Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

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Psamathe
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Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby Psamathe » 27 Mar 2018, 11:33am

pwa wrote:Spain is being really dim. At the moment that Catalan independence movement is predominantly peaceful. The best way to turn it into a terrorist campaign is to reject a popular vote, then make martyrs of the independence leaders. Stamp out all peaceful means and all that remains is the alternative. How can they be so stupid?

I wonder if there is something of an important principle going on here. Spain has laws and allegedly one of those laws has probably been broken and so the authorities are pursuing those they suspect have broken the law. I think it might be worrying if politicians started deciding to ignore certain laws for political reasons as and when it suited them and/or their political goals.

To me, the rights and wrongs of the law allegedly broken are a separate matter from the enforcement of the existing laws.

Ian

pwa
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Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby pwa » 27 Mar 2018, 12:03pm

Psamathe wrote:
pwa wrote:Spain is being really dim. At the moment that Catalan independence movement is predominantly peaceful. The best way to turn it into a terrorist campaign is to reject a popular vote, then make martyrs of the independence leaders. Stamp out all peaceful means and all that remains is the alternative. How can they be so stupid?

I wonder if there is something of an important principle going on here. Spain has laws and allegedly one of those laws has probably been broken and so the authorities are pursuing those they suspect have broken the law. I think it might be worrying if politicians started deciding to ignore certain laws for political reasons as and when it suited them and/or their political goals.

To me, the rights and wrongs of the law allegedly broken are a separate matter from the enforcement of the existing laws.

Ian


Gerry Adams should go and tell them about Northern Ireland in the late 1960s. This is not the same. It is different in lots of ways. But the similarity is that we have an unhappy section of the population who cannot get their dissatisfaction addressed, not even half way, by constitutional means, and who are being pushed into a corner. Catalonia may be at a crossroads and the Spanish government may start something they cannot finish if they are heavy handed.

Psamathe
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Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby Psamathe » 27 Mar 2018, 12:24pm

pwa wrote:
Psamathe wrote:
pwa wrote:Spain is being really dim. At the moment that Catalan independence movement is predominantly peaceful. The best way to turn it into a terrorist campaign is to reject a popular vote, then make martyrs of the independence leaders. Stamp out all peaceful means and all that remains is the alternative. How can they be so stupid?

I wonder if there is something of an important principle going on here. Spain has laws and allegedly one of those laws has probably been broken and so the authorities are pursuing those they suspect have broken the law. I think it might be worrying if politicians started deciding to ignore certain laws for political reasons as and when it suited them and/or their political goals.

To me, the rights and wrongs of the law allegedly broken are a separate matter from the enforcement of the existing laws.

Ian


Gerry Adams should go and tell them about Northern Ireland in the late 1960s. This is not the same. It is different in lots of ways. But the similarity is that we have an unhappy section of the population who cannot get their dissatisfaction addressed, not even half way, by constitutional means, and who are being pushed into a corner. Catalonia may be at a crossroads and the Spanish government may start something they cannot finish if they are heavy handed.

My thoughts were not so much about the "rights and wrongs" more about the process. Law enforcement should not be in the hands of politicians. Elected politicians have made the laws (which might or might not be wrong) but I believe politicians should not start to make decisions about ignoring laws that don't fit with their political aims.

I thought that an independent judiciary (independent from politicians) was a requirement for any member state in the EU.

Ian

pwa
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Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby pwa » 27 Mar 2018, 12:31pm

People in Catalonia who see themselves as separate from Spain are not going to have much respect for laws imposed on them by Spain, no matter how sacrosanct the Spanish people believe them to be. You can govern by consent or by force. Spain is now doing the latter. That will not stay peaceful indefinitely.

Psamathe
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Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby Psamathe » 27 Mar 2018, 12:36pm

pwa wrote:People in Catalonia who see themselves as separate from Spain are not going to have much respect for laws imposed on them by Spain, no matter how sacrosanct the Spanish people believe them to be. You can govern by consent or by force. Spain is now doing the latter. That will not stay peaceful indefinitely.

The distinction is who is doing the governing and who is doing "the force". As I understand it the Government is doing the governing and the "authorities" are doing "the force" - an important separation/distinction. It is not for "the authorities" to decide which laws should and should not be implemented and which ignored.

I understood that the Spanish government is/was democratically elected and thus (within the constraints of electoral systems) the democratic body for all of Spain (including the Catalan region).

Ian

pwa
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Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby pwa » 27 Mar 2018, 12:40pm

Psamathe wrote:
pwa wrote:People in Catalonia who see themselves as separate from Spain are not going to have much respect for laws imposed on them by Spain, no matter how sacrosanct the Spanish people believe them to be. You can govern by consent or by force. Spain is now doing the latter. That will not stay peaceful indefinitely.

The distinction is who is doing the governing and who is doing "the force". As I understand it the Government is doing the governing and the "authorities" are doing "the force" - an important separation/distinction. It is not for "the authorities" to decide which laws should and should not be implemented and which ignored.

I understood that the Spanish government is/was democratically elected and thus (within the constraints of electoral systems) the democratic body for all of Spain (including the Catalan region).

Ian

And if you don't recognise the right of Spain to govern Catalonia you don't recognise Spanish laws. Laws drafted to prevent troublesome fringe territories leaving. We would not stop the Scots leaving, and Spain should be big enough to adopt the same policy.

Psamathe
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Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby Psamathe » 27 Mar 2018, 12:45pm

pwa wrote:
Psamathe wrote:
pwa wrote:People in Catalonia who see themselves as separate from Spain are not going to have much respect for laws imposed on them by Spain, no matter how sacrosanct the Spanish people believe them to be. You can govern by consent or by force. Spain is now doing the latter. That will not stay peaceful indefinitely.

The distinction is who is doing the governing and who is doing "the force". As I understand it the Government is doing the governing and the "authorities" are doing "the force" - an important separation/distinction. It is not for "the authorities" to decide which laws should and should not be implemented and which ignored.

I understood that the Spanish government is/was democratically elected and thus (within the constraints of electoral systems) the democratic body for all of Spain (including the Catalan region).

Ian

And if you don't recognise the right of Spain to govern Catalonia you don't recognise Spanish laws. Laws drafted to prevent troublesome fringe territories leaving. We would not stop the Scots leaving, and Spain should be big enough to adopt the same policy.

But they have laws. Are you suggesting that "the authorities" should ignore laws that politicians now find "inconvenient"?

Can I refuse to recognise Westminster's right to govern my village and thus ignore the laws it imposes (or the ones I don't like)?

Ian

pwa
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Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby pwa » 27 Mar 2018, 5:00pm

Psamathe wrote:
pwa wrote:
Psamathe wrote:The distinction is who is doing the governing and who is doing "the force". As I understand it the Government is doing the governing and the "authorities" are doing "the force" - an important separation/distinction. It is not for "the authorities" to decide which laws should and should not be implemented and which ignored.

I understood that the Spanish government is/was democratically elected and thus (within the constraints of electoral systems) the democratic body for all of Spain (including the Catalan region).

Ian

And if you don't recognise the right of Spain to govern Catalonia you don't recognise Spanish laws. Laws drafted to prevent troublesome fringe territories leaving. We would not stop the Scots leaving, and Spain should be big enough to adopt the same policy.

But they have laws. Are you suggesting that "the authorities" should ignore laws that politicians now find "inconvenient"?

Can I refuse to recognise Westminster's right to govern my village and thus ignore the laws it imposes (or the ones I don't like)?

Ian


Catalan identity goes back a long way, and I could be wrong but it is my impression that there has been substantial resentment at governance from Madrid for many decades. In the UK we recognise that if parts of the UK with an identity separate from England want to leave they can. We allow the choice.

Laws work because of society accepting them. If a society feels that the laws are alien, imposed from outside, the laws lose their validity.

Psamathe
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Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby Psamathe » 27 Mar 2018, 5:12pm

pwa wrote:
Psamathe wrote:
pwa wrote:And if you don't recognise the right of Spain to govern Catalonia you don't recognise Spanish laws. Laws drafted to prevent troublesome fringe territories leaving. We would not stop the Scots leaving, and Spain should be big enough to adopt the same policy.

But they have laws. Are you suggesting that "the authorities" should ignore laws that politicians now find "inconvenient"?

Can I refuse to recognise Westminster's right to govern my village and thus ignore the laws it imposes (or the ones I don't like)?

Ian


Catalan identity goes back a long way, and I could be wrong but it is my impression that there has been substantial resentment at governance from Madrid for many decades. In the UK we recognise that if parts of the UK with an identity separate from England want to leave they can. We allow the choice.

Laws work because of society accepting them. If a society feels that the laws are alien, imposed from outside, the laws lose their validity.

As you say Laws work because of society accepting them. If a society feels that the laws are alien, imposed from outside, the laws lose their validity. and as far as I am aware Spain has established those laws through a democratically elected government. Many areas of the UK can claim their particular identity "going back a long way" but that does not allow us to ignore the laws our government make. We have to argue to change those laws but we cannot ignore them and our politicians cannot decide to waive those laws for their own political convenience.

To my mind people are confusing the enforcement of the laws and the making of those laws. It should not be for the politicians to interfere with the authorities in enforcing laws. I/you/others may think those laws are wrong but that is completely separate from enforcement of those laws (whether we agree with them or not).

Ian

pwa
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Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby pwa » 27 Mar 2018, 5:25pm

Spanish law prevents Catalan independence. That is law created to suppress regional independence campaigns. Law to prevent choice. And when working within the law prevents independence, even after winning a vote, the law loses any credibility it had. It is a tool of Spain to prevent Catalonia determining its own future. So now Madrid will lock up Catalan leaders and refuse to talk, and frustrated supporters of independence, having tried the ballot box route, will look for other ways of fighting for what they believe in. Spain would do better to build bridges before it gets really nasty.

Psamathe
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Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby Psamathe » 27 Mar 2018, 5:36pm

pwa wrote:Spanish law prevents Catalan independence. That is law created to suppress regional independence campaigns. Law to prevent choice. And when working within the law prevents independence, even after winning a vote, the law loses any credibility it had. It is a tool of Spain to prevent Catalonia determining its own future. So now Madrid will lock up Catalan leaders and refuse to talk, and frustrated supporters of independence, having tried the ballot box route, will look for other ways of fighting for what they believe in. Spain would do better to build bridges before it gets really nasty.

I don't think the result recent referendum could be considered as representative (after all the farce come voting time).

The thing about the law is that there are correct ways to change laws/constitutions and just ignoring them is not normally an acceptable way.

But my point was responding to the response to comments along the lines of
pwa wrote:..... the Spanish government may start something they cannot finish if they are heavy handed.

I was pointing out that it is the Spanish authorities who are enforcing the law and NOT the Spanish Government. It is not the job of politicians to decide which laws can be ignored for their political convenience.

Ian

Tangled Metal
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Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby Tangled Metal » 27 Mar 2018, 9:57pm

I believe Scottish devolution only went ahead because Westminster changed existing laws. If they hadn't then devolution would not have happened.

How did the Scots get the law changed? Probably a mix between popular support in Scotland and receptive politicians in Westminster. Catalonia hasn't really got that. Madrid and the rest of Spain isn't receptive and even Catalonia has at most 50:50 support for independence. It's probably even less support now.

So perhaps Catalonian politicians would do better trying to convince people and other politicians to take their views than breaking laws.

MarkF
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Joined: 4 Apr 2011, 10:20am

Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby MarkF » 27 Mar 2018, 10:17pm

The % of Catalans voting for independence has not changed (much) for a long time, even after all the pro-indie shenanigans and buying of votes. But now, there are real social divisions and bitterness, the Spanish state is not responsible for that.

pwa
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Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby pwa » 27 Mar 2018, 10:25pm

MarkF wrote:The % of Catalans voting for independence has not changed (much) for a long time, even after all the pro-indie shenanigans and buying of votes. But now, there are real social divisions and bitterness, the Spanish state is not responsible for that.


So why don't they just organise a proper referendum, like we did with Scotland. Like we did with Wales in the 1970s? What are they scared of? It seems to me that we in the UK have more respect for our regions / countries than Spain has. Maybe that makes us weak, but I think not. I think there is strength in being willing to let go.

brynpoeth
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Re: Catalonia: Democracy (European style)

Postby brynpoeth » 28 Mar 2018, 5:23am

Psamathe wrote:
pwa wrote:
Psamathe wrote:The distinction is who is doing the governing and who is doing "the force". As I understand it the Government is doing the governing and the "authorities" are doing "the force" - an important separation/distinction. It is not for "the authorities" to decide which laws should and should not be implemented and which ignored.

I understood that the Spanish government is/was democratically elected and thus (within the constraints of electoral systems) the democratic body for all of Spain (including the Catalan region).

Ian

And if you don't recognise the right of Spain to govern Catalonia you don't recognise Spanish laws. Laws drafted to prevent troublesome fringe territories leaving. We would not stop the Scots leaving, and Spain should be big enough to adopt the same policy.

But they have laws. Are you suggesting that "the authorities" should ignore laws that politicians now find "inconvenient"?

Can I refuse to recognise Westminster's right to govern my village and thus ignore the laws it imposes (or the ones I don't like)?

Ian

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