Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Vahir » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:38 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:I wonder what Spain can do to stop this. Send in the police?


Yes.

On one hand, I respect that there has to be some limits to secession or every country would splinter into a million fragments. On the other... This is a blatant crushing of democracy. Stomping down the catalonians for voting in a referendum is a sickening insult to democracy.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby orthogon » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:42 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
Mambrino wrote:
jano wrote:On another point: as far as I know, according to the Spanish Constitution (1978], it is illegal for a region (like Catalonia or any other) to call an independence referendum. I think that the government could call one in which all the Spaniards (not just the people in Catalonia) could vote the secession of a part of the state.


I wonder what the response would have been if the Soviets had tried to pull that off in ~1991. "50.8% of people of Soviet Union vote for Baltic SSRs remaining in the union, sorry no independence."


Or if the English, Welsh and Northern Irish could have voted in the Scottish independence referendum.


Or if the citizens of all 27 member states could have voted in the UK's referendum on leaving the EU. Probably the turnout would have been lower in the UK than anywhere else, what with it being some boring European election that none of the tabloids would bother to report. After all, Brexiteers were constantly whinging that the EU was undemocratic, but at EU Parliament elections turnout was so low that I always used to get about four votes!
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Chen » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:56 pm UTC

Vahir wrote:On one hand, I respect that there has to be some limits to secession or every country would splinter into a million fragments. On the other... This is a blatant crushing of democracy. Stomping down the catalonians for voting in a referendum is a sickening insult to democracy.


The Spanish Constitutional Court deemed the referendum illegal. I don't know how politicized or legit that is, but it's how almost all "democracies" work.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Vahir » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:33 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Vahir wrote:On one hand, I respect that there has to be some limits to secession or every country would splinter into a million fragments. On the other... This is a blatant crushing of democracy. Stomping down the catalonians for voting in a referendum is a sickening insult to democracy.


The Spanish Constitutional Court deemed the referendum illegal. I don't know how politicized or legit that is, but it's how almost all "democracies" work.


"Okay, guys, the english king said that Ireland isn't legally allowed to separate. It's a shame but we have to stay in the United Kingdom. Rule of law, y'know."

What a joke.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Chen » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:40 pm UTC

Except here it's the constitution of the country you're a part of that's preventing it. You said there needed to be limits on secession yourself. What would you propose as an appropriate limit then?

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby sardia » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:43 pm UTC

You don't like judges? Or was the ruling by the courts not backed by precedent? Because judges make unpopular decisions all the time. Seems unfair to compare them to Kings.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Vahir » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:03 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Except here it's the constitution of the country you're a part of that's preventing it. You said there needed to be limits on secession yourself. What would you propose as an appropriate limit then?


A unique culture and population size would be my guess. I don't have any hard and fast answers, only that it's the difference between Scotland and your local neighborhood.
sardia wrote:You don't like judges? Or was the ruling by the courts not backed by precedent? Because judges make unpopular decisions all the time. Seems unfair to compare them to Kings.


I don't like injustice. Imagine the law dictated that "All citizens named Sardia are not allowed to speak in public", and when you tried to speak the judges found you in breach of the law (because the law does say it's illegal). You'd rightly think the law is a travesty, I imagine, given how it oppresses your rights. I don't know about you, but I'd be openly contemptuous and resist. Moral stands should be taken against unfair laws.

I mean, most countries that achieved independence did so as rebels and traitors. Spanish law didn't permit the Netherlands from becoming independent. Why shouldn't the dutch be part of Spain today?

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:57 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Vahir wrote:On one hand, I respect that there has to be some limits to secession or every country would splinter into a million fragments. On the other... This is a blatant crushing of democracy. Stomping down the catalonians for voting in a referendum is a sickening insult to democracy.


The Spanish Constitutional Court deemed the referendum illegal. I don't know how politicized or legit that is, but it's how almost all "democracies" work.


And that's a blatant violation of international law which affirms the right to self-determination.

Under international law, Spain is 100% in the wrong but, alas, I'm worried they'll turn a blind eye to it

Edit: here's the citation re:international law, purpose 2 of article 1 of the charter of the UN is "To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;" a treaty which Spain is signatory to and is in clear violation of.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby speising » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:13 pm UTC

Not so clear, as it hinges on the definition of "peoples".
The spanish government obviously doesn't believe the catalans are a separate people, they are spaniards and subject to spanish law.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Zamfir » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:05 am UTC

Vahir wrote:I mean, most countries that achieved independence did so as rebels and traitors. Spanish law didn't permit the Netherlands from becoming independent. Why shouldn't the dutch be part of Spain today?

That was not the situation in the 16th century. The various Dutch provinces were not part of Spain, and not subject to Spanish law. They were fiefs of Philips II as a person, not as king of Spain.

So Philips was duke of Brabant, count of Holland, lord-protector of Utrecht, etc. And in a legally unrelated position, he was also king of Spain. This was not just a paper formality. The government administration of Spain was entirely separate from the administration of the low countries (and of Austria, and the other parts of the Habsburg empire).

The controversial parts were never about the territorial relation between Spain and Dutch provinces. They were about the feudal relation between Philips and the provinces.

And of course, the eventual separation was part of a long and bloody civil war. Which was as much about internal divisions, as about distant Spain. The neat 'fight against Spanish oppression' version is somewhat national myth-making, to paper over the tensions in the resulting republic. If you want a clear historic lesson about the value of self-determination, it's really not that great.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby orthogon » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:17 am UTC

Cross-quoting from The Darker Side in hope of bringing the discussion over here:
Grop wrote:There was a similar debate right after the Brexit vote. It would make sense for such a dramatic decision as leaving a country, to demand a larger majority thant 50% (maybe 60% for instance or whatever). That would just have to be stated beforehand, so that people can't complain after the vote that results aren't good enough. Which is just a matter of organisation.

I'm very doubtful that such a rule would help. The situation in the UK right now is bad enough, with people like me, who were in the 48%, finding it difficult to swallow the idea that there's a clear mandate and that Brexit is what The British People have voted for. Imagine how febrile the atmosphere would be if the voting had been the same but the formal "result" was Remain because of the 60% barrier. Or suppose the result had been 59%/41% in favour of Leave. What then? Just carry on as if it hadn't happened? Surely there would be riots in the streets.

What you should do is not have a referendum like this in the first place. Italy has rules about what you're allowed to ask in a referendum[1], and something like this where one of the options is undefined and subject to negotiation with third parties, wouldn't be allowed.

[1] My mate, pub conversation, 21st September 2017.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Chen » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:43 am UTC

orthogon wrote:I'm very doubtful that such a rule would help. The situation in the UK right now is bad enough, with people like me, who were in the 48%, finding it difficult to swallow the idea that there's a clear mandate and that Brexit is what The British People have voted for. Imagine how febrile the atmosphere would be if the voting had been the same but the formal "result" was Remain because of the 60% barrier. Or suppose the result had been 59%/41% in favour of Leave. What then? Just carry on as if it hadn't happened? Surely there would be riots in the streets.


For such a large, permanent decision having more than a simple majority want it seems reasonable to me. Here in Quebec we've had a couple of referendums already, one ridiculously close (50.5% stay vs 49.5% separate, 90+% turnout). Thing is you can keep holding referendums to leave but once you actually leave its not like there's going to be continued referendums to join back. Considering the impact on half of your population (worst case split) it makes sense to need more than that in terms of determining if you should secede or not.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:48 pm UTC

speising wrote:Not so clear, as it hinges on the definition of "peoples".
The spanish government obviously doesn't believe the catalans are a separate people, they are spaniards and subject to spanish law.


No, it is clear cut. The Spanish government acknowledges Catalan as a distinct language and, in the statute defining Catalunya identifies it as a nationality rather than simply a region (which is how the Castillian-speaking autonomous communities are identified). It was also part of the kingdom of Aragon rather the kingdom of Castile and León until the two were joined in a personal union in the 15th century and before that has even been part of the Frankish kingdoms, something no other region of Spain has. The situation is similar to, or even stronger, than the situation with Wales within the UK; there is absolutely no case either legal, historical, or moral for not viewing the Catalans as a people with a right to self-determination
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Zamfir » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:16 pm UTC

That's a bit of circular reasoning there... that word "nation" was put in by the Catalonian parliament, and it's not accepted by the Spanish courts.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:31 pm UTC

The courts ruled it had no legal meaning but did not remove it. There are also constitutional criticisms of the judgement as several judges' terms had expired. The Spanish Constitution also refers to multiple nations within Spain and that has universally been interpreted to include Catalunya, Galicia, and Euskadi.

Regardless, the Spanish government certainly recognises Catalunya as a community and the historical argument stands putting it, at worst, on a similar level of recognition to Wales. Acting like the Catalans are not a people has no legal, ethical, or historical basis and acting otherwise is ignoring the facts in favour of enforcing a (frankly) Francoist ideal of a greater Spain
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby sardia » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:04 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The courts ruled it had no legal meaning but did not remove it. There are also constitutional criticisms of the judgement as several judges' terms had expired. The Spanish Constitution also refers to multiple nations within Spain and that has universally been interpreted to include Catalunya, Galicia, and Euskadi.

Regardless, the Spanish government certainly recognises Catalunya as a community and the historical argument stands putting it, at worst, on a similar level of recognition to Wales. Acting like the Catalans are not a people has no legal, ethical, or historical basis and acting otherwise is ignoring the facts in favour of enforcing a (frankly) Francoist ideal of a greater Spain

I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the underlying reason. Money. Aren't Catalans much richer than the rest of the country? They don't appreciate their money going to others.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby doogly » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:01 pm UTC

I have no idea why we haven't yet.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Chen » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:18 pm UTC

Presumably if it was super clear cut that practically everyone wanted to (like when South Sudan was formed) it would have happened. In reality many of these separation type votes, even if they have the backing of the majority, it isn't a huge majority. Even say a 2/3 split means that you're throwing a HUGE disruption into the lives of those 1/3 who didn't want to leave their country. This is problematic both in principle and in practice with the logistics behind how to deal with all this legally and acceptably.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:02 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:The courts ruled it had no legal meaning but did not remove it. There are also constitutional criticisms of the judgement as several judges' terms had expired. The Spanish Constitution also refers to multiple nations within Spain and that has universally been interpreted to include Catalunya, Galicia, and Euskadi.

Regardless, the Spanish government certainly recognises Catalunya as a community and the historical argument stands putting it, at worst, on a similar level of recognition to Wales. Acting like the Catalans are not a people has no legal, ethical, or historical basis and acting otherwise is ignoring the facts in favour of enforcing a (frankly) Francoist ideal of a greater Spain

I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the underlying reason. Money. Aren't Catalans much richer than the rest of the country? They don't appreciate their money going to others.
The US is lucky in that the richer States don't revolt over the poor states being leeches.


Oh yeah, I entirely understand why Spain's doing what it's doing, I'm just saying it isn't at all justifiable legally or ethically. Tbh, I'm not convinced this will help Spain; this sort of brutal suppression rarely makes the people happier staying under your yoke

Edit to expand on the above: Spain's economy's been in the shitter ever since the 2007 financial crisis and isn't really showing any signs of changing any time soon, Catalunya leaving could potentially push them over the edge into becoming a new Greece or Iceland, something the Spanish government understandably doesn't want to be. The rich states aren't entirely analogous though (likewise, London in the UK isn't) because the US is much more culturally homogeneous and, for all the differences between the two coasts, the midwest, the south and a few others, Catalunya, Galicia, and Euskadi are all far more culturally distinct from the Castilian-speaking regions. As such, there's less incentive for the rich states to leave because, by and large, the citizens of those states still view themselves as Americans first and citizens of their state second, something that is a lot less clear with Catalunya, Euskadi (and to a lesser extent Galicia).

Anyway, right now, the Catalans are understandably pissed and there have been protests but I very much expect things to remain relatively quiet until the 1st when things will really kick off. The reason I expect a small period of relative quiet is that the serious agitators will recognise that the 1st is the best date for organising and the one that everyone will be planning to use and, as such, acting before then just gives the Spanish police an excuse to detain people so that they can't be present for the big protests on the 1st.

I have heard that the Spanish have chartered two cruise ships to house their extra police but that the dock workers have refused to service them in any way in protest. This could very easy get into a prison-hulk situation and is freaking scary (moreso for me than many similar things elsewhere because I had been thinking of doing my postgrad in Barcelona and am now having to rethink that, and because it's practically on my doorstep being in the UK)
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Zamfir » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:11 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the underlying reason. Money. Aren't Catalans much richer than the rest of the country? They don't appreciate their money going to others.

Thats one of those patterns that explain everything, except when they do not. Catalonia is richer than average, so money is the reason behind the independence movie. Scotland is poorer than average so its not. Bavaria is rich, and its independence movement is dwindling. Basque nationalism was most aggressive when the Basque economy was in trouble, but northern Italian taste for separation seems to grow with money. Etc , etc

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Liri » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:34 pm UTC

Things are not looking great.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Thesh » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:38 pm UTC

I think at this point it's fair to call the Spanish government an oppressive regime.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Liri » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:41 pm UTC

That is a reasonable assessment.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Vahir » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:31 pm UTC

They're now firing rubber bullets into crowds.

Hundreds are injured by spanish police.

I get the feeling Spain never quite shook off Franco's fascism.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Diadem » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:49 pm UTC

The Spanish response is so violent and brutal it's like they want this to spiral out of control. I can't wrap my mind around it.

It seems inevitable that Catalonia is going to unilaterally declare independence. What happens next, I have no idea.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby speising » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:26 pm UTC

Moreover, it's tailored to keep the people who would vote for remain at home, so the result will be an even clearer "leave" vote.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby kingofdreams » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:48 pm UTC

I wonder how many ballots have to be seized before whats counted can't be taken as representative as what was voted.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby elasto » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:55 pm UTC

It can already be dismissed as unrepresentative in that only the most ardent secessionists will be fighting through police lines to attempt to vote.

[Sorry, just realised speising basically just said exactly the same thing]

Edit:

bbc wrote:Catalan officials later said 90% of those who voted backed independence. The turnout was 42.3%."

...

Catalan authorities said 319 of about 2,300 polling stations across the region had been closed by police while the Spanish government said 92 stations had been closed.

Since Friday, thousands of people have occupied schools and other buildings designated as polling stations in order to keep them open.

Many of those inside were parents and their children, who remained in the buildings after the end of lessons on Friday and bedded down in sleeping bags on gym mats.


So, if the turnout is to be believed, it's actually a pretty convincing margin of victory. If only 1 in 5 non-voters support secession then secessionists actually hold an absolute majority...

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:22 am UTC

Trade unions and independence activists are now apparently calling for a general strike in protest of this extraordinary brutality. After the shocking footage that came out today it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if they did actually get a significant proportion to strike.

Meanwhile the comments coming out the of the Spanish government are pretty dystopian in the level of doublethink and the twisted morality they imply
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Liri » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:21 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Meanwhile the comments coming out the of the Spanish government are pretty dystopian in the level of doublethink and the twisted morality they imply

Yeah. "There has not been a referendum on self-determination in Catalonia." Before today, the global community probably viewed the two sides relatively equally. Now...

There's a Spanish post-doc at my work (from Asturias). Not sure whether asking about today would be impolite.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:07 am UTC

Just seen reports (with some video and pictures that seem to back it up) of at least one woman whose fingers were broken and whose breasts were groped as the police laughed. Lots of other people with similar levels of injuries as well as dramatic photos of old people covered in blood from beatings/rubber bullets/being shoved into walls or whatever.

I had been agnostic as to whether the world would be better with an independent Catalunya before, but after today, I struggle to see a good future for Catalunya where it isn't independent.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Derek » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:40 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:And that's a blatant violation of international law which affirms the right to self-determination.

Under international law, Spain is 100% in the wrong but, alas, I'm worried they'll turn a blind eye to it

Edit: here's the citation re:international law, purpose 2 of article 1 of the charter of the UN is "To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;" a treaty which Spain is signatory to and is in clear violation of.

That seems like an extremely broad rule. Was the US suppression of Southern secession a violation of international law then? They were seeking self-determination, and were crushed by force of arms. I certainly don't think that the South's secession was legitimate, but by the above rule it would have been.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby elasto » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:23 am UTC

Derek wrote:That seems like an extremely broad rule. Was the US suppression of Southern secession a violation of international law then? They were seeking self-determination, and were crushed by force of arms. I certainly don't think that the South's secession was legitimate, but by the above rule it would have been.

Bit hard to say at this distance as most of the population of the South (women, slaves etc.) didn't have a political voice. (Remember, it's not what the Southern governments sought, but what the Southern people wanted that matters...)

-----------

The government violence does seem pretty shocking for a 1st world country:

TV images showed Spanish police kicking would-be voters and pulling women out of polling stations by their hair.

Catalan medical officials said 844 people had been hurt in clashes, including 33 police. The majority had minor injuries or had suffered from anxiety attacks.

In Girona, riot police smashed their way into a polling station where Mr Puigdemont was due to vote, and forcibly removed those inside. He voted at another station.

The BBC's Tom Burridge in Barcelona witnessed police being chased away from one polling booth after they had raided it.

TV footage showed riot police using batons to beat a group of firefighters who were protecting crowds in Girona.

The national police and Guardia Civil - a military force charged with police duties - were sent into Catalonia in large numbers to prevent the vote.

The Catalan police - the Mossos d'Esquadra - have been placed under Madrid's control, however witnesses said they showed little inclination to use force on protesters.


Sorry, you can't just ignore the will of the people like this and expect it to be consequence-free...

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Diadem » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:10 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:And that's a blatant violation of international law which affirms the right to self-determination.

Under international law, Spain is 100% in the wrong but, alas, I'm worried they'll turn a blind eye to it

Edit: here's the citation re:international law, purpose 2 of article 1 of the charter of the UN is "To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;" a treaty which Spain is signatory to and is in clear violation of.

That seems like an extremely broad rule. Was the US suppression of Southern secession a violation of international law then? They were seeking self-determination, and were crushed by force of arms. I certainly don't think that the South's secession was legitimate, but by the above rule it would have been.

Well this international law didn't exist yet back then, so the Union couldn't have been in violation of it. But while that's technically true I do admit it's a bit weak as an answer.

I'd say that the South's presumed desire for independence was legitimate, and the Lincoln was categorically in the wrong when he used the argument that the constitution forbade secession. However we don't really know if the people in the South wanted independence, or just their government.

More importantly however is that keeping a large fraction of your population in slavery is also a gross violation of human rights. And if the only wat to stop that violation of rights is to violate the right of secession... I'm OK with that.

Secession is a right, but the parent country has both a right and a duty to its soon-to-be-former-citizens to make sure they are not repressed.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:47 pm UTC

Yeah, I'm with diadem here. If we were to apply modern norms of international relations (which didn't exist then and, well, the concept of a nation-state was itself pretty new at that point) to the US civil war, "secession is illegal" would not be sufficient grounds for the war but the war could probably be justified by saying that slavery meant that secession could not possibly be an act of self-determination for.much of the people and as such was an illegitimate powergrab by the landed classes. At the time though, self-determination was not a widely acknowledged principle (despite being fundamental to the independence of the US) so an appeal to the constitution made sense under contemporary norms of international relations.

The real issue with the rule is what constitutes a people. Very few people deny that the Scots or Catalans are a distinct people from the English or Castilians who make up the majority in their countries but where do you draw the line without getting into the paradox of the heap? Are Californians a people? What about Londoners? There were not entirely joking calls for independence after the brexit vote although, unsurprisingly that stopped after a week or so. It's clearly ridiculous for me to claim I have a right to self-determination and so want to secede from Tory-ruled Britain so there clearly has to be a line somewhere at which the international community stops going "this is a legitimate movement for self-determination" and starts going "this is a small group that does not constitute a people just being dissatisfied with their government and taking the piss". Currently the international community seems to have decided that Scotland is the former and Catalunya the latter (which is ridiculous as the Catalans are far more culturally and linguistically distinct from the Castilians than the Scottish are from the English).
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Derek » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:07 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The real issue with the rule is what constitutes a people. Very few people deny that the Scots or Catalans are a distinct people from the English or Castilians who make up the majority in their countries but where do you draw the line without getting into the paradox of the heap? Are Californians a people? What about Londoners? There were not entirely joking calls for independence after the brexit vote although, unsurprisingly that stopped after a week or so. It's clearly ridiculous for me to claim I have a right to self-determination and so want to secede from Tory-ruled Britain so there clearly has to be a line somewhere at which the international community stops going "this is a legitimate movement for self-determination" and starts going "this is a small group that does not constitute a people just being dissatisfied with their government and taking the piss". Currently the international community seems to have decided that Scotland is the former and Catalunya the latter (which is ridiculous as the Catalans are far more culturally and linguistically distinct from the Castilians than the Scottish are from the English).

The explanation for this inconsistency is that no one actually cares whether secessionist movements constitute their own "people" or not. Support is given or denied by third parties based primarily on political concerns. For example, the US and most of Europe recognize Kosovo as independent, but do not recognize South Ossetia. Conversely, Russia recognizes South Ossetia but not Kosovo. These are essentially proxy conflicts between NATO and Russia. Notably, Spain does not recognize Kosovo, because in giving recognition to Kosovo they would be legitimizing Catalonia's secessionist desires.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:53 pm UTC

Sure. I don't think anyone's suggesting that governments aren't simply acting out of cynical self-interest. We were talking about ethics and their legal obligations (which, in practice always come second to realpolitik despite the fact they should not).

In trying to talk ethically, Kosovo, South Ossetia, Catalunya (along with the Balearics and much of Valencia), Abkhazia, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), Euskadi (Basque Country), Brittany, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Flanders/Wallonia, Székely land, Tatarstan, Chechnya, Circassia, Dagestan, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are all regions in Europe with good claims of being distinct peoples from the majority in their nation (having substantial linguistic, historical, and cultural distinctiveness); there are many more debatable cases which often have mixed populations (as in Transnistria, Eastern Ukraine, Crimea, and much of the Balkans) or those without major linguistic or historical distinctiveness but with strongly perceived cultural differences (e.g. Yorkshire).

Anyway, all of my posts here are about how things should be unless specifically stated otherwise. That means ethics come first, then law, then realpolitik
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Liri » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:25 pm UTC

This is why I like the idea of a much stronger EU, for example, so that the resident bodies can self-organize to a greater degree without there being significant geopolitical and economic effects.
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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Zamfir » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:14 pm UTC

You can't move far in that direction. Make the EU much stronger, and Brussels becomes the new London/Madrid/Paris etc, the oppressive center (either in fact or in perception) that people want to get out under. Brexit is a thing already, there is not much stretch left in the system.

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Re: Referendum: Episode two: Catalonia strikes back

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:57 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:That means ethics come first,

And then thuthics, thropthire and eatht anglia?


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