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Sunday, September 28, 2014 1:09 PM

Reflections on Catalonia, Crimea, Iraq, California, Nation Building

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Catalonia Independence Vote to Proceed on Schedule 

Arthur Mas, president of Catalonia declared today that the vote for independence of that region will go as scheduled on November 9. Spain contends the vote is illegal and vows to stop it.

El Economista reports Arthur Mas Calls for Vote on Independence of Catalonia.

President of Catalonia, Artur Mas nationalist, officially called for a vote on the independence of this rich region of Spain for the November 9, challenging the Spanish government began the process to prevent it.

In a ceremony at the gallery Gothic Palace of the Generalitat, the seat of regional government in Barcelona, ​​Artur Mas, supported by his executive and representatives of other nationalist parties, signed the decree of convocation of this non-binding referendum.

"This is the way democracies are expressed and political projects are born. Voting it is the responsibility of the Democrats do not circumvent it," then said in a brief speech.

"Catalonia wants to talk, want to be heard, want to vote," he said Mas, who continues to ask Madrid to allow the query as London did in Scotland, where the "no" won Sept. 18 in a referendum with broad participation.
The proposal flew like a lead balloon in Madrid. Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy Initiated a Process to Suspend the Referendum.

Reflections on Catalonia, Crimea, California

There is a lot of puffery in Spain given the resolution is nonbinding, unlike the vote for Scottish independence.

In the US, if California wanted to cede from the union and form its own country, look on the bright side: California independence would be a huge upside for the rest of us.

Such a referendum, if allowed to stand, would take a lot of socialist votes out of the US House of Representatives. That would be a good thing. Unfortunately, there will never be support in California to cede from the union.

Crimea Votes Overwhelming to Join Russia

In Crimea, citizens voted 96.77% for integration of the region into the Russian Federation. Some claim the vote was rigged. Perhaps so, but by how much?

A Gallup Poll in Crimea following the referendum shows overwhelming support.

  • More than eight in 10 (82.8%) say the referendum reflects most Crimeans’ views.
  • About three-fourths of Crimeans (73.9%) say Crimea’s becoming part of Russia will make life better for themselves and their families, just 5.5% disagree.
  • Crimeans are overwhelmingly likely to view Russia’s role in the crisis as positive (71.3%) rather than negative (8.8%).
  • Outside of Crimea, responses are practically reversed (66.4% see Russia’s role as negative, 15.6% positive).
  • Though Ukrainians outside of Crimea are somewhat ambivalent about the United States’ role in the crisis (39.0% say it has been positive, 27.7% negative, and 21.6% neutral), Crimeans are far more unified in their view that the U.S. has played a negative (76.2%) rather than a positive (2.8%) role.

Justice was served in Crimea. The people clearly got what they wanted, and they did so in a peaceful, democratic process, undoing a haphazardly pieced together nation that simply did not belong together as configured.

Who am I (or anyone in Kiev) to question what an overwhelming percentage of the Crimeans want?

Nonetheless, arrogant outsiders with zero legitimate interest insist "the vote must not stand" and Russia must return Crimea to the Ukraine.

Instead, I propose, the US ought to consider outcomes like the Crimea vote and the Ukrainian civil war before it goes poking sticks at bears and stirring up geopolitical trouble.

Reflections on Nation Building

Nation building by outsiders does not work, ever. Results are especially bad when outside forces  haphazardly piece together nations to suit political whims.

Iraq and Ukraine are proof enough.

In Iraq, the Kurds want their own nation. The US is against the idea.

But why shouldn't the Kurds have the right of self-determination?

I seem to recall at least one great nation got its start that way. Anyone else remember? And isn't the voting booth preferable to war?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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