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Catalan independence referendum, 2017

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,474 ✭✭✭bennyineire


    Spain may never recognise it
    Nope and can't afford to either, if the Catalan referendum is successful (big if) then surly the Basque question will follow after which would involve France, then this would surly embolden Corsica and then what of Belgium.

    E.U. will block this as hard as they can make no doubt about that


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Belgium is dysfunctional as a single country. If it had two separate regional parliaments instead, things would run much more smoothly for them.
    The EU is ideally positioned as an umbrella to facilitate this sort of thing to happen in a peaceful and orderly way, and without new hard borders appearing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    recedite wrote: »
    Belgium is dysfunctional as a single country. If it had two separate regional parliaments instead, things would run much more smoothly for them.
    The EU is ideally positioned as an umbrella to facilitate this sort of thing to happen in a peaceful and orderly way, and without new hard borders appearing.

    And what about East Prussia or former Hungarian lands can they rejoin the homeland if they vote for it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,474 ✭✭✭bennyineire


    And what about East Prussia or former Hungarian lands can they rejoin the homeland if they vote for it?

    There aint no East Prussians left in what was East Prussia, they all moved (or killed in WW2) to what we know as Germany today


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭feargale


    Nope and can't afford to either, if the Catalan referendum is successful (big if) then surly the Basque question will follow after which would involve France, then this would surly embolden Corsica and then what of Belgium.

    E.U. will block this as hard as they can make no doubt about that

    Yes, the EU, which without full justification imagines itself to be a great bastion of democracy, probably will obstruct the democratically expressed will of these peoples just as they would have done to us if we hadn't jumped before they were born. What I want to know is this: Is there a GPO in Barcelona?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭feargale


    And what about East Prussia or former Hungarian lands can they rejoin the homeland if they vote for it?

    Why not? Would you have a problem with that?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    feargale wrote: »
    Why not? Would you have a problem with that?

    It would almost certainly lead to the break up of the EU and war if the vote was illegal


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    feargale wrote: »
    Yes, the EU, which without full justification imagines itself to be a great bastion of democracy, probably will obstruct the democratically expressed will of these peoples...

    By what mechanism do you believe the EU will obstruct such a democratically-expressed will?


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 CroFag


    I'm afraid will peace prevail if both sides, Barcelona & Madrid, stay on these hard positions.

    From a a perspective of a rich western Yugoslav republic, Croatian independence gained in 1991 ended up in a bloodshed that took 15.000 lives and destroyed our society, economy and most importantly human ties.

    Knowing there is a big spanish minority in a Catalan society, I'm very worried.

    Btw. My travel plans for Catalonia are now delayed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,474 ✭✭✭bennyineire


    CroFag wrote: »
    I'm afraid will peace prevail if both sides, Barcelona & Madrid, stay on these hard positions.

    From a a perspective of a rich western Yugoslav republic, Croatian independence gained in 1991 ended up in a bloodshed that took 15.000 lives and destroyed our society, economy and most importantly human ties.

    Knowing there is a big spanish minority in a Catalan society, I'm very worried.

    Btw. My travel plans for Catalonia are now delayed.

    Complete over reaction by you IMHO, can't compare situations


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    And what about East Prussia or former Hungarian lands can they rejoin the homeland if they vote for it?
    Now that you mention it, I don't think Vienna ever gave permission for an independent Hungary, did they? Not that it matters now.

    But just because Madrid, Vienna and London were once at the centre of vast empires, it does not mean they they always will be.

    Austria is probably at its natural size now, going by the population demographics of the people who are actually Austrian, maybe its just slightly smaller than it should be.
    Spain is maybe still just a little bit bigger than it natural size.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    The most recent poll showed that 84% of Catalans approved the holding of such a vote (49% unilaterally, 35% a negotiated referendum), but the outcome remains too close to call (48% Yes, 40% No - 54/46 when undecideds were allocated).

    I have to say, I really like to see this kind of phenomenon - those favouring the status quo by and large still believing that the people should have the final say, even if it means their side might lose. Supporting the will of the people prevailing above one's own preferences if they differ is not something one sees all that frequently in politics - look at Brexit for example, in which a very large number of anti-Brexit young people started ranting on social media that democracy was a bad thing, that the people shouldn't have ever been asked to choose, or even that one should require a certain level of education before being allowed to vote - summed up as "we didn't get what we want, f*ck democracy".

    If I'm interpreting the Catalonian opinion poll correctly, it would appear that a belief in self-determination prevails, regardless of where people stand on the issue of independence.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    ...look at Brexit for example, in which a very large number of anti-Brexit young people started ranting on social media that democracy was a bad thing, that the people shouldn't have ever been asked to choose...

    If you're looking for an exemplar of the beauty of direct democracy in action, you couldn't have picked a much worse example than Brexit. I just don't get this slavish worship of democracy, to the extent of defending the absolute hair-brained stupidity of holding the Brexit referendum on the basis that it doesn't matter if the country is permanently and irreparably damaged; it's what a bare majority of those who voted thought they wanted at the time, therefore it's unarguably the right thing to do.

    I'm not arguing that Catalonia shouldn't have a referendum; I'm pointing out that Brexit is almost as perfect an example as you could hope to find of why referendums are a terrible idea.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,933 ✭✭✭Anita Blow


    recedite wrote: »
    There is no rule in EU law to say whether the citizens of a successor state retain EU membership or not.
    The UN is more clear about it; “if a state is a continuator state then its UN membership will continue, whereas a new state must be formally admitted to membership”.

    As there is no clear rule within the EU, the matter would be decided by other EU politicians doing deals with each other, but Spain would have more political clout than Catalan (both being continuator/successor states).

    Catalonia would not be a continuator state. It would be the successor state and Spain would be the continuator state.
    As per the The Creation of States, the continuator state is the one which retains the legal personality and treaty obligations of the previous state, with only changes to its border. The successor state, which has broken away from the continuing state assumes a new legal personality and a 'clean slate' with regard to treaty obligations etc


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,652 ✭✭✭eire4


    CroFag wrote: »
    I'm afraid will peace prevail if both sides, Barcelona & Madrid, stay on these hard positions.

    From a a perspective of a rich western Yugoslav republic, Croatian independence gained in 1991 ended up in a bloodshed that took 15.000 lives and destroyed our society, economy and most importantly human ties.

    Knowing there is a big spanish minority in a Catalan society, I'm very worried.

    Btw. My travel plans for Catalonia are now delayed.

    IMHO the 2 situations are not analogous and I would not be delaying any plans to visit Catalonia. I have visited there myself and Barcelona is a wonderful beautiful city and I have other family who have been on holidays twice there this year and they loved it also.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭feargale


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    If you're looking for an exemplar of the beauty of direct democracy in action, you couldn't have picked a much worse example than Brexit. I just don't get this slavish worship of democracy, to the extent of defending the absolute hair-brained stupidity of holding the Brexit referendum on the basis that it doesn't matter if the country is permanently and irreparably damaged;

    That was precisely the "justification" used by Pinochet and his thugs and his shady CIA friends to overthrow a democratically elected government in Chile.

    oscarBravo wrote: »
    it's what a bare majority of those who voted thought they wanted at the time, therefore it's unarguably the right thing to do.

    And you would trump that with a bare minority? Queen Victoria would like you. She said something similar.
    oscarBravo wrote: »
    I'm not arguing that Catalonia shouldn't have a referendum; I'm pointing out that Brexit is almost as perfect an example as you could hope to find of why referendums are a terrible idea.

    Indeed. The fuhrers know best.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    If you're looking for an exemplar of the beauty of direct democracy in action, you couldn't have picked a much worse example than Brexit. I just don't get this slavish worship of democracy, to the extent of defending the absolute hair-brained stupidity of holding the Brexit referendum on the basis that it doesn't matter if the country is permanently and irreparably damaged; it's what a bare majority of those who voted thought they wanted at the time, therefore it's unarguably the right thing to do.

    I'm not arguing that Catalonia shouldn't have a referendum; I'm pointing out that Brexit is almost as perfect an example as you could hope to find of why referendums are a terrible idea.

    I'm not making a comment on Brexit either way, just the reaction to it from some in my own generation. People spouted all kinds of horribly fascist sh!te because the result didn't go their way, which I actually found genuinely alarming - suggesting everything from an upper age limit for voting (because older people won't have as long to put up with the consequences of their votes) to requiring a certain level of education (so essentially classism). One can debate the Brexit vote and its aftermath, but can we agree that this sort of reaction to it is rather disturbing? I don't think I've ever seen quite so much "this is why old / uneducated / ordinary people shouldn't be allowed to vote in the first place" style commentary in my entire life as I did in the few days immediately following the Brexit vote.

    You get similar vibes from the "antifa" and "not my president" movements in America - we didn't get the result we wanted, ergo we need to actually change the system to make sure this can't happen again, rather than actually being gracious losers and accepting that our side simply didn't do a good enough job of campaigning... It just doesn't sit well with me at all.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Anita Blow wrote: »
    Catalonia would not be a continuator state. It would be the successor state and Spain would be the continuator state...
    Its also possible to have two successor states, or none. Largely depending on what the states themselves want to do.
    The EU has no specific rules on it... yet.

    But some thought has gone into it. This learned opinion seems quite a reasonable one to me.
    either both new States will become new Members or the remaining State will continue the membership (with necessary modifications) while the separated State will become a new Member. No part of the State would have left the EU not even for a moment.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    :
    oscarBravo wrote: »
    .. referendums are a terrible idea.
    And there are people with the opposite opinion to you on any given subject, who also think they know what is best for everybody. And also think referendums are a terrible idea.
    Democracy ain't perfect, but its the best system available.
    Until the artificial intelligence takes over; then its all moot anyway :pac:


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,410 Mod ✭✭✭✭robindch


    recedite wrote: »
    In the Crimean referendum, Kiev did not authorise it, but the result was guaranteed by Russian troops who had been stationed at Sevastopol, since forever.
    recedite wrote: »
    The fact is, its not up to other countries to decide.
    We've been over this a few times before, but the Crimean referendum wasn't in any way democratic - it was held in violation of the law of the region; it was held without any oversight by competent, honest or reliable international authorities; there was no register of voters; the vote was ignored by substantial portions of the available electorate; there were innumerable reports of voter fraud; the vote was not counted reliably; the referendum question was unclear; one side was prevented from campaigning while the other used hysterical propaganda; there were multiple accounts of voter intimidation; the referendum was held by vote of the regional parliament while it was being threatened by the Russian military; there was no balanced debate nor the time to have one; the region was flooded with invading Russian soldiers; once the "independence" referendum was held, the regional parliament immediately applied to "join" the Russian Federation which , shortly afterwards, made talk of secession from the RF a criminal offence.

    I don't quite see how you can reconcile your view that it's up to each country to decide its own future with the theft of Crimea on the back of a flamboyantly fake referendum process.

    Not that I'd expect the Spanish to behave like Russia - landing thousands of unmarked soldiers in Barcelona and take over the regional parliament :)


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  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    recedite wrote: »
    And there are people with the opposite opinion to you on any given subject, who also think they know what is best for everybody. And also think referendums are a terrible idea.
    You seem to be mistaking me for someone who thinks he knows what's best for everybody.

    And, yes: it's possible to hold deeply differing views on all sorts of topics, while still agreeing that asking uninformed people to make enormously consequential decisions on complicated questions that they're unqualified to fully understand is a bad idea.
    Democracy ain't perfect, but its the best system available.
    And yet, in its most widespread and successful format, it takes most of the decision-making responsibility out of the hands of citizens and hands it to their elected representatives.

    In fact, when people talk about democracy, they're almost invariably talking about representative democracy in one form or another.

    I'm blue in the face saying this, but I guess I have to keep repeating it every time someone decides I'm some sort of autocrat in waiting: I don't have a problem with democracy. I have a problem with the mindless idea that "democratic" is a synonym for "perfect" and that any problem can be solved by throwing more democracy at it.

    I stand over the idea that Brexit is a picture-perfect example of why referendums are an utterly appalling way to run a country. 39% of eligible voters made a decision with far-reaching and as-yet unknowable consequences on the basis of a campaign that was characterised by vastly more rhetoric and emotion than information and reason, and a considerable amount of bare-faced dishonesty. Of that 39%, what percentage do you imagine were genuinely fully informed of the consequences of leaving or remaining? How many of them thought they could eat their cake and have it? How many thought the NHS would get an extra £350 million a week?

    To democracy's slavish adherents, such questions are blasphemous. The creed tells us that once the people have spoken, their words become sacred truth. The Will of the People can't be questioned, and if the consequences of the People's Sacred Decision is a national catastrophe, that's OK, because it's what the People Voted For.

    I don't subscribe to cults, and to me the idea that asking enough uninformed people a question will magically produce the correct answer is as cult-like a belief as I've ever come across.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,410 Mod ✭✭✭✭robindch


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    To democracy's slavish adherents, such questions are blasphemous. The creed tells us that once the people have spoken, their words become sacred truth. The Will of the People can't be questioned, and if the consequences of the People's Sacred Decision is a national catastrophe, that's OK, because it's what the People Voted For.
    The view you've mentioned here is something which a number of libertarian-leaning individuals appear to hold.

    For these excellent people, the single, critical element in any decision seems to be the appearance of a decision-making process. Concerns about the reliability or honesty of the process, or of the degree of information or encumbrance of the people making the decision, or of the utility or otherwise, of the result - these are irrelevancies.

    It's a POV which does has the benefit of extreme simplicity, but at the expense of reducing trust in the result to zero.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    robindch wrote: »
    Not that I'd expect the Spanish to behave like Russia - landing thousands of unmarked soldiers in Barcelona and take over the regional parliament :)
    A more accurate analogy would consist of French troops crossing into Catalonia, and confining Spanish troops to their barracks while the referendum was being held. You have to admit it was a master stroke of Putin's to surprise the Ukrainian troops and keep them separated from their weapons. And there was probably nobody more grateful than the Ukrainian troops themselves. All except one went home fit and healthy, despite the ludicrous orders they were receiving from Kiev to fight to the death.

    Anyway, the Crimeans themselves seemed quite happy with the result...



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,410 Mod ✭✭✭✭robindch


    recedite wrote: »
    Anyway, the Crimeans themselves seemed quite happy with the result.
    As indeed were Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Russia and North Korea - the only UN member states which recognize the illegal and faked referendum.

    One doesn't need to be an especially skilled international observer to suspect that this sad list of failed states, banana republics and dictatorlands may not have had the fairness or the legality of the result as their highest concern.


  • Registered Users Posts: 555 ✭✭✭shaunr68


    recedite wrote: »
    Anyway, the Crimeans themselves seemed quite happy with the result...
    Are these native Crimeans I wonder, or recent Russian colonists, the Tartars and other local population having been ethnically cleansed by Stalin for having backed the wrong horse in the war.

    More of a whiff of Cromwell and Ulster about it...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Well, not sure who exactly you would call native to Crimea. The tatars are a remnant of Ottoman rule which was at its height back around Cromwell's time alright.
    The cossacks are probably the most "native", and they were strongly pro-Russian in the referendum.
    And way back in the Crimean War when the British and French formed a tactical alliance with the Ottomans against the natives, it was the Russian Army that saved the day on that occasion too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 555 ✭✭✭shaunr68


    Saved the day? They were defeated. Quite an odd interpretation there on the successful Anglo-French intervention against Russian aggression and expansion against the sick man of Europe

    Anyway, back to the point. Please note my use of the term native rather than indigenous.

    My point was if you deport, enslave and murder a significant proportion of the population and bring in Russian colonists to replace them, it should come as no surprise that there now happens to be some significant pro-Russian sentiment.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    shaunr68 wrote: »
    Please note my use of the term native rather than indigenous. Which group could be considered to be indigenous to the region wasn't really the point.
    At this point in time most of the tatars in Crimea are neither, because they have moved to Crimea from other parts of the old Soviet Union where they were born, and where Stalin deported their parents/grandparents. That's why a lot of them are now homeless and oppose the govt.

    Besides, being either native or indigenous is not the main consideration IMO.
    A country belongs to the people who live in it.
    Past injustices belong in the past. Otherwise you would end up returning the USA to the indigenous tribes, or Australia to the aborigines. Even the Turks are not indigenous to Turkey, if you go back far enough.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,410 Mod ✭✭✭✭robindch


    recedite wrote: »
    A country belongs to the people who live in it.
    Or in Crimea's case now, the region now belongs to Russia where - as I mentioned above - talk of separatism, even on social media with essentially zero spread, is now a criminal offence which can result in a long spell in a Russian prison:

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/12/22/dispatches-crime-speaking-russia

    Though this fear of separatism at home has not spread to other of the Kremlin's many corridors, some of which are devoted to encouraging further separatism abroad, where such talk does not incur a prison sentence:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/what-s-behind-russian-support-world-s-separatist-movements-n614196

    Some consistency in your POV would make a welcome change, though I'll concede that it's hard to be consistent while still supporting VVP :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,583 ✭✭✭Mal-Adjusted


    recedite wrote: »
    Well, we saw recently how the EU was very keen to negotiate to uphold "the current rights" of non-British EU citizens living in post Brexit UK, even though it would have no jurisdiction there.
    Therefore it should be even more keen to uphold the democratic rights of Catalans, in a post Spain situation.

    Um...haven't you got that backwards? Surely you mean that the EU would seek to uphold the rights of Spanish living in Catalan, you know, with Spain being an EU nation and a post Independence Catalan not?

    Not that it matters much as unless Spain recognize the legitimacy of the vote, i doubt any other Eu nations would either.


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