Thursday, 18 September 2008

Spanish democracy revisited

Well, let’s not get the collapse of the financial system distract us from what the Spanish state does to those who challenge their (Spanish) nationalistic dogma.

In the last few days, the Tribunal Supremo, a legacy high court inherited from Franco’s regime has outlawed two political parties.

Yes, it is not a mistake. In a member state of the EU, political parties are banned. Particularly if they tend to be Basque pro-independence parties.

This is a strategy that successive Spanish governments have pursued for years. Outlawing political parties so support for independence, for a change of the status quo cannot be measured in the polls. By banning all political parties representing the pro-independence socialists, Spanish officials attempt to rig the electoral process, prohibiting a significant section of the Basque people to vote for the party of their choosing.

This is democracy, Spanish style.

I have written about it before.

February 2004
March 07 and again
July 07

For as long as Basque voters are denied to vote for a socialist pro-independence party, Spain is a half-baked democracy unfit to be a member of the European Union.

Yet, as I have written many times, fascist and neo-nazi parties are allowed to participate in the electoral process. What a fallacy: Spanish democracy.

Avui and Vilaweb (Catalan)
Publico (Spanish), again.


trebolín said...

Hey Rabid, how come your default Atom post feed doesn't show excerpts?

trebolín said...

Banning terrorist front organisations is foreseen in law passed by democratic means. Nothing wrong with that, as the scum in question would find if they decided to pursue their case in Europe. The problem is not about the application per se of the law, but the moment of its application. The "parties" you refer to should have been banned ages ago, but Zapatero was able to hold off the prosecutors because he thought he could cut a deal with ETA. A politicised judiciary is a disaster for democracy, and that needs to be resolved by democratic means and not by taking the easy way out and supporting murderers.

Rab said...

Comment 1) will investigate the Atom thimmie you mention.

Comment 2)
Your argument is flawed and your colourful language reveals your prejudice against one of the sides involved.

There is no operational link between these political parties and ETA. If there was, the people responsible would be in prison for committing a criminal offence: manipulating explosives, money laundering, etc.

Could you please explain exactly why do you claim that these two parties should have been banned ages ago? On what legal basis? Because they pursue a political cause that the Spanish state doesn’t like. Or because they have a substantial support within the Basque country and prohibiting them from participating in the electoral process will weaken the Basque pro-independence movement?

By banning successive reincarnations of radical-left pro-independence Basque parties, the Spanish state is perverting democracy.

The problem lies in that there is an ideological link between the two organisations: both pursue independence but that does not make a political party illegal or criminal. If we ban political parties just because they agree with ETA’s aim, it sets a dangerous precedent. EA next? ERC? Why not ban a communist party then?

Anyway, this is something that is not applied to neo-nazi and fascist pro-Spanish organisations. How do you explain that?

Tom said...

'Terrorist' is problematic, as you, Trevor, well know. Banning political parties will never work, especially when it's done on the basis of "I reckon terrorists vote for you, therefore you're a terrorist".

Rab said...

Trebolín, don't know about this Atom thing... I am not a techie I am afraid.
I have changed the layout a bit, but did not find any Atom functions.

Rab said...

Sometimes I wonder why I bother when there are some people out there who write about these things with such intelligence and common sense:


Sorry Trevor it was not you...