Friday, December 19, 2003

Democracy, Aznar Style

Eventually the English editions of the Basque newspapers Berria and Gara will get to it, but let me tell you what is so bad about what happened today in Spain.

For decades the Basques have been asking to negotiate their self determination, for years the Spanish authorities have refused using as an excuse ETA's violence. The Spanish side says that as long as ETA continues its armed campaign they will not seat down and negotiate with the Basques. If that was the end of the story then is all peachy, but is not.

Democracy is often described as the will of the majority, the press loves to talk about Spain as a young democracy, nevermind that the so called democracy has been around for 25 years now. A democratic state is supposed to heed to the wishes of the majority. It is here where the plot thickens.

ETA is by now an organization of no more of a hundred people, they are isolated from the bulk of Basque society which in its majority rejects any form of violence, may it come from an armed group or may it come from the government in Madrid. Bottom line, the Basque society turned its back on ETA a long time ago, that is why the bulk of the Basque society continues to vote for the moderate pro-independence parties, they want a political and negotiated way out of the conflict. On the past two elections 700,000 Basques voted for these moderate pro-independence parties.

Lets do the math here: 100 Basques want independence from Spain via violent actions while 700,000 able to vote Basques want to negotiate a peaceful and political solution to the conflict. Spain refuses to negotiate because 100 Basques prefer the armed struggle and snubs the wishes of 700,000 Basques. So we have a so called democratic state acting in consequence to the wishes of 100 against the wishes of 700,000. Hardly what you can call a democratic decision.

It does not stop there, as you all know by now the law imposed by Aznar and his neo-Fracoist Popular Party today threatens the Basque Prime Minister Ibarretxe with landing in jail for a few years. The most moronic Spaniards may think the the Basque politician had it coming, they may even be celebrating right now with tapas and wine from La Rioja. But the law is not for Basques only, the law is for all Spaniards, which means that if tomorrow for some reason some other political group in Spain needs to call for a referendum over some topic that irks Madrid, then no matter if that politician is Basque, Catalan, Galizan or Castillian, his ass will end up in jail. To say it clear, there is a process of political involution in Spain, the Partido Popular is going in a full circle back to the dictatorship that spawned it.

I take this opportunity to remind you that in the last few months Aznar and his PP have banned a political party and shut down a newspaper.

Democracy at work.

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