Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:08 am UTC

Catalunya have announced plans for a unilateral declaration of independence in a matter of days (from the sound of it, that means within seven days). Link

Looks like this is heading in a similar direction to Kosovo. That was a UDI but was, after the fact, generally accepted by the international community (but the secession movement was not well acknowledged internationally as legitimate before the actual declarations) despite Serbia still not recognising it. The big difference here is that Spain is an EU member whereas Serbia is not, it will be interesting how that affects things.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby HES » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:36 am UTC

All that a unilateral declaration of independence will achieve is a loss of the region's autonomy, as Spain has been threatening. The EU will side with Spain - ethics of the methods aside, the vote was sufficiently disrupted that it can't be called legitimate.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:04 pm UTC

Kosovo never even had a referendum in the first place though and the massive suppression of the vote will only have increased the desire for independence so, on the basis of Kosovan precedent the international community ought to side with Catalunya (once the declaration is made).

In practice, the EU will just want a return to normalcy as quickly as possible meaning they need to believe the Catalan people will resist Spain for a significant period of time before the EU might change their stance.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Derek » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:28 pm UTC

Kosovo was de facto independent for years before its declaration of Independence. The situation was very different from Catalonia.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby pogrmman » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:28 pm UTC

Spain has suspended the Catalan Parliament.

Frankly, I was pretty undecided on the issue, but the Spanish response to the whole thing hasn’t been great. I watched the king’s speech, and I didn’t like how much he focused on defending the law and the constitution. It’s ridiculous to me that he shamed the Catalonians for not respecting the law and constitution, yet remains silent on the violent suppression of the vote. It’s pretty clear that people can’t adequately “defend their own ideas within the bounds of the law” (~3:20 in the speech) from the actions that the Catalonians have taken. If they were able to, they wouldn’t have gone forward with an illegal referendum.

With regards to the comparison to Kosovo — I agree that it isn’t the best comparison. However, it seems stupid that the EU is ignoring what’s going on it Catalonia. The situation has already kinda gotten out of hand.

I’m not a huge fan of the idea of breaking up Spain, but Madrid has gone too far.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Mutex » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:33 pm UTC

Meanwhile Sabadell, a major Catalan bank, is considering relocating in the event of a declaration on independence.

It has called an extraordinary meeting of its board later on Thursday to discuss transferring its headquarters from Barcelona to another Spanish city.

CaixaBank, another large Barcelona-based institution, is reported to be contemplating a similar move. This would ensure the banks remained within the eurozone and under the supervision of the European Central Bank.

Catalonia being wealthier than the rest of the Spain seemed to be the main driving force for the referendum, at least from what I've seen. Looks like if they do declare independence their main reason for doing so will instantly disappear.

Hmm, for some reason that feels familiar.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby pogrmman » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:39 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
Meanwhile Sabadell, a major Catalan bank, is considering relocating in the event of a declaration on independence.

It has called an extraordinary meeting of its board later on Thursday to discuss transferring its headquarters from Barcelona to another Spanish city.

CaixaBank, another large Barcelona-based institution, is reported to be contemplating a similar move. This would ensure the banks remained within the eurozone and under the supervision of the European Central Bank.

Catalonia being wealthier than the rest of the Spain seemed to be the main driving force for the referendum, at least from what I've seen. Looks like if they do declare independence their main reason for doing so will instantly disappear.

Hmm, for some reason that feels familiar.


I believe that those banks will keep their word. It would suck for them to have their headquarters severed from the EU.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of companies moved in the event of a declaration of independence, severely harming the economy of the region, but the Catalan vice president doubts that will be the case according to what I saw in El País. (Though for some reason, I can only find that article in the Spanish edition.)

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Mutex » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:58 pm UTC

Well really it comes down to this: Which is going to cost your business more?
1. Moving your office to Madrid
2. Being outside the EU

I'd be surprised if it was #1 for most businesses.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Liri » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:04 pm UTC

I chatted with the Asturian post-doc today. She's pretty against them leaving - I got the impression that she views the [leaders of] the region as elitist and wanting to leave more because they think they'll be better off than for cultural and historical reasons. Part of her reasoning was that there are a half-dozen other regions in Spain with equal or greater linguistic, historical, and cultural reasons for leaving.

She was also pretty upset with Madrid's response and the king's speech.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:35 pm UTC

Puigdemont has given his speech. He has claimed a mandate for independence but called for a negotiation with Spain for a bilateral agreement; he reminded people of the history of Spain rejecting Catalan calls for dialogue and has said that he is still willing to pull a UDI, but will only do so if Spain continues to ignore the vote.

This seems pretty optimal. I only hope that Spain finally turns away from this path to chaos

Edit to avoid double post:

Well, Spain doubled down and are imposing direct rule (at least long enough to dissolve the parliament and hold elections, presumably in the hope of getting a unionist leader). Link
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:38 pm UTC

Double posting because big new news.

The Catalan parliament has declared independence 70-10 (with 55 abstentions; the opposition boycotted the vote). The Spanish PM has said direct rule's needed to return "law, democracy and stability" to Catalunya and the senate have approved direct rule so it seems they're committed to continuing down this violent and oppressive road.

I haven't seen any responses yet from outside Spain.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Chen » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:56 pm UTC

70-10 but with 53 abstentions due to boycott really doesn't feel like a sufficient majority for such a decision IMO. I'm not sure what the threshold SHOULD be for seceding from a country but the whole 50%+1 doesn't feel right for it to me.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Mutex » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:07 pm UTC

It's weird seeing people describe Rajoy as a dictator when his government is just as democratically elected as the Catalonia regional government were. Plus they're the ones actually following the Spanish constitution, which was ratified by Spanish voters in a referendum with 91.81% in favour of it.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Liri » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:21 pm UTC

It seems depressingly futile. I don't see a way forward for amicable - or violent - separation.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Chen » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:58 pm UTC

A point I never really understood about these separation movements, is what you do about things like Federal laws or a Constitution? Once you're your own country you presumably will need to create a bunch of laws that were prior handled by your former federal government. But I never see any indication of this beforehand. Like say Texas secedes from the US and decides, I don't want to follow the 14th Amendment anymore, so my new constitution won't include it or it's equivalent. Shouldn't that be made obvious BEFORE the separation? From what I can see all that work would be done afterwards though.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:00 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
70-10 but with 53 abstentions due to boycott really doesn't feel like a sufficient majority for such a decision IMO. I'm not sure what the threshold SHOULD be for seceding from a country but the whole 50%+1 doesn't feel right for it to me.


Supermajorities don't really solve the problem though. It's an unavoidable problem with binary decisions without overwhelming public consensus. If you go with a simple majority, you end up with cases like this, or Brexit, or Scotland where a very narrow majority get moreorless everything they want, and the incredibly large minority get ignored. If you go with a supermajority, you end up with situations (where a majority of people disagree with the course of action and get nothing, but the minority get what they wanted.

This is why dialogue is important. In Catalunya as in Scotland, or potentially even Brexit, extra devolution is possible and so a compromise where neither side gets completely screwed is possible. Spain have decided that won't happen and therefore that, whichever way this resolves, a very large minority get completely boned.

Based on polling before Spain's clampdown (which is unlikely to have endeared many Catalans to Spain), the pro-independence and pro-remain camps are similarly sized so, from an ethical perspective, we should judge the better outcome primarily on how the losers are treated in each case. If Catalunya gets independence, they show every sign of being willing to engage in good relations with Spain and do whatever they can to allow people to move, work, and live freely in whichever country they choose (and to allow people to retain Spanish citizenship if they so choose) leading to very little change to their way of life (unless Spain decides to pursue a punitive policy which will primarily hurt its supporters). Meanwhile, if they don't, pro-independence Catalans are unable to pursue their political goals with the threat of a repeat of the current pseudomilitary occupation.

Mutex wrote:
It's weird seeing people describe Rajoy as a dictator when his government is just as democratically elected as the Catalonia regional government were. Plus they're the ones actually following the Spanish constitution, which was ratified by Spanish voters in a referendum with 91.81% in favour of it.


As stated before, the Spanish constitution contradicts international law on this matter so is irrelevant. Rajoy is indeed democratically elected, but that doesn't mean he can't also be engaging in behaviour that is profoundly antidemocratic.

Edit: we (the UK)'ve apparently made the predictable choice and said we won't recognise the UDI
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Chen » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:52 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:As stated before, the Spanish constitution contradicts international law on this matter so is irrelevant.


You keep saying this, but territorial integrity is also a matter of international law. And even a cursory google search seems to indicate there's no common consensus on whether self-determination or territorial integrity should take priority.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:15 pm UTC

The right of a state to territorial integrity is to prevent outside entities fermenting secessionist movements or imposing new borders, it has nothing to do with the recognition of a pre-existing movement's right to self-determination.

Article 2(4) of the UN Charter wrote:All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state


Given "political independence" there, it looks like actually, if anyone is in violation of territorial integrity, it's Spain violating Catalunya's. This is also the only mention of territorial integrity within the UN charter and is restricted to applying "in pursuit of Article 1" which includes the right to self-determination. There is no question whatsoever that the UN charter supports such a UDI.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby cphite » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:49 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:As stated before, the Spanish constitution contradicts international law on this matter so is irrelevant.


You keep saying this, but territorial integrity is also a matter of international law. And even a cursory google search seems to indicate there's no common consensus on whether self-determination or territorial integrity should take priority.


First of all, there is no such thing as an "international law" that takes precedence over a nations own constitution when it comes to matters of sovereignty. The UN Charter is a constituent treaty, and part of that treaty (Article 103) states that obligations to the United Nations prevail over all other treaty obligations; but nowhere in the Charter does it claim to prevail over the laws of member nations in matters of their own sovereignty. If it had, practically no nations would have agreed to it.

Spain has a constitution, and part of that constitution affirms "the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation" - and only the Spanish parliament can change the constitution. Whether it's right or wrong from a moral standpoint, as a matter of law in Spain the referendum is illegal and Spain is completely within it's rights to treat it as such.

Even if we pretend, for the sake of discussion, that the UN Charter would preempt a national constitution, it still wouldn't apply in this case. In order for something to be an enforceable law, it has to describe an action and a consequence. Purpose 2 of Article 1 of the UN Charter describes neither of those things. That's why they call it a "purpose" and not a law. It basically just states that members of the UN agree, in principle, that in order to maintain "friendly" relations that they will respect equal rights and self-determination of peoples.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Chen » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:02 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Given "political independence" there, it looks like actually, if anyone is in violation of territorial integrity, it's Spain violating Catalunya's. This is also the only mention of territorial integrity within the UN charter and is restricted to applying "in pursuit of Article 1" which includes the right to self-determination. There is no question whatsoever that the UN charter supports such a UDI.


https://web.archive.org/web/20120120120 ... unrep1.pdf

Page 50 item 8
The principle of self-determination cannot be interpreted to include a right in international law of secession (outside of the colonial context).


There are explanation of limitations on self-determination starting around page 38. That is a UN paper.

Around page 20 in the following also has similar points being made though this one isn't directly from the UN (thought it references a number of UN papers).
https://web.archive.org/web/20120206211 ... /vyver.pdf

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:39 am UTC

The UN charter is unambiguous. Any other resolutions are contrary to said charter and ought to be disregarded.

This is all assuming everyone was primarily interested in maintaining a consistent set of actions and principles under the law rather than the hypocritical real politik that's going on here where, ultimately, the law exists only to provide justification for the action that would have been chosen regardless.

Morally, law is never relevant. Spain has shown that it is unwilling to engage in dialogue and, in my book, given the context, they relinquish any right to rule.

So, if we're interested in maintaining a consistent train of law we are in favour of Catalunya. The moral case is less clearcut but I doubt there are many who consider Spain's recent actions justifiable on purely ethical grounds. The only position which is unambiguously in favour of Spain is the real politik one which, alas, is the one which always ends up applying :(
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby sardia » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:58 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The UN charter is unambiguous. Any other resolutions are contrary to said charter and ought to be disregarded.
This is all assuming everyone was primarily interested in maintaining a consistent set of actions and principles under the law rather than the hypocritical real politik that's going on here where, ultimately, the law exists only to provide justification for the action that would have been chosen regardless.

Morally, law is never relevant. Spain has shown that it is unwilling to engage in dialogue and, in my book, given the context, they relinquish any right to rule.

So, if we're interested in maintaining a consistent train of law we are in favour of Catalunya. The moral case is less clearcut but I doubt there are many who consider Spain's recent actions justifiable on purely ethical grounds. The only position which is unambiguously in favour of Spain is the real politik one which, alas, is the one which always ends up applying :(

The separatists aren't innocent here. There's been a movement to separate Catalan away from Spain by indoctrinating the population into believing they are definitely not part of Spain. Spain's brutality is making this worse though.
Don't despair about realpolitik though, at some point, it'll work in Catalan's favor. They just have to make this a huge headache, and/or rack up a large body count. Then the EU might be forced to step in. They'll be at the mercy of the Germans though...

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby ivnja » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:03 am UTC

Chen wrote:A point I never really understood about these separation movements, is what you do about things like Federal laws or a Constitution? Once you're your own country you presumably will need to create a bunch of laws that were prior handled by your former federal government. But I never see any indication of this beforehand. Like say Texas secedes from the US and decides, I don't want to follow the 14th Amendment anymore, so my new constitution won't include it or it's equivalent. Shouldn't that be made obvious BEFORE the separation? From what I can see all that work would be done afterwards though.

In the US at least, each state has a fairly comprehensive constitution of its own. Your point still very much stands for issues around things like defense and immigration, but at the same time, we saw the crackdown that happened when Catalonia tried to stage a vote - open drafting of independence-related laws in their parliament would likely not be allowed to happen while they remained part of Spain. So the alternative then would have to be getting that all set up in secret, which would likely have meant it would be done by the leaders/insiders of the independence movement. I think that lack of public input, especially from opponents of secession would take away from the legitimacy of the new laws and be divisive.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Chen » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:19 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The UN charter is unambiguous. Any other resolutions are contrary to said charter and ought to be disregarded.


Unambiguous? It doesnt define peoples OR self-determination. Did you read the article I posted? Self-determination does not equal breaking up a country or even having your own state and thats in a paper that the UN produced.

ivnja wrote:
In the US at least, each state has a fairly comprehensive constitution of its own. Your point still very much stands for issues around things like defense and immigration, but at the same time, we saw the crackdown that happened when Catalonia tried to stage a vote - open drafting of independence-related laws in their parliament would likely not be allowed to happen while they remained part of Spain. So the alternative then would have to be getting that all set up in secret, which would likely have meant it would be done by the leaders/insiders of the independence movement. I think that lack of public input, especially from opponents of secession would take away from the legitimacy of the new laws and be divisive.


The problem I see with allowing even a small majority to cause secession is that you can thus override legitimate protections the people who don't want to secede have. Using Texas again, its constitution actually forbids same sex marriage/unions. Its since been overruled at a federal level. But if Texas were to secede people there, despite perhaps wanting to keep their existing rights could have them stripped away once they are no longer under the federal protections. There'd be no one to appeal to, your now in a country that doesnt give you said right through no real choice of your own.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby ivnja » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:50 am UTC

Chen wrote:The problem I see with allowing even a small majority to cause secession is that you can thus override legitimate protections the people who don't want to secede have. Using Texas again, its constitution actually forbids same sex marriage/unions. Its since been overruled at a federal level. But if Texas were to secede people there, despite perhaps wanting to keep their existing rights could have them stripped away once they are no longer under the federal protections. There'd be no one to appeal to, your now in a country that doesnt give you said right through no real choice of your own.

That's true, and it's a problem. If there are enough people in a contiguous area (ideally one that isn't an enclave) who disagree with the direction the state is going, they can pull a West Virginia and secede right back to rejoin the original country, but otherwise the realistic if painful solution for someone who finds herself in such a situation is probably to just leave...which unfortunately relies on the state allowing passage unmolested. I'd like to hope that any modern democratic secessionist region would do so, but who knows how they would handle property or bank accounts, etc.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:20 am UTC

Chen wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:The UN charter is unambiguous. Any other resolutions are contrary to said charter and ought to be disregarded.


Unambiguous? It doesnt define peoples OR self-determination. Did you read the article I posted? Self-determination does not equal breaking up a country or even having your own state and thats in a paper that the UN produced.


Yeah, people is an ambiguous term, but even the Spanish aren't disputing that the Catalans are a people, they're just claiming that they're also Spanish (analogously to the Scottish being well accepted as a people, but usually also claimed to be British as well). Self-determination is indeed not well defined in the charter, but given Spain's refusal to even allow votes for greater autonomy in the past (rather than the more recent vote being for independence), and the neutering of the almost unanimously passed new statute of autonomy I think it's hard to find a definition of self-determination Spain hasn't violated (and in doing so, according to the statement from the general assembly quoted in your second source, giving up their right to territorial integrity or political unity over Catalunya).

Regardless, the charter unambiguously places territorial integrity and secondary to self-determination and the other principles, none of which apply here. This was the lack of ambiguity I was referring to. Therefore, any resolutions putting territorial integrity ahead of self-determination are illegitimate.

Anyway, the dissolution of Yugoslavia (most recently with the secession of Kosovo) shows that the primacy of self-determination over territorial integrity is well accepted. Is it just the fact that Yugoslavia was younger which made that legitimate but not Catalunya? What about Ireland? What about the various successor states of Austria-Hungary?

It is ahistorical to claim that the international community actually puts territorial integrity of self-determination. The international community has always been opportunist in this regard choosing to prefer whichever they perceive as better fitting their self-interest. From an ethical pov though, I have yet to see a good argument against reasonable self-determination winning out.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Chen » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:42 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Regardless, the charter unambiguously places territorial integrity and secondary to self-determination and the other principles, none of which apply here. This was the lack of ambiguity I was referring to. Therefore, any resolutions putting territorial integrity ahead of self-determination are illegitimate.


This is not true at all. Article 1 starts purposes and Article 2 states the principles by which said purposes can be achieved. Maintaining the territorial integrity of states is in the principles. And hence there is a conflict between territorial integrity and self-determination. Please read the article (at least the couple of pages that I quoted) to see there is nuance there. Looking just at the charter it is ambiguous on which should have precedence. There are TONS of articles and papers on this conflict so frankly continuing to say its certainly one way over the other is naive.

Anyway, the dissolution of Yugoslavia (most recently with the secession of Kosovo) shows that the primacy of self-determination over territorial integrity is well accepted. Is it just the fact that Yugoslavia was younger which made that legitimate but not Catalunya? What about Ireland? What about the various successor states of Austria-Hungary?


I'm not even arguing that self-determination is always supposed to be considered after territorial integrity. In the Yugoslavia case all the independence referendums had high turnout and exceptionally high backing. My primary concern about secession in general is the impact on the people who don't want to secede but who end up stuck in the new country. In cases where 90%+ vote for it, well at some point the negative effects on those who remain has to be overruled by an overwhelming majority, since you'll never realistically get 100% support for, well anything.

This is clearly not the case here in Spain. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/spain-cata ... -1.4377409

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:20 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
This is not true at all. Article 1 starts purposes and Article 2 states the principles by which said purposes can be achieved.


"The Organisation and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles." (emphasis mine). That does not mean "these are the principles which will achieve our purposes", it means "whilst pursuing the purposes, we will follow these principles". Regardless, the charter only references territorial integrity in the context of outside entities, not of internal movements.

The charter supports self-determination and at no point affirms any right to territorial integrity against forces from within. It follows then, that the charter supports the right of peoples to secede if that is their will.

The reason there are all these articles talking about a conflict is they are trying to rescue some semblance of consistency from the real politik where none exists. Per the charter, peoples can secede but many members of the UN have strong interests in discouraging secession and have at times used force to suppress secessionist movements. In order to make this look legal you get articles like these conjuring up ambiguity where none exists, and motions that contradict the charter (thus being illegitimate).

Chen wrote:
I'm not even arguing that self-determination is always supposed to be considered after territorial integrity. In the Yugoslavia case all the independence referendums had high turnout and exceptionally high backing. My primary concern about secession in general is the impact on the people who don't want to secede but who end up stuck in the new country. In cases where 90%+ vote for it, well at some point the negative effects on those who remain has to be overruled by an overwhelming majority, since you'll never realistically get 100% support for, well anything.

This is clearly not the case here in Spain. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/spain-cata ... -1.4377409


As I've discussed above, this is an unavoidable problem with binary choices but one which need not have been relevant here if Spain hadn't consistently denied any attempt to move towards greater autonomy whilst remaining part of Spain.

Edit: there are three questions to consider, the ethical, the legal, and the political. Of those, the ethical should always come first, the political will come first, but people will act like the legal one did. The reason I reject your articles is that they are post-hoc legal justifications for politically motivated actions and any confusion was introduced by them and is entirely because they are not honest about which question they're answering.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby elasto » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:42 pm UTC

Eight sacked Catalan ministers have been remanded in custody by a Spanish high court judge over the region's push for independence.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to detain eight of the nine former regional government members who turned up for questioning in Madrid.

They are accused of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

The prosecutor asked the judge to issue a European Arrest Warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.

The request also covers four other dismissed Catalan ministers who did not show up in court in Madrid as requested, but have been in Belgium since Monday.

Mr Junqueras's lawyer, Andreu Van den Eynde, criticised the decision to jail "people of peace" who he said had never participated in acts of violence.

A ninth official, ex-Business Minister Santi Vila, was granted bail at the request of prosecutors. He resigned before the Catalan parliament voted for independence last Friday.

On the face of it, this seems like another misstep at best - especially the underhanded way they invited ministers to attend questioning and then jailed those who turned up. Surely this can do nothing but further inflame the situation ahead of the enforced elections.

Will also be very interesting to see what happens with the arrest warrant for the Catalan leader.

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