I dream that there will come a day when we can have a sensible political conversation about Catalonia based on reality.
For independence, the principle of reality requires admitting the legal reality, in which there are no Councils for the Republic, nor elected Assemblies, nor similar inventions typical of adolescents wanting to play the things of the elderly. Or recognize that there is no single “people” in Catalonia that shares its objectives of rupture, but a deeply divided society.
Understand that in the 29 electoral calls in which the Catalans have been called to vote over the past 43 years, parties with proposals for rupture have never obtained majority representation. Understand that they govern only because, as in other democracies and for the sake of balance between territories, in Catalonia we accept that the principle of “one person, one vote” be quarantined. Thus, in the elections to the Parliament, the voters of the province of Barcelona, who make up no less than 74% of the population, know that their ballot is, so to speak, smaller, of less value than that introduced in Girona or Lleida. We have accepted it, at least so far. But they shouldn’t ignore it.
In Catalonia, over the past 43 years, parties with proposals for rupture have never obtained majority representation
The independentists, with the invaluable help of TV3, strive to present to everyone who rejects their imaginary Republic not only as a traitor, but as an accomplice and defender of a certain Spain that only seeks to oppress and treats Catalonia as a colony. They find it very comfortable to play with that binary image, for which they have frivolously imported the terminology of the Irish conflict. They are “republicans,” the rest are “unionists.” They are patriots, they want the best for Catalonia. The others are traitors, collaborators of interests and postulates that cannot be good for Catalonia or respect their political or cultural identity. Either you are with the Republic or you are with Spain and against Catalonia. There is no room for more.
But it is very sad to see that this call to return to the principle of reality should be addressed not only to the independence. Ignoring both the history and the demography and those same electoral results of the last decades, significant representatives of the PP and Ciudadanos act symmetrically, when according to them there would only be a legitimate and patriotic way of being Catalan.
The independentists strive to present to everyone who rejects their imaginary Republic as a defender of a Spain that only seeks to oppress
Some behave as if the true alternative to stellar flags, bows and everything that smells like ‘procés’ was a return to the past. More and more voices starting with the spokesperson and popular candidate, argue without shame that everything that has been done and built from the Generalitat and from the political Catalan in the last 40 years (especially in terms of language, or school, but also in institutions) it would be nothing more than the prolegomenon of the disease that has now metastasized.
They are wrong. And they deceive themselves. Because it is absurd to think that all or a large part of those who reject – we reject – break with Spain and build a new State have suddenly turned us into blind admirers of Don Pelayo. They are far from reality if they claim that those who reject the Republican Chimera make a kind of ‘mea culpa’ for not having been faithful Aznarians in the past. They deceive themselves if they believe that by distancing ourselves from the CUP, ERC and the shame caused by the delusions of Torra or Puigdemont we will deny the effort and the centennial struggle of so many Catalans who preceded us to achieve a deep recognition and respect not only cultural, but also political to the Catalan collective identity within Spain.
We are millions who refuse to let the Catalans be condemned to choose between a binary option: either you are against Spain, or you must be against the politically strong Catalonia that began to recover with the arrival of democracy, and resign yourself to leaving things how are they.
They do not understand that there are millions of people in Catalonia who – although they want (or simply accept, that it is enough) to remain Spanish -, they are not willing for that to mean taking a step back in their will, also political, to be recognized as Catalans, in so many aspects that do not affect at all the equality between Spaniards. In doing so, both the PP and Cs dwarf the Constitution, presenting it as a framework in which there would only be room for them and for their unitary and uniform model of the country.
Because one thing is to reject the break with Spain and another very different to accept or take for granted the current ‘status quo’ of our territorial model or how power is distributed and exercised or how resources are distributed in our country. It is one thing to demand full respect for the use of Spanish in Catalonia, or even to understand that its teaching should be reinforced in some schools, and another to call into question the linguistic immersion that the Constitutional Court itself has admitted that fits seamlessly within the framework of the Charter Magna This list could be very long. And whether they like it or not (principle of reality), the political support that these statements receive among Catalans has been a majority for decades.
Who we are really Democrats also defend the right to defend a Jacobin model. Or even to be a Spanish nationalist in Catalonia. It would be more. But those who bet on that line must know that they are causing the same damage to Spain as the Waterloo tenant if they present their postulates as the only constitutional alternative for a non pro-independentist Catalan. And only when they understand it will it be possible to start working together and seriously among all those who wish to be able to raise a country project that can continue to be attractive to the millions of Catalans who do not want to break it.