end of WWI it created a justification for the territorial ambitions of HItler; and in the Middle East the ruinous consequences of the Balfour Declaration and presently the ambitions of the Kurds. Elsewhere it was used to justify the murderous partition of India, and applied to Africa would encourage the worst excesses of tribalism and political anarchy.
Yep, this really does sound like you think the British Empire should never have released its control over those territories.

Also, you haven't proposed any alternative to self-determination. How do you think people should be governed?

quote:
Why the claims of the Catalonians should be encouraged I fail to understand. The individuals who live there enjoy full civil liberties as citizens of Spain and the European Union, are economically the most prosperous region in Spain, and have their language and culture protected.
The last point is debatable. And the rest basically amounts to saying that having the democratic right to choose how you will be governed doesn't matter as long as you're rich.

You might as well say that as long as you're well fed, given good housing and treated kindly it doesn't matter that you're a slave. Funny how some people think freedom is more important, isn't it?

quote:
The price of secession would be to destabilise Spain and other parts of Western Europe. It is too high a price for Spain and the rest of the European continent to pay, however civic or civil or even democratic Catalonia's nationalism might claim to be.
Translation: it's better for us if they don't get what they want, so we're not going to let them get it. Their thoughts on the matter are irrelevant.

[ 11. October 2017, 09:10: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Bishops Finger
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Well, it all looks very confusing to one of Little Brain (like me).

President Puigdemont seems to have made a declaration of UDI, and then put it on hold for a while.

Sr. Rajoy seems to have taken this at face value, which at least allows time for some form of dialogue to begin (whether fruitful or not remains to be seen).

Is Catalonia likely to become an independent state within the next couple of weeks, or not?

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Martin60
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Nope.

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AmyBo
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# 15040

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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Is Catalonia likely to become an independent state within the next couple of weeks, or not?

Having only lived in Spain for a little bit, my experience was that NOTHING in Spain moves that fast.

[ 11. October 2017, 14:06: Message edited by: AmyBo ]

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
As you say, there are two forms of nationalism. A nationalism that is defined by ethnicity is a thing of great horror, a xenophobic and racist evil, the first few steps down a road that leads to concentration camps and gas chambers. It's the sort of nationalism that the UK government has embraced in it's barking mad hostility to immigrants and pursuit of a disasterous Brexshit.

I suggest that nationalism in a country that is predominantly one ethnicity (say 83.95% for example) is always going to be ethnic. It may be ostensibly civic, but let's not kid ourselves that those civic values won't be determined by that overwhelming ethnic majority in their interests.
There is no such thing as a nationalism which does not include some kind of ethnic component. I think that Marx was onto something when he declared that one ought to support nationalisms if they were on the right side of history, as it were, and oppose them when they were not even if his assessment of Mitteleuropa in 1848 was completely off whack. There are 'good' nationalist movements - Italian unification, Masaryk's Czechoslovakia - and bad ones - Milosevic and You Know Who, spring immediately to mind. And there is no guarantee that a nationalism will stay 'good', the cause of Mazzini became the cause of Mussolini. The thing about nationalism is that it is basically a complaint that another bunch of people are stopping us from flourishing. The reason that nationalism has been so influential in the last couple of centuries is that this is, in many cases, obviously true but the thing is that blaming other people for your problems is often a substitute for solving them.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
There is no such thing as a nationalism which does not include some kind of ethnic component.
...
There are 'good' nationalist movements - Italian unification, Masaryk's Czechoslovakia - and bad ones - Milosevic and You Know Who, spring immediately to mind.

But I wonder to what extent these were 'good' because they had to downplay the ethnic component by design or recast it to a historical past.
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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
President Puigdemont seems to have made a declaration of UDI

This phrase is as jarring to my mind as "PIN Number". The "D" of UDI stands for "Declaration", so the additional "declaration" is redundant.

Sorry. It's just been bugging me all week.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Bishops Finger
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Apologies. ISWYM.

[Hot and Hormonal]

(Post in haste - repent at leisure!)

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
There is no such thing as a nationalism which does not include some kind of ethnic component.
...
There are 'good' nationalist movements - Italian unification, Masaryk's Czechoslovakia - and bad ones - Milosevic and You Know Who, spring immediately to mind.

But I wonder to what extent these were 'good' because they had to downplay the ethnic component by design or recast it to a historical past.
Fair comment - Masaryk created a bi-national state and much of Italian nationalism was committed to disempowering the wrong kind of Italian (The Pope, King Bomba) and replacing him with the right sort. Austrian Italy was garrisoned rather than having loads of Austrians flooding in to live and work and so the objection was to Austrians running Italy (or at least their bit) rather than to Austrians per se.

There is probably a Laffer curve of nationalism whereby hitting a certain emphasis on ethnicity turns it from 'good' to 'bad', but I'll leave it to someone else to work out the metrics!

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
The thing about nationalism is that it is basically a complaint that another bunch of people are stopping us from flourishing.

Isn't that pretty much what all of politics is about, when you boil it down?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
The thing about nationalism is that it is basically a complaint that another bunch of people are stopping us from flourishing.

Isn't that pretty much what all of politics is about, when you boil it down?
That's a very good point. The objection to nationalism is often along the lines of "Not those people! These people!"

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Don't you just LOVE the way nothing works. 90% of 40% of the electorate doth not an independent Catalonia make.

It's not that dissimilar to the proportion of the UK electorate that voted to Leave the EU.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Eutychus
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One big difference is that all the parties, and Parliament, agreed to the terms of the Brexit referendum before it happened.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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rolyn
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Nationalism fires people up. Or is it that people who are fired up gravitate towards nationalism?

Whichever it is these are the people who will head for polling booths come hell or highwater.

No direct comparisons with the EU Referendum because this one has been declared illegal from the outset, so those opposed to Independence would not have though to vote against it as the result was all ready declared null and void.

The outcome of the UK Referendum was down to the group normally regarded as politically apathetic.. The ones who were fired turned out for Brexit. The ones who were not fired didn't come out in sufficient numbers to back Remain.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Martin60
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Shhheee-it Alan!

52% of 72%. 37% of the electorate.

How can that be? What's quorate in a UK election/referendum?

[ 11. October 2017, 19:25: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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Marvin Martian
quote:
quote:

Kwesi: The principle of national self-determination is one of the daftest ideas known to the modern international system

Marvin Martian: Does that mean Britain can have the Empire back?
Kwesi: The principle of national self-determination is one of the daftest ideas known to the modern international system

Marvin Martian: Does that mean Britain can have the Empire back?
Kwesi: The principle of national self-determination is one of the daftest ideas known to the modern international system

Marvin Martian: Does that mean Britain can have the Empire back?


Decolonisation differs from the Catalonian case in a number of important respects, and I would suggest largely supports my sceptical stance.
1.In a de-colonisation context the freedom of the nation was bound up with the granting of political emancipation to the colonial inhabitants. In Catalonia the inhabitants are free in terms of having full citizenship rights.
2. The boundaries of African states at independence were largely pre-determined by the European powers at the Congress of Berlin and Treaty of Versailles after WWI, not by self-determination.
3. The OAU and AU have existed to protect those colonial boundaries from attempts by ethnic groups to redraw them, of which siding with Nigeria in the Biafran War was an example. African leaders are opposed to self-determination for obvious and sensible reasons.
4. The first generation of African Nationalist leaders were noted not as being Ghanaian, Nigerian, Tanzanian nationalists and so on, but as African Nationalists seeking (romantically?) the unity of the whole continent against the fragmentation of their inheritance and the threat of ethnic tribalism.

Marvin Martian
quote:
Kwesi: Why the claims of the Catalonians should be encouraged I fail to understand. The individuals who live there enjoy full civil liberties as citizens of Spain and the European Union, are economically the most prosperous region in Spain, and have their language and culture protected.

Martin Martian: The last point is debatable. And the rest basically amounts to saying that having the democratic right to choose how you will be governed doesn't matter as long as you're rich.

You might as well say that as long as you're well fed, given good housing and treated kindly it doesn't matter that you're a slave. Funny how some people think freedom is more important, isn't it.

The point I’m making is that the grievances are opaque. To suggest the Catalans are slaves is absurd, rather they have little to complain about respecting their political rights, cultural expression, and economic situation. ISTM their gripe is that they have to share some of their prosperity with poorer parts of Spain. It may be economically rational for the Catalans to seek independence, but one fails to see why it should be regarded by other as a principle to be applauded.
Marvin Martian
quote:
Kwesi The price of secession would be to destabilise Spain and other parts of Western Europe. It is too high a price for Spain and the rest of the European continent to pay, however civic or civil or even democratic Catalonia's nationalism might claim to be.

Marvin Martian: Translation: it's better for us if they don't get what they want, so we're not going to let them get it. Their thoughts on the matter are irrelevant.

Their thoughts on the matter aren’t irrelevant, nor are ours. The problem is that like many nationalists the Catalan nationalists are blind to the interests of others, including other citizens of Spain, which others might consider justifiably over-ride those of the prosperous free Catalans in this matter.
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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Decolonisation differs from the Catalonian case in a number of important respects, and I would suggest largely supports my sceptical stance.
1.In a de-colonisation context the freedom of the nation was bound up with the granting of political emancipation to the colonial inhabitants. In Catalonia the inhabitants are free in terms of having full citizenship rights.

So if we'd merely given them full citizenship rights but retained ownership of the land that would have been fine?

quote:
2. The boundaries of African states at independence were largely pre-determined by the European powers at the Congress of Berlin and Treaty of Versailles after WWI, not by self-determination.
I agree that that was a bad thing.

quote:
3. The OAU and AU have existed to protect those colonial boundaries from attempts by ethnic groups to redraw them, of which siding with Nigeria in the Biafran War was an example. African leaders are opposed to self-determination for obvious and sensible reasons.
Yes, they'd lose some of their power if it was allowed.

quote:
4. The first generation of African Nationalist leaders were noted not as being Ghanaian, Nigerian, Tanzanian nationalists and so on, but as African Nationalists seeking (romantically?) the unity of the whole continent against the fragmentation of their inheritance and the threat of ethnic tribalism.
Yes, because if Africa was one huge country there wouldn't be any ethnic tribalism there any more. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
The point I’m making is that the grievances are opaque.
Not really. They want to be a separate country so that they can govern themselves rather than being governed from Madrid. Seems pretty clear to me.

quote:
To suggest the Catalans are slaves is absurd
I was making a point about freedom. Namely, that without it it doesn't matter how well your masters treat you or how many rights they give you.

You still haven't proposed a principle by which people should be governed if not self-determination, by the way.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Shhheee-it Alan!

52% of 72%. 37% of the electorate.

How can that be? What's quorate in a UK election/referendum?

At the risk of repeating myself, nobody was bothered about that question before the result was announced.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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Marvin Martian
quote:
Kwesi: Applied to Europe at the end of WWI it created a justification for the territorial ambitions of HItler; and in the Middle East the ruinous consequences of the Balfour Declaration and presently the ambitions of the Kurds. Elsewhere it was used to justify the murderous partition of India, and applied to Africa would encourage the worst excesses of tribalism and political anarchy.

Marvin Martian: Also, you haven't proposed any alternative to self-determination. How do you think people should be governed?

Marvin Martian: You still haven't proposed a principle by which people should be governed if not self-determination, by the way.

What I have tried to demonstrate is that most national boundaries are not the product of self-determination. That they should be so determined is problematical because it is difficult to define the “Imagined Communities” (B. Anderson), that should be recognised as legitimately possessing that right. In this case is it Spain or Catalonia? There really is no way of resolving the issue. In reality there is no abstract principle which accounts for the configuration of the international system, rather it is the product of an historical development in which democratic principles are mostly absent, if present at all. There is no principle that can decide between Spanish and Catalonian democracy as to whether the latter region could leave Spain without Spain’s say-so. Currently, Spain holds at least three cards: legitimacy (constitutional power), force (the instruments to enforce its will), and international support (the European Union and the UN). Catalonia would need to undermine one or more of those props if Spain remains opposed to its secession. Probably that would involve armed conflict, as the examples of Eritrea, Bangladesh, East Timor, Crimea, and so on demonstrate. As Bismark realistically observed: “Since the treaties of Vienna, our frontiers have been ill-designed for a healthy body politic. Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided—that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849—but by iron and blood." By and large I think it’s best to muddle along with the state system we have. That may be tough on some secessionist movements, but the Catalans, with their devolved powers, are less disadvantaged than most, IMO.

There are, of course, many other principles involved in how people might best be governed within the states they find themselves. If you wish me to address those issues I’m happy to do so.

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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Marvin Martian
quote:
Kwesi: To suggest the Catalans are slaves is absurd.

Marvin Martian: I was making a point about freedom. Namely, that without it it doesn't matter how well your masters treat you or how many rights they give you.

How many people have a right to live in the state of their choice?
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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Shhheee-it Alan!

52% of 72%. 37% of the electorate.

How can that be? What's quorate in a UK election/referendum?

At the risk of repeating myself, nobody was bothered about that question before the result was announced.
How low can it go? The fate of nations and more being decided by a third of the electorate?! Churchill was so right!

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Love wins

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Ricardus
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# 8757

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I think the point is that Catalan unionists are more likely to agree with the Spanish government's assessment that the referendum was illegal, and therefore not vote out of principle, and so no real conclusions can be drawn from the fact that 90% of the vote was for independence.

Whereas in the case of the EU referendum, even people who thought it was a silly idea didn't generally deny that Mr Cameron was acting within his rights in calling it.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Eutychus
From the edge
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Exactly. It's like the people explaining that Hillary won really because she won the popular vote. You can bet those people would not be conceding the election to Trump had the outcome been the other way around.

The time to argue about the fairness of a vote is before it, not afterwards. The Catalonia referendum was ruled unconstitutional and the turnout suggests (silent) majority support for that position.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
I think the point is that Catalan unionists are more likely to agree with the Spanish government's assessment that the referendum was illegal, and therefore not vote out of principle, and so no real conclusions can be drawn from the fact that 90% of the vote was for independence.

Whereas in the case of the EU referendum, even people who thought it was a silly idea didn't generally deny that Mr Cameron was acting within his rights in calling it.

It was always about silencing the Tory right. Did he have a choice? Would UKIP been the tail wagging the dog in a hung parliament? 'Judge me on Europe.' I remember him saying years ago. We did.

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Love wins

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stonespring
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# 15530

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The government in Madrid has announced that it is preparing to suspend Catalonia's autonomy and will announce precisely to what degree in a list of measures on Saturday that will submitted to the Senate for approval.

The opposition Socialists have announced that together with the governing People's Party and the Citizens Party (3 of the 4 largest parties in the national Parliament), they have agreed, once Article 155 of the Constitution has been invoked suspending Catalonia's autonomy, to call for new regional elections.

This may seem necessary, given that a region is bent on independence, but is it wise to do so at this precise moment and in this way?

A majority of residents of Catalonia are opposed to independence, and I imagine even some supporters of independence are annoyed at how Puigdemont is going about it and worried about the prospect of businesses fleeing Catalonia to stay in the EU. However, given the sympathy that the independence movement has gained from the images of bloodied would-be voters being dragged from the polls, it is not at all guaranteed that an election would not return Puigdemont or his coalition (assuming it does not fall apart, which is a very real possibility) to power, at the very least as a minority government.

A lot has been said about the resentments among Catalans who remember the repression of their language under Franco. Not as much has been said outside Spain about how difficult politically it is for the government in Madrid, in particular when it is led by a conservative party, to be anything other than intransigent and draconian with separatists, precisely because of resentments dating back to the Civil War. Few people want a return to fascism, but many associate the Catalan and Basque separatists, who are not all left-wing, with the panoply of radical left-wing groups, many of which were quite strong in Catalonia, that together with more moderate Republicans fought Franco in the Civil War, many committing atrocities of their own (I in no way mean to say that they were morally equivalent to Franco, although I personally would not want to live under Stalinism, Trotskyism, or Anarcho-Syndicalism).

Many Spaniards at the time of the Civil War did not stand up against fascism because they worried that the radical left factions in the Republican forces would try to remake Spain if they won (I am not saying that I agree with them). Because Spain has not had as much of a healing and atoning process from the Civil War as the rest of Western Europe has had from World War II (partly because Spain emerged from fascism decades later than the rest of Western Europe), this fear of Spain being torn apart or remade is still alive - even among Socialists but particularly among Conservatives, and can lead to a very stalwart nationalism of the kind Rajoy needs to placate.

The People's Party itself, despite being a mainstream European Christian Democratic party, has never quite been as much of penitent for Spain's fascist past as its sister parties in Germany, Austria, and Italy have been (although things might be changing in Austria [Frown] ), although I certainly wouldn't call it anti-democratic. I would definitely call it even more nationalistic than its counterparts on the center-right in the rest of Europe.

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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BBC News today reports that the Catalan Parliament has declared independence:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41780116

What next, I wonder?

Sr. Rajoy can hardly send in the troops....

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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More accurately (sorry), the Catalan Parliament has voted to declare independence, which is, I suppose, almost, but not quite, the same thing.

Even so, an historic moment.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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Who knows whether this is a truly historic moment, to rank alongside 1916, or something largely symbolic, or something disastrous, which will lead to conflict. I certainly don't.

The crowds outside will sing and dance joyfully, but what will Madrid do? I suppose they are now compelled to dissolve the Catalan parliament, to strip Catalan ministers of their powers, and so on.

I wish the Catalans well, and hope it is not a tragic mistake.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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Indeed.

But if the Catalan MPs (well, those in favour of independence), along with President Puigdemont, simply refuse to budge, what then?

Political prisoners, storming of Parliament building, riots.....not a happy scenario, and one that is not exactly unknown in European history in comparatively recent times.

[Votive]

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Exactly. It's like the people explaining that Hillary won really because she won the popular vote. You can bet those people would not be conceding the election to Trump had the outcome been the other way around.

The time to argue about the fairness of a vote is before it, not afterwards. The Catalonia referendum was ruled unconstitutional and the turnout suggests (silent) majority support for that position.

The referendum may have been irregular if not unconstitutional from the European side. Normally, proposals for referendal and electoral legislation go to the Venice Commission for a formal opinion e.g., recently in the Italian Autonomous Province of Trento.

An initial glace through the Code of good practice on
[URL=http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/CDL-AD 2007 008rev.aspx]Referendums[/URL] would suggest that the Catalan referendum, not having been organized by an impartial body (the Electoral Commission of Catalonia dissolved itself 22 Sept 2017), might not meet those requirements nor might its provisions on the use of state resources on one side or the other. As well, fundamental rules must be set a year in advance.

El Pais reports that it is in violation of the Estatut's (Catalan constitution) 2/3 requirement for parliamentary approval of a referendum by the Catalan parliament, but I can't find a specific clause to that effect. That I am still awash with medication from a dental implant might be the reason, so I'll have another look later.

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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Carlos Puigdemont reminds me too much of David Cameron. He appears hopelessly out of his depth, trying to appease divided separatist factions - and as a result, apparently intent on making Brexit look like a staid and carefully-thought-out diplomatic process by comparison.

As with Brexit, it seems that people are buying a rose-tinted, nostalgic, romanticised image of their own regional/national identity without really thinking through the real-world consequences.

I'm far from convinced these people represent a majority of Catalans, though.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Enoch
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# 14322

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Why have those Members that didn't want independence abstained? It may have been clear beforehand that cumulatively the Catalan separatists had a majority, but if you don't agree but don't vote against when you get the chance, you've accepted the result, and can't complain.

It's the same as those that boycott elections. Unless your answer to all the questions is an unequivocal and total No to all the options on the table, there's no justification for doing so - and even in that situation, one should foul one's ballot paper rather than refuse to vote.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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The big question for me is what are the Catalonians prepared to do faced when with the opposition of the Spanish state? And what are the Spanish security forces prepared to do to bring Catalonia into line?
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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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Catalonian parliament dissolved
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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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Yes, but what if they don't agree to being dissolved?

Of course, we'll have to wait and see, but it all looks rather messy, or potentially so.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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That is a big concern.

I heard a BBC debate Wednesday evening and representatives of both sides indicated they would do what they have done. I'd hoped for dialogue; perhaps it may still happen.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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At the moment there are two governments for Catalonia, each claiming the right to govern and stating that the other is illegitimate. And, both have good reasons for that claim.

The Catalan government and Parliament were elected by the people of Catalonia. The Spanish government and senate were elected by the people of Spain, including Catalonia. Can the Spanish government dismiss the Catalan parliament and government? Is there anything to stop them from continuing to meet and vote on policy issues? Ultimately, whether the Catalan of Spanish governments carry the day depends on who manages to keep the civil service on their side - the bottom line, who gets to collect the taxes.

The Spanish government has called fresh elections for a Catalan parliament. What happens when the pro-independence parties in Catalonia state that it's an illegal election and boycott it? If no pro-independence candidates stand, because why should they since they've already been elected in a fair election? If the referendum the Catalan government called was invalid, then a regional election called by the Spanish government (in the view of the Catalan government a foreign government) is also invalid.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Kwesi
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Alan Cresswell
quote:
At the moment there are two governments for Catalonia, each claiming the right to govern and stating that the other is illegitimate. And, both have good reasons for that claim.
Nope. You are mistaken. According to the Spanish Constitution the Catalan government has acted ultra vires, and the Spanish government has acted within the terms of the constitution in declaring the recent referendum as illegal and the declaration of independence equally against the law. The Spanish government has adopted the appropriate legal procedures to defend the integrity of the nation's constitution in taking over the regional administration. There is no dubiety
about this. The declaration of Catalonian independence, however welcome, is an act of rebellion and illegitimate.

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Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
# 12699

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It seems clear to me what the (former) Catalan Government's game is:

1) Hold a referendum. Of course this is illegal, and Madrid is bound to interfere. Who cares about the turnout, so long as Madrid gets sufficiently worked up.
2) Get Catalans really upset about Madrid's uncompromising stance and high-handedness.
3) Get Article 155 invoked. Pray fervently that the Catalan parliament is dissolved and fresh elections called.
4) Campaign on a platform of immediate independence and get reelected.
5) Once reelected, it's back to what you were saying, before you were so rudely interrupted.

Under this scenario, Madrid gets played like a fiddle. They fave fallen right into a trap. The "referendum" was nothing but a ploy to frame the question on fresh regional Elections under Article 155, which would be broad-based, fully free and with which Madrid will not overly interfere.

Clever bunch.

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NDP Federal Convention, Edmonton 2016: More Trots than the Calgary Stampede!

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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Sober Preacher's Kid
quote:
4) Campaign on a platform of immediate independence and get reelected.
You could well be right, but one cannot assume that the outcome of the election will be favourable to the cause of Catalan separatists. Significantly, the Catalan government passed up the opportunity to call for new regional elections themselves. The electoral process is likely to expose differences between the parties advocating independence over programmes and processes whereby independence would be negotiated, and what the response would be if Spain still said no. Who, for example, would be prepared to fight for the cause? I guess there would also be a proportion of the nationalist vote that does not really want independence, but would prefer a greater slice of public expenditure within the Spanish state. Issues such as EU non-recognition or negotiations to enter the EU, the establishment of border controls with Spain, the organisation of the national debt and government borrowing, the question of currency in a nation outside the Euro, ditto trading relations with the EU, will all receive an airing, let alone the position of Barcelona football club in relation to the Spanish league etc. Feet might get considerably colder as the election approaches.
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