Current Affairs Politics

Unprecedented Times In Catalan And Irish Politics

An Chatalóin (Catalonia)
Junts pel Sí or “Together for Yes”

Consumed with matters closer to home I have had little chance to highlight some important political developments in Catalonia, in particular the emergence of Junts pel Sí “Together for Yes”, a new alliance between the major nationalist parties and organisations in the region. From a report by the informative

“”What we are doing here is far from ordinary, and we have united in order to be able to do extraordinary things”. So said candidate Raül Romeva in justifying the exceptional nature of the unified list Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes), bringing together different parties and organizations with the common goal of independence. As to the attitude of the central government towards the process of winning the election, proclaiming independence, and drafting a Catalan constitution, Romeva admitted that “they won’t make things easy”, but that if they “block Catalonia’s self-rule”, they will go ahead “and declare independence” anyway. “We are all in, we’ve reached the end of the line, and this is for real”, stated the head of the list and former MEP for ICV. He reminded the public that the government that comes out of the 27-S elections [ASF: the 27th of September vote for the Catalan assembly] will have a clear and concise mandate, and the objective, once independence is proclaimed, of calling constituent elections. “And, when that time comes, may the best party win”.

Meanwhile, Artur Mas affirmed that 27-S is a new step in the process for Catalonia to achieve its own state that, in addition, it will be done from an unequivocally democratic will: “We will use ballot boxes whenever necessary for the people to decide”, said the CDC leader and President of the Generalitat, noting that this was also done after the demonstrations on 11 September, 2012 and 9 November, 2014. He said this at the presentation event where he was accompanied by Oriol Junqueras, leader of ERC, Raül Romeva, and the 2nd and 3rd candidates for Barcelona– the former presidents of ANC and Òmnium, Carme Forcadell and Muriel Casals.”

For those who don’t know the names referenced above represent some of the most significant nationalist figures and groups in Catalan society, reflecting the broad nature of the new right-left pact which will contest regional elections scheduled for late September.

Talking of potential revolutions at the ballot box, lets briefly examine those weekend polls here in Ireland.

25% (-3%) Fine Gael [change outside margin of error]

18% (0%) Sinn Féin [change within margin of error]

18% (-2%) Fianna Fáil  [change within margin of error]

8% (+1%) Labour Party [change within margin of error]

31% (+5%) Independents/Others [change outside margin of error]

In terms of TDanna elected to Dáil Éireann Adrian Kavanagh calculates the figures as yielding roughly:

48 Fine Gael

30 Fianna Fáil

24 Sinn Féin

6 Labour Party

50 Independents/Others

While plenty of politically right or centre-right individuals and groupings fall within the “Independents/Others” category it is debatable if they will be enough to form a majority government with Fine Gael and Labour, two parties who together will almost certainly lack sufficient numbers to create a second bilateral coalition. Fianna Fáil, or FF with any combination of TDanna excluding FG and SF, will be in a similar situation. The seats just don’t add up. However a combination of FG, FF and/or Labour/Others would yield a narrow, if inevitably tense, majority for a rainbow administration.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in power together, with Labour picking up the scraps? An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, an Tánaiste Micheál Martin, an tAire Joan Burton? Fíorpholaitíocht is the prime determinant of Irish politics not ideology or electoral promises.


4 comments on “Unprecedented Times In Catalan And Irish Politics

  1. The Catalans deserve independence, because unlike the Irish, they respect their own culture and language. That was very obvious to me when I visited Barcelona.

    It’s unfair that smaller languages like Estonian and Latvian or languages that no one wants to speak (like Irish) are official EU languages, but languages like Catalan, Basque or Welsh aren’t.


    • Jānis, I agree with most of that.


    • seamus mallon

      you say no one wants to speak Irish,could you provide proof of this please.


      • I exaggerated of course, but in Dublin only road signs remind you that you’re living in a country that’s supposed to be bilingual.


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