…and exercises a parlamentiary system.
In this backdrop, approximately over two million people, a five percent of the whole country’s population, exercised or tried to exercise what they believe to be their right to express their opinion casting a vote in an illegal referendum. Presumably the vast majority of those who voted were aware that the referendum was illegal.
The referendum was certainly illegal under the constitution of Spain. The constitution being the most basic and fundamental set of laws that a country decide to abide by, the numbers above are too large to not cast questions about the inner workings of Spain.
Incidentally, this presumed five percent of population aren’t spread over the whole country but concentrated in a particular region: Catalonia, with its own identity, culture and language. Hence amounting to approximately one third of the population of the region. A region cannot possibly be expected to abide by a constitution if one third of its citizens do not agree with it. In one or another way, it requires urgent political discourse and eventually revision.
Unfortunately the Spanish government has resorted, in a moment of panic, to police brutality and to negate the dialog with the regional government of Catalonia on the basis that the referendum itself was contravening the constitution. Whatever legitimate, reasonable or unreasonable, aspirations those over two million citizens of Catalonia may have to act in violation of the constitution of Spain, the display of police brutality would in no way help deescalate the crisis.
If this situation needs to be solved within the current Spanish state government framework, the elected parlamentaria would have to bring the problem to the parliament, negotiate a solution, and propose legislation to be approved. Yet this would mean to negotiate with the support of only five to six percent of members of the parliament. It will unlikely lead to an agreement that the Catalan populace may see as fair. Hence the progressive escalation of opinions and polarization of the citizenship.
Moving the magnifier backwards to focus on Europe, this is not an isolated case. Often financial reasons are the trigger to separatist movements that have their deep roots in identities, history, and culture. A shift towards a wave of separatism is not the solution to European countries’ problems, but a move towards homogeneity: To surround ourselves with people we perceive to be like us.
Ralf Dahrendorf, Wikipedia
Homogeneity starts with what could be a reasonable and legitimate scale of aspirations, but leads to the negation of all what the free world have achieved in the last centuries. We have a contemporary example of what the negation looks like in its most treminal form: Trump.
The challenge of our society is to see the monster waiting beyond the first green pastures of homogeneity. To demand of our elected representatives action, action now, and action for today’s problems, and not the possibly outdated solutions to past problems. Failing to find a solution to this issue is surrendering sovereignty over to the markets. And in this case the whole society will loose, in the short or in the long term.