Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Unconstitutional Independence / Independència inconstitucional

Summing it up as “trips to nowhere, risk projects” since it is “unnecessary, out of place, since it divides and confuses” was how Zapatero rejected the Basque lehendakari (president) Ibarretxe’s proposals, when the two of them held a meeting on the referendum on independence which the Basque nationalist party PNV is planning to call for 2010.

Although Ibarretxe’s plan is to create a broad agreement on the question for the referendum among all parties with representation in the Basque parliament, Zapatero responded that it will not be allowed to take place, since it does not the respect the constitution and democratic rules.

The problem with Zapatero’s answer is that, applied as a general rule, a small part of an existing state would never be able to gain its sovereignty democratically since the majority of the state as a whole most likely will vote against it.

Although the circumstances were different, those who favour Basque or Catalan independence can use the referendum which resulted in an independent Montenegro as an example to how the international community might react. On that occasion, as long as the voter participation reached 50% and 55% of the votes given were in favour, the EU in advance committed to respect the outcome.

The question is rather whether the Basques are prepared to vote on independence. I do not think they are, because in the Basque country there are a lot of people who first and foremost feel Spanish and in the anonymity of polling stations they can be expected to vote no.

Catalan politicians do not seem to feel the same urgency as their Basque colleagues. Here, the most radical nationalist party, Esquerra, is debating whether a referendum should be called for in 2014. The traditional nationalists, CiU, might be perceived as independentistes in Madrid, but only last did the bigger one of the two CiU parties, CDC, formally include a sovereign Catalonia as one of their alternatives for the future.

In the end, what PNV and now also CDC advocate in not necessarily independence but the right to decide (dret de decidir). To me that sounds reasonable. It cannot be good for a democratic state to rule out any attempt by a region to leave it as unconstitutional and therefore undemocratic.
- - -

L’estudi que presenta Avui que un 52% dels Catalans votarien favorablement en un referendum sobre la indepenència del país em sembla exagerat i incorrecte. Si ja existís un desig tan fort de sobirania, perquè sortiria el PSC tan reforçat de les últimes eleccions estatals? Més aviat penso que hi ha una majoria silenciosa que sí vol autonomia, però dins de l'Estat Espanyol.

No obstant això estic totalment d’acord amb
CDC que la independencia ha de ser una de les alternatives dins del dret de decidir i per tant em molesta la resposta que ha rebut el lehendakari Ibarretxe d’en Zapatero avui: viajes a ninguna parte, aventuras, no; porque es innecesario, es inconveniente, porque divide y porque confunde".

Si únicament es refereix a la versió actual de la constitució espanyola per valorar quines propostes són democràtiques i quines no, és clar que un referendum sobre la independència d’una comunitat autònoma sempre serà indemocràtic. Per cert, la situació era distinta, però la
UE va establir un exemple amb el cas de Montenegro. Allà va aceptar la comunitat internacional la decisió de la gent que vivia a la regió i no cap l’opinió de la resta de l'estat on pertanyia.

2 comments:

la linda said...

hej erik, ville kolla in efter ditt inlägg, men nu inser jag att dig har jag hälsat på hos tidigare. vad bra att du skriver på katalanska också, passar mig perfekt, hit kommer jag komma tillbaka. ha en fortsatt trevlig dag i solen.

Erik Wirdheim said...

Linda,

Läs gärna min katalanska men utgå aldrig från att den är korrekt! ;-)

//Erik