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Spain is not a democracy

by IdiotSavant Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 09:49:49 AM EST

Two years ago Catalans braved police batons and rubber bullets to vote overwhelmingly for independence in a referendum. Today, Spain jailed nine politicians who organised and supported that referendum process for a combined total of a hundred years for "sedition", after a trial that was little more than a judicial lynching. Protests against the verdicts are already breaking out across Catalonia, but Spain has invaded with 1500 riot police to "keep order". So we'll probably see more scenes of peaceful protesters being beaten, gassed and shot for daring to express the view that a democratic society should resolve questions democratically.

Because that, fundamentally, is what this is about. While Catalans are divided on independence, there has always been overwhelming support for the idea that as a democratic society they should be allowed to vote on it. Spain has responded to that idea with violence and brutality. It has treated Catalonia like a colonial possession, whose people must be kept in line by force, rather than as citizens of a democratic state. It has not behaved like a democracy, but like the fascist dictatorship it supposedly ended 40 years ago.

That treatment has unsurprisingly strengthened the desire for independence, as people seek to leave the country which mistreats them. When this mess began, Spain could have allowed a vote, and probably won it, and that result would have been accepted for a decade or more. Now, there's really only one outcome: independence. The question is how long it takes, and how many people Spain murders trying to stop it.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

I assume this will ultimately end up before the ECHR, so there's some hope the sentences will be overturned. OTOH, Spain may show it as much respect as it does European elections.
by IdiotSavant on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 09:59:01 AM EST
My great-grandfather was a leader in the revolt in Cosenza against the unified Italian government in Rome. according to a book i read, Garibaldi promised many things to southern Italy including use of the local language in schools, none of which the subsequent governments honored.

Same verse, same as the first.

Personally, I'm very glad that great-grandpa stood up and also that he fled to the USA when the revolt collapsed.
My father told me he was a local legend in the neighborhood. He was just a potter, but a man of strong convictions and very tough.

by StillInTheWilderness on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 05:23:42 PM EST
The International Commission of Jurists has condemned the sentences:
The conviction today of Catalan separatist leaders of broadly defined offences of sedition unduly restricts rights of freedom of expression, assembly and association, the ICJ said today.

"These convictions represent a serious interference with the exercise of freedom of expression, association and assembly of the leaders. The resort to the law of sedition to restrict the exercise of these rights is unnecessary, disproportionate and ultimately unjustifiable" said Massimo Frigo, ICJ Europe and Central Asia Senior Legal Adviser.

The ICJ also stressed that the overly broad definition of the crime of sedition applied in this case creates a high risk of arbitrariness.

"We are concerned that the Supreme Court does not comply with Spain's obligations under international human rights law in the consideration of the charges against these defendants and this seriously undermines these convictions," he added.

by IdiotSavant on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 09:56:12 PM EST
"Voted overwhelmingly for independence in a referendum".

Let's parse that.

92% of those who voted wanted an independent Catalan state.

8%% voted  no.

On a turnout of 43%.

Bearing in mind that the majority of those who didn't vote were not abstaining through indifference, but because they did not wish to legitimize the process by participating.

There is a strong plurality for Catalan independence, and a strong plurality for remaining in the Spanish republic. That doesn't make a clear-cut case for independence.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Oct 15th, 2019 at 11:24:48 AM EST
It is perhaps not very fair to ascribe a majority of the 57% of voters who didn't vote to a protest vote against the legitimacy of the vote, and therefore by implication, as being against Catalonian independence. For instance, turnout in the last Spanish general election was 66.5%. Even if we ascribe all the differential turnout to a protest vote, that adds only 23% to the no vote.

By my calculation this yields a 60:40 split in favour of independence.
            votes       diff. turnou  no votes+diff. turnout    %
yes            2,116,413    2,116,413                           59.84
no                104,760    1,315,827    1,420,587        40.16
Total voters    2,221,173           
electorate     5,400,000           
gen election    3,537,000           
diff. turnout    1,315,827           

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 15th, 2019 at 01:17:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This assumes that people were no more motivated by the referendum than by a general election. I'll bet that there are plenty of people who voted in the referendum but not in the general election.

I'm not postulating that all the non-voters are Spanish republicans, but I reckon that the number of electors who are in favour of Catalan independence who didn't vote is pretty small.

Something like :
Independence  40%
Spain       40%
No strong preference 20%

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Oct 15th, 2019 at 01:31:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's also some pretty obvious turnout suppression from the Spanish regime - not just beating voters, but seizing ballot boxes and destroying votes. The fact that turnout was over 40% despite this massive state violence is quite incredible.
by IdiotSavant on Wed Oct 16th, 2019 at 02:29:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, the US declared independence with less.
by rifek on Tue Oct 15th, 2019 at 08:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And if we hadn't done that we would now have universal healthcare and a lot of other things that we don't have now.
by StillInTheWilderness on Wed Oct 16th, 2019 at 03:48:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The NHS, oh joy!
(However bad it's currently getting in the UK, it still gives better health outcomes for the overall population and is incredible value for the money)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Oct 16th, 2019 at 09:18:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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