Talk for Article "Who will stand for Catalan independence in the December elections?"

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  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    “ In 2015, the pro-independence parties (Junts pel Si and la CUP) achieved 48% of the vote, but due to the Catalan electoral system, they gained an absolute majority in the Catalan autonomous parliament”
    Certainly, they gained 52% of the seats in the Catalan parliament with just 48% of the votes.
    However, it is of the utmost importance to say that Catalonia is the only Spanish autonomy that lacks an own electoral law, so Catalonia ballots are ruled by the Spanish electoral law.
    It is thanks to that law that the Popular Party obtained 60% of the seats in the Spanish Senate with just 38% of the votes.
    Also, it should be said that independentist parties received 48% of the votes, but this does not necesarily mean that 52% of the votes were unionists. Some parties are not one thing nor the other.
    This is why a referendum is clearly needed. Unionists insist that they are a majority, but they continuously oppose to celebrate a referendum. That doesn’t seem to be fair play.

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    Is “Separatist” generally considered a neutral term? It has overtones to me.

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      Hi Leia,

      According to the Oxford Dictionary, “separatist” means “A person who supports the separation of a particular group of people from a larger body on the basis of ethnicity, religion, or gender.”
      I would think this applies to the Catalans who want independence? To separate from the Spanish state.

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        We all know dictionary definitions don’t always capture political and linguistic overtones though.

        “Separatist” to my mind as a term has too often to been preceded in headlines etc by “violent” to be free of overtones.

        It was (rarely) used by mainstream media for the Scottish independence campaigners for example but appears in the same media to be being used for the Catalan campaign consistently.

        There’s some discussion of this on the main Wikipedia article on the term
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Separatism#.22Separatism.22_is_loaded_language

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    Hi Andrew,

    I think the article is very thorough and accurate in the description of the pro independence parties in Catalonia.
    Nevertheless I believe the introduction might lead to misunderstandings to those who have not followed the entire “procés” , is for that reason that I feel compelled to write you.
    “Catalonia and its struggle for independence…” might lead to think that the majority of Catalonia is wiling to become independent when it is not the case as you stablish in your article later on. It might look like I am trying to split hairs but given that most of not well informed people – due to the very well prepared propaganda – assume that the great majority of the population is crying for independence but is crushed by an oppesive central government, I think it is important to pay attention to the details. More and more evidence shows that a part of the population who is being oppresed since years ago is the portion of catalonians who are against independence , just 2 examples: http://www.expansion.com/opinion/2017/10/06/59d7672ee2704e625e8b4587.htmlhttps://www.wikitribune.com/story/2017/11/01/spain/big-read-catalonias-independence-crisis-splits-families-and-friends/12173/

    In the same line, to avoid fueling this view of a helpless region being crushed when this possibility is everything but clear , I invite you to consider the phrase “Spanish central government sent police armed forces to crack down on what it deemed an illegal referendum” because if might lead to understand the situation as the government judging illegal the referendum . Of course, there is not any government of a full democracy –
    in case there is any doubt: http://imco.org.mx/politica_buen_gobierno/indice-de-democracia-2016-via-the-economist/- entittled to judge illegality, that´s the labor of the judicial power , judges are independent of executive power.
    What made the referendum illegal ( I am not considering here wether it should be so or not) is that it was against the Spanish law and the Catalonian law. Not only that ,in order to “allow them to call for the referendum” the pro independent parties jumped on their own rules (like the percentage of positive votes that would entittle them, in their own view, to call for a referendum), on the Catalonian laws, and on the Catalonian parlament.
    I give you just the first example I found http://www.publico.es/politica/catalunya-parlament-aprueba-ley-referendum-abandonar-pleno-oposicion.html
    I am not an expert, and don´t feel confortable asking you to consider rephrasing your sentence, with all the respect I propose possibilities – just inspirations – to avoid the misinterpretation of your sentence: “to crack down on what judicial power (judges, law, etc) deemed an illegal referendum” , “to crack down on an illegal referendum according to Spanish legislation”
    Thanks in any case for reading.

    Just one last thing, since you are expert in political misperceptions, fake news, etc. Apparently there were many fake news around the “procés” specially around referendum https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/10/06/inenglish/1507278297_702753.html and it also appears that russian sites fueled the conflict, to the point of the EU being concerned about it and increasing the number of workers dedicated to fight against desinformation .
    If that is so, it would be great that WikiTribune gives us some light about it. A good reason for it is that it might help ease the sad position where Catalonia – and Spain also – is , but it is also a good reason to unveil fake news and post truth just for the sake of it, because that is the core of WikiTribune and the reason why we support it and read it

    With much respect

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Eva,

      Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment. I agree with you that the phrase “Catalonia and its struggle for independence” might lead uninformed people to believe that a great majority of Catalan people want independence. Tomorrow I will try to come up with a less confusing one. Although I totally agree that the referendum was illegal according to the Spanish Constitution and that the Catalan leaders broke the Spanish law and the Catalan “Estatut”, what I was trying to emphasize was that the use of police force did indeed send shocking images of what happened on the 1st of October around the world. I also agree that in many respects it is the non nationalist Catalan people who have been oppressed over the last years, or who have suffered in silence, but the aim of this article in particular was to describe what is happening among the pro-independence camp. I think that another article should ensue in which those parties who do not support independence are portrayed.

      I would love to write an article on Russian meddling on “el procés”, for it is greatly related to my areas of interest. Although I do not know much about the topic at this moment, I will look into it carefully and see whether I can write a piece on it. I do have, though, some skepticism on how big of a role the Russian meddling has had in this whole process, for I have been following Catalan nationalism since I studied my undergrad in Barcelona about 10 years ago and I know this social and political conflict is very real. I really appreciate your feedback and would like to invite you to read another pice I wrote on the independence of the Spanish Judiciary power.

      I look forward to more open discussions as this one,

      Andrew

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