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Suppose for a minute that the devolution provisions of the Spanish constitution were applied to the UK:
Section 143
  1. In the exercise of the right to self-government recognized in section 2 of the Constitution, bordering provinces with common historic, cultural and economic characteristics, insular territories and provinces with a historic regional status may accede to self-government and form Self-governing Communities (Comunidades Autónomas) in conformity with the provisions contained in this Part and in the respective Statutes.
  2. The right to initiate the process towards self-government lies with all the Provincial Councils concerned or with the corresponding inter-island body and with two thirds of the municipalities whose population represents at least the majority of the electorate of each province or island. These requirements must be met within six months from the initial agreement reached to this aim by any of the local Corporations concerned.
  3. If this initiative is not successful, it may be repeated only after five years have elapsed.
(Where it says "province" read "county")

What would be the result?


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:28:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't this part of the problem.  In Spain by 1987 almost all of Spain was organized into Autonomous communities.  While in Britain the failure to build English regions has raised the salience of the West Lothian question.

Some of the Spanish regions have little historical basis as well.  What unique heritage does Murcia have, or what about La Rioja?  Northern England and Souther England have a far more prominent divide.  The Midlands may as well be a different country from the Southeast politically.  In the British Journal of Political Science there was a piece about the "neighborhood effect", how people from Southern England who moved north and vice versa came to reflect the political leanings of their neighbors.

That's huge in terms of the practical impact of these nationalist divides. Labour loses 41 of Scotland's 59 seats of Scotland goes on its own. Losing Wales and Cornwall has a similiar effect.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:46:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK already has the London Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly. If given a chance to organise from the bottom up as opposed to getting "granted charters" from Westminster, you might quickly see the rest of England organising itself into regions of 1 to 10 million people.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:23:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of the Spanish regions have little historical basis as well.

That's exactly why the constitiution says "bordering provinces with common historic, cultural and economic characteristics, insular territories and provinces with a historic regional status".

To be fair, the intent of the "Fathers of the Constitution" was that the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia and Andalusia, and maybe the islands, would organise themselves as Autonomous Communities and the rest would remain under the uunitary state, but I suppose the rush not to be the last province to be left out of Autonomy should have been a predictable outcome.

This was called "coffee for everyone" in a disparaging way, but I think by diluting the confrontation of the peripheral regions with a large "Spanish" unit, it actually helps fend off partition as a serious prospect. The Basques have a very advanced level of self-government already, and many of the poorer regions have benefitted immensely from having a strong intermediate level of government with the ability to engage in infrastructure development.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am learning so much here. Thank you all.
by Number 6 on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 07:49:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Care to attempt an answer to my question about devolution in England?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 07:52:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd love to but I've only been here two years so it's not going to be very interesting or insightful!

However ...
London Could be half a dozen diverse communities ruled by Ken I. Similarly Lake District, Cornwall, Yorkshire (by dale, but probably most of it together), the "Riviera", The Geordie Republic on Tees ...

Realistically the South-East with London would remain one, which would make the rest of the country either very poor or dependent on tourism if they broke away.

by Number 6 on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 12:15:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But London already has the London Assembly, which would be grandfathered into the new system. The South East would have to be its own separate thing.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 12:17:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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