Rajoy Calls Regional Elections for December 21: Will Anyone Show Up?

This afternoon, Rajoy fired the whole Catalan government and called elections on December 21. But who will man the voting booths? Here's a bonus question: What if they do hold elections and pro-independence factions win again?

In a televised statement, Rajoy called regional elections for Dec. 21 in a bid to draw a line under weeks of upheaval in the country’s biggest regional economy that saw hundreds of businesses shift their domicile to other parts of Spain to escape the turmoil. He also fired a police chief from the regional force, shut down most of the Catalan government’s diplomatic service and eliminated the offices of president and vice president. Rajoy created a special department in Madrid to oversee the measures. European Union President Donald Tusk said on Twitter that nothing has changed in policy toward Catalonia and Spain "remains our only interlocutor." He said he hoped the Spanish government "favors force of argument, not argument of force.”

Force of Argument not Argument of Force

I like that expression. The force of argument is the right of self determination. Moreover, Catalonia has spoken, twice.

Prior to the declaration of independence, and after the vote I commented Dear Spain, Mainstream Media: A Majority of Catalans Want Independence (Stop Saying Otherwise).

If you disagree, rebut what I said,

Bloomberg had an interesting headline title calling the pro-independence faction "rebels". The real rebels are Mariano Rajoy and his thugs.

Will Rajoy send in the troops?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (35)
No. 1-35
ppp
ppp

overly simplistic reading.

peacock
peacock

Game on. Will Catalonians be willing to die? Both Gandhi and MLK organized civil disobedience movements and took a lot of beatings and even death. The world will now see what Catalonian separatists are made of. They have no international support as the EU, the Brits and the US back Spain.

Carl_R
Carl_R

Exactly, Peacock. Of course Spain will send troops. What will Catalonians do? Peacefully resist? Violently resist? Give up?

peacock
peacock

Mish asks "Will Rajoy send in the troops?". Yes, if the Spanish police forces can't get it done. They must have a plan since the current situation was as expected.

Tony_CA
Tony_CA

so what, then what's left of the Spanish economy will collapse. Bloomberg is a complete joke. No one takes them serious anymore.

Tony_CA
Tony_CA

There is plenty of support for Catalan all the places you mentioned. It's just not the elites who have lost all credibility with the masses. Things are going to get very interesting.

msurkan
msurkan

Easy. The Catalan citizens who support union will organize and participate in the new election and vote for a unionist regime. The Catalans who support independence will boycott and call the new government a sham. This is the perfect way to drive an insurmountable rift between Catalan citizens. Nothing but absolute chaos lies ahead, with large numbers of Catalans sure to feel "robbed" regardless of what happens.

Tony_CA
Tony_CA

Are you serious? Who is going to manage the election? The goons who were in mask beating up people when they tried to vote.

claretpacker
claretpacker

The EU are desperate to creat a military of their own. This is an ideal opportunity for them to create such a beast to act as an "independent" peacekeeper. They have be scandalously quiet to date but this could be their opportunity.

Tony_CA
Tony_CA

won't happen. the US arms dealers need Nato: It allows US to sell arms multiple countries.

Alessandro
Alessandro

Rajoy will not send the troops as this would immediately place Spain outside the EU's nations, if not technically at least from a moral and reputational standpoint. Frau Merkel will not allow Rajoy to do that. Anuhow let's hope that Puigdemont and other Catalan leaders have done their homework. The real test in 21st-century Europe will not be a military-type confrontation about borders or taking control of the streets. Rather it will come in the form of acts of civil 'disobedience' (seen from Madrid) or 'allegiance' (seen from Barcelona) such as paying taxes to the Authority in charge. Most important the reaction of the Catalan judiciary in implementing Catalan laws (when they are announced) and ignoring Madrid's. Have the Catalan leaders made adequate preparations? Are they ready to give the correct orders to the local beaurocracy and judiciary? There is no evidence of that and it would be a pity to see this unique exercise in self determination fail.

formula57
formula57

“If you disagree, rebut what I said”. Rebuttals have been provided in comments passim pointing to the flawed nature of the 1st. October referendum and its unreliability as a basis for implementing secession.

What is supposed to happen if/when Rajoy gets his majority (or the secessionists see a material diminution in support) in the forthcoming elections? Such outcome is made more likely if in that vote it is the secessionists who boycott the poll, clearly.

Blacklisted
Blacklisted

The bottom line output, at least from an investors point of view, is more obvious than the fact that the FBI and CIA have something to hide regarding the JFK assasination, Vegas shooting, and establishment collusion against Trump. Safe haven capital will accelerate into the DOW, as the desperation of the establishment becomes increasingly obvious. Sorry, but fundamentals, which are US-centric, have little to do with the flows into stocks. Yet, it is even more obvious that the fundamentalists will keep missing the rise in stocks, claiming they are in a bubble, overbought, and only supported by money printing. The EU actions sourrounding Brexit, the French and German elections, N Korea, and the actions by Rajoy have all contributed to the flows into stocks. By the time Italian elections role around, the steady flows will turn into a tsunami.

Medex_Man
Medex_Man

Obama's "big government forever" movement loses yet again...

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

Mssrs Puigdemont, Junqueras, Ms Forcadell will go down in history as the people who killed the legitimate aspirations of the Catalan people for one whole generation.

Carlos_
Carlos_

@Cassiopei: Isn't funny how the ring leaders been lying to their misguided followers? One of the biggest issues I have with these so called leaders is that they have absolutely no conscience when it comes to their followers. They have no problem whatsoever to expose their followers to harm (physical and financial) just to keep living large and safe. Just because of that they deserve the longest time in jail that the law permits. @peacock No Rajoy will not send the army that is how misinformed you are. Spain controls the banking system and every single penny Cataluna collects from taxes. Moreover, as soon as the sane Catalonias realize the economic damage the ring leaders have caused they will turn in droves to vote against the independistas. I see PSOE making big gains in particular. @Mish: Yes the Catalonias will vote and they will vote against the parties who pushed for DUI. Until recently the anti-DUI Catalonias have not cared much about the independistas. That all changed the moment the movement started to threaten their livelihoods (1700 corporations have left the region %30 of its PIB). So yes they will vote. @Cassiopeia : Don't be surprise when Mish writes this fluff. He is against anything that has a "U" in it: US, EU, USA etc

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

@Carlos, I understand Mish's point of view. He is coming to this as an outside observer who values mostly the legitimacy of the right to self-determination for any nation or nationality who wants it. I don't dispute that either, but this is not happening in a laboratory. He cannot (and few people outside Catalonia can) gauge things like the irregularites in the vote:

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

Due in part to the deactivation and repeated blocking by the police of the computer programs used to implement universal census and result reporting,[163] an important number of irregularities were detected during the celebration of the referendum. Among them, people recorded voting more than once, votes made by foreigners not included in the census or even allowing children to vote.[164][165] Unsealed ballot boxes were transported containing ballots inside,[166] and there were ballot boxes placed in the street[167] where any person could introduce their votes without any census control.[168] In 71 municipalities the number of "yes" votes tallied were more than the number of registered voters for those municipalities according to the census.[169]

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

He does not know the ringleaders as the true jacobins that they are

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

Personally, I would be in favor of self-determination if it had been done in a referendum that was legal according to Catalan law. Many, many people in Catalonia has this point of view.

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

Spain would be in a much more untenable position if they were confronted with a defensible referendum with a majority of people wanting to secede. So would Europe.

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

Sorry, the above quote is from wikipedia

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

Also, you are so right in saying that many naive indepes will be the ones to bear the worst economic consequences of this disaster. I don't want to be there when they wake up.

Carlos_
Carlos_

@Cassiopeia I disagree with you when you say: "a referendum that was legal under Catalonian law". Catalonian law doesn't trump Spanish law. That will be like saying California can enact unconstitutional laws unchallenged by the supreme court. We are either a country of laws or we aren't. Are you aware the the 1978 constitution was voted yes by about %65 of the Catalonias? Are you aware of the fact that that constitution was written in part by Catalonias? Are you aware that Catalonias voted yes in favor and the other region that voted a higher percentage was Andalucia? Are you aware that the Govern has deviated tax money to fund the separatist movement? Are you aware that Spanish speaking people living in Catalonia are discriminated by the policies imposed by the Govern? Are you aware that the Pujos robbed hands over fist from the Catalonias? Are you aware that historically the Catalonias don't have a truth based claim to independence? Are you aware that the Govern provided old pictures of old riots as if they were from Oct. 1? I have no doubt in my mind that the Govern was hopping from their poltronas for people to die in Oct. 1st to feed their propaganda machine - none whatsoever. I expect the elections to crush them by the way. The reasons are simple: 1) They lied (and it is now now by the people) that Catalonia will be intermediately accepted by the EU. Heck they wont even be accepted by the UN. 2) They lied when they said that companies will stay in Cataluna (they haven't and they knew it). 3) They lied when they said that Catalonias would be able to move without borders within the EU. 4) Economic hardship is coming and they will blame the ring leaders. 5) The sane Catalonias know very well that they are not oppressed by Spain. They don't like the PP but they aren't idiots. 6) I expect the sane Catalonias to vote for the non-indep parties(and they were and are the majority). 7) They lied when they say that their independence is opposed by facistas (fachas). When Lluís Companys declared independance in 1934 he did so against the republic (socialist government Franco was not in the picture). The republic declare the independence illegal and suspended its autonomy and sentence the ring leaders of the time. So the socialist are also facha? 8) The Catalonian ring leaders have demonstrated time and again to be opportunist and cowards. Companys fled to France after the fall of the republic and left his followers to pay for his actions. The current parliament voted in secret to avoid being prosecuted by Spanish justice. The ex-president of Cataluna decided not to declare DUI to avoid ending in jail (not that that's going to work). So much for sacrificing for the cause. And I can go on and on

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

@Carlos, I am aware of all these things and I agree with you in that the present leadership has been breathtakingly disingenious, that they passed fake news as real, such as photos of people giving the fascist salute in the pro-union demonstration that where taken in another demonstration. There will be no end to the debunking of myths and many of the things you say are true, the main one being that the situation of Catalans cannot be considered "oppression" since they have been voting in free and clean elections for 40 years based on a Constitution that, as you rightly point out, was voted by an overwhelming majority of the Catalan people in 1978. They also took a huge bailout from Madrid to pay for stupid mortgages given out by Catalan banks to Catalan families, and they did not complain at that time. However, I do part ways with you in that things can change, Catalans have a right to try to change their status if they do so under Catalan law and respecting the points of view of all Catalans who will have to live with the consequences. There is no way they could do it under Spanish law, but every independent nation in America is the result of an act of disobedience. Having said that, Catalan law required a 2/3 majority to pass the referendum law they passed in September. The Parlament completely ignored this and not only passed the law but make it binding! In what world? It was all downhill from there. They went ahead with complete disregard not only of the law but also of Catalans who are not radicals and who mostly favored a proper referendum if only to have a good sense of what the real majority is, such as the Scotland and Brexit referendums, which were both perfectly legal and no one challenges the results even if they don't agree. Like you say, they lied and lied and lied telling Catalans that Europe and the world would embrace them, that they would be even more prosperous than they are now, etc, etc. Of course Madrid actually helped them along with their astonishing stupidity, too obvious to recount. They voted in secret because they are cowards and they were caught between a rock and a hard place. They were covering their tracks. They knew it was impossible but they arranged things so that Madrid would have to do the dirty work.

Medex_Man
Medex_Man

While the drunks in Brussels continue to forecast the end of England as we know it -- the people actually making decisions about Brexit's impact are finally admitting what the private sector predicted all along.... the big banks are not going to leave London. Even the lesser prediction that many jobs would leave has proven to be political nonsense. UBS admitted that the 1000 jobs (out of 5000 in London?) that UBS has initially guessed is looking extremely "unlikely".

London is, and will remain, the finance capital of Europe. Zurich might gain some importance, but is more likely to take some jobs away from Frankfurt. Frankfurt does not offer the same standard of living that London offers, it doesn't have the same rule of law, and as long as the EU are controlling things - Germany's savings pool will be decimated.

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

Somewhere between 300,000 or 1,000,000 people (depending on whether the news site is pro or con declaring independence unilaterally) gathered in Barcelona to demonstrate in favor of clean elections and against unilateralism. We are all Catalonia, they chanted. It got violent at one point. Let's hope it's not a sign of things to come.

dilbert
dilbert

"If you disagree, rebut what I said,". But Mish, several people has already rebutted you. It's YOU who don't enter the debate arena and keep repeating "Catalonia has spoken". But with the repetitions this wont become true.

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

The most important pro-independence parties (ERC and PdeCat) have said they will run in the election. So far, only the so-called "anti-capitalist" CUP seem to be leaning toward a boycott. They currently have 10 seats out of 135 in Parliament and they were kingmakers the last time around. The pro-indepence parties would not have had a majority of seats if they had not allied with CUP. These are the ones who started calling Puigdemont a traitor when he had all but decided to call a snap election, which caused him to back down. It's hard to say what will happen, since things could get very dicey in the weeks before the election. Many Catalans are mad at Puigdemont and his troupe, but that does not mean they love Madrid. The whole world should root for a clean election with high turnout.

ttffrun
ttffrun

Although I don't favour penalising business which changes their domicile to escape the turmoil, I think the businesses that stay back needs to be recognised for their solidarity with the people.

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

@ttffrun, I don't think anyone wants to even go there. Right now who knows if moving domiciles was a good move or not. You can move the domicile but not the factory, at least not immediately. If pro-independence parties win the election and the push for independence continues (if it gets a clear majority in the coming election), companies could find themselves in a position where their goods would be outside the EU whether they moved the domicile or not. I guess they would probably push for a trade agreement with Spain even before trying to get into the EU. It would be a big mess, but the whole Catalan question is messy, and turmoil is bad for honest business.

ttffrun
ttffrun

@Cassiopeia , yes it will messy and that will a choice Catalonians need to make. I believe they have made themselves heard, what is left is to walk the talk.