These critics argued that it made no sense to launch a referendum that was not agreed in negotiations with the Spanish parliament and through a change of the constitution.
A Brief History of Catalan Nationalism | Foreign Affairs
And they also criticised the nature of the law for the referendum on a number of legal and procedural grounds, including the lack of a minimum level of participation below which the referendum would not be valid. This absence is for fairly evident reasons. The independentistas knew that those who were against independence would not vote because they considered the referendum illegal.
Participation would thus be predominantly by pro-independence citizens, ensuring that a simple majority of voters would vote yes and give legitimacy to a unilateral declaration of independence. As Ada Colau argued, the way in which the independence process was launched had left behind half the Catalan population.
In the event, it seems that the repressive measures adopted by the central government before the referendum on 1 October confiscating voting material, detaining eleven members of the Govern [Catalan government] for a few days, shutting down the website of the Catalan government, etc motivated large numbers of people to vote who otherwise would not have done so, simply to defy the central government.
The participation rate as much as one can trust the figures, given that the electronic system checking who had voted, and where, was shut down by the central government and it took some time for the Govern to set up a new one was 42 per cent — 2. Of these, 90 per cent were in favour of independence — which is 38 per cent of all citizens with the right to vote. This result is made all the more complex — as the Podemos factions and others with sympathy for the independentistas think — by both the limitations of the referendum and the police repression, which made voting difficult.
The result cannot be regarded as a solid basis for secession. As the international media has reported, the process and its results, including the police violence, have created major controversies within Catalan and Spanish civil society. Both before the referendum and since, they have been threatening individuals known to be independentistas in their homes, and they have also tried to obstruct gatherings in Valencia and parts of Catalonia. Up to now these groups have been all but invisible: there is no far right political party in Spain to speak of.
Some argue that this is because the far right is already in government, but — even given the attempts at repression of the referendum — I think this is an exaggeration. Another civil society phenomenon has been the number of demonstrations taking place not only in Catalonia but also in the rest of Spain. On 3 October there was a demonstration in Barcelona of about , citizens protesting against the violence of the national police force, which will have included people both for and against independence.
These 8 October demonstrations were supported by Podemos and its affiliated local parties. Ada Colau and Pablo Iglesias took part in Barcelona. On 18 October, following the jailing of Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart — the leaders, respectively, of the Assemblea Nacional de Catalunya and Omnium — on the grounds of sedition, , took to the streets to protest. As I write this account, on 19 October, the possibility of dialogue seems to have vanished — if it ever existed.
This was their defence for the jailing of Sanchez and Cuixart, but it should be noted that this same tribunal has found the PP to be in violation of the constitution on a number of occasions, for example in its taxation amnesty, without that having had any consequences. But that is only part of the story. The independence process, as flawed as it has been, did not come into being because a few nationalistic politicians thrust it upon the population.
The politicians have been, and are still being, pressured into this process by substantial social movements. Before it collapsed in Puigdemont had been part of CIU, which, though nationalist, had never favoured independence. Their goal had always been a better negotiated statute of autonomy. But because of the growing pressure of civil society movements and also in an effort to distract public attention from its own corruption scandals its members were more or less forced into the independence process. But the people I speak to in my everyday encounters, as well as leading politicians, really believed that the EU would protect them from any violence on the part of the central government, because, according to EU law, member countries must respect the right of expression of their citizens.
Even, now, when more than seven hundred companies have moved their head offices to other parts of Spain, many see this as little more than an attempt to pressure the Govern to refrain from independence, and believe that the companies will come back once they realise the process will work out fine. Others, like the CUP, realise they may suffer for a while, but think the price is worth paying: in the end they will be able to decide their own fate — and get rid of capitalism altogether. Since the general election of , PSOE has played a considerable role in creating the stalemate and uncertain future that we are facing today.
Podemos — participating for the first time — almost overtook PSOE in this contest, receiving PP, who were the incumbent ruling party, remained the strongest party, with At this point the numbers meant that, although the PP had the most elected members, Podemos and PSOE, together with the smaller left-wing regional parties represented in the parliament, could have formed a coalition government. PSOE members and voters were and are divided on this issue. But it would have been possible for Sanchez to at least promise a process in which a change of the constitution would have been negotiated this is what he has promised now, together with Rajoy.
However, as he was worried about losing the support of members opposed to such a process, he instead started negotiations to form a government with Ciudadanos. Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards. Screen Name Selection.
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Una Mullally Who is accountable when big-tech housing goes wrong? Brexit — the countdown continues. Time for a greater Dublin authority. Tackling child poverty. Land-use maps — a sustainable approach. Trump and the Democrats. Considering Irish unification. Civil rights and the IRA. Volunteer drivers. The first descriptive reading shows that while those who are in favour of the process clearly occupy high positions on the nationalist scale, those who are against do not do this in the same way in the low positions.
While The increase in nationalism and homogenisation regarding secessionist demands transcend the actual ideological positioning of citizens and parties, generating a unified space towards which political parties from different ideological positions have been approaching, but also moving away. Thus, the traditional scheme of positioning framed by ideological and nationalist axes is superseded by the dynamic of the process, which becomes a catalyst of identity-based sentiments, generating decisive realignments of both parties and voters.
These realignments, which reveal the opening of the structure of opportunity at stake, will serve to show the weakness of nationalist homogeneity via analysis of three kinds of relationships: the first, the relationship between ideological self-placement and self-placement on the nationalist scale; the second between partisan identification expressed via the question of sympathy and ideological positioning; and the third, the relationship between partisan identification and nationalist positioning.
Figure 4. Self-placement on the nationalist scale and support for the independence process. To this end we have performed a correspondence analysis of ideological self-placement with regard to sympathy and of the latter with self-placement on the identity-based scale. Indeed, analysis of the correspondences between spaces of ideology with sympathy, as well as nationalism with sympathy enables us to show in graphic terms what we are commenting upon.
The first of these cases Figure 5 , reveals the enormous correspondence between political parties and ideological spaces, in such a way that the Catalan electoral space reveals three clearly demarcated ideological blocks: to the left 0 to 4 on the scale of ideological self-placement there is perfect gradation between the most extreme values and support, in order, for CUP, IU, ERC, Podemos and the PSOE. Finally, on the far right 8 to 10 on the scale the PP on its own.
However, upon analysis of the relationship between nationalism and political sympathy Figure 6 we can observe how those spaces of an ideological nature are broken, producing a realignment in terms of the nationalist drive shaft. In fact, except in the case of supporters of the PP and CUP, which maintain a perfectly immutable ideological and nationalist space, supporters of the other parties are beginning to move in differential manner, revealing the tension between the nationalist and the ideological axis. However, given its enormous importance within this entire process of national construction, we should highlight the case of CiU voters, ideologically very far from their coalition partners and who fit perfectly into this new space, where ideology ceases to be important Figure 6.
Jaraiz has recently shown how in nationalist leaders in Catalonia not. Figure 5. Analysis of the correspondences between self-placement on the ideological scale and political sympathy.
Figure 6. Analysis of correspondences between self-placement on the nationalist scale and political sympathy. Three elements are fundamental in order to understand how the mobilisation has been produced: firstly the role of the process, secondly the unifying role of leaders, and finally, how long citizens have supported the independence process. Both the process and the role of leaders have been discussed in various chapters of this book and subsequently we will show their functioning in our SEM model; time, however, deserves special comment.
Table 4 shows us the relationship between the length of time during which citizens have sympathised with independence and the average positioning on the nationalist scale. What strikes us first was the average positioning of those who have supported Independence for less than a year 6.