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DavidV

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http://www.news.com.au/world/europe/catalans-rally-for-independence-from-spain-in-barcelona/story-fnh81p7g-1227523654665

Spain's establishment politicians have so far shown some backbone in telling Catalonia they have no right to their independence. Like Scotland this is something that must be prevented at all costs.
DutchMonarchist

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The Catalan separatists have apparently won a majority of seats during the regional election yesterday. They are now planning to declare independence within a year and a half, even though they didn't even get a majority of the votes.

I just can't understand why someone would want a petty politician like Mas as his head of state instead of Felipe VI. Long live the King of Spain and may he help his country to overcome this threat!

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/28/catalan-separatists-win-election-and-claim-it-as-yes-vote-for-breakaway


KYMonarchist

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What's throwing me off is the claim of a 5-seat separatist majority of 72 seats. I'm assuming that's JxSi and the Popular Unity Candidacies. Except I thought CSQEP was also separatist. I'm confused now. 

I'm also not certain who on earth came up with the whole UDI in 18 months thing, where's that in the Spanish Constitution of 1978?

Also, I have an argument guaranteed to stop any and all movement towards Catalan independence. We all know Mas is anti-gay marriage, right? Well, since gay marriage was only legalized on the national level 10 years ago in Spain, it seems obvious to me that if Catalonia were to be independent, gay marriage would need to be legalized all over again. Except that President Artur Mas is against that happening. So, since Catalonia is known to be very progressive, and probably also very pro-gay as well, simply spread the news that an independent Catalonia would no longer allow gays to enjoy their full civil rights and support for Catalan separatism will drop like a rock. Woohoo, everybody follow my plan for defeating Catalan separatism!!!!
DavidV

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KYM, why do you have to make EVERY subject about one of your favourite causes? Enough is enough. Gay marriage is not a central concern here regardless of whether you advocate or oppose it.
Wessexman

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The Spanish government has to be careful. It is easy to overplay your hands in these situations. If it looks like it is arrogantly imposing its will on Catalonia, then this may increase support for independence.

Would a separate Catalonia have to be a republic? Perhaps, the Spanish King should make it known the bond between him and his Catalonian subjects will not be broken by him, whatever the outcome of the separation issue. I'm not in principle against separation (though it really isn't my business), except the danger it seems to pose to the monarchy in Catalonia and Spain itself.
KYMonarchist

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Uh, Wessexman, an independent Catalonia is supported by a party called Republican Left of Catalonia. Yeah. Do the math, please.
KYMonarchist

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidV
KYM, why do you have to make EVERY subject about one of your favourite causes? Enough is enough. Gay marriage is not a central concern here regardless of whether you advocate or oppose it.


Spain is the world's most pro-gay country in the world. So if we tell Catalonians the policy of an independent Catalonia on gays, this will destroy support for Catalan independence.
royalcello

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I don't know if you think you're being funny, or if you really have no idea how ridiculous you sound. Just stop it. Catalan separatism has nothing to do with the issue of same-sex marriage, nor will it. One politician's personal opinion even if he is the local leader would have no bearing on policies in a (God forbid) independent Catalonia.
Wessexman

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KYMonarchist
Uh, Wessexman, an independent Catalonia is supported by a party called Republican Left of Catalonia. Yeah. Do the math, please.


True. I suppose many might think that an independent Catalonian must be a republic, but a vote for separation isn't necessarily a vote for a republic.

It might perhaps be wise for the King to reach out, without supporting separatism, to say he will be there for his Catalan subjects come what may. It all depends how this works out, but things do seem to be coming to a head.

The Spanish government will have a hard time stopping separatism if the momentum is there, and overt interference, whether political or military, is unlikely to make matters worse. They have tried to stop a referendum, because they know that if they lost that then there is little they could do without bringing Catalonia to heel by force, which is not really acceptable in a contemporary Western nation (and, besides, is unlikely to have positive results). But the Catalan separatists are trying to get around this. With this strong showing they seem to have partially done that. Who knows how it will end up. I don't think, however, the Spanish government can simply say no and that will likely end the matter.

DavidV

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Catalan separatism must be defeated come what may, because like Scottish separatism, its success will give a boost to like-minded people elsewhere and opening whole cans of worms. It is more than likely that any independent Catalonia is more likely to be a republic. Like in Scotland, there is a strong strand of left-wing, anti-royalist Catalan separatism.

Many Catalans, on the other hand, will also favour the current federal arrangement which is in fact far more consistent with tradition than any Catalan republic would be. Please do not try and make a fuss about this - we must oppose Catalan separatism like Scottish separatism because its success could empower and embolden our enemies like never before.

KYM demonstrates complete selfishness in thinking everything, even monarchism, must be about his pet causes. The real shame is that he does have some genuine enthusiasm for monarchies and monarchism and really only needs to grow the hell up.

Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #11 
I agree that we should oppose Catalan separatism, and Scottish separatism, so far as it seems to lead to republicanism.

We don't shape the circumstances, though. And my point was more about how best to react to what seems to be taking place. I'm not sure I support crushing Catalan separatism with the utmost force. I didn't support the referendum in Scotland, but I don't think it would have been a good idea for Westminster to have ignored a vote for independence and to have sent troops to stop Scotland leaving the Union. I have less of a personal concern with Catalonia, but I would suggest the same here. In either case, if there is overwhelming public support for separatism, then I think it best to bow to that, rather than cling on through force and repression. So, we have to discover what the current situation is and think what to do about it (although, obviously, we have little or no say over the events). Some are saying this is a clear vote for independence, and others are saying it is nothing of the sort. What is the truth?

We have to pay attention to cultural and political realities in Scotland - like the fact that Scots have lost, for the most part, patriotic attachment to the Union. We must do the same for Catalonia. What do the Catalans feel? And what, given this, is the best course of action? 

To be fair to KYMonarchist, he is at least rarely vitriolic or personal, even if he is sometimes too strident.
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #12 
Wessexman, I don't see how the fact that there is overwhelming political support for separatism should lead anyone to bow for it. The point is if you start thinking that way there is no opposition left soon enough. In a lot of countries there is overwhelming support for a republic as well, but that's no reason for me to support it - in fact, part of the reason why I'm a monarchist is that I don't believe majorities should be able to decide everything. In my view people should not decide who is their own head of state, so why should they decide what their state is? These issues are too fundamental for it.  

I agree that the Spanish government should not overplay its hand and that it should first do all it can to keep Catalonia inside Spain in a peaceful way. Maybe more autonomy can be given and maybe that would help. Perhaps stalling for time will help to reduce the prominence of the issue, or perhaps focusing on the fact that Catalonia would not be part of the EU could be a persuasive argument, as most separatists like the EU. 

But if there truly no other option left, let there be violence. Declaring independence unilaterally is illegal and a government has the right to protect its legal order with force. Better to go down fighting than to give up beforehand. If you bow down for people who violate the law like that, that's like giving in to criminal gangs. No way!  


Peter

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Reply with quote  #13 

I have refrained from continuing our quarrel in any form. You dragged it on in the original thread, even for two further posts after the forum owner called a halt, and have just made yet another backhanded reference to it here. Kindly cease.

On the thread topic, I don't think anyone would suggest that force would or could be used to crush Catalan separatism, though I would certainly like to see something done to defuse it. Catalonia was within France a very long time ago, but has been within the Spanish orbit for a millennium and more and there has never as such been a separate Catalan state. The closest approach would be the feudal County of Barcelona, which merged into the Crown of Aragón (by marriage to its heiress) in the 12th century and became part of unified Spain in the 15th.

In the War of the Spanish Succession Barcelona and Catalonia generally were the stronghold of Archduke Karl, which did not endear them to the eventually triumphant Felipe V. As part of a general reordering of Spain he abolished their autonomy and ancient institutions, but I doubt whether any lingering resentment from that plays a part in separatist feeling, especially as regional autonomy is virtually the watchword of the new Spain. Resentment undoubtedly does survive from the dictator Franco’s campaign against the Catalan language and culture, but again in present-day Spain every little regional dialect is nurtured and protected, let alone a language like Catalan with its ancient literary tradition.

Apart from the usual desire of separatist leaders to be bigger fish in a smaller pond, it seems to me that the main motivation for separatism is economic, a  view that the already prosperous region would be better off still were it a country. And unlike in Scotland, where separation would have catapulted the new state into an economic abyss, this is an arguable view. Force being out of the question and a general recovery of the Spanish economy not being likely any time soon, it seems that the Spanish government is faced with the difficult task of sweetening Catalonia’s economic position while not alienating other regions. Maybe Felipe VI, lawful heir of the Kings of Aragón and Counts of Barcelona, could indeed play a part also in renewing Catalan loyalties. Does he speak the language, I wonder?

PS OK, someone evidently would suggest it. While I see the point made in DutchMonarchist's final paragraph, and would certainly agree with using force against armed insurrection, I would not agree with force being either used or threatened against an attempt at lawful and peaceful separation, backed by the majority of the region's populace. That didn't work in former Yugoslavia and wouldn't in Spain.

Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #14 
Well, when I said I think we should bow to separatism if it has overwhelming support I, one, was cautioning against extreme means at maintaining unity. Not least because I think they would backfire, To go back the Scottish example, I think that if the referendum had been in favour of Scottish independence, the British government would have had to recognise that. Two, I was thinking about what monarchists might do to reach out to separatists. In neither Catalonia nor Scotland does separatism have to be tied to republicanism. I was thinking about what monarchists might do to reach out to separatists. Certain monarchists have reminded us that monarchists should separate their monarchism from other issues. But we are unlikely to have an effect on developments anyway. I was just ruminating on possible options.

You may be right that stalling for time might be a good move. It seems to be the best option open to the Spanish government at the moment. There is also the fact no official vote has been taken independence, though the fact the government is blocking a definitive resolution may work against them.

International law is not worth a lot, but it is worth pointing out the UN treaties and charters on the issue of sovereignty versus self-determination are inconsistent. Some guarantee the territorial integrity of members state, whereas others seem to show respect for self-determination of all groups who demand it. There has to be a limit somewhere, there has to be some stability in the territory and boundaries of states. But who has a right to rule themselves and who does not is a hugely fraught issue. Only heaven really knows, though I'd personally err on the side of autonomy for smaller regions and peoples, within reason. I certainly don't think that every breakaway state is wrong and every ruling one is right.

Peter, I made a comment on KYMonarchist's conduct that others have faulted. If your ears burn from what little I have said here, then that is on your head, but I was simply standing up for him. I did not even refer to other posters in contrast to him, let alone you personally. I genuinely consider him harmless and think he should be free to express his opinions.  Somewhat strident, and occasionally strange (as in this instance), as his views sometimes are, he never actually attacks members here personally, and his left-liberal monarchism is therefore as welcome to me as any other form. I think we should have less disputes, not through artificial means of dampening disagreements, but  by being adults and not reacting personally to differences of opinion. I have said this about KYMonarchist before our recent spat, such as when he was attacked by others.



Peter

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Reply with quote  #15 
It was merely coincidental, then, that your comment echoed comments you made directly about me on the other thread. Somehow I don't think so. However, let it end there. My view on separatist movements is always coloured by history, rightly or wrongly. I opposed Scottish separation because it would have been a disaster for Scotland, a country I love, even though it would probably have benefited England if anything, but could not deny Scotland's long history as a separate realm, voluntary joining into Union and right to dissolve the Union if its people wished to. An independent Catalonia though just seems wrong, let it be as autonomous as it likes but there's never been a Catalan state and I don't see why there should be one now. Anyway we will all just have to wait and see what happens, certainly hoping for no bloodshed, though I don't think that's greatly to be feared.
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