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BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation

Joe Offer 05 Oct 17 - 01:12 AM
Kampervan 05 Oct 17 - 02:16 AM
Monique 05 Oct 17 - 02:51 AM
Teribus 05 Oct 17 - 02:55 AM
Joe Offer 05 Oct 17 - 02:57 AM
Kampervan 05 Oct 17 - 02:58 AM
Joe Offer 05 Oct 17 - 03:01 AM
Teribus 05 Oct 17 - 03:12 AM
Tradsinger 05 Oct 17 - 03:15 AM
Teribus 05 Oct 17 - 03:33 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Oct 17 - 05:23 AM
Raggytash 05 Oct 17 - 05:32 AM
Raggytash 05 Oct 17 - 05:33 AM
Teribus 05 Oct 17 - 05:55 AM
Teribus 05 Oct 17 - 05:57 AM
Iains 05 Oct 17 - 06:10 AM
Mrrzy 05 Oct 17 - 09:47 AM
Donuel 05 Oct 17 - 09:51 AM
Bonzo3legs 05 Oct 17 - 04:01 PM
Iains 05 Oct 17 - 04:17 PM
Mr Red 05 Oct 17 - 04:56 PM
Iains 06 Oct 17 - 12:02 PM
Mrrzy 06 Oct 17 - 12:42 PM
Mr Red 06 Oct 17 - 05:00 PM
vectis 07 Oct 17 - 03:27 AM
Gutcher 07 Oct 17 - 02:53 PM
Iains 08 Oct 17 - 04:35 AM
Charmion 10 Oct 17 - 10:52 AM
akenaton 10 Oct 17 - 02:16 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Oct 17 - 03:54 PM
Iains 10 Oct 17 - 06:38 PM
Mrrzy 11 Oct 17 - 01:57 AM
Keith A of Hertford 12 Oct 17 - 04:26 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Oct 17 - 06:21 AM
Charmion 12 Oct 17 - 10:21 AM
Nigel Parsons 12 Oct 17 - 10:51 AM
Iains 12 Oct 17 - 10:57 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Oct 17 - 11:48 AM
Iains 12 Oct 17 - 01:43 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Oct 17 - 01:50 PM
Iains 12 Oct 17 - 02:29 PM
Keith A of Hertford 12 Oct 17 - 02:30 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Oct 17 - 05:03 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Oct 17 - 05:08 PM
Allan Conn 13 Oct 17 - 02:54 AM
akenaton 13 Oct 17 - 03:28 AM
Iains 13 Oct 17 - 03:40 AM
Iains 13 Oct 17 - 04:09 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Oct 17 - 05:10 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Oct 17 - 05:29 AM
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Subject: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 01:12 AM

I think I have a fair understanding of political trends in most European nations, but I've been to Spain only once and only to the northern part, and I can't say I understand it very well. I see in Wikipedia that Catalonia is an "autonomous community" of Spain. Its capital is Barcelona, and it has a population of 7.5 million. Its official languages are Catalan and Occitan, not Spanish. The area is highly industrialized and quite wealthy, so I can see how Catalonian independence might be harmful to Spain.
But what does Catalonia have to gain from separation? Do the separatists want to remain part of the European Union? How can it survive as an independent nation with a population of only 7.5 million? Is its economy diverse enough for it to be independent?
What is the history of Catalonian autonomy and of its off-and-on union with Spain? Are there other "autonomous communities" in Spain?
What is the political climate in Catalonia, and what is it in other areas of Spain?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Kampervan
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 02:16 AM

The questions that you raise are good ones.

Who would be responsible for the defence of independent Catalonia? Could they be financially independent?

Also, as a general question, is the current tendency of regions wanting independence from the larger state of which they are currently a part a good thing?

Scotland from the UK, the UK from the EU, various central European countries have been split into smaller units. Surely this makes them a lot more vulnerable to potential aggressors?
We all know that the UN and NATO for all their good intentions, are pretty toothless in the face of actual aggression.

Maybe its because the present generation has never experienced something like World War two and don't appreciate just how easily things can go wrong.

It seems to me that we are exposing ourselves in a very dangerous way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Monique
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 02:51 AM

Spanish (Castilian) is the official language of all Spain whether the different autonomous communities have a different language of their own (Catalan and Aranese Occitan for Catalonia, Galician for Galice and Basque for the Basque Country) or not.
Spain used to be administratively divided in provinces that got much more autonomy after Franco's death.
Independence: Catalonia wouldn't be part of Spain but nor of the EU either (it'd take years), are they ready to coin their own money overnight... = big mess!


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 02:55 AM

The UN may well be accurately described as "toothless" as it has no army to call on. In the face of actual aggression however NATO has proved to have been the most effective multinational military alliance in the history of the planet - it still is.

The EU Commission's desire for a Federal United States of Europe relies on the break up of the existing member states into regions and the eradication of the nation state and national identity. Only trouble with that is that at present they rely on financial contributions from individual member states to run the show.

In Spain the following regions may opt for "independence" along with EU membership which of course would mean that they were not independent at all - Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Region of Spain.

In France - As Iains pointed out there is a separatist movement in Brittany, there is also a French Basque region.

In Belgium - Wallonia and the Flemish Regions would part company at the drop of a hat.

In Germany - Bavaria would be only too happy to break away

In Italy there is a clear divide North and South and also Sardinia.

In the UK the SNP would, apparently, recommend swapping rule from Westminster to seeking rule from Brussels.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 02:57 AM

Hi, Kampervan -
I think the United States spends far too much money on defense, and I wish there were another way. If Catalonia and other small states can be part of the EU and NATO, I think they can defend themselves at a reasonable cost.
But I sure wish the US could spend less on defense and more on healthcare and education and other social needs.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Kampervan
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 02:58 AM

A lot of people died in central Europe over the last few decades whilst NATO stood by and did nothing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 03:01 AM

Specifics, Kampervan? Were these central European nations NATO members?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 03:12 AM

A lot of people died all over the place Kampervan, left to the UN alone many thousands more would have died. In Bosnia and in Kosovo the Germans managed to urge NATO (Military) action (This meant at the time it cut France out of the loop) and NATO intervention saved thousands of lives.

In Catalonia had the Spanish Government stuck to just declaring the recent referendum illegal and non-binding then given and aided every facility for the said referendum to go ahead peacefully the result would have been for Catalonia to remain as part of a unified Spain. As it is, by their actions they have promoted the cause of independence and bought themselves a shed load of trouble in the years to come.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Tradsinger
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 03:15 AM

Under Franco, Catalan culture and Catalan language were surpressed. You could be punished for speaking Catalan in the street or in school, so there has been for some time a repressed resentment of the Madrid government.

I personally am very wary of this movement towards independence - the argument seems to be that as Catalonia creates a lot of wealth for the Spanish nation, that the Catalans think they ought to keep it for themselves. Fair or not? Is there more stability in unity?

And what does Catalonia consist of? Linguistically it stretches into France (Perpignon) and Andorra, and related dialects are also spoken in Valencia and the Balaeric Islands. Does the UDI move include them?

I blame Brexit for all this mess - be careful what you wish for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 03:33 AM

"I blame Brexit for all this mess" - So a people's right of self-determination does not feature high on your list of human rights then Tradsinger?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 05:23 AM

EU countries do not endure "rule from Brussels." EU countries govern themselves. Here's an an article from the Financial Times that comprehensively explodes the myth that Teribus is trying to perpetuate. You'll have to google it yourself I'm afraid: "A Brexit myth of Brussels (mis)rule."

Franco still casts a long shadow in Spain. Catalonia, always a region that regarded itself as very distinct in terms of culture and language, was treated very brutally by him. The Spanish constitution states that Catalonia is a nationality. There is considerable resentment when Madrid is perceived as intruding into Catalan affairs. The clumsy interventions last week are only the latest manifestation of that, though a very serious one.

Self-determination is a grand thing but getting it right is a minefield. Most recent polls show only a slim majority in favour of independence, and not a majority of all the electorate. You could easily end up with a brexit-with-balls mess in which a third of the electorate drag Catalonia away from Spain. I wonder whose "rights" we'd be talking about then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Raggytash
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 05:32 AM

A Brexit Myth

There you go!


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Raggytash
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 05:33 AM

Bugger !

There you don't go !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 05:55 AM

Date of Shaw's FT article - 26th May 2016.

Date of the EU Referendum - 23rd June 2016.

Prior to that date every political party in the UK with the exception of UKIP was campaigning as hard as it could to achieve a Remain result. Loads of "doom'n'gloom" from establishment press and the Bank of England - all proved groundless.

Odd that the piece only covered the period BEFORE Maastricht.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 05:57 AM

"EU countries do not endure "rule from Brussels." EU countries govern themselves." Chirrups Shaw.

Tell that to the Irish, the Greeks, the Cypriots, the Spanish, the Portuguese.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Iains
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 06:10 AM

The EU has not, in all it's years of existence, publicly displayed a road map of where and what it wants to be. There are just vague hints thrown out now and again - a pan european defence force, or a federal states of europe. Many are unhappy that the game plan is being hidden from the populace. They are also unhappy that un-elected bureaucrats
seem to have hijacked powers to themselves contained within a structure that allows no questions, accountability, or democracy.
Little wonder that regions with a strong identity and uniqueness wish to ensure their continuation. The present structures of the EU are hellbent on ironing out discrete political entities. Sadly ironing out the far more important regional economic disparities seems a task too far for them. They just threw Greece and Cyprus under the bus, but they cannot overlook the high rates of youth unemployment in southern europe for ever.

The British Miners Strike under The great Maggie has been mentioned ad nauseum in recent threads. Just imagine had those miners been facing a jackbooted, paramilitary, pan european gendarmerie. It would not have been just blood in the streets but corpses from a massacre. No Eu condemnation of the behaviour of Spain, quite the reverse. This is quite a contrast to the opinions of the International Observers watching the electoral process.
Their utter condemnation of the events reads more like the description of events in some backwater third world dorp, than proceedings in an advanced western country.
We have seen the future and it is not orange-it is red. I foresee many other independence movements brought to fruition by the tacit pat on the back given to Spain by the unaccountable EU monolith. I wish them all every success.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 09:47 AM

The summer I lived there (1988), the Catalan referred to themselves as Catalan, and corrected you if you called them Spanish. They referred to the rest of Spain as Spain, as if where they were wasn't Spain. And they practically *spat* upon the Spanish language. That fact was crucial to my doctoral research so I looked into it... Franco has a lot to answer for.
So they have always *been* culturally separate, like the Basque in both France and Spain.
That said, I'm agin national boundaries in general, so I am agin increasing the number of them.
Also, I don't know whether states can secede from that union legally or not. Spain is a recent pastiche of a lot of smaller cultures, like Andalusia and all.
But even if they can't, riot police throwing old ladies down stairs (I conflate, I know) is not the answer to an illegal vote. Voting is peaceful behavior and should not be answered with violence. Barricades? Disposing of ballot boxes? There is a lot they could have done without violence to the individuals.
And *having* committed that high-enous act, now, even the Catalan who weren't for separation are more against Spain now than they were, which is not helpful for unity either.
And if you get the high-enous reference, bully for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 09:51 AM

Separation was a dream of Pablo Cassals, which is good enough for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 04:01 PM

"I blame Brexit for all this mess" - So a people's right of self-determination does not feature high on your list of human rights then Tradsinger?

Human rights has nothing to do with it. It is little more than a socialist led mob.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Iains
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 04:17 PM

"I blame Brexit for all this mess" Feel free to blame whom you like. In this case you would be wrong. A potted history courtesy of Wiki. below:
"The political movement began in 1922 when Francesc Macià founded Estat Català (Catalan State). In 1931, Estat Català and other parties formed Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia; ERC), which won a dramatic victory in the municipal elections of that year. Macià proclaimed a Catalan Republic, but after negotiations with the leaders of the new Spanish Republic, he instead accepted autonomy within the Spanish state. In the Spanish Civil War, General Francisco Franco abolished Catalan autonomy in 1938. Following Franco's death in 1975, Catalan political parties concentrated on autonomy rather than independence.The modern independence movement began when the 2006 Statute of Autonomy, which had been agreed with the Spanish government and passed by a referendum in Catalonia, was challenged in the Spanish High Court of Justice, which ruled that some of the articles were unconstitutional, or were to be interpreted restrictively. Popular protest against the decision quickly turned into demands for independence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 04:56 PM

the current news I get is that Catalonia does not have tax raising powers - unlike the Basque region that had an armed struggle for many years. Hmmmm...........

Catalonia contributes more per capita than the rest of Spain. I think that is seen as unfair distribution.

The northern part of Spain has more water, the southern part has ideas to use use that water to irrigate the arid parts. I think we are back into unfair distribution. Not to mention localised climate changes (it is what the south want, but at what price to the north?).

Apparently there has been a measure of intransigence from Madrid on the complaints from Barcelona which has driven the relatively moderate political parties to hemorrhage power to the more militant factions.

Does this demonstrate more of the problem?
I once worked with a Catalan lass with a PhD in biotechnology (from UK Uni, first degree in Barcelona)- she was looking for work and we showed her an ad for a translator, expert in biotech and Spanish. She spoke good English, French and a bit of German but as she says "I don't speak Spanish" (ie Castillian). Catalan yes, no Spanish. I wonder - was that Barcelona degree mostly in English, French or Catalan?

As I have said many times - referenda beget referenda. It is the peace dividend. Blame Fakebook. I do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Iains
Date: 06 Oct 17 - 12:02 PM

What a difference a day(or two) makes. Bit of a volte-face off the Spanish Government! A very misleading headline after reading it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4955204/Catalan-police-chief-arrives-court-accused-sedition.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Oct 17 - 12:42 PM

Sigh. Nobody got the high-enous reference.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Oct 17 - 05:00 PM

not even the laughing high-enous?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: vectis
Date: 07 Oct 17 - 03:27 AM

When I spent time in Catalunia in the late 1960s they did not consider that they were part of Spain. They saw themselves as separate and held that they were going to independent as soon as Franco popped his clogs.

They identified as Catalan, not Spanish. They resented the Spaniards bussed in to work the hotels springing up in the region. They considered that Spain was taking unfair advantage of their potential earnings from the tourist trade which was just taking off.

The bombings of the separatists started soon after I stopped going there regularly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Gutcher
Date: 07 Oct 17 - 02:53 PM

Bonzio
From what appears in the newspapers socialism has nothing to do with the
situation, indeed the socialists are very much against self determination
for the Catalonian people as they fear this would thwart their ambitions
to become the ruling party in Spain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Iains
Date: 08 Oct 17 - 04:35 AM

An interesting perspective. Bliar Blair has also been proposed as a mediator-is this because he made such a stunning success of being a middle east peace envoy?

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-future-of-the-eu-at-stake-in-catalonia/5611953


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 10:52 AM

It's a real pity that the Spanish government did not take a page from the book of Pierre Elliot Trudeau and his successors, who successfully defanged the Front de libération du Québec in 1970, and then allowed that energy to flow into conventional politics at both the provincial and federal levels. Separatism is still a thing in Quebec, but far less of a threat than it was even in 1995, when the latest (dare I hope last?) referendum was held. To a large extent, that development is due to the Canadian federal government's restraint in dealing with Quebec, making many concessions on cultural and identity issues while holding the line hard on proposals that would have allowed Quebec to withdraw from structural elements of Confederation.

I have read that the Spanish constitution forbids separatist action at the regional level, and that the Prime Minister took the action he did because the law demanded it. I believe that, with some effort and a hell of a lot more good will, the Spanish federal government could have found a way to conform to the constitution without bringing in the riot police to round up referendum voters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: akenaton
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 02:16 PM

Well the Cat president has declared independence, but cleverly batted the ball back onto the Spanish side by proposing "dialogue".
Of course he knows very well the Spanish govt cannot enter into dialogue without undermining their case for unity.

Probably the tanks will roll shortly and what the EU actually is will be more evident than ever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 03:54 PM

No he hasn?t.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Iains
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 06:38 PM

Catalonia signs ?declaration of independence,? temporarily suspends it for dialogue with Madrid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 01:57 AM

Next question, will the EU accept them and do they want to belong to the EU anyway? That is, if it's declared no longer an internal Spanish matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 04:26 AM

EU has said they will not be given membership.
Likewise Scotland.
It would require negotiations which always take years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 06:21 AM

Both sides have boxed themselves in. The only solution now, I hate to say, is a referendum. Unlike our disastrous one, the bar must be set high. The referendum would be skewed, just like ours was, because if you don?t get independence this time you can keep campaigning. That?s democracy. But, if you leave, getting back in again is next to impossible, and your terms would be much poorer even if you did manage it. I?m not aware of any poll, or analysis of election voting, that shows anything like a decisive majority to leave Spain. A referendum, with terms for its conduct thrashed out and fully agreed by both sides, not just by Spain, is the only way to go, otherwise this will continue to fester for generations. Talk of EU implications is currently premature. I don?t think there?s a difference in thinking between mainstream Spain and Catalonia on that. There?s always room for negotiation on membership for states that have seceded and until we get near to a decision there isn?t much point trying to predict what would happen in those uncharted waters. The EU would want Catalonia as a member and that would probably happen, current rules be damned.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 10:21 AM

I agree with Steve, much to my surprise on any but a cooking question. In fact, the referendum program as proposed by Steve is almost precisely what has been done twice in Canada and Quebec, complete with the relentless campaigning when the first referendum (1980) failed, thus producing the second referendum (1995), which failed in a squeaker. We also had a national referendum on the so-called Meech Lake proposal to amend the Constitution Act of 1982 in ways that would exempt Quebec from certain elements of Confederation. News flash: that failed too. Quebec is still in Confederation without having formally ratified the Constitution Act, and both provincial and federal separatist parties still exist and have members seated in both the Quebec National Assembly (note name) and the House of Commons, but their influence is waning steadily.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 10:51 AM

Well, if you put Mark Roberts on one side, and Cerys Matthews on the other . . .




Oh, sorry, "Catalonia"


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Iains
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 10:57 AM

For the EU to give any ground at all to Catelonia would be seen as weakening their bargaining position on Brexit. I do not see how the issues can be separated. As I have asked before: How can creeping regional autonomy be reconciled with the galloping federalism of the EU? The entire edifice is unstable with regional disparities of economy, culture and history. It will need more than the stroke of a pen and a peripatetic Parliament to destroy allegiance to the nation state. It must also be unique in that it cannot initiate legislation, that is left to the EU commission that has such "stalwarts" as Kinnock and Mandelson.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 11:48 AM

Brexit is either going to happen, or never happen, long before an independent Catalonia becomes an issue for the EU.

Referendums are invariably divisive. Generally, they are highly undemocratic because they ask people to make a simplistic decision on complex issues that we elect and pay politicians to wrestle over. However, in this case I can?t see any other way. But a badly-devised referendum would be worse than useless. Both sides must fully agree the wording of the question and the bar for independence must be set very high to correct for the skewed nature of the issue apropos of the alternative outcomes. Get that right and it?s a good start. Then we have to trust advocates on both sides not to mislead the public. In our referendum the bar was set too low and both sides lied in their teeth to us. If you think that has has anything to do with democracy then I?m not with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Iains
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 01:43 PM

I fail to see how referendums are any more divisive than elections.
Does any party stick to it's manifest when elected. Lying and distortion are the stock in trade of all politicians. Catelonia may or may not become an issue for the EU prior to brexit. The EU was happy to break up Yugoslavia so their hypocrisy concerning Catelonia is quite blatant. If the hamfisted diplomacy of the EU continues I suspect the Basques and a few others will start making waves. The Catelonian referendum could simply have been allowed and then ignored. Magnifying it into a major issue has done nothing to further the cause of european unity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 01:50 PM

The fundamental difference is that elections results are reversible after no more than five years. Referendums are intended to yield a permanent result, especially if it means a change (which is why they?re skewed and why the bar for change should be set high).


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Iains
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 02:29 PM

" Referendums are intended to yield a permanent result, especially if it means a change"

If the EU has it's evil way the referendum will be repeated until the perceived correct response is given. Ask Ireland!


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 02:30 PM

What was wrong with the referendum they tried to have?
Did the feds need to disrupt it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 05:03 PM

The decision to hold a referendum is never made by the EU.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 05:08 PM

What were the terms of the referendum they tried to hold, Keith? What was the question? How was the campaign conducted? How high was the bar set for independence? How was the voting organised? I don't know. Maybe you do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Allan Conn
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 02:54 AM

Steve the idea that the bar should be kept high because people then view them as skewed if a small majority vote for change doesn't really satisfy people either though. You just end up making the opposing side feel even more aggrieved. The best example of that was the first Scottish devolution referendum. The Yes side narrowly won the vote but not the referendum itself because the then Labour gvt put the bar higher than 50% of the turnout. It only bred resentment and left half the country feeling the democratic rights of the majority (albeit a small majority) were being ignored by Westminster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: akenaton
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 03:28 AM

Yes that is quite correct Allan. A referendum must be yes or no. In or out.
I the bar was set at 60% and the out vote got 61%, non democrats like Steve would be saying it still wasn't set high enough.

Where do we draw the line? Both of the last two referendums produced very large turnouts and should be seen as extremely democratic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Iains
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 03:40 AM

"The decision to hold a referendum is never made by the EU." BUT,
of the 48 referendums held by EU states the subject matter concerned the EU. In the case of Ireland the constitution demands a referendum should changes be required to accommodate EU legislation.

I fail to see why a bar should be imposed. Is it some socialist ploy to
imitate Canute? The existing bar is quite adequate, it is called a majority. It is determined by those that were both eligible and motivated to vote. Strangely enough it is no surprise that "no shows" do not count, neither do ineligible minors. How a majority is determined in the UK referendum is fact-differing opinions have zero substance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Iains
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 04:09 AM

https://www.globalresearch.ca/spain-moves-toward-military-rule-in-catalonia/5613147

An interesting perspective. Hopefully it is only somewhat hysterical.
If it is the shape of things to come, then the european dream is about to change.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 05:10 AM

That?s the thing though, Allan. Referendums by their nature are almost certain to be divisive, no matter how you set the thresholds, which is one of several good reasons for not having them. The reason for setting high thresholds for a decision to make a change is that the change is likely to be highly significant and permanent. On the other hand, a decision in favour of the status quo can easily be followed by another referendum. That?s what I mean when I say that referendums are skewed, and that?s why, if you really must have them, a simple 50+ with a low or no minimum turnout requirement is unsatisfactory. It doesn?t matter how often leavers say the opposite: there was nothing like a majority of the electorate voting to leave. I?m stating an obstinate fact, not stating sour grapes. I won?t waste my energy on that but I will do my damnedest to argue, democratically, for a rethink. If you tell me to shut up, stop whingeing and. ?accept the will of the people? (unproven in the extreme, whereas a high bar for turnout and majority would have clinched it forever) it?s you being undemocratic and fascistic, not me. A referendum is not the same as a general election. You are voting for significant and potentially irreversible change. That is not what elections are about. It?s invidious to compare the two.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 05:29 AM

Let?s see: suppose the bar was set at 75% and that was the turnout. Let?s say that the required majority was 60% and the result was akenaton?s 61%. That?s still well under half the electorate voting for the change. To ensure a majority of all those entitled to vote, which I would say is the minimum requirement to make an irreversible and highly significant change, a turnout of 75% would require a majority of just under 67% voting for the change. That?s where I would set the bars. In those circumstances, no- one on the losing side would be able to claim no majority/mandate for change. One of the divisive elements would have been removed. That?s a much better shot at real democracy, though I still don?t believe in referendums anyway. Of course, I can see why leavers wouldn?t have liked it.


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