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Tags Catalonia incidents , Catalonia issues , independence movements , separatist movements , Spain incidents , Spain issues , Spain politics

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Old 11th October 2017, 12:43 AM   #281
Craig B
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I didn't say half those things. Catalonia would be justified in pursuing unconstitutional, unilateral independence if they had a support in excess of 80% of the electorate. That's the minimum, not what they should be aiming for.

Spanish state would also be justified in trying to stop it using non-violent means.

It's entirely possible for a conflict to arise because both parties are right. That's human society for you. If you find this unfanthomable try having a conversation with a human being face to face once in a while, you'll see what I mean

McHrozni
I asked you to be courteous in this discussion, but you have adopted a different strategy. Seeing that the contradictions in your arguments are being exposed, you doubled down on your disparaging behaviour, to act as a diversionist tactic. A puerile, literally schoolboyish, trick. Noted.

Now, in the event of a direct constitutional contradiction it is not possible for both parties to be right, even if it is possible for both sides to have a rational argument.

An example from the USA. If it is right for Black and White children to attend the same schools it cannot be right - at the same time - for state police to beat black students with billy clubs to keep them out of white schools, for example. A decision has to be made one way or another. And one was made. But until it was made, violence reigned.

That is what we have in Spain. The government must say to the cops either: "There is to be no referendum. Suppress it with force." Or: "The matter will be decided by a majority of X%. So do all you can to facilitate the electoral process."

Only madmen would say: we need a high turnout and a clear decision; so go in there, attack the voters and confiscate their ballots. That's nuts.

Last edited by Craig B; 11th October 2017 at 12:49 AM. Reason: Spelling typo
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Old 11th October 2017, 01:46 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
An example from the USA. If it is right for Black and White children to attend the same schools it cannot be right - at the same time - for state police to beat black students with billy clubs to keep them out of white schools, for example.
The state police is obligated to uphold the law, any law, even if the law is seen as unjust years or decades later. The police officers have the right to refuse some orders and a duty to refuse other orders, but preventing regional authorities from subverting the state because a minority of their constituents thinks they should do so does not fit the bill. Beating kinds who want to attend school is not the same as preventing a minority separatist movement from suceeding. It's not even similar.

Quote:
That is what we have in Spain. The government must say to the cops either: "There is to be no referendum. Suppress it with force." Or: "The matter will be decided by a majority of X%. So do all you can to facilitate the electoral process."
The government of Spain must obey the constitution. It can say only one of those things, I think you know which one.
That does not mean the Spanish constitution is sacrosanct and nothing may ever happen that contradicsts it.

If you're having problems with understanding this you probably should just let the topic go, it's too complex for you.

Quote:
Only madmen would say: we need a high turnout and a clear decision; so go in there, attack the voters and confiscate their ballots. That's nuts.
I reckon you still think all people all over the world must have the same response to everything. You're kind of funny. What you thought was childish and rude was actually right on the point. Heh.

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Old 11th October 2017, 03:01 AM   #283
Craig B
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post

If you're having problems with understanding this you probably should just let the topic go, it's too complex for you

I reckon you still think all people all over the world must have the same response to everything. You're kind of funny. What you thought was childish and rude was actually right on the point. Heh.
Heh indeed. Dear me, what naughty things will you think up to shout next, I wonder.

Anyway it seems that the Catalans have declared independence, but suspended it. We'll see what happens now.
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Old 11th October 2017, 03:10 AM   #284
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
drastic and traumatic changes (...) need more than 40-45% popular support to deserve the label "democratic".

I'd support it, were the proportions twice as high.
Yeah well, well yeah. By the definition of "majority rule", 51% has the right of way, be they the defenders of current circumstances or of new different circumstances. Current circumstances have no ideologically defined advantage in the theory of democracy. Except what comes to the really big issues such as constitution. Which potentially prevents will of the majority from being implemented in some cases, by the way, so it is not necessarily a positive thing.

Last edited by JJM 777; 11th October 2017 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 11th October 2017, 04:58 AM   #285
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
With respect, I'm not quite sure what you hope to bring to the table with that post beyond an attempt to goad Craig and myself into derailing the current discussion in response to your somewhat incorrect rendering of the most recent General Election Results.

Back on topic, however, McHronzi posted an old article which refers to early summer polling results. Unfortunately the Centre for Opinion Studies does not carry an English language translation of their most recent (late September) results and my command of the Iberian languages is somewhat poor, but it might be helpf if someone with greater language ability and time were to confirm where the polls were going.

As for whether an independence vote requires 50%, 60%, or 80% one has to consider whether the selection of that threshold has been selected to suit one side or the other (and if so, then why). For those who say 50% is too low, that is what the French Constitution requires. The US Constitution, as far as I can see, only requires an amendment to be ratified by three quarters of the States before it is adopted. And other countries have other benchmarks.

My view is that those who seek an unrealistically high figure, such as 80%, are seekign to impose a constitutional block that is not reflected in other political processes. On the other hand I can see the case that a simple majority of 50%+1 runs the risk of disenfranchising a substantial part of the population.
So, any chance McHrozni might bother replying to these points? Third para refers to required thresholds for constitutional amendments, major or otherwise, in case it wasn't clear.
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Old 11th October 2017, 06:05 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
So, any chance McHrozni might bother replying to these points? Third para refers to required thresholds for constitutional amendments, major or otherwise, in case it wasn't clear.
If I may, the Spanish Constitution speaks of 2/3 or 3/5th s of parliamentary+ senate majorities for depending on what changes in the constitution, which should roughly correspond to a similar majority in the electorate.

In the case of Catalonia, the constitution was approved by a 61% of the electorate, so the current near 50% of independentists really have it quite difficult to convince anyone of their legitimacy to do anything at all.
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Old 11th October 2017, 06:23 AM   #287
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And there is a case to be made, I think, for 60% as being sufficiently clear(although I may personally have a more nuanced view). But that doesn't sit pretty with McHrozni's demand for at least 80%, does it?

Also on said subject, are you able to translate the most recent poll figures? McH seems gey reluctant to do so, unless they're in Catalan in which case I appreciate that may be an issue.
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Old 11th October 2017, 06:31 AM   #288
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
... it seems that the Catalans have declared independence, but suspended it. We'll see what happens now.
I think Puigdemont has made a serious error with his "suspended declaration". If you declare independence you must apply it fully and at once. If you want to negotiate, do that before making the declaration, and keep it as a threat in case of failure of the negotiation.

Imagine if the Scots had declared in 1320: "we will in no circumstances submit to English rule, but we're going to have a wee blether with them now about that" or if Pearse in 1916 in Dublin had proclaimed: "The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman ... or at least I think it probably will after we've had another chat with Westminster" or Jefferson "We hold these truths to be self evident, or anyway I sort of believe we do but we'll ask King George to let us know his opinions" ... Not impressive.

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Old 11th October 2017, 06:47 AM   #289
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
Also on said subject, are you able to translate the most recent poll figures? McH seems gey reluctant to do so, unless they're in Catalan in which case I appreciate that may be an issue.
In July it was 41,1% YES - 49,4% NO
http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica...barometro.html
This, according to "La Vanguardia", the best known Catalan newspaper.
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Old 11th October 2017, 07:45 AM   #290
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I didn't say half those things. Catalonia would be justified in pursuing unconstitutional, unilateral independence if they had a support in excess of 80% of the electorate. That's the minimum, not what they should be aiming for.
Where do you get this 80% figure?
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Old 11th October 2017, 08:26 AM   #291
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Sure.



Sure.



In 1918 in Ireland, the pro-independence party won about half the vote and another party which also favored greater self-rule at least won about half the remainder. Save for Northern Ireland, the pro-indepednence parties won large majorities in all electoral districts.

By comparison in 2017 Catalonia, the pro-independence parties barely manage to get half the parliament and according to our best information, manage to get 40-45% of the electorate on their side.

Why should 40-45% of the voters decide on what happens with their constituents and how is that democracy?

McHrozni


Even a small majority really doesn't have that right. The Vote is just an abstraction of might makes right, a thing more people need to keep in mind before thinking 51% is some magical number to wield the unlimited power of God.

Properly speaking, things like constitutions, and separation, or joining for that matter, are things that most people should buy into, not just a bare majority. In other words, a supermajority.
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Old 11th October 2017, 09:19 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
Even a small majority really doesn't have that right. The Vote is just an abstraction of might makes right, a thing more people need to keep in mind before thinking 51% is some magical number to wield the unlimited power of God.

Properly speaking, things like constitutions, and separation, or joining for that matter, are things that most people should buy into, not just a bare majority. In other words, a supermajority.
Well this need for more than a simple majority cuts both ways. If 50%+1 is not enough justification to exercise self-determination of a people then 50%-1 is not enough justification to deny self-determination of a people either.
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Old 11th October 2017, 09:29 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
Properly speaking, things like constitutions, and separation, or joining for that matter, are things that most people should buy into, not just a bare majority. In other words, a supermajority.
I'm trying to get McHrozni to make up his mind whether he wants to invoke the Spanish constitution, which has complex provisions for altering the state boundaries, he tells us ; or whether he thinks the Catalans should have the right to secede without a Spain wide constitutional referendum. They don't have that right.

But what he's doing is saying they don't have that right, so the police have to arrest them and disrupt the referendum, but if the referendum has some very clear-cut result, a figure which McHrozni has pulled out of his bum, then that makes it ok. And I'm saying this is an absurd contradiction, and he has to make up his mind one way or another whether it's to be a Spanish constitutional amendment or a Catalan vote.
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Old 11th October 2017, 09:58 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by Abooga View Post
In July it was 41,1% YES - 49,4% NO
http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica...barometro.html
This, according to "La Vanguardia", the best known Catalan newspaper.
As I mentioned above, the Centre for Opinion Studies does not carry an English language translation of their most recent (late September, by the looks of it) results. That would, of course, be rather later than the piece in La Vanguardia. Are you able to look at the former and translate/advise?
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Old 11th October 2017, 09:59 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
Properly speaking, things like constitutions, and separation, or joining for that matter, are things that most people should buy into, not just a bare majority. In other words, a supermajority.
And can you give us examples of comparable states that take this approach?
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Old 11th October 2017, 04:20 PM   #296
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I am not sure discussing democracies and majorities is relevant to what is going on in Catalonia right now. I had multiple friends point me to this concise letter to the Financial Times by a guy named Ted Gaffney. The French Revolution, the American Revolution, heck every revolution I've studied (lately, been reading up a lot on the Mexican Revolution and "la revolucion" of the early 20th century) have been begun and pursued by an active, dedicated, and energetic minorities.

I think that point Mr Gaffney is making is worth considering; what I don't know is how willing to resort to force the separatists and the government are at this point. In recent memory, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia (and Serb influence) and it was not pretty. Ample lessons to be learned there.
I had a quick look at the 1934 Catalan revolt/strike against the slide of Spain to the right. One might call that a prelude to the Spanish Civil War. Just how badly do people want this? What is PM Rajoy willing and able to ask his party and his national organs to do?

It has been very interesting to watch the EU response: you don't get automatic EU membership if you secede seems to be the message.
How far will the pushing go before it falls into bloodshed? FWIW, I am not interested in seeing Spanish Civil War, Chapter II, during my life time.

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Old 12th October 2017, 03:15 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Darth Rotor View Post
the EU response: you don't get automatic EU membership if you secede seems to be the message.
It's not a "message". It is what is written in the membership agreements, so practically it is the law.

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor View Post
How far will the pushing go before it falls into bloodshed?
It looked like Britain would have allowed Scotland to get out without bloodshed, had the election result gone the other way. But that is an exception globally, there are not many countries that would allow any of their territory to be seceded without the army doing everything they can to prevent it, which would include some bloodshed. That explains the relative lack of political support to Catalonians internationally, as other countries feel a bit uneasy with the idea of an easy Catalonian independence inspiring similar processes in other countries.

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Old 12th October 2017, 09:12 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
It's not a "message". It is what is written in the membership agreements, so practically it is the law.


It looked like Britain would have allowed Scotland to get out without bloodshed, had the election result gone the other way. But that is an exception globally, there are not many countries that would allow any of their territory to be seceded without the army doing everything they can to prevent it, which would include some bloodshed. That explains the relative lack of political support to Catalonians internationally, as other countries feel a bit uneasy with the idea of an easy Catalonian independence inspiring similar processes in other countries.
The legal status of EU citizens resident in a region which secedes from an EU member state is as yet untested.
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Old 12th October 2017, 10:22 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Where do you get this 80% figure?
Presumably set at a level high enough that no independence movement in history would have been viewed as legitimate.
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Old 12th October 2017, 10:42 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
It's not a "message". It is what is written in the membership agreements, so practically it is the law.


It looked like Britain would have allowed Scotland to get out without bloodshed, had the election result gone the other way. But that is an exception globally, there are not many countries that would allow any of their territory to be seceded without the army doing everything they can to prevent it, which would include some bloodshed. That explains the relative lack of political support to Catalonians internationally, as other countries feel a bit uneasy with the idea of an easy Catalonian independence inspiring similar processes in other countries.
Yup. Not that politics as usual wasn't expected, but it's a shame, nonetheless. Rajoy has been horsetrading on this issue since before Spain blocked Kosovo. Still hasn't received his toy train set going through the middle of nowhere in exchange, though. Sad.
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Old 12th October 2017, 11:53 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Does all of this apply if the opponents of independence in Catalonia outnumber the supporters? If yes, how is it democratic?

McHrozni
Excellent question. The answer lies in allowing a democratic vote to take place so that this majority opinion is a known fact, not an assertion made by reading tea leaves. It's how democracy works. Both attempts at holding a democratic vote have been thwarted by hook and by crook. So far, that's a trouser drop by the Castilians, showing their shame for those with the stomach to look. Under such a scenario, it is likely an independence vote would not succeed. (In spite of the many reservations one might have about that, bearing in mind that in a few brief years, if not already, the same could be done in Tibet under a spanking brand new imported Han majority. Hmmm.) Nevertheless, I am of the same opinion as those supporting the vote here: if democratically done, one must respect the results. This is in spite of the fact that for 40 years, huge immigration came in to a vibrant local Catalan economy during the exact same time the language was entirely silenced, and the culture bound and gagged. Pretty sick. "Typical Spanish."

IIRC, in some other posts you state that the police must uphold the law. I wonder if that same sympathy would be afforded Islamic police enforcing sharia, under the auspices of a legal and democratic constitution (say, Iran). Or blasphemy laws in democratic Pakistan. Or if it would withstand the same critiques you or I might make of those judged, and hanged, at Nuremberg, for obeying legal orders beyond all moral reason.

Democracy pecking order:
The People > law, but any one person < law. Requires case-by-case answers, formulae fail.
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Old 17th October 2017, 05:24 AM   #302
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Today dawned with two new political prisoners, civilian opinion leaders from entirely civil organizations who held no government positions. Nevertheless, accused of sedition. No bail, as there is a risk of their "destroying evidence."

Franco's Castile raises its cave troll visage anew. Sigh. The gag law prohibiting criticism of the crown was the first gross violation of democracy and rule of law. Apparently, it was the proverbial hole in the dike.
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Old 17th October 2017, 05:38 AM   #303
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I was just reading the news on the BBC and thinking something similar. Political prisoners in the EU in 2017, what a shining light for Spanish democracy, eh?
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Old 17th October 2017, 07:36 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
I was just reading the news on the BBC and thinking something similar. Political prisoners in the EU in 2017, what a shining light for Spanish democracy, eh?
Can the Spanish authorities use the European arrest warrant to demand the return of expatriate "spanish" dissidents?
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Old 17th October 2017, 11:45 AM   #305
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I am skeptical about the wisdom of Catalonia splitting from Spain, and do not see the Catalan sepertarists as the saints that some here see them as, but the actions of the Spanish Government are getting more and more outrageous by the day.
They should have just let the vote happen,and then declare it had no legal standing and has no more ligtimacy then any opinion poll. Instead they went Franco on it. DUmb move.
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Old 19th October 2017, 12:28 AM   #306
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Madrid's deadline expires in half an hour or so.....
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Old 19th October 2017, 02:02 AM   #307
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I expect the regional autonomous government will be nullified today, and the frequent calls to "disinfect" it put into practice, for example, by repressing the language and culture once again in schools and public institutions. History could have gone the other way, and today we'd see Portugal struggling to free itself from the Spain that had conquered it. Would that movement see such little international support as that of the Catalans today? Probably. The real lesson of current events, from Brexit to Trump to to the Catalan drive for fully vested cultural rights (independence, btw, only became a goal once that was frontally denied), is that democracy is very poorly understood.

Brexit: "I cannot stand being a minority, albeit with all rights intact. I will only ever play as team captain. This is tyranny!"
Trump: "My opinion, in the end, is the only one that counts. I was elected by the proper race and religion, so I have absolute authority."
Spain: "Spain owns Catalonia. Catalan is a degenerate language and culture, and must give way to Castilian superiority."

Under democracy, the dictatorship of the majority can arise. Sometimes the complaints are false, racist claims, such as Brexit and Trump, fighting against invisible demons made of their twisted worldviews. Other times, legitimate grievances are in play, such as in East Timor, Tibet, Myanmar, and Catalonia, all cases in which a majority seeks or has sought to extinguish another via cultural or physical genocide.

Meh, who cares. Democracy has always been, in truth, a meal ticket, not a set of convictions that a majority in society actually subscribe to. Cash is king, which is why today most reports are about stock market reactions to events in this corner of the world, and why I've been asked via email by two separate US financial advisors about events here, but by no other overseas contacts. Sick.
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Old Yesterday, 07:11 AM   #308
Craig B
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The danger of Madrid's strategy is that say that separatism doesn't have support; but everything they do ensures that its popular support will be maximised. Assuming valid elections are in fact held, I mean.
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Old Yesterday, 07:25 AM   #309
Hlafordlaes
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Sad days. Across the globe, hands are washed and democratic doublespeak -- from the mouths of monarchs, no less -- rules the day.
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Old Yesterday, 08:12 AM   #310
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I note that our Spanish posters previously against Catallan independence so vocally have both gone gey quiet.
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Old Yesterday, 07:03 PM   #311
Hercules56
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Does Catalonia have a right to be independent?

Only 43% of eligible voters chose to vote in the referendum.

I think its fair to say that before we can consider whether a territory deserves independence, at least 51% of their electorate have to vote in a referendum on independence.

I also think the territory must possess some sense of cultural, ethnic, linguistic uniqueness, seperate from the territory they are trying to leave.

And if they don't have that, there must be evidence of political repression or extreme political differences between the territory seeking freedom and the larger state.
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Old Yesterday, 07:07 PM   #312
JoeBentley
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//Devil's Advocate//

If Catalonia gains Independence and turns right around and as a new independent nation joins the EU, European Economic Area, Eurozone, and the Schengen ... what functionally would change?

And what are the odds of (if Catalonia gains Independence) that happening?

I mean even what little I know about it is is probably fair to call the European Union the most complicated political and legal organization of all time and that everything you say about has to be amended with a for all practical purposes bottomless well of exceptions and notations but in general at this point would leaving a EU member country even work? Would Catalonia stay a part of the EU by default or would it have to go through the process of joining (if it even wanted to.) How would EU citizenship work?
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Old Yesterday, 10:38 PM   #313
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Hercules56 View Post
Does Catalonia have a right to be independent?

Only 43% of eligible voters chose to vote in the referendum.

I think its fair to say that before we can consider whether a territory deserves independence, at least 51% of their electorate have to vote in a referendum on independence.

I also think the territory must possess some sense of cultural, ethnic, linguistic uniqueness, seperate from the territory they are trying to leave.

And if they don't have that, there must be evidence of political repression or extreme political differences between the territory seeking freedom and the larger state.
Catalonia definitely meets the last two of these criteria. The outstanding issue is whether a majority of the people is in favour of independence, and that is what is mysterious about Madrid's reaction. If Spain wants to stop secession by demonstrating that most voters are unionist in sentiment, then harassing voters and arresting election organisers is the very last thing it should be doing.

All Madrid's actions seem destined to encourage separatist sentiment, and to provide plausible excuses for low turnout at the referendum. Now Madrid is not merely impeding independence, but reversing local autonomy. Does that not send a message to Catalans: the only way you can have self government is through complete independence? Is that the message Madrid really wants to convey?
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Old Yesterday, 11:51 PM   #314
quadraginta
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Catalonia definitely meets the last two of these criteria. The outstanding issue is whether a majority of the people is in favour of independence, and that is what is mysterious about Madrid's reaction. If Spain wants to stop secession by demonstrating that most voters are unionist in sentiment, then harassing voters and arresting election organisers is the very last thing it should be doing.

All Madrid's actions seem destined to encourage separatist sentiment, and to provide plausible excuses for low turnout at the referendum. Now Madrid is not merely impeding independence, but reversing local autonomy. Does that not send a message to Catalans: the only way you can have self government is through complete independence? Is that the message Madrid really wants to convey?

Seems like it sends a message to all the "autonomous" communities.

The message is, "Your so-called 'autonomy' is utterly ephemeral. A complete fiction which doesn't even really exist on paper, since we can eliminate it with the stroke of a pen without any reference to your opinions."
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