Patterico's Pontifications


Catalonian Parliament Declares Independence, Setting Up Possible Showdown

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:30 am


The Catalan regional parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain, just as the Spanish government appears set to impose direct rule.

The move was backed 70-10 in a ballot boycotted by opposition MPs.

Since the initial independence vote, which was marked by violence as police shot voters with rubber bullets, the situation has been escalating and appears to be headed for a crisis. Earlier today, the prime minister sought authority to invoke an article of the Spanish constitution that calls for “direct rule.” The New York Times reports:

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy urged the Spanish Senate to invoke Article 155 of Spain’s Constitution, allowing him to impose direct rule on Catalonia, as the country’s careened into its greatest constitutional crisis since it embraced democracy in 1978.

In his address to the Senate, Mr. Rajoy said there was “no alternative” because the Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, and his separatist cabinet had pursued an illegal and unilateral path that was “contrary to the normal behavior in any democratic country like ours.”

“Direct rule” means the Spanish government will claim that the regional government has no authority. They will send in police and possibly the military to enforce that order, arresting the members of the regional government if necessary. I’ve seen no indication that the regional government plans (or has any real ability) to respond with its own show of force; its leaders have spent recent days seeking dialogue with the Spanish government. For its part, the Spanish government has been demanding, as a condition to any talks, a clear statement from the regional government that independence is off the table. Today’s action shows that the parliament has decided instead to further escalate.

Clashes between a central government and a subset seeking independence can get violent. Parallel to the Catalonian independence movement, there was an independence referendum in Kurdistan, where the Kurds held a largely symbolic vote overwhelmingly in favor of independence. The Iraqi government moved into the oil-rich area of Kirkuk with considerable force. At least 11 civilians were killed and 30,000 Kurds displaced. The Kurdish referendum is now widely considered to be a miscalculation, simply because of the violent Iraqi reprisal. (It is the world’s way to consider the use of guns to “settle” political questions. I often hear Americans say that the Civil War “settled” the issue of whether a U.S. state may secede.)

The Kurdish and Catalonian situations are obviously separate and unique, but there is a common thread: the desire of a smaller and relatively homogeneous population to rule themselves. I’m concerned that there may soon be another parallel: men with guns taking the lives of innocent people.

I support the concept of self-rule. But both sides need to take a deep breath and take a step back, and talk about the matter, rather than bringing out the firearms. I’m worried that a lot of people are going to die “settling” this question.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

68 Responses to “Catalonian Parliament Declares Independence, Setting Up Possible Showdown”

  1. there will be blood

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  2. If you’ve been wondering where Cuba, Mexico, and Central and South American countries “get it from”.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. they waited til tourist season was over

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  4. And where, pray tell, is the EU on this? Is settling political differences with violence now acceptable in that supposed bastion of civilization and enlightenment?

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  5. Califitonia

    Ben burn (a871f1)

  6. blood in the paella: my catalonian freedomsong

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  7. That’s Mexifornia, learn your nomenklature, comrade.

    Rev.Hoagie® (6bbda7)

  8. Are these the type of guys that would dress up like the Lincoln Brigade if they did the re-enactment thing? Trotsky and his accolytes really did a number on the iberian-sourced peoples.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  9. Re-enactments are forbotten! Seems modern black folks get triggered by 19th century confederate uniforms and even though they were never slaves they experience cross-generational “flashbacks” at the sight of a confederate flag or anyone wearing grey. It renders them hostile and apt to smash windows, burn cars and loot.

    Rev.Hoagie® (6bbda7)

  10. Greetings:

    Back in the last ’65, I made my first attempt at a college education. Freshmen were required to take a 2-credit sociology (you all remember that word, right ???) course in a lecture hall with several hundred of really close other freshman. One of the initial lectures addressed the concept of ethnocentrism which I understood to be the tendency of human beings to be among those who looked and acted similarly. It was thought to be pretty much a basic, human nature-wise.

    Progressivism disagrees.

    Human nature seems not to care.

    On the political side of the question, it’s kind of interesting to referenda being redefined as approaching acts of war. But then those people do have a way with words, don’t they.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  11. Its probably closer to the Bosnian and Croatian movements

    narciso (d1f714)

  12. Article 155 has been invoked and Rajoy’s first move was dissolution of the Catalan parliament followed by a call for a new election on December 21. The US, UK and EU all support Madrid and repudiate the Catalan declaration.

    ISTM Puigdemont has had his bluff called in a rather decisive manner. He has two months to win a decisive victory establishing more than a shabby pretext for independence and I have very deep reservations regarding his ability to do so. I suspect the new elections will demonstrate stronger support for Madrid than Puigdemont’s antics would lead anyone to believe.

    Rick Ballard (6a5693)

  13. …and the first leader to recognize a split in the West will be… Vladimir Putin.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  14. Suppose a large US state, at this time in history, were to just start ignoring Federal laws, but did not formally declare independence? Does the group think troops would be sent in?

    Some states are ignoring some Federal laws already, those that have legalized marijuana are one kind of example, and those that refuse to meaningfully notify DHS when they have an illegal immigrant in custody are another kind of example.

    I wonder how far states will be able to take it. Asking for a friend.

    Frederick (64d4e1)

  15. Wow.

    Yesterday: IRS settles litigation, admits conservative/Tea Party groups were unfairly targeted and scrutinized based on political viewpoints, and issues apology; Dem Party and Clinton campaign ID’d as having funded Steele work — which creates very likely scenario that DNC and Clinton campaign arranged for Russian disinfo to get into the election process, and maybe contributed to predicate finding for a FISA wiretap of Trump campaign officials; FBI Informant released from NDA in Uranium One matter, and his attorney says he has documents and info on what Russians told him about their influence over Clintons.

    Today, GDP growth figures adjusted to 3% — after 8 years under Obama under 2%.

    In the last 48 hours the Host has 2 posts — one on a motorist in LA who got caught up in a street protest, and the other on a declaration of independence by Catalonia.

    No good news for Trump is worthy of a post with analysis.


    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  16. I find it amusing that Democrats from Maine to the moon thought it was perfectly fine to cut off all federal money to states that refused to install a 55mph law back in the day. Yet they squeal like Ned Beatty in Deliverance at the thought of cutting off federal funds for not obeying federal drug and immigration laws. Nothin’ two faced about those a-holes.

    Frankly, I think we should ask California to leave the union and if it refuses throw it out.

    Rev.Hoagie® (6bbda7)

  17. Some people work for a living.

    DRJ (0280d9)

  18. Conservative Liberty is apparently arbitrary as they select Freedumbs they prefer and deselect the rights of others….hoagie

    It’s their only consistent wrinkle if you discount their resistance to evolving culture.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  19. The particular circumstances are in that link, the bankrupt nature of the leadership,
    The timing when they chose the referendum and recent precedents, are the rub.

    narciso (e95950)

  20. Ironically guess who helped him up this astroturf the grishenko gang including assuange.

    narciso (e95950)

  21. I love how good President Trump’s doing on the economy.

    He’s bringing hope back to the people, and he is so good.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  22. we had a post about eating bugs once

    like crunchy munchy lil crickets and such

    you might still see that

    you might still see that in the desert

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  23. To sum up, the founder of the generalitat took exception, the previous referenda failed, and this last came on the heels of pychonesque performance by the local constabulart, the mossos re that terrorist incident.

    narciso (e95950)

  24. We could consider how taibbi and Ames, were lecherous louts abroad in , but clown nose.

    narciso (e95950)

  25. Which is ironic, considering the last place still willing to employ him, or perhaps not.

    narciso (e95950)

  26. By the way, according to the observer this happened in russia, pre putin, in the dead parrot era.

    narciso (e95950)

  27. Here’s a Trump positive, swc: A Red State author was not impressed with Trump’s Halloween meeting with the children of some media folks but I thought Trump was sweet with the children. He’s also been sweet on camera with his grandchildren.

    DRJ (15874d)

  28. I agree, DRJ. The author of that Red State piece needs to lighten up.

    norcal (2adf03)

  29. The Great Pumpkin is in his element at Halloween.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  30. How can Trump not fire Mueller?
    This is the time to never waste a crisis, problem is President Trump has no help.

    mg (31009b)

  31. hey DRJ this lady’s from the neck where the woods are near where i lived when i was little

    just chanced upon her today!

    my brother texted some old-timers to see if anyone has any stories

    here’s the texas monthly cover and article

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  32. hf

    Lluvia en el espantapajaros

    Sangre en la paella

    Juan Puma Mellencampo

    Pinandpuller (584c99)

  33. oh my goodness

    check out texas monthly

    Juanita Dale Slusher encountered the joy of sex at age five with the aid and comfort of an eighteen-year-old neighbor named Ernest. She remembers that he was gentle, and not at all unpleasant. It wasn’t until she encountered the Dallas police force some years later that Juanita Dale associated sex with guilt.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  34. espantapajaros!

    good seasonal word there

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  35. I had roommates in college from Corpus and Angleton, so I also know people from that area. Not Candy, though, although I remember her name, I think from the news in the 60’s or 70’s.

    DRJ (15874d)

  36. Very descriptive, Pinandpuller.

    DRJ (15874d)

  37. DRJ, after watching shots of Astros fans at Minute Maid you might get proven right in your defense of the Texas effect vs.other states (vs. NJ Rob, SWC).

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  38. Houston Strong

    mg (31009b)

  39. hey DRJ this lady’s from the neck where the woods are near where i lived when i was little

    just chanced upon her today!

    my brother texted some old-timers to see if anyone has any stories

    here’s the texas monthly cover and article
    happyfeet (28a91b) — 10/27/2017 @ 4:02 pm

    Put on a coat they said

    You’ll catch your death they said

    Pinandpuller (782fdd)

  40. The Great Pumpkin is in his element at Halloween.
    DCSCA (797bc0) — 10/27/2017 @ 3:17 pm

    That was LOL funny.

    Pinandpuller (782fdd)

  41. “It is my hope to get nearly everything out.”

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)


    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  43. @39 DRJ

    If you like Juan Puma you might like Santana feat Mana

    Corazon Espinada

    Pinandpuller (782fdd)

  44. Ben witted, is that all you got, snorfle.

    narciso (d1f714)

  45. If it was the 1980 world series Yu Darvish might need special protection, apart from the garbage he has toight.

    urbanleftbehind (c60c51)

  46. Yes its rosrnsweig who forgot about 9/10th of the law.

    narciso (d1f714)

  47. and the other on a declaration of independence by Catalonia.

    Mr. Drudge appears possessed of a surpassing fascination with these cheeky Catalonian antics and I find this bemusing

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  48. Astros Strong.

    DRJ (15874d)

  49. Speaking of intentions gone awry, who gave Paul ws Anderson. The pompeii script, even kit harrinton (Jon snow) ciuldnt savor it.

    narciso (d1f714)

  50. Neither bullpen can be in top shape after Thursday, but the Dodgers were almost twice as profligate with their pitchers.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. 45 — proof that Ben Burn is reading impaired.

    Go read your article again.

    And then go look for the news reports of Uranium One yellow cake sent to Canada disappearing.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  52. Like the times reporters who don’t read their own paper.

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. No, I think the Doys forgot they were in an AL park, they kept Darvish in too long for fear of having to waste a pinch hitter.

    urbanleftbehind (c60c51)

  54. movies

    this one are debut next week

    i think it might could be worth a look

    Mr. Linklater’s a good houston boy just like me

    he worked deepwater!

    i would’ve loved to do some of that but it was ever always unlikely

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  55. Its a variation on nicolsons the last detail, with Walter white (Bryan cranstin) whose film high point seems to have been total recall (ouch) ranting about the Iraq war. Peppermint cupcake,

    narciso (d1f714)

  56. Re: The Last Detail

    “Bravo Yankee, Bravo Yankee”?

    harkin (10a18c)

  57. BREAKING: CNN Reports Mueller Files First Charges

    First of 6 BREAKING NEWS items with Mueller in the lede.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  58. Yes cnn is broken, along witb what passes for justice, tell me something don’t know.

    narciso (d1f714)

  59. The problem with breakaways is, of course, that they metastasize. Why not the Basques? Why not Wales? Maybe Aquitaine wants to make a comeback. Or the Grand Duchy of Fenwick?

    Or maybe you have a fight, not to stop the breakaway but a civil war inside the new country. Something like that could happen in California. Something like that DID happen with Ireland.

    Consider the nation of California without that pesky Bill of Rights holding them back. Or the aged finding that their Social Security checks just stopped.

    So-called self-determination, as expressed in a frothy political moment, can be a terrible thing.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  60. Well, it’s already coming apart in Barcelona. As I suspected it’s got more than two sides. Spaniards living in Catalonia are loathe to flee but may be harshly treated if independence happens. So they too are taking to the streets.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  61. Good princess bride reference, since we’ve already gone full vizzini

    narciso (d1f714)

  62. Did Mueller flip Manafort? Are there confidential informants? He sure acts like a mole.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

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