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Catalonia and regional self-determination

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Risky, 2 Oct 2017.

  1. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    Ah, the "Wake up, steeple" gambit. All my rational argument crumbles to dust, and I feel properly put in my place. :p

    I have rarely read such self-righteous, egocentric, immature narcissistic bull****. "I demand political change, even if it means people will get hurt! Other people, that is, not me of course. I don't want to get hurt myself. I'm not prepared to sacrifice my life and wellbeing on the altar of my political ideology you understand, just that of other people. 'Cause I'm idealistic like that".

    But thanks for pointing out to me that the current political system is flawed and corrupt; I was genuinely not aware of that.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 30 Oct 2017
  2. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    Perhaps you're not doing a very good job arguing your point or challenging mine. "You just don't understand!" doesn't cut it. I apologise if my last post was harsh, but come on. It's the stuff a twenty-year old wannabe political radical activist says, in between ranting about "the system" and reading Das Kapital.

    Not embracing simplistic and potentially dangerous solutions to address the flaws and corruptions in our current political systems does not mean that we don't acknowledge those problems, nor don't see the need for changing them; just that we don't see those proposed solutions as realistic or viable ways of going about it.

    You're putting an ideology that is supposed to serve people above the people it is supposed to serve, and that is tyranny 101.
     
    Last edited: 30 Oct 2017
  3. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    You seem to think that democracy is a good system. It is not; it is just the least bad system of all systems tried. What stops it from tipping over into Lord of the Flies territory is all those rules and safeguards that were put in place over its relatively short life in human history consequent to hard lessons learned in which many people died.

    Let me recap where you started from: all those pesky rules and regulations that made Brexit and Catalonian independence such a needlessly complicated affair. A few posts on and you concede that both were actually illegitimate because rules and safeguards were not followed, and hence both nations are now divided and in turmoil, and real people's lives are being adversely affected, and for what? Something that the majority doesn't actually seem to want, and nobody seems to be able to state the benefits of. I'd say that's a failure of direct democracy, right there.

    So what went wrong? You think that choice is power, and that power is control. Not true. Any idiot can make choices, like any thug can wield power. That is not the same as control: informed choice. Until people acquire that wisdom, rules and safeguards are needed to keep their stupidity in check. And once they have that wisdom, those rules and safeguards are valued.

    Pro tip: a system which tolerates people getting hurt is a bad system. Replacing one bad system with another bad system is not an improvement.
     
    Last edited: 31 Oct 2017
  4. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    Sure, that's democracy!

    Prosecuted. And given the **** he stirred, he had it coming. But he can chalk it up to being one of the people getting hurt for the cause.
     
  5. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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    Charged with sedition and rebellion. A Spanish government minister has said he could stand for election again if they didn't get him locked up first. Not the sort of legal language those who consider themselves liberal have historically cheered on, but these are new times, I guess.
     
  6. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    Most people don't want to decide for themselves, they've got more important everyday stuff consuming their cognitive processing, put simply there's more important stuff to be thinking about than gay-marriage, abortion, cannabis-legalization, and other stuff that's probably never going to effect them.

    And that's before we even get into how people very rarely decide for themselves, no mans an island and as such the decisions we make are influenced by many different factors such as family, friends, the media, etc, etc.

    Yes 1-5% at the top get to make decisions that effect our lives but breaking off into ever smaller groups isn't going to address that problem it will just exacerbate it.
     
  7. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    Suppose that the various pro- and anti-independence protests that followed had broken out into messy violence? Suppose that civil war had followed? I think that his actions were actually quite irresponsible and serious.
     
  8. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41850094
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    This is a bit more than being a political opponent, is it? This is about throwing an illegal referendum and then acting on it without obtaining a valid majority vote --as we both established in previous posts:

     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    Spain’s democratic constitution of 1978, which was approved by more than 90% of Catalan voters, gave wide autonomy to the regions but affirmed “the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation”. Only the Spanish parliament can change the constitution. The majority of Catalan voters agreed to this.

    International observers invited by the Generalitat declared that the referendum failed to meet the minimum international standards for elections. The turnout (43%) and the size of the "Yes" vote (92%) would suggest that most people did not bother to turn out, or boycotted it. Turnout of the 2014 referendum was also 41%. So for the majority of Catalans (about 60%) this does not seem to be an important enough issue to go out and vote on, or they are against it (The Catalan government’s own pollster found that while 70% wanted a referendum on the territory’s future, only 48% did so if Spanish government doesn't agree. According to the same poll, support for independence was slowly declining, and recently stood at 41%).

    Then there is the point that nobody has yet been able to tell me what the gains are of independence, in the context of the considerable losses and problems it will present, even if Spain and the EU play nice.

    So: bunch of politicians create a political crisis that could turn into violent protests, riots, even potential civil war for something that is illegal, that the majority of their population doesn't want, for no tangible gain but a range of definite tangible economic losses.

    Now let's look at the primary responsibility of government: to protect and provide. That is: install and maintain the safety of law and order, protecting citizens from each other and from foreign foes; and providing for citizens' welfare through public services and management of the economy.

    Given that Catalonia's political leaders have through their actions exposed citizens to potential harm by disturbing the peace, breaking law and order, and threatening their economic future, I would say they should be done for dereliction of duty at the very least.
     
    Last edited: 2 Nov 2017
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    The international observers were invited by the Catalan government, so they obviously thought that they matter.

    But feel free to, y'know, actually address my points.
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2017
  12. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    An international one would be Democracy Reporting International, an EU one would be the Compendium of International Standards for Elections (PDF), but AFAIK the accredited international observers who attended the referendum were The Hague Center for Strategic Studies, and a team of accredited observers drawn from multiple countries who say they adhered to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct for International Election Observers.

    Basically there's loads of agreed upon international standards, politicians love standards, although i feel if, or if not, standards were meet sort of misses the point, that being IMO that the referendum wasn't valid and Spain handled the invalidity of it awfully.

    Very true however i get the feeling such a line was written in for political gain, in other words the regions of Spain wanted more control over their own affairs and in return agreed to sign up to the indivisibility clause.

    It pretty much says so in the section itself...
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2017
  13. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    ^^^ What he says.

    And clearly the Catalan government did think international standards matter otherwise it would not have invited the observers.

    You can argue the toss but my points stand:
    - There is no proof that the majority of Catalans want independence;
    - There are no concrete gains to it, but real concrete losses and disadvantages;
    - The referendum results were invalid;
    - The therefore unwanted and illegal pursuit of this put citizens' safety at risk and risks adversely affecting their welfare;
    - Hence the Catalan politicians failed in their duty to protect and provide for their citizens.
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2017
  14. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    Personally I'd disagree that it was the illegal referendum that put people at risk, that IMO is entirely down to how Spain dealt with the situation, they should've just given the politicians enough rope to hang themselves.
     
  15. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    There isn't any international rules and laws that have to be followed, there's just agreed upon international standards as we don't have a world government who set the rules and laws that everyone must follow.

    Standards, Rules, and laws are three very different things.
     
  16. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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    So 30 years because the Spanish government might yet feel forced to send in the riot police to crack some more heads. But don't worry they aren't under UK law which you find so inadequate compared to that in Europe
     
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    It is not as simple as that. Democracy means that you do not just vote for getting what you want, but also for others getting what you want. This means that in principle, you could vote for something that harms or disadvantages the minority, and that would be fascism. There need to be rules and safeguards to prevent that from happening, and as we both agreed, by those rules and safeguards the Catalan referendum would be invalid.

    In any case 36% of the population is not a sufficient mandate. You can ignore that, and Catalan politicians can ignore that, but 64% of the population won't.

    Again, your strong feelings about this are making you prone to black-and-white thinking and oversimplifying a complicated situation. The Catalan Referendum splits Catalonia more or less down the middle. For every person who wants to leave there are 1.5 persons who don't. This situation could cause civil unrest and in extremis civil war, regardless of Spain's approach to the situation.

    Spain is undoubtedly handling the situation poorly and making a bad situation worse, but this is not a mess that it created.

    As for UK law at work, I refer you to Bloody Sunday in N.I.
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2017
  18. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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    I'd say it was a mess it created by trying to stop the referendum, which would probably have rejected independence if the unionist side had campaigned instead of staying aloof.

    That was the stupidity of sending in paratroopers to do policing. Not sure how relevant it is to this other than to point out that the UK does seem to manage these things rather better now. Mind you in 1972 Spain was still a fascist dictatorship, so perhaps this mess is an improvement of sorts.

    ==========================================================================================

    My actual point in this thread at the start was more to ask if nation states should make such an effort to hold on to people and territory in the way they did in past centuries. Particularly within the EU, if it wasn't for the opposition of existing nations, particularly Spain, there is no real reason that a region like Catalonia couldn't manage itself independently, given that currency and trade ans so on are no longer national matters. (On and this isn't a point about brexit, pleeeeeeeeeeese).
     
  19. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    I go for root cause here: a referendum for which there was no evidence that the majority even wanted one.

    That's exactly the point. The UK has its own track record of dealing with things in an unwise, destructive fashion. The best laws are useless if they are being ignored. In terms of learning from its mistakes the UK just has a head start on Spain, which, as you say, is a rather young democracy.

    I agree that they shouldn't, but there are wise ways of going about things and very unwise ways. Just thinking that you're right and they're wrong is not enough; to be wise you have to be compassionate. Idealism without compassion is fanaticism, and fanaticism gets people hurt. Democracy without compassion is tyranny by the majority, and tyranny gets people hurt..

    The primary duty of a government is to protect and provide for their citizens, and I'm not seeing how this independence referendum and subsequent declaration are doing either.
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2017
  20. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    When Scotland held a referendum about leaving the UK it was made clear that Scotland would not immediately or automatically become a member of the EU, so currency and trade (along with a ton of other stuff) would have very much been national matters for at least the first couple years of independence.
    Also since the UK was fine with Scotland having the referendum in the first place it would have been unlikely for the UK to try to block Scotland from joining the EU plus since it would have been a mutual split rather than one sided the chance of Scotland even getting recognized as a country by the rest of the world would have been high.
    The same doesn't apply with Spain and Catalonia, which creates a whole bunch of complications, like for example Catalonia not being able to trade with Spain under EU rules for a potentially very long time.
     

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