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The Catalan Parliament votes: complexities and contradictions

Thursday 12 November 2015, by Josep María Antentas

The declaration adopted today in the Parliament of Catalonia [1] shows both the strengths and weaknesses of the independence process, and the potential and the limits it has. The approval opens an unprecedented institutional crisis and strains the institutionalism born in 1978. Good news for those who want to break with this framework, with the aim of allowing this break to open many other doors that are now closed.

The strategic proposal of a constitutional process itself and unsubordinated, popular participation, has become increasingly stronger in the official independence roadmap , but imagining a constituent process with a popular base remains very unlikely while CDC runs the country. It is clear that CDC does not want a constituent process, unless it is to promote a neoliberal restoration. The same goes for the social proposals in the Appendix, which would mean nothing if there is not a change in the balance of forces in parliament. [2]

This weakness stems from a strategic weakness of the independence movement, which has been the demand to unplug the independence proposal from an explicit and specific citizen rescue plan against corruption, thus giving wings to the CDC and ensuring that a section of Catalan society remains on the fringesof the movement. To broaden the social basis of the break and in turn to try to put the CDC in a minority position, the movement must give strategic centrality to the constituent proposal, put forward a concrete rescue plan and leave open the end of the journey, combining this so that the perspectives of those who defend independence and who seek an institutional break do not divide.

The split of the rupturista left into two blocks has made it impossible to overtake the CDC and ERC and make possibe a new political majority that does not require CDC to go through a long and deep and even contradictory crisis. Trying to reestablish themselves by riding on the independence process, giving a reason for its project, but at the same time it is under strain from four factors: a confrontation it is poorly prepared to handle; it must deal with harassment from ongoing corruption scandals; ERC did not get caught and decided to stand independently in the elections December 20 elections; and it depends on the CUP in Parliament. Mas is a survivor, but walks on a tightrope. Without a doubt we must not vote for his investiture.

The position of Catalonia Yes We Can (CSQP – Catalunya sí que es pot ) today has been very confused. It is very difficult to defend a constitutional process by voting against a statement that refers to it, and being imprisoned in a No bloc led by Ciudadanos, one of the main electoral opponents of CSQP which it should to look differentiate itself from as much as possible and not be obscured by its long shadow. Since September 27 CSQP has been absent politically, not seeking to influence debate and without putting clearly on the table a perspective towards a constituent process that influences the roadmap to sovereignty, which is not only propagandistic rhetoric to avoid close scrutiny. Mistakes like this have strategic consequences. Always.


[2For the text of the Appendix as well as a more detailed article see LINKS, “The Spanish state versus Catalonia: a decisive battle has begun”.