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Thread: Will Catalonia go it alone?

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  1. #1
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Default Will Catalonia go it alone?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...nce-referendum

    Kinda horrific prospect. Flames of separatism have no doubt been fanned by Russian troll-factories and British profiling companies buying hundreds of thousands of euros' worth of targeted ads.

    What do you think will be the outcome of the vote?

    What will be the consequences?

    If Catalonia secedes and the EU does not unequivocally state that it is no longer a part of the EU, will that have an impact on politics in the UK? Will Scotland call for another independence referendum?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    No.

    Though possibly they should ultimately low turnout will make this moot.

    The comparison between Catalonia and Scotland is weak. Catalonia is by far a net contributor to Spain whereas Scotland is a net recipient.

    Since Spain has veto rights over accession a newly independent state will not be a member of the EU.
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  3. #3
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Spanish courts will squash this, either before or immediately after the vote. I don't think there's much appetite for violence on the Catalan side, and I can't see it prevailing otherwise.
    Last edited by Loki; 09-08-2017 at 01:30 AM.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  4. #4
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Spanish courts with squash this, either before or immediately after the vote. I don't think there's much appetite for violence on the Catalan side, and I can't see it prevailing otherwise.
    How do you think they should get their independence without violence?

    I like about my nation that we let the people decide. Whether it be Brexit for SindyRef there is nobody saying no you have no say.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    How do you think they should get their independence without violence?

    I like about my nation that we let the people decide. Whether it be Brexit for SindyRef there is nobody saying no you have no say.
    They shouldn't. They're not being oppressed and the vote should be put to the people of Spain, not Catalonia.

    A great recipe for total chaos. If the Catalans think both them and the rest of Spain will be better off from a divorce, convince a majority of Spaniards.
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    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    I foresee more criminal charges for Catalan politicians.
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    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Which is a recipe for saying a minority can never leave/dissolve a relationship they don't desire. Which is rather tyrannical.
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    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    Which is a recipe for saying a minority can never leave/dissolve a relationship they don't desire. Which is rather tyrannical.
    The minority decision has a substantial impact on the majority. You don't just get to screw over everyone because you're uncomfortable. A lot of blood has been shed to create current borders and a hell of a lot more will be shed if you make it easy to redraw them.
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  9. #9
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    The minority decision has a substantial impact on the majority. You don't just get to screw over everyone because you're uncomfortable. A lot of blood has been shed to create current borders and a hell of a lot more will be shed if you make it easy to redraw them.
    Except of course the status quo is ALSO screwing over a lot of people and you're saying that's legitimate because ceasing to do so would then make others uncomfortable. It's the exact same thing, you're just insisting on only looking at it from one side's perspective. Which you demonstrate when you reversed yourself and started talking about the minority in the region Catalonia in the exact same vein that you refused to countenance for the pro-Catalan minority when looking at the country overall. There is no inherent virtue from something being the status quo, Loki.

    As for bloodshed, the EU was created to prevent further war in Europe and is in an excellent position to allow this kind of self-determination and border-drawing/redrawing without bloodshed. Nothing in "ever-closer union" means sub-units need to remain in their current form.
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    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    Except of course the status quo is ALSO screwing over a lot of people and you're saying that's legitimate because ceasing to do so would then make others uncomfortable. It's the exact same thing, you're just insisting on only looking at it from one side's perspective. Which you demonstrate when you reversed yourself and started talking about the minority in the region Catalonia in the exact same vein that you refused to countenance for the pro-Catalan minority when looking at the country overall. There is no inherent virtue from something being the status quo, Loki.

    As for bloodshed, the EU was created to prevent further war in Europe and is in an excellent position to allow this kind of self-determination and border-drawing/redrawing without bloodshed. Nothing in "ever-closer union" means sub-units need to remain in their current form.
    Cry me a river, Fuzzy. The people in Quebec, Scotland, and Catalonia are not suffering under the present conditions. They're not being oppressed. There's no reason to even think they'd be substantially better off if they were independent.

    Every time you make it easier for people to secede, you encourage more groups to attempt secession. We know that attempted secession is a major cause of civil war. We know that civil war is incredibly bloody. What you're saying is that to make some rich, whiny nationalists get their way, we should be willing to contribute to immense human suffering. No thank you.
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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    You have it backwards and it is your logic that is creating a demand for bloodshed. If you think violence is the only means for a minority to secure their freedom then that creates a demand for violence.

    If you accept ballots rather than bullets as the solution then there will be no bloodshed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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  12. #12
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Why not create a decentralized world government that can create peace and prosperity for all? Or maybe we should ignore dumb solutions that have no chance of working.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Accepting ballots rather than bullets for self-determination won't work?

    Funny its worked here and in many other democracies globally.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Globally? Britain, Canada, and Czechoslovakia (and the Czechs didn't want to be part of that union nearly as much as the Slovaks) aren't the world.
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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    No but Canada is on another continent. I never said that all nations have dealt with ballots over bullets, I said many have.

    Puerto Rico would have been granted independence if they'd voted for it, like Micronesia did previously.

    If you accept the principles of democracy and self-determination then that makes violence less likely not more. If you refuse to accept self-determination and only accept violence then you leave just one avenue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    This rests on the assumption that a democratic vote is sufficiently legitimate to alter the lives of millions against their will. If you base the decision to secede on a democratic election where the separatists win with 51% of the votes, you have 49% of voters--as well as their non-voting allies and kin--extremely displeased. If they win with 61% of the votes, you will nevertheless have 39% extremely displeased voters. You might associate separatists more strongly with the use of political violence, and think therefore that encouraging regions to put these questions to a vote might discourage violence, but what's to say separatists will not use violence to bring about that vote or to bring about their desirable outcome? Or, for that matter, declare a lost referendum invalid?

    In addition to the practical concerns, there are the ethical concerns of letting one part of a country vote to damage the entire country and most of its citizens. Most countries have evolved organically over a long time in which important policy decisions have been made, based on the reasonable assumption of perpetual territorial integrity, with quid-pro-quo mutual beneficial arrangements. Allowing regions to secede based on referendums encourages them to take advantage of these relationships in an ethically dubious fashion.
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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Yes some may be disappointed. Oh well that's democracy for you.

    I have no ethical concerns. Yes a country may have evolved over a long period of time but then so should patriotic feeling. People should feel loyal to their country and it is quite an extreme act to vote for independence. In the real world where people have sought secession it is nations that were long-term divided with a minority that was either oppressed or unhappy. Even then it has taken a lot to cause a majority to vote for independence. It is more dubious to keep a minority trapped than theoretical concerns about potential issues.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Yes some may be disappointed. Oh well that's democracy for you.

    I have no ethical concerns. Yes a country may have evolved over a long period of time but then so should patriotic feeling. People should feel loyal to their country and it is quite an extreme act to vote for independence. In the real world where people have sought secession it is nations that were long-term divided with a minority that was either oppressed or unhappy. Even then it has taken a lot to cause a majority to vote for independence. It is more dubious to keep a minority trapped than theoretical concerns about potential issues.
    That you don't have ethical concerns is not surprising. Nevertheless, you should have ethical concerns, because this is an ethically complex matter.

    Catalonians don't own Catalonia all by themselves. Catalonia's resources--just as the rest of Spain's resources--are held in common by the public. In seceding, Catalonia would attempt to take ownership of resources owned by all Spaniards. This is an ethical problem--is it right for some members of the public to wrest control of a public commons away from the rest of the public?

    Similarly, in seceding, Catalonians would take all current and future benefits of public funding and policy decisions about investing, infrastructure etc. for themselves, in addition to inflicting massive economic and social harm on the rest of Spain (disrupted trade, cost of restructuring businesses and govt. etc). Any monetary "compensation" is likely to short-change the rest of Spain. This is an ethical problem (although I understand how you might be reluctant to acknowledge it)--is it right for one party to suddenly take all current and future benefits of an arrangement for itself?

    The above are some examples of economic harm that will have real consequences in the form of increased suffering and death and those consequences must be weighed against the Catalonians' right to self-determination. The right to self-determination, such as it is, does not trump all other concerns. Is it all right to indiscriminately slaughter civilians in an attempt to secede? Is it all right to employ rape & torture? No. The right must be weighed against other rights.

    There are other ethical concerns. A Catalonian secession based on a referendum with an 80% - 20% outcome would in effect, by your reasoning, entail the tyrannical subjugation of the rights of 20% of Catalonians--a greater proportion than the theoretical maximum proportion of Spanish citizens in Catalonia being brutally oppressed by Spain. If you dismiss this as an inconsequential and necessary feature of democracy, the wishes of the separatist minority can also be dismissed in the same fashion.

    Putting aside ethical considerations, the claims that this will not encourage secession elsewhere are overstated. Regardless of your thoughts on how Catalonian secession may or may not influence secession in other countries, it's reasonable to expect some impact on Spain. Or do you think this will be ignored by Basque nationalists and organizations like ETA?
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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Catalonians don't own Catalonia all by themselves. Catalonia's resources--just as the rest of Spain's resources--are held in common by the public. In seceding, Catalonia would attempt to take ownership of resources owned by all Spaniards. This is an ethical problem--is it right for some members of the public to wrest control of a public commons away from the rest of the public?
    That is democracy for you. Happens all the time that previously public commons get changed or removed. This is just a more extreme example but not the most extreme.
    Similarly, in seceding, Catalonians would take all current and future benefits of public funding and policy decisions about investing, infrastructure etc. for themselves, in addition to inflicting massive economic and social harm on the rest of Spain (disrupted trade, cost of restructuring businesses and govt. etc). Any monetary "compensation" is likely to short-change the rest of Spain. This is an ethical problem (although I understand how you might be reluctant to acknowledge it)--is it right for one party to suddenly take all current and future benefits of an arrangement for itself?
    I see no reason why I especially might be reluctant to admit it. I have never advocated Lancashire Independence. I'm quite happy with my nation remaining my nation.

    If you're referring to the EU that is a completely different kettle of fish. The EU is not a sovereign nation and it was always believed to be legally possible to exit. Since Lisbon (a treaty I opposed but got ratified anyway) that has been explicitly the case.
    The above are some examples of economic harm that will have real consequences in the form of increased suffering and death and those consequences must be weighed against the Catalonians' right to self-determination. The right to self-determination, such as it is, does not trump all other concerns. Is it all right to indiscriminately slaughter civilians in an attempt to secede? Is it all right to employ rape & torture? No. The right must be weighed against other rights.
    You are being absurd. We are talking about ballots not bullets.
    There are other ethical concerns. A Catalonian secession based on a referendum with an 80% - 20% outcome would in effect, by your reasoning, entail the tyrannical subjugation of the rights of 20% of Catalonians--a greater proportion than the theoretical maximum proportion of Spanish citizens in Catalonia being brutally oppressed by Spain. If you dismiss this as an inconsequential and necessary feature of democracy, the wishes of the separatist minority can also be dismissed in the same fashion.
    No it would not since the losers will have lost. That's democracy. The separatists are not a minority if they win they're a majority in their region.
    Putting aside ethical considerations, the claims that this will not encourage secession elsewhere are overstated. Regardless of your thoughts on how Catalonian secession may or may not influence secession in other countries, it's reasonable to expect some impact on Spain. Or do you think this will be ignored by Basque nationalists and organizations like ETA?
    I should hope it would not be ignored! I would WANT it to be precedent. Let the Basques seek their freedom via ballots not bullets too. If a majority of Basques want their own nation they should have it.
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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Putting aside ethical considerations, the claims that this will not encourage secession elsewhere are overstated. Regardless of your thoughts on how Catalonian secession may or may not influence secession in other countries, it's reasonable to expect some impact on Spain. Or do you think this will be ignored by Basque nationalists and organizations like ETA?
    I should hope it would not be ignored! I would WANT it to be precedent. Let the Basques seek their freedom via ballots not bullets too. If a majority of Basques want their own nation they should have it.
    Aimless you've gone very quiet on this point. What have you got against the Basques seeking their freedom democratically rather than violently?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Aimless you've gone very quiet on this point. What have you got against the Basques seeking their freedom democratically rather than violently?
    Failed bid for independence might reignite violence.
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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Spain seems to be doing all it can to piss off the Catalans and get a Si vote. Do you really think this is healthy behaviour Loki?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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  23. #23
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Spain seems to be doing all it can to piss off the Catalans and get a Si vote. Do you really think this is healthy behaviour Loki?

    I believe in the rule of law. I take it you think the Spanish constitution and its judiciary should be ignored when self-determination is involved?
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  24. #24
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I believe in the rule of law. I take it you think the Spanish constitution and its judiciary should be ignored when self-determination is involved?
    Nobody expects the Spanish constitution.
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    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I believe in the rule of law.
    See, law is another of those things I don't think has inherent virtue. You know what does? Self-determination.
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    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    See, law is another of those things I don't think has inherent virtue. You know what does? Self-determination.
    Rule of law has no inherent value? Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    The multiple Quebecois referenda, the Scottish referendum and various other referendums like in Micronesia etc have been spaced out over decades. They haven't led to a spate of claims.

    It takes a very high threshold for enough political demand for secession to reach the point where a local area gets a majority of MPs pledging to host a referendum (as happened in Catalanoi, Quebec and Scotland). It takes even more for the referendum to be successful. The idea that this is going to be the thin end of the wedge is a fallacy.
    In most of the countries I mentioned, ethnic parties already get a majority of the vote in their regions.
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  27. #27
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    I'll take national courts over a bunch of self-serving state-level politicians.
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  28. #28
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Your argument is a colonialists dream and factually wrong. When you make it harder to secede it is that which leads to Civil War.

    When has a democracy respecting self determination led to Civil War?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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  29. #29
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    It's already hard to secede. Is your position that the EU should force countries to grant self-determination to anyone who asks? Requiring the Catalans to respect their own country's constitution and courts doesn't make nationalists in other countries rise up in rebellion. But showing that secessionism works will.

    Great job in missing the point. Any move that makes changing borders easier encourages others to make similar demands. And a lot of those demands will result in the use of force (either by the people demanding independence or those refusing it). You might think the rest of the world is composed of Britains and Canadas, but there are far more Romanias, Serbias, Macedonias, Estonias, Latvias, Philippines, Indias, and Kenyas. And that's just from democracies. You decrease the cost of secession enough and all of Africa will blow up (more so than right now). Seems like a worthwhile pursuit to help a bunch of rich Catalans who want to leave because they have to pay slightly higher taxes.
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  30. #30
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    It's already hard to secede. Is your position that the EU should force countries to grant self-determination to anyone who asks? Requiring the Catalans to respect their own country's constitution and courts doesn't make nationalists in other countries rise up in rebellion. But showing that secessionism works will.

    Great job in missing the point. Any move that makes changing borders easier encourages others to make similar demands. And a lot of those demands will result in the use of force (either by the people demanding independence or those refusing it). You might think the rest of the world is composed of Britains and Canadas, but there are far more Romanias, Serbias, Macedonias, Estonias, Latvias, Philippines, Indias, and Kenyas. And that's just from democracies. You decrease the cost of secession enough and all of Africa will blow up (more so than right now). Seems like a worthwhile pursuit to help a bunch of rich Catalans who want to leave because they have to pay slightly higher taxes.
    A) the idea that it might encourage others matters precisely jack-all. Your claim otherwise is like saying that you should have no right to free speech because someone else might use their own right to free speech to stir unrest. No shit Sherlock, the inability to prevent people from stirring unrest is why we have free speech in the first place. But let's say it did matter. The Catalans exercising self determination STILL means jack-all because it's completely irrelevant to anyone outside the EU (and the EU means the risks you're so worried about wouldn't be at play anyway). It doesn't do anything about the cost of secession in Africa, or Asia, or anywhere else. East Timor didn't spawn a global crisis as people threw off shackles. Neither did the break-up of Czechoslovakia. The breakup of Yugoslavia caused problems but they weren't global, they were in the former Yugoslavia. And let's face it, you don't give a rat's ass about redrawing borders because you weren't the least bit concerned about the Spanish demand for Gibraltar back with Brexit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Rule of law has no inherent value? Really?
    I didn't say that, I said law. It's what the law does that has value, not that it exists at all. And you plainly don't give a rat's ass about what the law is or what it does because you're only interested in maintaining the status quo BECAUSE it's the status quo. You sure as hell don't care about the law itself because as shown above, the law is irrelevant, it's whether a border might get redrawn and plunge the world into flame that matters.
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