Monday, 15 December 2008

Slightly above Turkey

Someone asked me the other day how Spanish democracy compares to other European states given its troubled history. I have a reply ready for these situations: “slightly above Turkey”.

We had another couple of examples this week.

First, there is one person who is going to be judged on a political charge: refusing to participate in the Spanish electoral process.

Marc Belzunces refused to participate in the administrative process of crossing people off a voters’ roll and spend a full working day in an electoral polling station. He objected on the grounds of conscience: he does not believe he is obliged to participate in a Spanish electoral process performing administrative functions. He refused to attend on election day.
Fair enough, you might think, can they find somebody else?
Not so simple. He is now being prosecuted by the Spanish Prosecution Service (Fiscalía).
They are pressing charges against him. A political crime in the European Union.
Oh, it just happens that the person in question is a pro-independence Catalan. Does this change anything? Yes, it does. Every election, dozens of people across Spain refuse to participate for whatever reason in the administrative process of setting up the ballot papers, counting the votes, updating the voters’ list, etc. I have not heard of any high-profile prosecution. Yet, we can expect the Spanish judiciary to ensure this (Catalan) man is fined and punished accordingly. And a wee reminder to others who may be thinking about doing the same. [Avui, VilaWeb, El Periódico, La Vanguardia, Racó Català]

Another example of the Spanish state dogmatic approach to its own brand of nationalism is in the banning of a TV advert. Yes, you are reading this correctly: a TV advert in favour of official recognition of the Catalan football teams has been banned by a Spanish court. [Avui, VilaWeb, La Vanguardia, TVC]

Why? I heard you ask.
Because of the following slogan: “Una nació, una selecció” (One nation, one team).
Oh yes, the judge also said that children were used, but I have not seen any of the political adverts from either the PSOE or PP being banned because they featured children. Since when it is banned to use children for TV adverts?

I link the video below so everybody can watch what the Spanish judiciary have banned. I don’t see anything in this TV advert that warrants a banning order, but then I am not a Spanish judge:

This is just another example of how Spanish nationalism pursues its objectives by using the law, Spanish law, to ban, prohibit, punish anything and anybody that might question their proto-Francoist idea of national sovereignity and integrity. Sure, nobody gets killed these days, beatings in prision cells are rare, but the same policy objective is implemented under the façade of democracy. Spanish democracy, just above Turkey and its infamous Article 301.

1 comment:

Miquel Marzabal Galano said...

Another reason to get independent: the only way to escape from this partial and infair nationalist (thus imperialist) Spanish judicial system.