Monday, May 20, 2019
context and clues

The Outlawing of the Catalan Independence Movement: Rebellion, Sedition and Political Hostages.

Throughout the ongoing struggle between Spain and Catalonia secessionists have systematically stated their case in terms of democratic legitimacy, as opposed to the language...

Article 155: The Spanish government abolishes Catalan self-rule (for now)

if the legislators who decided on the constitutional text considered it necessary to be explicit about “issuing instructions” how would they not be equally explicit in the text about carrying out actions of a far more drastic nature, such as dissolving parliament, dismissing a democratically elected government and taking direct control of the region? In fact, when the constitution was drafted, an amendment to the article granting the government the capacity to do exactly these things was rejected. Therefore, it should be assumed that dissolving parliaments and dismissing governments are not covered by “issuing instructions” to regional governments.

Constitutional Court: Composition and Appointments

Four are chosen by congress with a ⅗ majority. In practice appointments are made by means of a deal between the Partido Popular (PP) which appoints 2 and the Socialist Party (PSOE) which appoints 2, as between both parties a ⅗ majority can always be ensured. Four are chosen by the senate with a ⅗ majority. Appointments again follow the same logic as for those appointed by the congress. Two are appointed by the Spanish Council of the Judiciary, which again is made up of members which require a ⅗ support in both houses of parliament. Two more are appointed by the Government. At present, this is, directly by the PP.

The Spanish Political System explained

Politically Spain is a parliamentary system, in which governments require parliamentary support in order to be formed and to pass budgets and laws. There...

The Popular Party and the Judiciary. Separation of Powers? Not quite.

In recent years the Popular Party has systematically used the judiciary to silence political opposition and to ensure widespread corruption at every level of...

The Popular Party and Spanish Nationalism’s Core Values.

Popular Party founder, Manuel Fraga, was himself a high-ranking member of the Falange for many years. Over time the Falange was replaced by the National Movement, and all officials of the Francoist state swore on its principles, the first of which stated “Spain is a unity of destiny in the universal. Service to the greatness, unity and liberty of the nation is the sacred duty and collective endeavour of all Spaniards”. This obsession with Spanish unity, which has been carried into contemporary Spain by the Popular Party and the 1978 constitution, is key to understanding the evolution of the Catalan crisis. Francoist core values survived Franco’s death.

How Spain got its 1978 Constitution

The constitution was negotiated on the basis of the system put in place by the 1976 Political System Reform Law -prior to any elections-, and representation resulting from the 1977 elections (in addition to 20% of senators designated by the King). The congress and senate that were elected assembled a committee of seven men to draft the constitutional text: four of them from the Francoist establishment, one from the Socialist Party, one from the Communist Party and one from the Catalan conservative nationalists.

The Popular Party: Fascist Roots Clinging to Power

At Franco's death, his regime, under the leadership of King Juan Carlos, mutated into a liberal democracy without the Francoist establishment relinquishing its hold on power. In so doing it ensured the crimes committed over 40 years of authoritarian rule would go unpunished. Spain's current ruling party emerged from one of the harder sectors of the Francoist establishment. The fact that it is in government today bears testament to the original plan's success.