'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

#61  Postby GrahamH » Oct 03, 2017 2:20 pm

I guess it depends whether you think the principle of self-determination has merit or not.
Why do you think that?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#62  Postby Thommo » Oct 03, 2017 2:22 pm

Sendraks wrote:This is a conflation of two things.
1. The process for having a referendum, in the sense that anybody is beholden to act on the outcome.

2. The use of force against people participating in a referendum whether it has been agreed to or not.

I think we can agree that the use of force was unwarranted, so I'm not sure there is much mileage in discussing that. The more interesting discussion is on the first point about how the national elected body responds to devolved nations/nationalities/whatever, deciding to hold referendum's it hasn't agreed to and manages the outcome of that.


I think this is broadly correct, although there is a potentially interesting avenue of discussion regarding 2.

We can ask whether the government should have any right to prevent an unauthorised ballot taking place, under what circumstances they have that right, and if/when they do have that right how they should go about it. Police regularly use force in the line of their duties, and whilst "brutal beatings" is not an appropriate use of force, it is at least conceivable that there is such a thing as an appropriate use of police force in this situation.

It doesn't look like it was at all what happened in Catalonia to me, but I'm at least willing to hear the other side of that story.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#63  Postby Thommo » Oct 03, 2017 2:23 pm

GrahamH wrote:I guess it depends whether you think the principle of self-determination has merit or not.


It doesn't seem to. Since, for example, you denied the right of self determination to all sorts of groups whilst (presumably) endorsing that the idea has some merit.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#64  Postby GrahamH » Oct 03, 2017 2:24 pm

Thommo wrote:
I'd say they should resolve it with democratic processes. The problem here being that you're defending a group not doing that. Rather than seeking a democratic mandate to get the appropriate powers and legal backing the Catalan government took the decision on everyone's behalf.[/size]


I'm criticising the group that is denying the other group the use of a democratic process
If the Catalan government had declared independence I would agree with you. But they only sought to ask the people concerned what they thought about the issue, and the people were not allowed to speak, by use of force.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#65  Postby Thommo » Oct 03, 2017 2:33 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:
I'd say they should resolve it with democratic processes. The problem here being that you're defending a group not doing that. Rather than seeking a democratic mandate to get the appropriate powers and legal backing the Catalan government took the decision on everyone's behalf.[/size]


I'm criticising the group that is denying the other group the use of a democratic process


You're criticising one group for doing that, whilst also saying that you would do this for a wide variety of groups.

What you're not doing is explaining the difference between the two diametrically opposed things.

GrahamH wrote:If the Catalan government had declared independence I would agree with you. But they only sought to ask the people concerned what they thought about the issue, and the people were not allowed to speak, by use of force.


It's not that simple. There's a reason that opinion polling put support at 45-50% and yet the ballot was 90% in support and that reason is the lack of legitimacy and lack of the ballot being representative.

This was known in advance, with many parties telling their supporters not to lend legitimacy to the poll that was ruled by the supreme court to be unconstitutional. And yet the Catalan government announced that if the vote was yes, despite this predictable lack of being free and fair, they would declare independence.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#66  Postby GrahamH » Oct 03, 2017 2:34 pm

Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:I guess it depends whether you think the principle of self-determination has merit or not.


It doesn't seem to. Since, for example, you denied the right of self determination to all sorts of groups whilst (presumably) endorsing that the idea has some merit.


We can draw a line between individual and society. Most of your carton examples were intentionally absurd. 'No man is an island', but is it right for Madrid to dictate to the Catalans? Obviously you think it is. If the Scottish people agree with each other that they want to leave the union would you support sending in the troops to prevent them?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#67  Postby Thommo » Oct 03, 2017 2:40 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:I guess it depends whether you think the principle of self-determination has merit or not.


It doesn't seem to. Since, for example, you denied the right of self determination to all sorts of groups whilst (presumably) endorsing that the idea has some merit.


We can draw a line between individual and society. Most of your carton examples were intentionally absurd.


No they weren't. And even if they were, you still denied it to several that concerned regions larger than tens or hundreds of existing countries in the world, which can by no means be considered absurd.

You've still offered no explanation, distinction or justification for that difference by the way.

GrahamH wrote:'No man is an island', but is it right for Madrid to dictate to the Catalans? Obviously you think it is.


Well, I don't. I think you need to stop saying what you think is obvious and explaining why you think things are obvious.

GrahamH wrote:If the Scottish people agree with each other that they want to leave the union would you support sending in the troops to prevent them?


Absolutely. And drop a few nukes on them for good measure. And exile Piers Morgan there as well.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, we need to consider that a ballot that is intentionally unrepresentative and not lawful isn't the same thing as "people agree[ing] with each other that they want to leave the union". That perhaps the Catalan government had other options than having an unconstitutional referendum right here and now and never doing anything at all. Perhaps the Spanish government also had other options and perhaps I already said that I think they should have exercised those as well...
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#68  Postby GrahamH » Oct 03, 2017 2:44 pm

Thommo wrote:
It's not that simple. There's a reason that opinion polling put support at 45-50% and yet the ballot was 90% in support and that reason is the lack of legitimacy and lack of the ballot being representative.


There could be various reasons for that. One of which could be that the government tried to prevent the poll. That would put off a lot of people that don't have strong opinions. It could encourage many voters to vote on principle against such heavy handed tactics. If it happened here I would be inclined to vote against side that was trying to prevent the vote irrespective of my views on the issue.

Thommo wrote:This was known in advance, with many parties telling their supporters not to lend legitimacy to the poll that was ruled by the supreme court to be unconstitutional.


Maybe they should have been encouraging their people to make their views known through the ballot box rather than trying to sabotage the process and stop it by force.

It seems clear that Madrid will go to extremes, including use of force, to prevent Catalonia seceding, no matter what those people might want.
Why do you think that?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#69  Postby GrahamH » Oct 03, 2017 2:48 pm

Thommo wrote:
Or perhaps, just perhaps, we need to consider that a ballot that is intentionally unrepresentative and not lawful isn't the same thing as "people agree[ing] with each that they want to leave the union".


It is a tactic that could work. Undermine the poll in every possible way - tell people not to vote, raid polling stations. DO whatever it takes to make the result unrepresentative so that it can be ignored. That's not really democracy though, is it?

I may have mossed something. Has the Catalan government done something to bias the poll? You have a lot to say about what the Madrid government and political parities and supreme court have done that seems sure to create bias. What have the other side done?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#70  Postby ronmcd » Oct 03, 2017 2:52 pm

GrahamH wrote:So, is there any chance something similar could happen here in the UK? Interest in IndyRef2 is low at the moment, if it revives, if Holyrood votes for it and an obstinate Westminster government tries to deny them could Scotland try to run a referendum and would English Bobbies storm the poling stations with batons drawn?

It seems almost unthinkable, but then what's happening in Spain is barely credible to me.

Pretty much could, pretty much might.

Hint: despite what Ruth Davidson or May or the media have said, the elected Scottish Parliament has *already* voted to hold another referendum. People seem mistakenly to believe that was somehow undone by SNP losing some seats in a different UK wide election ...
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#71  Postby Thommo » Oct 03, 2017 2:53 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:
Or perhaps, just perhaps, we need to consider that a ballot that is intentionally unrepresentative and not lawful isn't the same thing as "people agree[ing] with each that they want to leave the union".


It is a tactic that could work. Undermine the poll in every possible way - tell people not to vote, raid polling stations. DO whatever it takes to make the result unrepresentative so that it can be ignored. That's not really democracy though, is it?


Nor is ignoring the rule of law and constitution.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#72  Postby Thommo » Oct 03, 2017 2:54 pm

Oh god, can we not make this about Scotland please?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#73  Postby ronmcd » Oct 03, 2017 2:59 pm

A Spanish minister was on Newsnight last night, and said if there was to be a referendum it had to be the whole of Spain.

So perhaps, just perhaps, those who want independence in Catalonia might not agree there is any obvious way to hold a "legal" referendum with the agreement of the Madrid government. Without it being a fix.

Like voting to leave EU, and finding EU won't allow it without it being EU wide.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#74  Postby ronmcd » Oct 03, 2017 3:00 pm

Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:
Or perhaps, just perhaps, we need to consider that a ballot that is intentionally unrepresentative and not lawful isn't the same thing as "people agree[ing] with each that they want to leave the union".


It is a tactic that could work. Undermine the poll in every possible way - tell people not to vote, raid polling stations. DO whatever it takes to make the result unrepresentative so that it can be ignored. That's not really democracy though, is it?


Nor is ignoring the rule of law and constitution.

Hypothetically, what would Alex Salmond's options have been had UK refused to allow a referendum?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#75  Postby Thommo » Oct 03, 2017 3:13 pm

ronmcd wrote:
Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:
Or perhaps, just perhaps, we need to consider that a ballot that is intentionally unrepresentative and not lawful isn't the same thing as "people agree[ing] with each that they want to leave the union".


It is a tactic that could work. Undermine the poll in every possible way - tell people not to vote, raid polling stations. DO whatever it takes to make the result unrepresentative so that it can be ignored. That's not really democracy though, is it?


Nor is ignoring the rule of law and constitution.

Hypothetically, what would Alex Salmond's options have been had UK refused to allow a referendum?


To seek to persuade parliament to change its mind on the issue, grant additional devolved powers or reach a compromise by lobbying, debate, organising protests and boycotts, writing letters, making the views of constituents know and so forth, the same as any other democratic issue.

You might find that process takes years and some people might find that difficult or impossible to swallow, but it's a real option that doesn't involve taking the law into ones own hands.

We are fortunate enough to live in a highly politically stable time and place, but woe betide us if we take that stability for granted and undermine what it's based on.

On that front I will say what I've said many times in the past. Accepting the SNP landslide as grounds to grant the Scottish referendum was one of the few things Cameron got right and this is something Rajoy has got badly, badly wrong both in terms of turning Catalan opinion and in its tragic slide into the violent mess we have now. But this does not mean that the moment some people in Scotland see a new opening they are automatically entitled to a new referendum at that instant. Waiting a couple of years so as not to undermine the rest of a union they very recently voted to be a part of is not inherently undemocratic. Never getting to revisit the issue would be. But the gap between "right now" and "never" is large indeed - and "one generation later" falls neatly into that gap, for that matter.

And that's the last I'm prepared to say about Scotland here, because we just don't need to drag it in to every slightly related topic. If we want to discuss referenda we don't need an analogy, because we can discuss the one we are already discussing.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#76  Postby Tracer Tong » Oct 03, 2017 3:17 pm

I expect that, whatever he chose to do, it wouldn't have been to steam ahead with a referendum anyway.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#77  Postby GrahamH » Oct 03, 2017 3:43 pm

Thommo wrote:
ronmcd wrote:
Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:

It is a tactic that could work. Undermine the poll in every possible way - tell people not to vote, raid polling stations. DO whatever it takes to make the result unrepresentative so that it can be ignored. That's not really democracy though, is it?


Nor is ignoring the rule of law and constitution.

Hypothetically, what would Alex Salmond's options have been had UK refused to allow a referendum?


To seek to persuade parliament to change its mind on the issue, grant additional devolved powers or reach a compromise by lobbying, debate, organising protests and boycotts, writing letters, making the views of constituents know and so forth, the same as any other democratic issue.
anything but asking the Scottish people then? That just can't be allowed? We got away with it once because we thought we would win easily, but never again! Not now we know how close it can be.

You are denying the Scots their sovereignty. They can only leave if England allows them to?
Why do you think that?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#78  Postby Thommo » Oct 03, 2017 4:02 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:
ronmcd wrote:
Thommo wrote:

Nor is ignoring the rule of law and constitution.

Hypothetically, what would Alex Salmond's options have been had UK refused to allow a referendum?


To seek to persuade parliament to change its mind on the issue, grant additional devolved powers or reach a compromise by lobbying, debate, organising protests and boycotts, writing letters, making the views of constituents know and so forth, the same as any other democratic issue.
anything but asking the Scottish people then? That just can't be allowed? We got away with it once because we thought we would win easily, but never again! Not now we know how close it can be.

You are denying the Scots their sovereignty. They can only leave if England allows them to?


I'm tired of this deliberate misrepresentation Graham. The post you're quoting contains your answer, just read it all the way to the end.

The sad thing is that you've actually said you would deny such a vote to all sorts of groups, just a few posts ago and in no uncertain terms, so it's not like you're even making a principled stand here, just a pointless jab.

And I already said I'm not discussing Scotland here.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#79  Postby GrahamH » Oct 03, 2017 4:17 pm

Thommo wrote:
The sad thing is that you've actually said you would deny such a vote to all sorts of groups, just a few posts ago and in no uncertain terms, so it's not like you're even making a principled stand here, just a pointless jab.


Nonsense! There's nothing 'sad' about what I posted. Do you want principles to be completely universal from continents down to individuals? That' would be utterly ridiculous.
Autonomous regions with their own parliaments are clearly different to county councils, parish councils businesses or individuals. It's absurd to argue that self determination cannot apply to autonomous regions unless it applies to individuals or 'Oxfordshire'.
In any case individuals should be free to move, which a region cannot do.
I think yours was the 'pointless jab'.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#80  Postby Thommo » Oct 03, 2017 4:47 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:and therefore mandates the Scottish Government to take forward discussions with the UK Government on the details of an order under section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 to ensure that the Scottish Parliament can legislate for a referendum to be held


I take that to mean they will go through the cooperative process but seek to ensure an referendum can be held.

It doesn't seem like a meek 'we'll have a referendum if Westminster will let us'.


Yeah, alright whatever. It's not like I care.

I'll concede the point. Clearly there will be a referendum in autumn 2018. There's absolutely no way anyone could think otherwise.


Isn't that a double standard? If Madrid can deny permission then stop a Catalan referendum why would it not be right, and why would it not happen, that Westminster might deny and permission and stop a Scottish referendum? Perhaps you think it would be right but couldn't happen here?


You posted that to the wrong thread, and all I can say in response is "what?" :what:

If the UK and Spain had different laws, no that would not be a double standard. If Madrid has some legal power that does not mean I think it is right that they have that power. Nor does it mean that I think that it is right that such power is exercised under any and all circumstances. Furthermore the reason I think Westminster didn't deny Scotland an independence referendum is that there's all sorts of evidence that that's not what happened, from my own memories, to extensive discussion of the matter on ratskep to all sorts of documents relating to it.

I can see literally no way to interpret anything I've said or anything anyone has said to mean any such thing. But there, now it's clarified.
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