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Catalan Referendum

#1 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2017-October-02, 01:44

What''s happening in Spain?

The Guardian posted a live blog with updates from the Catalan Referendum:

Quote

Catalan officials have claimed that preliminary results of its referendum have shown 90% in favour of independence in the vote vehemently opposed by Spain.


Jordi Turull, the Catalan regional government spokesman, told reporters early on Monday morning that 90% of the 2.26 million Catalans who voted Sunday chose yes. He said nearly 8% of voters rejected independence and the rest of the ballots were blank or void. He said 15,000 votes were still being counted.The region has 5.3 million registered voters.

Turull said the number of ballots did not include those confiscated by Spanish police during violent raids which resulted in hundreds of people being injured. At least 844 people and 33 police were reported to have been hurt, including at least two people who were thought to have been seriously injured.


I saw references to the referendum being declared illegal by the Constitutional Court, but which Court is this?

And what I truly don't understand is why would the police engage with civilians casting a vote, be it legal or not. It doesn't seem like an action that warrants use of violence. Lots of videos around the internet showing riot police hitting and dragging people who weren't violent or provocative.

BBC commentary on the Referendum says:

Quote


What happens next?

By Tom Burridge, BBC News, Barcelona

The Spanish government has always said that it's the Spanish courts ordering the Spanish police to act.

But their strategy of physically preventing people from voting has the potential to backfire hugely.

Had you asked me 24 hours ago whether or not I thought it realistic that Catalonia's regional government would declare independence from Spain in the next few days I would have said probably not.

But after the very ugly scenes we've seen across this city and this region today I think it is a very real possibility.

If that happens then we're into the unknown.


#2 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-October-02, 04:09

I presume the court is https://en.wikipedia..._Court_of_Spain

From the Economist:

Quote


THE Catalan regional government of Carles Puigdemont is preparing to hold a unilateral referendum on seceding from Spain on October 1st, which it says will be legally binding. Catalans will be asked whether they want to form an independent republic. But there is a problem: Spain’s democratic constitution of 1978, which was approved by more than 90% of Catalan voters, gave wide autonomy to the regions but affirmed “the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation”. Only the Spanish parliament can change the constitution. Mr Puigdemont’s referendum is therefore illegal, and Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s conservative prime minister, is determined to prevent it taking place.

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#3 User is offline   Aberlour10 

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Posted 2017-October-02, 06:16

It doesn't matter if this referendum was legal or illegal, valid or not valid. This orgy of violance against peaceful voters will remain forever in remembrance of the Catalans. Nobody knows, but just this bloody sunday was maybe the first step to independance. Unpardonable mistake by the spanish goverment IMO,
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#4 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2017-October-02, 07:47

Yep, seems like an enormous mistake to go against the voters.

Hubby followed this more closely than I did and he thinks Spain had a pretty solid case until Sunday happened.

#5 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-02, 08:06

From politics.stackexchange.com: Why would Madrid be so insistent on preventing the Catalonian independence referendum?

#6 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2017-October-02, 08:20

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-02, 08:06, said:



Thanks, good discussion. Addresses a lot of things I was confused about, including how was this vote organized at all if illegal.

#7 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-October-02, 08:29

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

The Spanish Government and the Civil Guardia should hold their heads in shame. This serious bloody incident will just strengthen the resolve of the Catalan people.
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#8 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2017-October-02, 08:57

View PostThe_Badger, on 2017-October-02, 08:29, said:

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

The Spanish Government and the Civil Guardia should hold their heads in shame. This serious bloody incident will just strengthen the resolve of the Catalan people.


Shouldn't the Catalan government have some responsibility too?

#9 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2017-October-02, 11:25

Isn't this basically civil war action - a vote to secede and the majority country trying to stop it?
If something cannot go on forever, it will stop. - Herb Stein
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#10 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-October-03, 00:55

View Postdiana_eva, on 2017-October-02, 08:57, said:

Shouldn't the Catalan government have some responsibility too?


Yes, Diana. But people like Nelson Mandala fought for years to be granted the right to vote. Voting isn't violent. Stopping voters (by using violence) exercising that basic human right is.

The Spanish government should have allowed the vote, and then challenged the decision in the courts.
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#11 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2017-October-03, 06:40

It might matter just what was voted on.. I tried a little to find out but I was not very successful:

http://www.bbc.com/n...europe-41472985

Here we see:

Quote

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has said he is not planning a "traumatic" split with Spain, after a disputed independence referendum on Sunday.

He said he wanted a new understanding with the central government in Madrid.



In the next paragraph we see

Quote

Catalan officials say voters overwhelmingly backed secession. Madrid has warned it could suspend autonomy of the wealthy north-eastern region.



So which is it, secession or a new understanding? I suppose you could say that succession is, by its nature, a new understanding. But I would treat those two statements as different. Assuming succession, was it the idea that after the vote the Spanish government would immediately be forbidden to exercise any authority at all? The Spanish government would have the same relationship to Caladonia as the Italian government has to Caledonia?

After our own Declaration of Independence Benjamin Franklin supposedly said "We must all hang together or surely we will all hang separately". That is, everyone understood that this was not Thomas Jefferson shooting off his mouth in a bar, it was an act of rebellion.


And of course we had a little trouble back in the 1860s.


There is a secessionist movement in Texas. https://en.wikipedia...ssion_movements

As far as I know, we have not, in modern times, had any state hold a referendum on secession. I can't say that I really know if the federal government would allow such a vote.


At any rate, it seems to me that voting for mayor, or voting for a president, or voting to support funding on education, these all fall into a different category than voting for secession. Can a state vote be held that would commit a state t perform an illegal act? Again details could be important. A state can legalize, from the state's point of view, the possession of marijuana. But I doubt that a state could legalize armed resistance to federal enforcement of drug laws.

As I understand it, the E.U. has declined to get involved after Catalonia requested help. The E.U. may be thinking along the lines I suggest. Or not, I don't know.


As mentioned, I tried a little to see just what an affirmative vote commits Catalonia to do. Maybe someone can clarify this for me. One way or another, I guess the fat is in the fire.
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#12 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-03, 10:13

View Postkenberg, on 2017-October-03, 06:40, said:

As mentioned, I tried a little to see just what an affirmative vote commits Catalonia to do. Maybe someone can clarify this for me. One way or another, I guess the fat is in the fire.

If the vote was unconstitutional, it probably has the legal standing of a straw poll, and doesn't commit anyone to do anything.

#13 User is offline   jjbrr 

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Posted 2017-October-27, 08:56

So now what?

edit: I see now Spain is imposing article 155.
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#14 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 20:58

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-03, 10:13, said:

If the vote was unconstitutional, it probably has the legal standing of a straw poll, and doesn't commit anyone to do anything.


Agreed. From the outside it looks like:

1. Cataln leadership calls for a vote. Of course the vote is not a vote to secede, what would be illegal, it is sim,ply a vote to see if people would prefer independence.

2. To the surprise of no one, the Spanish government reacts to this vote with force.

3. Well, that display of force gets everyone upset, so independence is declared.

4. The Spanish government says no and says they will enforce the no.

So 1 leads to 2 leads to 3 leads to 4.

I'm not a great traveler but I have been in Barcelona, and for that matter I spent some pleasant hours in a bar in Girona where a guy tried to teach me the basics of the Catalan language. I am truly sorry to see things go this way. I have no useful ideas whatsoever, but I wish you all well. I really hope that this can be worked through as peacefully as possible. Good luck.
Ken
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#15 User is offline   jjbrr 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 21:42

View Postkenberg, on 2017-October-28, 20:58, said:

I really hope that this can be worked through as peacefully as possible. Good luck.

Me too. I struggle to see how.
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