'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

Catalan independance referendum (non-legal)

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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#101  Postby aban57 » Oct 06, 2017 11:40 am

The Spanish government cancelled the parliament session planned on Monday, in order to prevent Catalonia to declare their independence there. How long can they keep up with this tactic ?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#102  Postby ronmcd » Oct 21, 2017 8:54 pm

I dunno. Don't know if it's just me, but I suspect Rajoy's govt may be playing more fast and loose with the constitution than the Catalan government ever were.

Catalonia crisis escalates as Spain set to impose direct rule within days

Spain was plunged into political crisis on Saturday after the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, announced that he is stripping Catalonia of its autonomy and imposing direct rule from Madrid in a bid to crush the regional leadership’s move to secede.

The decision, which prompted anger across Catalonia, has escalated Spain’s deepest constitutional crisis since the restoration of democracy in 1977. Observers say the move could resurrect the spectre of Basque nationalism, and have repercussions across a Europe facing the rise of separatist movements.

Following an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday morning, Rajoy said he was invoking article 155 of the constitution to “restore the rule of law, coexistence and the economic recovery and to ensure that elections could be held in normal circumstances”.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#103  Postby Tracer Tong » Oct 21, 2017 10:37 pm

I'm not surprised they've gone down this route (I seem to remember raising the possibility a few weeks ago). I'm not sure how it's playing fast and loose with the constitution at all, much less how it's doing so more than the Catalan government.

In any case, a salutary lesson to the more rabid Scottish nationalists. Though it's worth pointing out that devolution could more easily be revoked.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#105  Postby Tracer Tong » Oct 21, 2017 11:41 pm

I wouldn't be so solipsistic about it.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#106  Postby Thommo » Oct 22, 2017 7:57 am

Didn't they literally get their constitutional courts to rule on this matter, more than once?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#107  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Oct 22, 2017 8:04 am

Thommo wrote:Didn't they literally get their constitutional courts to rule on this matter, more than once?

Playing devil's advocate, if the goal is to secede from the very nation of said courts, why would their rulings matter one bit?
Do you think the English colonists would've cared what a court in England said about the Declaration of Independence?
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#108  Postby Thommo » Oct 22, 2017 8:13 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:Didn't they literally get their constitutional courts to rule on this matter, more than once?

Playing devil's advocate, if the goal is to secede from the very nation of said courts, why would their rulings matter one bit?
Do you think the English colonists would've cared what a court in England said about the Declaration of Independence?


Well, you have a point, although it depends what one means by "matter". But clearly it can result in civil war if it's not held to be constitutional, and that would certainly matter in a lot of ways.

Regardless how bad Britain's departure from the EU gets, it's not a matter of armed conflict. The same would (maybe will) be true if Scotland holds an approved referendum like they did in 2014. This cannot be said for a unilateral declaration of independence that ignores that mutuality.

This situation will be orders of magnitude more acriminious. If it stops short of people dying, I will be thrilled.

All that said, I was simply answering Ron's question. No, it does not seem like the constitution is being trampled on when the constitutional procedure is followed to the letter, right up to respecting the courts on the matter. Although I would agree with you that in a sense that ruling might not be all important to the people of Catalonia.

A caveat should be attached to that as well though - "the people" of Catalonia don't all agree and many don't want to leave Spain. The answer to the question of which group within Catalonia is larger, the leavers or the remainers, is unclear. The only thing we know for sure about the declared results of the nullified referendum is that it wasn't representative.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#109  Postby ronmcd » Oct 22, 2017 9:11 am

Spanish minister on Marr this morning explaining some of the violence was "fake", and explaining that of course :roll: Catalonia can be independent legally, if the whole of Spain votes for it in a referendum.

Aye.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#110  Postby aban57 » Oct 22, 2017 9:32 am

ronmcd wrote:Spanish minister on Marr this morning explaining some of the violence was "fake", and explaining that of course :roll: Catalonia can be independent legally, if the whole of Spain votes for it in a referendum.

Aye.


True, except said referendum has to be vallidated by the central government, which clearly said it would never happen. What do you do in this case ?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#111  Postby Thommo » Oct 22, 2017 12:51 pm

Wait for an election and vote in a better prime minister.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#112  Postby GrahamH » Oct 22, 2017 1:35 pm

aban57 wrote:
ronmcd wrote:Spanish minister on Marr this morning explaining some of the violence was "fake", and explaining that of course :roll: Catalonia can be independent legally, if the whole of Spain votes for it in a referendum.

Aye.


True, except said referendum has to be validated by the central government, which clearly said it would never happen. What do you do in this case ?


Options are very limited. There seems to be no possible democratic resolution to this. The majority nationally will not vote in Catalonia's interests and the central government has demonstrated it's determination to obstruct all attempts at democratic solutions.
Now they are imposing direct rule.
I guess there is a lot more violence on the way.
Direct rule is a recipe for civil disobedience and hugely increases the scope for conflict. The thousands of Spanish civil guards and national police drafted in for the referendum are still stationed in Catalonia.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... irect-rule
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#113  Postby GrahamH » Oct 22, 2017 1:40 pm

Thommo wrote:Wait for an election and vote in a better prime minister.


Do you ever wonder why protest groups defending minority interest ever make a fuss when they could just wait for an election and vote in a leader that will support their interests and oust the oppressing majority's candidate?

Hang on. There's something wrong with the logic there.
Why do you think that?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#114  Postby Tracer Tong » Oct 22, 2017 5:20 pm

Thommo wrote:Didn't they literally get their constitutional courts to rule on this matter, more than once?


Several times, yes, but Puigdemont steamed ahead regardless. It's working out terribly well for him, as you can see.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#115  Postby Thommo » Oct 22, 2017 8:17 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:Wait for an election and vote in a better prime minister.


Do you ever wonder why protest groups defending minority interest ever make a fuss when they could just wait for an election and vote in a leader that will support their interests and oust the oppressing majority's candidate?


Actually, that's exactly how most changes do get made. That's how being gay was decriminalised in most countries, it's how gay marriage has been legalised in dozens of countries, it's how the vast majority of franchise extensions have come to pass.

If it floats your boat to elide the distinction between an oppressed minority and what's going on in Catalonia today, go right ahead though, I won't stop you.

GrahamH wrote:Hang on. There's something wrong with the logic there.


What logic? It was a suggestion not a piece of reasoning. It's a suggestion based on real life outcomes and the incredible success of peaceful democracy.

Non democratic means have a track record that is spotty in terms of success and that has resulted in large loss of life in many cases.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#116  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Oct 22, 2017 9:38 pm

Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:Wait for an election and vote in a better prime minister.


Do you ever wonder why protest groups defending minority interest ever make a fuss when they could just wait for an election and vote in a leader that will support their interests and oust the oppressing majority's candidate?


Actually, that's exactly how most changes do get made. That's how being gay was decriminalised in most countries, it's how gay marriage has been legalised in dozens of countries, it's how the vast majority of franchise extensions have come to pass.

That's not a fair analogy however as there's little chance of the Catalan people ever convincing a majority of Spanish people to support their independence the way people were presuaded to change their minds on SSM. They're distinctly different issues.

Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:Hang on. There's something wrong with the logic there.


What logic? It was a suggestion not a piece of reasoning. It's a suggestion based on real life outcomes and the incredible success of peaceful democracy.

How many nations achieved their independence peacefully? Especially before WW2?

Thommo wrote:
Non democratic means have a track record that is spotty in terms of success and that has resulted in large loss of life in many cases.

Sure, but that doesn't change the fact that it's highly unlikely for any segment of a larger nation to become independent through democratic means.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#117  Postby GrahamH » Oct 22, 2017 10:06 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Sure, but that doesn't change the fact that it's highly unlikely for any segment of a larger nation to become independent through democratic means.


Isn't the vital thing that the larger nation allows the issue to be decided by the democratically expressed will of the people in the region, which Madrid is not doing?
Why do you think that?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#118  Postby ronmcd » Oct 22, 2017 10:16 pm

Going the legal route in Catalonia, we are told, requires a referendum of all of Spain.

UK exiting the EU under similar rules would have required an EU wide referendum.

I know, I know, member states vs sovereign states, clearly not the same. But still, the comparison does highlight the *fairness* of such a referendum franchise, and the certainty that Madrid will not allow Catalan independence. No matter what.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#119  Postby Thommo » Oct 23, 2017 3:12 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:Wait for an election and vote in a better prime minister.


Do you ever wonder why protest groups defending minority interest ever make a fuss when they could just wait for an election and vote in a leader that will support their interests and oust the oppressing majority's candidate?


Actually, that's exactly how most changes do get made. That's how being gay was decriminalised in most countries, it's how gay marriage has been legalised in dozens of countries, it's how the vast majority of franchise extensions have come to pass.

That's not a fair analogy however as there's little chance of the Catalan people ever convincing a majority of Spanish people to support their independence the way people were presuaded to change their minds on SSM. They're distinctly different issues.


Why?

Although you say this, it is the case that in the majority of developed free democratic countries where issues like this have arisen, that's exactly what has happened. Puerto Rico, Scotland, Quebec, various territories of the Netherlands and so on.

Now, it's possible that the people of Spain are uniquely different, but if you're proposing that then it's something that should be supported with evidence. I, for one, have certainly never been struck when meeting Spanish people that they are uniquely totalitarian and I see absolutely no reason they should be incapable of being persuaded to let Catalonians decide for themselves, over time.*

Nor do I see a reason why the right of Catalonians to hold a referendum is a more pressing violation of rights than disenfranchisement of voters has been, or that criminalisation of gay people was. If those are struggles that could take decades it's rather unclear why this is an issue that must be settled on a much shorter timescale.

Again, if that's something you think I would suggest some reasoning or evidence that would indicate the conclusion would perhaps be appropriate. On the other hand perhaps you agree that it's not so pressing it must be settled right here and now, which would be my view. This isn't oppression of people like that which is happening with women's rights in Saudi Arabia or of an ethnic minority like the Rohynga in Myanmar. This isn't another massacre in the making like Kosovo was.

So what reasoning would lead me to think that all persuasion and diplomacy has failed? Have national or supranational organisations that believe in human rights, like the EU, condemned this oppression?

I'm genuinely not seeing it, so yes, I think it's a fair comparison. At least inasmuch as accepting the original contention that Catalonia should be compared to a human rights struggle, which wasn't mine. If I'd made the comparison I'd have gone directly to other independence movements in free democratic societies, like Canada or the Netherlands.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:Hang on. There's something wrong with the logic there.


What logic? It was a suggestion not a piece of reasoning. It's a suggestion based on real life outcomes and the incredible success of peaceful democracy.

How many nations achieved their independence peacefully? Especially before WW2?


Why especially before WW2? Is it before WW2 now? Or would it not be fairer to say it's after WW2 and rights across the board and in recognition of democratic outcomes in particular are much, much better than they were in the 1930s? Isn't it fairer to suggest that Spain has a new constitution written after WW2 and oversight by membership of a new supranational organisation, the EU, also created after WW2?

Anyway, here's a list:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_referendum

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
Non democratic means have a track record that is spotty in terms of success and that has resulted in large loss of life in many cases.

Sure, but that doesn't change the fact that it's highly unlikely for any segment of a larger nation to become independent through democratic means.


It doesn't change it, I agree. But that's not even a true statement, let alone a fact.

Earlier in the thread I talked about Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Those situations, I agree, resulted in greater stability and recognition of human rights than before the war. Maybe you think that bloodshed worthwhile and that there was no better way, maybe you don't. I'm sure I'm not qualified to claim to know. As I said to Sendraks, I agree the outcome is better than how the situation was before.

So the questions must be: Is this situation actually like those ones? Are comparable violations of human rights taking place? Is there really no question of a lawful movement achieving its objectives? And so on.

* ETA: Incidentally I would say that the Spanish authorities (and the EU as a whole, tangentially) are certainly capable both here, and elsewhere, of acting quite unreasonably - look at the Spanish stance on Gibraltar, for example. However in doing so we can see the limits of that unreasonableness and the possibilities for outcomes when that unreasonableness is managed. It seems to me that even where the wider Spanish public are not happy with an outcome they are as capable as other free peoples of accepting it.

Whilst I would not contend that the outcome in Gibraltar is exactly satisfactory, there has to be a real consideration of what the end game of not respecting the rule of law in Catalonia will be. We should consider what this is going to accomplish, whether it will lead to a more or less satisfactory state of affairs and what the costs of doing so (in comparison with the costs of not acting outside the constitution) will be. Surely it is worth weighing factors like the possibility of departure from the EU for Catalans, economic consequences and the potential for loss of human life in a struggle for power.


ETA2: You may be interested in these statistics from before the referendum in terms of background information:
https://www.economist.com/blogs/economi ... xplains-17
The Catalan government’s own pollster finds that while 70% want a referendum on the territory’s future, only 48% do if Spanish government doesn’t agree—which it emphatically does not. According to the same poll, support for independence is slowly declining, and now stands at 41%. Mr Rajoy is relying on the courts to stop the referendum, arguing that the rule of law is fundamental to democracy. The Constitutional Tribunal has suspended the two laws. The Civil Guard arrested 14 senior people, most of them Catalan officials, involved in organising the referendum, and has seized 9.8m ballot slips. Mr Puigdemont insists that the vote will go ahead. He is relying on popular mobilisation: tens of thousands protested against the arrests in Barcelona. But it is hard to see the vote being anything more than an unofficial consultation, similar to one held in 2014. Most supporters of “No” side won’t vote. If anything like the 2.3m alleged to have voted in 2014 were to turn out, Mr Puigdemont would claim victory.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#120  Postby Thommo » Oct 23, 2017 3:15 am

ronmcd wrote:Going the legal route in Catalonia, we are told, requires a referendum of all of Spain.


Why would you believe that though? Even if it is the case that this is a constitutional position, rather than just an unreasonable one adopted by Rajoy, which is far from clear, there's no suggestion that Spain's constitution cannot be altered through normal democratic means.

I don't think anybody seriously believes there's no legal method possible do they?

ETA: http://idpbarcelona.net/docs/blog/legal ... rendum.pdf may or may not be helpful.
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