Tag Archives: elections

The Catalonian mess

Source: EconLog
by Alberto Mingardi

"As some readers may remember, I consider in general terms the Catalonian secession to be a positive development, for Catalonia and Europe, too. This is consistent with a stream of classical liberalism, which tends to view secession positively. … Other classical liberals tend to be more suspicious of secession, because they think that a smaller and more homogeneous state will make it easier for local majorities to crush with the sheer force of numbers local minorities. It is indeed true that a smaller state is not necessarily a smaller government, but if states were smaller one could expect the cost of "voting with their feet" to be lower too for people who don't like particular political arrangements. That is, leaving Barcelona for Madrid is certainly less demanding, both financially and culturally, than leaving Barcelona for Kuala Lumpur." (10/03/17)


Catalonia gripped by general strike to protest Spanish police violence during independence vote

Source: Washington Post

"Trade unions in Catalonia led a general strike Tuesday that closed down businesses and led to highway blockages in protest against police violence during the region’s chaotic independence vote. Huge crowds poured through the streets of Barcelona in the latest act of defiance against the central government and its rejection of Sunday’s referendum that backed Catalonia’s long-held ambitions for autonomy. Some marches were led by firefighters in orange jackets and yellow helmets, others were guided by leftist theater troupes and involvedfamilies with children in strollers. Protesters — some riding on farm tractors — shut down major highways, including a long tunnel the crosses from northeast Spain into France. Schools, universities, offices, small businesses and bars across the region of 7 million people were closed." (10/03/17)


No justification for Spanish Internet censorship during Catalonian referendum

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jeremy Malcolm

"The ruthless efficiency with which the Spanish government censored the Internet ahead of the referendum on Catalonian independence foreshadowed the severity of its crackdown at polling places on October 1. We have previously written about one aspect of that censorship; the raid of the .cat top-level domain registry. But there was much more to it than that, and many of the more than 140 censored domains and Internet services continue to be blocked today." (10/02/17)


Iranian, Iraqi regime forces hold joint drill near newly emerging Kurdistan

Source: US News & World Report

"Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency is reporting that Iranian and Iraqi armed forces have held a joint military drill near the international borders of Iraq's northern Kurdish region. … Iran has already closed its borders and stopped flights to Iraqi Kurdistan airports following a referendum on support for independence from Iraq on Monday." (10/02/17)


Order prevails in Barcelona as democracy dies in Madrid

Source: CounterPunch
by John Wight

"Arriving in Barcelona in 1938 during the Spanish Civil War, Ernst Toller was moved to write, 'The most striking experience a foreigner has in Barcelona is that of the functioning of democracy.' In 2017 something akin to history repeating is unfolding in the Catalonian capital, where democracy has again been raise aloft as a cause worth fighting for." (10/02/17)


Self-determination, anyone?

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"An election can be a clarifying event. So can the suppression of an election. Over the weekend, more than two million Catalans, greater than 40 percent of those eligible, voted in a referendum on independence from Spain. To which Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy declared, 'There was no independence referendum in Catalonia today.' … While the referendum result was a lopsided 90 percent opting for independence, previous polling shows Catalans split on the question. Perhaps the suppression worked best with those opposed to separation from Spain, who seem to have stayed home. … Last week, Iraqi Kurds also held a referendum in which voters overwhelmingly favored separation — in this case from Iraq and for the formation of their own wholly independent nation. And, likewise, others, including the United States, tried to block the vote." (10/02/17)


From Brexit to Catalonia: The silencing of citizens' voices

Source: spiked
by Brendan O'Neill

"It was seamless, and unremarked upon: the shift on the BBC News At Ten last night from alarming images of the Spanish national police trying to stop an independence referendum from taking place in Catalonia to images of a 'STOP BREXIT' march in Manchester, England ahead of the Tory Party conference this week. They looked different, and of course they were different. In the former, there was brute state force, the visiting of riot-police violence on non-rioters, including pensioners: citizens who were merely exercising their right to vote. And in the latter, the usual army of the angry middle classes traipsed through the streets, faces painted in the colours of the EU flag, doing what every citizen has a right to do: protest against something. But there was a commonality, and the Manchester placards revealed it. 'Stop Brexit,' 'Exit Brexit,' they said. Or they depicted Brexit as a pile of shit that should be wiped away, erased, forgotten. In both Manchester and Catalonia, in different ways, the same cry went up: crush popular sentiment." (10/02/17)


Catalonia: What's next?

Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

"As the Spanish government reveals the true nature of its 'democratic' pretensions, injuring hundreds in an effort to stop Catalans from voting, one thing is clear: Catalonia is no longer Spanish. In the very effort to prevent the referendum Madrid has handed the victory to the separatists: this is what the sight of Spanish police clubbing people at the polls means. While previous polls showed that the advocates of Catalan independence were neck-and-neck with those opposed, there is every reason to believe that now the overwhelming majority are for secession. The government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has lost whatever legitimacy it once had." (10/01/17)


Catalonia: Puigdemont vows to press ahead for independence amid tensions

Source: USA Today

"Carles Puigdemont intends to become leader of the world's newest independent state next week. Instead, he may spark a violent confrontation with Spanish authorities and wind up in jail. Puigdemont, 54, a former journalist and president of Spain's semi-autonomous region of Catalonia in northeastern Spain, vowed Thursday to press ahead with an independence referendum on Sunday …. The central government in Madrid insists the vote is illegal and has taken steps to block it. It has seized millions of ballots, detained 14 senior officials organizing the vote, shut down election websites and deployed thousands of police to bar access to voting stations. The vote is the most serious political crisis facing Spain since it returned to democracy following the death of longtime military dictator Francisco Franco in 1975." (09/28/17)


CA: Regime moves up 2020 primary elections to March

Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

"Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill to move California's primary elections in 2020 to the beginning of March, three months ahead of when they were held in 2016. It's a move designed to increase the influence of the country's most populous state in deciding presidential candidates. By the June California primary elections in 2016, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were already their parties' presumptive nominees. 'Candidates will not be able to ignore the largest, most diverse state in the nation as they seek our country's highest office,' California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement about the bill called the Prime Time Primary Act." (09/28/17)