divendres, 13 de juny de 2014

The time of democratic breakdown

"Dear President, it is not the time to ask citizens through regional elections if we have the right to decide"

"You have come to talk about something that does not exist. There is no sovereignty other than that which belongs to the People of Spain. It simply does not exist”. With clarity Rajoy states that there is not a glimmer of hope. 

There is neither a will to recognize that we are a people, a nation, nor a will to find a way to fit the right of self determination within the current law; although it could be done, It is true that the Constitutional Court has incorporated the expression of self determination into its doctrine for the first time, but in reality it is unfeasible within the current constitution 

Waiting for the ‘federal state’ carrot will be of no use. The nationalist Basque country party PNB reminded that Rubalcaba, the former socialist party (PSOE) leader, droned on about the same thing 9 years ago, about reforming the constitution to face up against Ibarretxe’s proposal (of a referendum regarding whether to approve his plan to reform the autonomy of the Basque Country) –and nothing happened.

They deny us, but we are. We are one of the oldest nations of Europe and one of the most modern approaches: a nation that bases its existence on the voluntary and shared recognition of its citizens, a country that will be born of the vote. Therefore, the question is not which is the best route through the Spanish constitutional maze, or whether or not there will be a democratic breakdown. The question is when it is the most appropriate time to create this modern nation.

It is not, dear President, a time to ask citizens through regional elections if we have the right to decide. On November 25th 2012 we already answered this question in a resounding and clear voice With 74% of the vote it was decided that we are a sovereign entity who can make our own decisions, and we have the mandate to hold a referendum. We have already taken this step.

Elections would only be a step forward if they were for considering a unilateral declaration of independence. But in this case, would all candidates agree on the nature of the question and structure of the election. Would it be a vote exclusively on independence or also on programs and parties? If the vote was dealing with different programmes and agendas of individual parties it is certain that the bulk of the media would divert the debate to the alternative ‘third way’ and together with the publication of false promises would lead us to the abyss. Despite this, this election would still break up the current Spanish constitutional status, after having won the election program (or sum of programs) that included independence.

The referendum on the 9th of November, on the other hand, addresses the key question clearly and separately from all the other issues. This is understood by the Catalans and it is understood by the Spanish and by the whole world. It places free will as a starting point for a process to negotiate independence. It changes the mindset of the Catalan, Spanish and International public opinion. It throws into sharp relief who and how is preventing in this democracy public opinion to be known and acted upon? 

It also includes a true third way as an alternative if it is needed.. In this case the debate would not be between a false third way and the abyss, but between remaining as we are, going a federal way (if anyone actually proposed this) or starting a negotiation process towards independence. The media can say what they want, but the debate now is between those who want everyone to vote and those who do not want anyone to vote.

There is only one small problem with the referendum, which is its big advantage: it is now closer. The democratic breakdown between Spain and Catalonia will be inevitable because the Spanish state wants it that way. We have been and will remain extremely conscientious and law abiding in following the appropriate legal procedures in this process. But we are not afraid to break the status quo using our democratic right to vote.

Oriol Amorós 17/04/2014 

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