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( This paper was never published. Some 12 years old, still worth reading and give consideration. It is reproduced here to anyone's curio...

Sunday, November 02, 2014

The "consulta", ersatz referendum, "botifarrada" or what-have-you, is on


This is part of my correspondence with English speaking friends on this coming week in Catalonia:


The "consulta", ersatz referendum, "botifarrada" or what-have-you, is on. Relentlessly. We will vote.
It may be possible the Spanish government, with the admission to consider the ban to voting by the Tribunal Constitucional, will feel compelled to enforce the ban. It may. But that's shaky legal ground. They may ban the use of high school buildings, forbid directly the principals to open the centers, or threaten Artur Mas one way or another. But that won't stop the grass root organizations to bring out ballot boxes to the street and celebrate a great "fiesta". (InTarragona there are already plans to have a huge popular paella). At any rate it will be difficult to enforce.There are not enough police, Mossos, Guardia civil and others to control the more than 6000 voting places already announced. In every little town, more than 900 town halls and all the High School buildings everywhere. Plus the question about who would order the Mossos to go where. In case of any great catastrophe the police have their contingency plans to protect official buildings, communications and hospitals. The Policia Nacional  (some 700 cops)are already deployed to protect Spanish state official buildings and the post offices. La Guardia Civil is busy on their usual task of frontier posts and customs at the airports and harbors. The local police forces (municipales) are at the orders of town mayors, all of them (928 out of 946 municipalities) in favor of the independence, so little to do there.
That is a major logistic and tactical problem.
I do not even conceive the Spanish government would send any forces from outside Catalonia. That would be an even major strategic error/problem. The use of force against peaceful would-be-voters will hit hard on all news agencies all over the world plus EU, NATO and UN headquarters. That's a no-no. In here we are for a Si-Si 

That said, and even mistrusting the most elementary prudence of the Spanish government, what I foresee is they'll send some admonitions and tune down advice, and let the "fiesta" with whatever limitations to be celebrated. Waited it out and use spin doctors the next morning. Called it a fiasco and bring the attention to the predicted announcement of Catalonia elections in a couple of months time.

No matter what, the international attention would be guaranteed anyway.

I am directing my thoughts beyond 9N, and not just about Catalonia. The situation in Madrid is that of a major political crisis. The corruption tsunami may well overtake Rajoy's government, and that could happen in a matter of days, not weeks or months. The nervousness in Madrid political circles is mounting by the hour. Today's EL PAIS poll http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2014/11/01/actualidad/1414865510_731502.html signaling Podemos as the leading electoral option is seen with great concern. Not that I give much credit to sociologists on the whole and Metroscopia's in particular, but we may well believe that old saying in Spanish of "...cuando el rio suena, agua lleva...") (Will comment about Podemos some other time. Meanwhile read Enric Juliana today: http://goo.gl/MuYtyH )
At any rate we are looking forward to events beyond the Catalan scope that may be determinant of our little history.
Meanwhile and for this coming week:

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XA

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