'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

#121  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Oct 23, 2017 8:39 am

Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:

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?

Because marriage and independence are two different types of issues.
The former doesn't care for regional borders, the latter does.

Thommo wrote:
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.

And for many of those examples you can find counter examples: Indonesia, the US, Algeria, Israel/Palestine, Belgium.

Thommo wrote:
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.*

I never said they were incapable, just that they have no reason to do so and several reasons not to do so.

Thommo wrote:
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.

What's that got to do with the price of fish?
I never made any claims or arguments about violation of rights.
All I did is point out that the issue of SSM is not about a specific region of Spain vs the rest, whereas the Catalan independence issue is.


Thommo wrote: 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.

I am not saying it has to.
I am saying that telling Catalan people to ask the rest of Spain for permission to secede would be like the EU asking GB to ask it's permission to leave.
I am not making any claims as to the validity of Catalan indepedence or how or how fast it should happen.
All I am saying is that your points are unlikely to convince pro-independence people in Catalonia.

Thommo wrote:
Again, if that's something you think I would suggest some reasoning or evidence that would indicate the conclusion would perhaps be appropriate.

That's not what I think.
I think you know me well enought that I would explicitely make such a claim if I did.



Thommo wrote: 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.

Agreed.

Thommo wrote: 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.

Of course not. But something else being worse doesn't make 'your' problem not a problem.

Thommo wrote: This isn't another massacre in the making like Kosovo was.

Again, since I have not remotely intimated anything of the sort and I know you to be reasonable person, I don't know why you bring this up?

Thommo wrote:
So what reasoning would lead me to think that all persuasion and diplomacy has failed?

I don't know. Is that your position? It certainly isn't mine.

Thommo wrote:
If I'd made the comparison I'd have gone directly to other independence movements in free democratic societies, like Canada or the Netherlands.

Which movements specifically are you talking about?

Thommo wrote:
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?

Because it's only been in the past 60 years that peaceful indepedence was the rule rather than the exception.
My point being that the notion of democratically becoming indepedence hasn't been succesful until recently.

Thommo wrote:
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.

I would appreciate it if you just leave such insinuations, intentional or otherwise, out of your posts.


Thommo wrote: 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.

No, the question was whether a democratic move for indepedence by a minority part of a country has a chance of succeeding.

Thommo wrote:
* 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.

Of course. Again, I was merely pointing out that, from the Catalan perspective, your point/arguments will probably ring hollow.
Not saying you're wrong.

Thommo wrote:
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.

I am well aware of the issues of the representativity of the referendum, especially since many opponents of indepedence decided not to vote out of protest.
Again, I am not saying I agree with how everythings went and going right now. My point was merely that your arguments and points, true as they might be, won't be convincing to pro-indepedence Catallans.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#122  Postby ronmcd » Oct 23, 2017 9:02 am

Thommo wrote:
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.

Because that's what the minister said on Marr. He said it before, I remember.

Thommo wrote: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.


Of course there could be a legal method, as any law or constitution can be changed. But that's not what Spain currently wants, is it?

It
cannot be ruled out that a legislative initiative of the same or similar characteristics
could be approved by the Catalan Parliament in the next legislature. This is not the
context to examine the constitutional framework for such popular consultations.
Evidently, in any case its value as an expression of the democratic will of the people
would be less than that of a referendum. For this reason this type of popular
consultation should only be utilized if it is not possible to hold a referendum because the
central Government's refuses to convene or authorize an official referendum.
Of course
in this situation, it is likely that the Spanish Government would have already challenged
the Catalan law on referenda before the Constitutional Court and the Court would have
dictated the subsequent suspension of its application. In this case, the Generalitat would
be unable to act within the framework of the law.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#123  Postby Thommo » Oct 23, 2017 11:11 am

ronmcd wrote:
Thommo wrote:
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.

Because that's what the minister said on Marr. He said it before, I remember.


Yes, but I assume Spanish politicians are like politicians everywhere. I'm not sure I take their statements as 100% factual all the time, is what I'm hinting at.

ronmcd wrote:Of course there could be a legal method, as any law or constitution can be changed. But that's not what Spain currently wants, is it?


That's right. It might take some work to change their minds.

I'm not sure that circumventing that work (and indeed the work of finding out whether Catalonians want independence) with a UDI is a good idea though.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#124  Postby ronmcd » Oct 23, 2017 11:26 am

I've never advocated or been a fan of UDI, to be honest. I just think we are looking at a situation where Spain will not under any circumstance allow independence for Catalonia, and that means not allowing a way for public opinion to be tested.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#125  Postby Thommo » Oct 23, 2017 11:51 am

I have done my best to formulate a comprehensible reply, but this Fisking does not make it easy. A number of sentences in my post have been replied to as if they were free from context and I don't think that helps anyone.

-----

Thomas Eshuis wrote:Because marriage and independence are two different types of issues.
The former doesn't care for regional borders, the latter does.


Yes it does. Marriages are only legal within a jurisdiction or where a jurisdiction agrees to recognise marriages from other jurisdictions. That's actually very relevant to gay marriage - I wouldn't rely on the Saudis to uphold the rights of a married gay man or woman.

I'm not sure why you think that relates though.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
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.

And for many of those examples you can find counter examples: Indonesia, the US, Algeria, Israel/Palestine, Belgium.


Those aren't counterexamples. A counterexample is where someone makes a universal claim, e.g. "All swans are white" and then you find an example that doesn't meet the criteria "a black swan".

So what I provided to you was a counterexample (you said that there was little chance it would ever happen and in fact it's happened a lot). What you say to me isn't a counterexample because I did not say it had happened in every case. The important point is that this is a realistic option and it has happened many times. People and governments can be persuaded. This can mean legal referenda get held on secession and some of those can pass. The former being the important point as we don't actually know how Catalonians would vote, something which seems to have been frequently overlooked in this thread.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:I never said they were incapable, just that they have no reason to do so and several reasons not to do so.


You said there was little chance of it ever happening and that it wasn't a fair comparison. I asked you for supporting reasons for that conclusion.

Those reasons, I think would be more helpful than restatement.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
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.

What's that got to do with the price of fish?


It's directly relevant to the post you answered, which was my response to a comparison Graham made between Catalonian independence, minority rights and oppression.

You volunteered an opinion on this point, that's what its relevance is.

The point I was making to Graham and expanded on there is that how tolerable a situation is, and therefore how long it is reasonable to respond with lawful and democratic measures for, is very germane to whether an instant unlawful referendum or UDI is a proportionate response.

If Catalonians were being enslaved, violated and killed it would of course be a matter of vastly more urgency. If Catalonians were having their rights trampled and treated like second class citizens (which is where the examples of women's rights, franchise and gay rights have some relevance) then it would be a matter of more urgency.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote: 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.

I am not saying it has to.
I am saying that telling Catalan people to ask the rest of Spain for permission to secede would be like the EU asking GB to ask it's permission to leave.


Well, not really, because the law and constitutional position is entirely different. Britain is a sovereign nation, Catalonia isn't (and if it was the whole question of a referendum to establish such sovereignty would be a total nonsense). It is a matter of agreement in international law, recognised by the UK as well as EU that sovereign countries can pull out of treaty agreements.

There's also a second point that the EU was faced with exactly such a dilemma - TEU did not make provision for the departure of an EU member state which would have caused significant problems in the event a country looked likely to do so. It then came to pass that such a situation arose in a member state - Greece. The EU responded bloody quick sharp by creating just such a permission by introducing article 50 TEU.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:All I am saying is that your points are unlikely to convince pro-independence people in Catalonia.


Eh? Convince them of what? That the referendum was not representative? That it wasn't legal?

Those things are a matter of fact, if these hypothetical people are unconvinced, then they are morons.

If you mean convince them that they should use legal and democratic means, then I disagree. I think most of them are already convinced they should and are behaving in a perfectly reasonable manner, by engaging in legal protest and political activism (or just staying home). I already linked you an article which showed that less than half of Catalans think a referendum without Spanish government ratification was a good idea, so it can hardly come as a surprise to you now that I think a number of Catalans think persuading the government is a good idea.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote: This isn't another massacre in the making like Kosovo was.

Again, since I have not remotely intimated anything of the sort and I know you to be reasonable person, I don't know why you bring this up?


That, and the other examples were of urgent situations. This is why I suggest not taking everything line by line, in it's original context I think it's quite clear that this follows on from the previous sentences and is an expansion on that point of the difference between independence stemming from a situation that had to be responded to immediately and at a high cost to prevent something worse.

So although we are talking about two different secessions, we can see that different mechanisms might be desireable due to different circumstances.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
So what reasoning would lead me to think that all persuasion and diplomacy has failed?

I don't know. Is that your position? It certainly isn't mine.


You opened that post by telling me there was little chance of persuasion ever working on the Spanish people. If you are now saying that persuasion might well work, then we agree, since that's exactly what I said to Graham and exactly what I'm saying now.

There is and was an alternative open in Catalonia to try and win the debate and political argument and hold a constitutionally valid referendum instead of resorting to the referendum that was held and escalating the situation with a UDI.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
If I'd made the comparison I'd have gone directly to other independence movements in free democratic societies, like Canada or the Netherlands.

Which movements specifically are you talking about?


Quebec and the Dutch territories that held referenda between 2000 and 2005, for example.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:

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?

Because it's only been in the past 60 years that peaceful indepedence was the rule rather than the exception.
My point being that the notion of democratically becoming indepedence hasn't been succesful until recently.


That point isn't relevant then. By definition a referendum happening in Catalonia in 2017 is happening in the post WW2 period when there are many examples of the success you're referring to here.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
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.

I would appreciate it if you just leave such insinuations, intentional or otherwise, out of your posts.


I don't think you should take offence at that. Lots of people think bloodshed is justified in many situations. It cost lives to fight the Nazis, but many people are proud of the defiance. It cost lives in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia to overthrow dictators, but many people in the successor countries feel that it was worth it, for the freedoms they now enjoy, and for the lives that may have been saved.

As I said there, I have no idea whether you agree with them, disagree with them or have no strong conviction on the matter, but I hardly think the bare fact of any such stance would be derogatory anyway.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote: 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.

No, the question was whether a democratic move for indepedence by a minority part of a country has a chance of succeeding.


That's not the question at all. We know for a fact that such moves have a chance of success because we've already had linked and discussed such successful examples. This point isn't in contention.

It does remain however that when looking at the factors that have justified more extreme measures (up to and including loss of human life) in other independence situations one has to examine whether those factors apply to the present situation. If the situation in Catalonia isn't pressing enough to justify actions that will result in violence or loss of human life and limb then it would make sense to consider and urge options that are not likely to result in violence or loss of human life. De-escalation and participation in the existing democratic mechanisms would seem a good course - which is exactly what I said to Graham at the point you replied to me, telling me it was an unfair comparison and had almost no chance of success.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:Of course. Again, I was merely pointing out that, from the Catalan perspective, your point/arguments will probably ring hollow.
Not saying you're wrong.


I think the majority of Catalans agree with me actually, so I can hardly see how you're qualified to make that call on their behalf.

Only a minority participated in the nixed referendum and only a tiny minority have engaged in behaviour outside the law. That compares to a large number who are making their views known with an intent towards changing minds.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:Again, I am not saying I agree with how everythings went and going right now. My point was merely that your arguments and points, true as they might be, won't be convincing to pro-indepedence Catallans.


You keep saying this as though I'm trying to tell Catalans not to be independent, albeit the referent of "arguments and points... won't be convincing" is somewhat opaque. I have said no such thing for the simple reason I hold no such view.

ETA: Picking myself up I think I've referred to Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia when I'm actually think of events only in Yugoslavia. Czechoslovakia is an interesting point of comparison too, but events there followed a different course.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#126  Postby Thommo » Oct 23, 2017 12:03 pm

ronmcd wrote:I've never advocated or been a fan of UDI, to be honest. I just think we are looking at a situation where Spain will not under any circumstance allow independence for Catalonia, and that means not allowing a way for public opinion to be tested.


Under Rajoy? I think you're right.

But Rajoy won't be prime minister forever, and I'm suggesting that there's nothing about this situation that is so egregious, so unjust that it's not at least worth considering that a time consuming process of changing minds (and if necessary the constitution) could be attempted.

Nothing I know about this situation screams "now or never" at me.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#127  Postby ronmcd » Oct 23, 2017 12:57 pm

I'd imagine 'now or never' would be critical from the perspective of some in Barcelona who wanted to vote, but were prevented physically by an outside police force, who then found their elected government removed. Kicking the issue into the long grass is no doubt part of the plan in Madrid, and one of the greatest fears in Barcelona.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#128  Postby Tracer Tong » Oct 23, 2017 1:16 pm

ronmcd wrote:I've never advocated or been a fan of UDI, to be honest. I just think we are looking at a situation where Spain will not under any circumstance allow independence for Catalonia, and that means not allowing a way for public opinion to be tested.


Not allowing independence for Catalonia, or any autonomous region, reflects a fundamental basis of the Spanish constitution.

The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards; it recognises and guarantees the right to selfgovernment of the nationalities and regions of which it is composed and the solidarity among them all.

This being the constitution which established Spain as a democratic state under the rule of law, after decades of dictatorship, recall. Incidentally, this is why Puigdemont’s ignoring the Constitutional Court makes hardline measures so easy for Rajoy to sell to the rest of the country.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#129  Postby Thommo » Oct 23, 2017 1:22 pm

That is a fascinating use of the word critical. I can't help but wonder exactly what the negative consequences that are of utmost importance of not leaving Spain immediately would be.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#130  Postby GrahamH » Oct 23, 2017 3:07 pm

Thommo wrote:That is a fascinating use of the word critical. I can't help but wonder exactly what the negative consequences that are of utmost importance of not leaving Spain immediately would be.


Maybe a synonym would help:


Critical

7.
of decisive importance with respect to the outcome; crucial:

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/critical
Why do you think that?
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#131  Postby ronmcd » Oct 23, 2017 3:17 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:
ronmcd wrote:I've never advocated or been a fan of UDI, to be honest. I just think we are looking at a situation where Spain will not under any circumstance allow independence for Catalonia, and that means not allowing a way for public opinion to be tested.


Not allowing independence for Catalonia, or any autonomous region, reflects a fundamental basis of the Spanish constitution.

The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards; it recognises and guarantees the right to selfgovernment of the nationalities and regions of which it is composed and the solidarity among them all.

This being the constitution which established Spain as a democratic state under the rule of law, after decades of dictatorship, recall. Incidentally, this is why Puigdemont’s ignoring the Constitutional Court makes hardline measures so easy for Rajoy to sell to the rest of the country.

As often happens, we are coming at the same facts from different perspectives. Yes, the constitution from 1978 which followed Franco reinstating the monarchy and setting the move to democracy in place. It appears to have followed in his political image. One of the tenets being keeping Spain together no matter what. The right to self government in this case means autonomy within Spain, not the autonomy to choose independence.

You seem to be raising the possibility the constitution guarantees the democratic right of the people of Catalonia to choose their future, I'm of the opinion the constitution is designed to do the opposite.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#132  Postby ronmcd » Oct 23, 2017 3:31 pm

Thommo wrote:That is a fascinating use of the word critical. I can't help but wonder exactly what the negative consequences that are of utmost importance of not leaving Spain immediately would be.

Momentum, and political opportunity.

Salmond won the 2011 Holyrood election, and had to go for a Scottish Independence referendum. It wasn't 'critical' in the sense you suggest either, it wasn't life or death, but it was politically critical. The opportunity would likely never come again.

Those in charge in Catalonia know anything can happen in the future, they will not want it pushed far into the future by the Madrid government. A government which has if anything helped the Catalan cause by it's actions since the referendum was announced.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#133  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Oct 23, 2017 3:45 pm

Thommo wrote:I have done my best to formulate a comprehensible reply, but this Fisking does not make it easy. A number of sentences in my post have been replied to as if they were free from context and I don't think that helps anyone.

My apologies, that was not my intention.
-----

Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:Because marriage and independence are two different types of issues.
The former doesn't care for regional borders, the latter does.


Yes it does. Marriages are only legal within a jurisdiction or where a jurisdiction agrees to recognise marriages from other jurisdictions. That's actually very relevant to gay marriage - I wouldn't rely on the Saudis to uphold the rights of a married gay man or woman.

I'm not sure why you think that relates though.

You're missing the point. Gay marriage is a national issue,there isn't one specific region in Spain that was against or for SSM.
There is however one specific region that wants to be independent (supposedly), while the rest of the country has little to no reason to acquiesce with that desire.

Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
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.

And for many of those examples you can find counter examples: Indonesia, the US, Algeria, Israel/Palestine, Belgium.


Those aren't counterexamples. A counterexample is where someone makes a universal claim, e.g. "All swans are white" and then you find an example that doesn't meet the criteria "a black swan".

So what I provided to you was a counterexample (you said that there was little chance it would ever happen and in fact it's happened a lot).

Little chance is not the same as a universal claim that it would never happen.
So in fact, you've provided counterexamples to a position I did not take.
I gave you examples of countries that did not manage to achieve indepedence through democratic means, because the current/higher government wouldn't allow them to.


Thommo wrote: What you say to me isn't a counterexample because I did not say it had happened in every case.

And since I did not say it never happens, your examples aren't counters to my position either.


Thommo wrote: The important point is that this is a realistic option and it has happened many times.

I disagree. What reaons would the rest of Spain have to allow one of it's regions to become independent?
And as my examples show, there are plenty of cases where the democratic option did not work.

Thommo wrote: People and governments can be persuaded.

Again, what would persuade a Madrilenian or Cordoban to support the independence of Catalonia?
More importantly, and I emphasise again that I'm playing devil's advocate, why shouild people not living in Catalonia get a say on their indepedance?


Thommo wrote: This can mean legal referenda get held on secession and some of those can pass. The former being the important point as we don't actually know how Catalonians would vote, something which seems to have been frequently overlooked in this thread.

I've already acknowledged that. I'm merely pointing out that to a pro-indepedence Catalonians won't find your points convincing enough to seek a democratic way to secede.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:I never said they were incapable, just that they have no reason to do so and several reasons not to do so.



Thommo wrote:
You said there was little chance of it ever happening and that it wasn't a fair comparison.

Two seperate issues/points and I said I *think* it's unlikely to happen. I never claimed it as a demonstrable fact.
I freely admit that my position is based on ignorance and incredulity and could very well be wrong, but I repeat, what convicing reason could someone living in Cordoba have to vote for Catalonian independence?

Thommo wrote:
I asked you for supporting reasons for that conclusion.

You seemed to have missed my point about what specifically isn't accurate about your comparison, I've re-explained it in this post. I hope it's clarified now, if not feel free to critique.

Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
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.

What's that got to do with the price of fish?


It's directly relevant to the post you answered, which was my response to a comparison Graham made between Catalonian independence, minority rights and oppression.

You volunteered an opinion on this point, that's what its relevance is.

No, I volunteerd an opinion on the likeliness of a democratic Spanish referendum granting Catalan independence and how the arguments in your quotes likely would not convince pro-independence.

Thommo wrote:
The point I was making to Graham and expanded on there is that how tolerable a situation is, and therefore how long it is reasonable to respond with lawful and democratic measures for, is very germane to whether an instant unlawful referendum or UDI is a proportionate response.

I've no objection to that, that's between you and Graham.

Thommo wrote:
If Catalonians were being enslaved, violated and killed it would of course be a matter of vastly more urgency. If Catalonians were having their rights trampled and treated like second class citizens (which is where the examples of women's rights, franchise and gay rights have some relevance) then it would be a matter of more urgency.

I already agreed in my previous post that not all human rights violations are equal and that the Catalan situation is not as severe as, for example, the Rohinya situation.


Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote: 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.

I am not saying it has to.
I am saying that telling Catalan people to ask the rest of Spain for permission to secede would be like the EU asking GB to ask it's permission to leave.


Well, not really, because the law and constitutional position is entirely different.

Yes really. Both form a part of a larger governing body, both want to secede. Only in the case of the Catalonians people outside their region get to not only weigh in but overrule their vote, whereas in the case of the UK, only the votes of it's citizens are relevant and rightly so.

Thommo wrote:
There's also a second point that the EU was faced with exactly such a dilemma - TEU did not make provision for the departure of an EU member state which would have caused significant problems in the event a country looked likely to do so. It then came to pass that such a situation arose in a member state - Greece. The EU responded bloody quick sharp by creating just such a permission by introducing article 50 TEU.

That's all true, but my analogy is about people outside your region having a stronger say on your indepedence than your own people do.

Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:All I am saying is that your points are unlikely to convince pro-independence people in Catalonia.


Eh? Convince them of what? That the referendum was not representative? That it wasn't legal?

I've clearly expressed what, several times, so I'll asume you missed it.
It won't convince them that a (Spanish) national democratic referendum is the best way to go. Or any other democratic option that relies on the entire Spanish population.

Thommo wrote: Those things are a matter of fact, if these hypothetical people are unconvinced, then they are morons.

Not my point, see above.

Thommo wrote:
If you mean convince them that they should use legal and democratic means, then I disagree.

Yes, that's what I repeatedly stated.

Thommo wrote: I think most of them are already convinced they should and are behaving in a perfectly reasonable manner, by engaging in legal protest and political activism (or just staying home).

Depends on your definition of legal. Many of them participated in an illegal referendum after all.

Thommo wrote: I already linked you an article which showed that less than half of Catalans think a referendum without Spanish government ratification was a good idea, so it can hardly come as a surprise to you now that I think a number of Catalans think persuading the government is a good idea.

And I do not dispute that, but I think there's also a sizeable number of them that wouldn't.

Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote: This isn't another massacre in the making like Kosovo was.

Again, since I have not remotely intimated anything of the sort and I know you to be reasonable person, I don't know why you bring this up?


That, and the other examples were of urgent situations. This is why I suggest not taking everything line by line, in it's original context I think it's quite clear that this follows on from the previous sentences and is an expansion on that point of the difference between independence stemming from a situation that had to be responded to immediately and at a high cost to prevent something worse.

So although we are talking about two different secessions, we can see that different mechanisms might be desireable due to different circumstances.

I've already agreed with that point.

Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
So what reasoning would lead me to think that all persuasion and diplomacy has failed?

I don't know. Is that your position? It certainly isn't mine.


You opened that post by telling me there was little chance of persuasion ever working on the Spanish people.

Incorrect. I opened my post by telling you that I *think* your arguments won't persuade pro-independence *Catalonians*.
Now your sources show that some of them would, so I acknowledge that.

Thommo wrote:
There is and was an alternative open in Catalonia to try and win the debate and political argument and hold a constitutionally valid referendum instead of resorting to the referendum that was held and escalating the situation with a UDI.

That option certainly exists, but why would Spain honour such a referendum, should it come out in favor of independence?
Or are you talking about a national Spanish referendum?

Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
If I'd made the comparison I'd have gone directly to other independence movements in free democratic societies, like Canada or the Netherlands.

Which movements specifically are you talking about?


Quebec and the Dutch territories that held referenda between 2000 and 2005, for example.

I think I am missing your point here. I don't remember any Dutch referenda about the independence of one our provinces or regions. What exactly is your point with regards to referenda movements?
If it is to give examples of succesful referenda, I already agreed that such exist.

Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
How many nations achieved their independence peacefully? Especially before WW2?


Why especially before WW2?

Because it's only been in the past 60 years that peaceful indepedence was the rule rather than the exception.
My point being that the notion of democratically becoming indepedence hasn't been succesful until recently.


That point isn't relevant then. By definition a referendum happening in Catalonia in 2017 is happening in the post WW2 period when there are many examples of the success you're referring to here.

Fair enough.


Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote:
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.


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.

I would appreciate it if you just leave such insinuations, intentional or otherwise, out of your posts.


I don't think you should take offence at that.

I am not talking offence, I am objecting to incorrect insinuations/assumptions about my position.

Thommo wrote: Lots of people think bloodshed is justified in many situations.

Why, when I just pointed out that this is an insinuation I do not recognise, do you then repeat it?
I am not one of those people Thommo.

Thommo wrote: It cost lives to fight the Nazis, but many people are proud of the defiance. It cost lives in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia to overthrow dictators, but many people in the successor countries feel that it was worth it, for the freedoms they now enjoy, and for the lives that may have been saved.

As I said there, I have no idea whether you agree with them, disagree with them or have no strong conviction on the matter, but I hardly think the bare fact of any such stance would be derogatory anyway.

I don't appreciate people attributing things to me that I have not expressed, especially not when they're incorrect. Regardless of whether such things are derogatory or not.


Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Thommo wrote: 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.

No, the question was whether a democratic move for indepedence by a minority part of a country has a chance of succeeding.


That's not the question at all.

It was my question.

Thommo wrote:
It does remain however that when looking at the factors that have justified more extreme measures (up to and including loss of human life) in other independence situations one has to examine whether those factors apply to the present situation. If the situation in Catalonia isn't pressing enough to justify actions that will result in violence or loss of human life and limb then it would make sense to consider and urge options that are not likely to result in violence or loss of human life. De-escalation and participation in the existing democratic mechanisms would seem a good course - which is exactly what I said to Graham at the point you replied to me, telling me it was an unfair comparison and had almost no chance of success.

Again, the comparison was to SSM referenda, which I objected to, not the use or non-use of violent measures.
Again, I said I *thought* it was unlikely and have since acknowledged that my position is lacking in evidence.


Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:Of course. Again, I was merely pointing out that, from the Catalan perspective, your point/arguments will probably ring hollow.
Not saying you're wrong.


I think the majority of Catalans agree with me actually, so I can hardly see how you're qualified to make that call on their behalf.

Hence my using the past tense.


Thommo wrote:
Only a minority participated in the nixed referendum and only a tiny minority have engaged in behaviour outside the law. That compares to a large number who are making their views known with an intent towards changing minds.

Again, I already acknoweldged that.

Thommo wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:Again, I am not saying I agree with how everythings went and going right now. My point was merely that your arguments and points, true as they might be, won't be convincing to pro-indepedence Catallans.


You keep saying this as though I'm trying to tell Catalans not to be independent, albeit the referent of "arguments and points... won't be convincing" is somewhat opaque. I have said no such thing for the simple reason I hold no such view.

That is not my intention.
"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

#134  Postby Tracer Tong » Oct 23, 2017 3:53 pm

ronmcd wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
ronmcd wrote:I've never advocated or been a fan of UDI, to be honest. I just think we are looking at a situation where Spain will not under any circumstance allow independence for Catalonia, and that means not allowing a way for public opinion to be tested.


Not allowing independence for Catalonia, or any autonomous region, reflects a fundamental basis of the Spanish constitution.

The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards; it recognises and guarantees the right to selfgovernment of the nationalities and regions of which it is composed and the solidarity among them all.

This being the constitution which established Spain as a democratic state under the rule of law, after decades of dictatorship, recall. Incidentally, this is why Puigdemont’s ignoring the Constitutional Court makes hardline measures so easy for Rajoy to sell to the rest of the country.

As often happens, we are coming at the same facts from different perspectives. Yes, the constitution from 1978 which followed Franco reinstating the monarchy and setting the move to democracy in place. It appears to have followed in his political image. One of the tenets being keeping Spain together no matter what. The right to self government in this case means autonomy within Spain, not the autonomy to choose independence.

You seem to be raising the possibility the constitution guarantees the democratic right of the people of Catalonia to choose their future, I'm of the opinion the constitution is designed to do the opposite.


Nah: it guarantees no such right, and actually the opposite, and I'd agree that was deliberate. But the notion of a unified Spain predates Franco; the constitution isn't so much preserving a latent Francoism, as reasserting a longstanding ideal. In fact, the guarantee of autonomy (which goes hand-in-hand with the "indissoluble unity") is defiantly anti-Franco: he had violently crushed all forms of devolution, and tried to homogenise the entire country along Castilian lines.

That aside, one could argue that, despite the constitution ensuring they have no legal right to do so, Catalans have some moral right to determine whether they should be independent (rather than merely autonomous). But I'm really not sure they do, or how one could even work out an answer to that question.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#135  Postby Thommo » Oct 23, 2017 6:49 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:That is a fascinating use of the word critical. I can't help but wonder exactly what the negative consequences that are of utmost importance of not leaving Spain immediately would be.


Maybe a synonym would help:


Critical

7.
of decisive importance with respect to the outcome; crucial:

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/critical


Ok, yes, that's a meaning of critical.

So the question then is whether holding the referendum immediately and outside the constitution has decided the independence question with certainty that would not exist had they acted otherwise.

And it seems the answer is no, hence my comment.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#136  Postby ronmcd » Oct 23, 2017 8:49 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:
ronmcd wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
ronmcd wrote:I've never advocated or been a fan of UDI, to be honest. I just think we are looking at a situation where Spain will not under any circumstance allow independence for Catalonia, and that means not allowing a way for public opinion to be tested.


Not allowing independence for Catalonia, or any autonomous region, reflects a fundamental basis of the Spanish constitution.

The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards; it recognises and guarantees the right to selfgovernment of the nationalities and regions of which it is composed and the solidarity among them all.

This being the constitution which established Spain as a democratic state under the rule of law, after decades of dictatorship, recall. Incidentally, this is why Puigdemont’s ignoring the Constitutional Court makes hardline measures so easy for Rajoy to sell to the rest of the country.

As often happens, we are coming at the same facts from different perspectives. Yes, the constitution from 1978 which followed Franco reinstating the monarchy and setting the move to democracy in place. It appears to have followed in his political image. One of the tenets being keeping Spain together no matter what. The right to self government in this case means autonomy within Spain, not the autonomy to choose independence.

You seem to be raising the possibility the constitution guarantees the democratic right of the people of Catalonia to choose their future, I'm of the opinion the constitution is designed to do the opposite.


Nah: it guarantees no such right, and actually the opposite, and I'd agree that was deliberate. But the notion of a unified Spain predates Franco; the constitution isn't so much preserving a latent Francoism, as reasserting a longstanding ideal. In fact, the guarantee of autonomy (which goes hand-in-hand with the "indissoluble unity") is defiantly anti-Franco: he had violently crushed all forms of devolution, and tried to homogenise the entire country along Castilian lines.

That aside, one could argue that, despite the constitution ensuring they have no legal right to do so, Catalans have some moral right to determine whether they should be independent (rather than merely autonomous). But I'm really not sure they do, or how one could even work out an answer to that question.

Can't disagree with anything there.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#137  Postby ronmcd » Oct 23, 2017 8:53 pm

Thommo wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
Thommo wrote:That is a fascinating use of the word critical. I can't help but wonder exactly what the negative consequences that are of utmost importance of not leaving Spain immediately would be.


Maybe a synonym would help:


Critical

7.
of decisive importance with respect to the outcome; crucial:

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/critical


Ok, yes, that's a meaning of critical.

So the question then is whether holding the referendum immediately and outside the constitution has decided the independence question with certainty that would not exist had they acted otherwise.

And it seems the answer is no, hence my comment.

With no clear route to a legal referendum (although they dispute that it was illegal), what holding the referendum has achieved is brought the issue out to a wider, EU, global audience. Hence we are discussing it, and the legal and perhaps moral entitlement to a referendum or other potential route to independence.

It clearly hasn't decided the independence question, but it would have been a question ignored by Madrid and the wider world if it hadn't happened.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#138  Postby GrahamH » Oct 23, 2017 9:04 pm

ronmcd wrote:
With no clear route to a legal referendum (although they dispute that it was illegal), what holding the referendum has achieved is brought the issue out to a wider, EU, global audience. Hence we are discussing it, and the legal and perhaps moral entitlement to a referendum or other potential route to independence.

It clearly hasn't decided the independence question, but it would have been a question ignored by Madrid and the wider world if it hadn't happened.


Something else it has done is tip Madrid's hand, revealing how harsh and unwilling to uphold Catalan interests they are. This surely has aided the cause of independence and done Spain no good at all.
Last edited by GrahamH on Oct 24, 2017 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#139  Postby Thommo » Oct 23, 2017 9:51 pm

ronmcd wrote:With no clear route to a legal referendum (although they dispute that it was illegal), what holding the referendum has achieved is brought the issue out to a wider, EU, global audience. Hence we are discussing it, and the legal and perhaps moral entitlement to a referendum or other potential route to independence.

It clearly hasn't decided the independence question, but it would have been a question ignored by Madrid and the wider world if it hadn't happened.


The EU are explicitly doing nothing and there's every likelihood that the result within Spain will be wide support for direct rule.

Not every outcome is a good outcome. Though that said, it does raise the question of what a good outcome is, we aren't restricted to only considering PR applications of one side of the dispute, but can actually consider questions like what do the people of Catalonia actually want? What is actually an equitable solution? Is less redistribution of wealth across Spain desirable? And many other things.
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Re: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters

#140  Postby GrahamH » Oct 24, 2017 8:51 am

I think a good outcome would be a Spain that felt like home to Catalans. Use of force, refusal of a democratic poll and dissolution of an elected government don't seem likely to lead such an outcome.
It's like trying to save a marriage with threats, violence and refusal of mediation.
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