Is the resolution of conflicting ethnic preferences manageable in a democratic framework?

“We think not.”

And, in just three words, that’s the bottom line.

That was the answer given by two professors of political science at Harvard and Stanford, the authors of one of the go-to books on governing plurinational societies.¹

In Politics in Plural Societies: a theory of democratic instability, Rabushka and Shepsle present a model of development of political phenomena in multi-ethnic nations, which they refer to as plural, analysing the behaviour of both the political elites and the population of over a dozen countries in four continents.

A nation must meet three conditions in order to be qualified as plural. It needs to have diverse identities; these must be organised into cohesive political sections (parties, trade unions, etc.); and its conflicts must be understood in ethnic terms.

This calls for the following assumptions about the population: Continue reading “Is the resolution of conflicting ethnic preferences manageable in a democratic framework?”

A practical case study of the Catalan press: If this is the truth, wait for the lies!

Hair-raising headlines and fierce, angry statements from celebrities, opinion formers and political leaders followed this news:

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They broke my fingers one by one and groped my boobs, laughing
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You furnish any video and I’ll furnish the war! (1)

On the afternoon of 1 October 2017, the La Vanguardia, the most popular newspaper in Catalonia, ran the following story (2):

Continue reading “A practical case study of the Catalan press: If this is the truth, wait for the lies!”

Wake up Government! Leadership also means communicating!

THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT’S FAILURE TO ADVANCE AN ARGUMENT HAS ALLOWED THE PRO-INDEPENDENCE NARRATIVE TO PREVAIL AS THE ONLY TRUTH

The police intervention of Sunday 1 October to prevent Catalan secession left nearly a thousand bruised and battered, and two people in hospital for a few days.

I have desperately tried to discover why the judges and government decided to take such a course of action, but haven’t been able to find anything.

 

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Doing their job badly, but doing that really well. The Spanish authorities apologised for police brutality.

Were the police charges necessary? Was it necessary to prevent voting at the limited number of polling stations operating?

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that Spain lost the communication battle on 1 October.

Continue reading “Wake up Government! Leadership also means communicating!”

Catalonia Referendum: SNP legitimates Spanish stance, but wrongly insists on the ethical principle of self-determination

This is SNP’s statement on the Catalan question:

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It can be summed up as follows:

First, it declares that the Spanish government’s position is legitimate:

The SNP Scottish government states that:

1. The Catalan and Spanish governments are perfectly entitled to take positions for and against independence.

It then qualifies its stance by adding an ethical condition:

Continue reading “Catalonia Referendum: SNP legitimates Spanish stance, but wrongly insists on the ethical principle of self-determination”

What nationalists are really after

or when the storm brews…keep calm and check reality
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Catalan Public Broadcasting Corporation weather forecast. Note the conspicuous absence of Spain and how the map includes Valencia and the Balearic Islands in Spain, and Roussillon in southern France, more than doubling the size of current-day Catalonia

Quite irresponsibly, everyone seems to be overlooking one all-important aspect of the current political situation in Catalonia.

Almost by the day, we find ourselves on the receiving end of a bombardment of largely insignificant news, for the storm brewing ahead, about the percentage in favour of independence standing at 51 or lowering to 48, or whether an independent Catalonia would form part of the European Union or not…

Now, all this is beside the point and little more than beating around the bush!

Continue reading “What nationalists are really after”