Monday, December 21, 2009

Pep's Way

Vicent Partal is the director of Vilaweb. This article originally appeared on Vilaweb's editorial page on 21 December 2009.

When a country needs leaders, it doesn't always find them in the political arena. Often they are found in culture, in business, and in sports. We have one that is unstoppable, whose name is Pep Guardiola. Beyond soccer, Pep is a clear example of how we should behave as a country. We're lucky to have him.

The victory in the Club World Championships has completed a season that has not only crowned this Barça as the best in history, but has also established that this Barça, without argument, is the best team in the world.

We are all conscious of the fact that what they did was not simple and may not even be repeatable. But the secret of their success is no secret: humility, thinking more about the group than the individuals, ambition, style, elegance, creativity, awareness of where you come from and never thinking about the opponent.

This last point is particularly interesting. Guardiola's Barça doesn't change strategies depending on who they're playing, or even worry about how their rivals are playing. They worry (and how!) about themselves. How many times have we heard Guardiola say: "we're going to play our game and our opponents can play how they want..."

And that is what we have begun to do with the referendums. Let them play the game they want. When they strip apart the Estatut [Statute of Autonomy], when they threaten us with all manner of calamities, when they send us the Falange, when they yell, we must concentrate on our own strategy, we must play our game with ambition and patience, with creativity and elegance, we must be conscious of where we come from and we must put, please, the group before the individuals.

If we play Pep's way, as we have already seen with Barça's incredible soccer, the victory may not be assured, but it's always a lot more than probable. And it deserves the respect and admiration of the entire world.

Proposal of #visca to mark tweets about Catalan Independence

(traducció al català abaix)
I have been translating into English news articles and some editorials about the movement toward Catalan independence for several months now, and I habitually tweet the headline with Twitter to help people find the articles. The problem is deciding what tags to add to the tweets so that people can find them. Should I add #catalonia? #catalunya? #cataluña? #català? #Catalan? What about #independència or #independence? There's not room for all of them, and even just one would be so long that it wouldn't leave much room for actual content.

Last week, using #13d was clear and concise, but now that we're moving on to future dates, it doesn't make much sense to keep on with an old date.

So, I propose using #visca to mark all tweets about the Catalan independence movement. It's short and clear. Although it does turn up in tweets about the Barça football team, it has not been used as a tag hardly at all (with #).

He estat traduint a l'anglès articles de notícies i alguns editorials sobre el moviment cap a la independència de Catalunya durant uns quants mesos, i típicament poso un missatge a Twitter amb el titular per ajudar a la gent a trobar les traduccions. El problema és decidir quines etiquetes hauria d'afegir per facilitar que la gent les trobi.

Hauria d'afegir #catalonia? #catalunya? #cataluña? #català? #Catalan? O seria millor #independència? #independence? No hi ha prou espai per tots i fins i tot un de sol és massa llarg i no deixa massa espai pel contingut de veritat.

La setmana passada fer servir #13d va ser clar i concís, però ara que anem cap a futures consultes, no té gaire sentit continuar amb una data antiga.

Aixì que proposo utilitzar #visca per marcar tots els tweets sobre el moviment per la independència de Catalunya. És curt i clar. Encara que es faci servir força sovint en tweets sobre el Barça, no s'ha utilitzat gairebé gens com a etiqueta (amb la #).

ERC will make a motion of support for a referendum on independence in Barcelona

Originally published in Vilaweb on 21 December 2009 at 17:00 GMT+1

Portabella thinks that there should be as many polling places open as in regular elections

Esquerra's [ERC] municipal group in the Barcelona city government will present a motion of support for the celebration of a referendum on independence in the city. It will not do so in the meeting this Wednesday, which is the last of the year, but instead will probably wait until next month, "when we see that it will go somewhere," said Jordi Portabella. He thinks that it will be almost impossible to hold the referendum properly on April 25th but did not discard September 13 as a possibility.

Some of the organizers of the referendums of this past December 13, like Carles Móra, have proposed, though not formally, that the referendum in Barcelona be held on September 13, which will be the first anniversary of the first referendum. That would allow more time for organizing and would also have added symbolic value. That possibility is looked upon favorably by Portabella, who insists that "any date with an added value, as long as the process is well defined, will be welcome. But we are not yet ready to set the date."

During the same week that the December 13 referendums were held, the group Barcelona Decideix [Barcelona Decides] presented its initiative of holding a referendum in Barcelona on April 25th, but the criticisms from groups and organizations who had not been previously consulted eventually made the date conditional.

Portabella thinks that for the referendum to work, and for the turnout to be high, it's important there there be as many polling places open as in regular elections.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winning, on the EU's terms

Vicent Partal is the director of Vilaweb. This article originally appeared on Vilaweb's editorial page on 17 December 2009.

The results of December 13th should not be lightly extrapolated, that much is clear. The number of towns and cities where voting took place numbered in the tens, and even if they were very representative, they do not give a full portrait of the country. That said, the definitive data indicates for the first time that we could win a referendum on the terms set by the European Union.

The terms for recognizing independence, that the European Union defined after the referendum in Montenegro, imposes a qualified majority, not a simple majority. A qualified majority is defined by two parameters: at least 50% of the population must vote and the vote in the affirmative must be, at least, 55%.

So fine, in the case of Montenegro, the result of the referendum was accepted by the EU with 47% of the total voters in favor of independence. Because (and it's important to insist on this point) the condition is not that 55% of the census* vote in favor, but rather 55% of those who vote, as long as the number of voters is at least 50% of the census. And that is a much lower bar than it seems. For example, suppose that exactly 50% of the census votes (and by doing so, completes the first condition), there would be enough if just 27.5% of the census voted in favor of independence, since this is the quantity of necessary Yes votes that would represent 55% of the total votes in order to complete the second condition.

(We should also mention another important number in passing: in the 166 municipalities in which the referendum was held, the total number of votes in favor of independence was 182,625. In Montenegro, for their referendum on independence, the votes in favor numbered 230,661 in total.)

Back to it, at any rate. To begin, the final returns from Sunday indicate that 26.01% of the total number of registered voters opted for Yes. Said in another way: we know that 26.01% of all of the citizens of at least 16 years of age included in the census of the municipalities where the referendums were held said Yes to independence. But you have to keep in mind that the census that was used is not the census that the European Union would accept, but rather is larger, since it includes immigrants and 16 and 17-year olds. And an analysis of the data indicates that, especially among the immigrant population, abstention was very high, a fact that lowers the weight that affirmative votes would have in an official referendum.

It is clear, then, that setting aside the vote of immigrants and youths of 16 and 17, the affirmative vote would easily rise as high or higher than 30%. And that would mean, simply, that if 50% of the census voted, instead of 27.5%, even if all the other votes were negative, that the referendum would have been successful, conforming to the terms set by the European Union. Because if there had been 50% turnout, I'll say it again, only 27.5% need vote in favor of independence in order to comply with the conditions imposed by the European Union and pass the referendum.

The problem, then, is abstention. Because to get to a 50% turnout, which is absolutely necessary for the European Union to accept the results, we need 23 points. Those 23 points could be found if 3 out of 10 abstainers from Sunday went to vote, which doesn't seem impossible at first glance. Sunday wasn't even an official election and the boycott by No supporters was obvious. Would they dare to boycott an official referendum? It would be a big risk for them...

The data is, without a doubt, insufficient and incomplete. But it indicates one thing that is completely new in the political history of our country: today we have plenty of indicators that lead us to believe that winning a referendum on independence in the Principat is no fantasy. And that's no joke.

Translation notes:
*census - In Catalonia, you register yourself ("empadronar-se") with the census when you move to a new residence. You must be listed in the census to be able to vote, marry, enroll your children in local schools, etc. You do not have to be a legal resident of Spain to register yourself with the census. Note that in contrast with the system for example in the US, there is no separate registration specifically for voting.

*Principat - refers to the four counties of the Principat de Catalonia: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona. "Països Catalans" or "Catalan Countries" is comprised of the Principat, Valencia (including the counties of Alacant and Castellò), and the Balearic Islands (and sometimes more).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

13D: The Myth About the Low Turnout

Albert Montón is a producer and screenwriter of documentary films. This originally appeared on his blog.

We didn't have to hold a referendum to see that the turnout would be "low". And I write it in quotation marks because, even though that's what everyone said, that's not what I say, not by any stretch. The Spanish press had their headlines written long ago: pantomime, ridiculous, witchcraft... a smattering of independentists. I'm sorry to have to go back to Brunete*, but it seems to me that it is a demonstration of the fact that independentism here still needs to get past a certain colonization — not political, economic, or cultural — but mental. We still think too often in the terms and language that Spain sets for us.

A turnout of 27% is really low, they say. And we accept it. Sunday, it was barely 8 pm, the polling places in Vilafranca were filled with sad faces like poems. Hardly anyone came, only 23%, they said.

But you just can't compare it with official elections. First, because this one wasn't official. And second, because one of the choices, the No vote, was totally boycotted, on purpose, to make it fail, to make it look bad. They're not comparable. A non-official referendum, organized completely at the grassroots level with spare change — and they didn't even spend it all —, and with an explicit boycott of one of the options, that received a 27% turnout, is a robust success, as was pointed out in the international media. Indeed, to compare what was said in the international papers to what was written in the Spanish press is like comparing what the world says about a banana republic with what the current dictator's loyal outlet dishes out.

And keeping in mind that almost all the votes cast were for Yes (95%), we can say that one out of every 4 Catalans invited to the polls gave their explicit support for independence. It's important to note that one out of 4 Spaniards votes for PP in the legislative elections and one out of every four votes for PSOE. The two together make up the "two Spains", or so they tell us as well. So, we can affirm that independentism has the same prevalence in Catalonia as either one of the two Spains on their home turf. Not bad at all, because in addition, the referendum was not even official in contrast with the legislative elections which most certainly are.

However with those results, I would dare to say that counting all the municipalities in an official referendum, the No vote would hardly have a chance of winning. It's clear that the 73% that didn't vote wouldn't all vote No, as the Spainist propaganda implies. With a turnout of 70%, the Yes vote would win handily, and you'd have to get to about 85% for the No votes to even have a chance, although it's hard to imagine how they'd mobilize the votes for that option, without any grassroots support.

It's obvious that neither can we extrapolate the results to the rest of Catalonia. How areas like Barcelona, the metropolitan area that surrounds it, or Tarragona would act is anyone's guess. But it's also true that we are at the beginning of everything. And the conclusions must be positive. In Spain, the media has to give their clients what they ask for, but those that are in the know are worried. With reason.

Translation Notes:
*Brunete - Is the name of an armored tank division of the Spanish Army, named in honor of the Battle of Brunete in which the Fascists inflicted heavy casualties on the Republicans. Here it refers to the conservative Spanish press: the "Brunete mediàtica" translates (very) roughly as the "tanks of the Spanish Nationalist press"...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Catalonia will be independent or it will not be

Editorial from directe!cat on 16 December 2009 at 05:00h GMT+1

We want to express our solidarity with all of people who suffer in order to defend the freedom of expression, attacked by a Spanish State that is incapable of accepting the democratic path to liberty. Egunkaria Aurrera!

'Catalonia will be independent or it will not be.' With these words, the executive director of Osona Decideix, Alfons López Tena, closed his presentation in Vic after announcing the definitive results of the referendums on independence this Sunday. A proverb adapted to perfectly capture the meaning of the moment that we are living.

Almost 200,000 people stood up and participated in a set of referendums organized by the grassroots with the absolutely necessary collaboration of thousands of people and various distinct political parties — to varying degrees — with a hugely successful turnout. With errors and viewpoints of all hues, but no-one can deny that what happened on the 13th of December was an exceptional example of political participation.

Only the enemies of Catalonia can dilute our victory. No-one has the right to spoil our happiness in seeing thousands of people who voluntarily and forcefully exercised their right to decide. Now we need a unifying force to achieve independence. As we said on Sunday, if we want to, we can, and that is a clear conclusion.

All we Catalans are independentists, even those who don't yet know it. Explaining the advantages of independence to open their eyes is the work of more than a million Catalans (between 25 and 30% of the population) who are already cognizant of it. To get there, we need less individual posturing and more unity of action. The powers that be and the "Spains" have trembled, now we cannot let ourselves fight useless battles that go nowhere. The enemy is without, not within.

Among are true enemies, there are those that quietly curtailed the success of these referendums. Like the MP from PSC Joan Ferran who pressured TV3 to silence its coverage, Josep Mª Sala (accused in the Filesa case) and the manipulation of the Regional Houses, the MP from PSC Mohammed Chaib who instead of defending Human Rights and worrying about the freedom of the activist Aminatu Haidar, spent his time pressuring Moroccan imams to repress the vote in immigrant communities, or the organization secretaries of PP and PSC who moved heaven and earth so that their members would not partipate in the referendums, especially those who expressed a certain affinity. We independentists are a majority, the Spaniards know it and they don't waste time fighting each other.

Only by explaining the truth will we be convincing. Does anyone have a doubt that if we were independent, the Line 9 of the Metro would already be completely ready, the trans-highway widened and improved, the salary and pensions of all Catalans would be higher, we wouldn't have to play sidegames with our National sports teams, we would have complete management of our airport, we would decide with whom we wanted to express solidarity and support and we would even bring to justice our own criminals? Can anyone doubt that, even if we make mistakes, all citizens, from wherever they come, would live better and would be happier? Isn't it worth it to fight democratically for the right to be normal?

Let's stop messing around and start working together for independence.

Leaders of Catalan Independentist Organizations Make Peace

The mayor of Arenys distances himself from the ILP [Iniciativa Legislativa Popular, something like California's propositions] and from the declaration that will be made tomorrow, that could be the embryo of a new independentist party

The coordinator of Osona Decideix [Osona Decides], Alfons López Tena and the leaders of the Coordinadora de Consultes [Referendums Coordinator] Uriel Bertran and Carles Móra, made the peace on Wednesday after two days of slinging accusations. Today they demonstrated the new unity of independentism in front of the Parliament of Catalonia and looked toward the next referendums on independence. This morning, López Tena and Móra breakfasted together in Vic where the jurist [López Tena] explained that the strategy to follow should be that of Osona, looking for the maximum consensus and avoiding parallel initiatives like the ILP. Móra accepted Tena's reasoning and has already announced that he will distance himself from the independentist declaration that will be presented tomorrow, and that he will also disconnect himself from the ILP that is hoping to force a binding referendum on independence.

As reported by 9Nou [the new 9], this Wednesday morning the mayor of Arenys, Carles Móra and the coordinator of Osona Decideix, Alfons López Tena, had breakfast togeether in the 'La Terra' [The Land, could even be translated as the 'Catalan Land'] club in order to demonstrate the now peaceful relations between the two organizations. This midday the jurist [López Tena] and the MP for ERC Uriel Bertran will have lunch together and then will hold a press conference together in front of Parliament in order to speak about the organization of future referendums on independence.

Originally published in directe!cat on 16 December 2009 at 12.24h GMT+1

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saül Gordillo - The Catalan Formula: the Polls

Saül Gordillo is a journalist and director of the Agència Catalana de Notícies [Catalan News Agency]. This is from his blog.

Perfectly acceptable turnout (30%) when you consider that it was a symbolic referendum, without any actual legal heft. Overwhelming victory for the Yes vote (94.71%). 200,000 people participated in a democratic marathon without precedent. Not only for the excellent organization, for the noteworthy civic-mindedness, for the ability to mobilize the independentists on the street, for the enormous broadminded sovereigntism that brought together all these referendums, but also for the beginning of the feeling that they suppose. Arenys de Munt was first on the trail, but what happened this weekend was much more important. Counties brimming with municipalities, and a bunch of towns besides, up to 167, including metropolitan cities as important as Sant Cugat del Vallès (25.48% turnout, with 15,048 votes).

The movement grows and the grassroots model for the referendums has multiple repercussions. Independentism organizes itself and gives a lesson in turnout, seriousness and rigour. Also of collective boldness and hope. There is a social strength that this Sunday no-one could look down on. Look what González Pons (from the PP [Conservative Political Party] said. They have no legal but much political value. They don't shift even a comma of the current legal system, but they represent a notable step forward in the struggle for the national liberties of the country. From the PSOE, in contrast, Chaves insists on sneering, now with more care from the socialists and governing Spaniards than they had with the referendum in Arenys de Munt. They got that lesson anyway.

But the true success of the 13th of December is not, despite what many analysts say, the repercussions that this may have in Madrid, in the midst of the current soap opera that is the finding of the Constitutional Court. The Estatut [Statute of Autonomy upon which the Court will render a verdict] and the finding don't matter a whit to those who voted this Sunday. The Statute has lost the focus for these, they have already moved on. This Sunday, the debate was elsewhere, it was not about the Statute so heavily edited by Moncloa [the Spanish Whitehouse]. The success of 13D, therefore, is an internal key: lose the fear, position the independentist debate on the street, in the center of the political discussion, use it as a strategic wedge in the upcoming elections (Parliamentary, local, etc.) and unbalance the two axes of Catalan politics — right-left and Catalanist-Spainist — in favor of the nation.

The other victory of 13D, following in the footsteps of what happened in Arenys de Munt, but now multiplied by the editorial in Le Monde, and the coverage by the BBC, is the widespread resonance in the global press. Which in turn had an important impact on coverage by journalists in Catalonia itself. One small push in the fight against the self-loathing practiced to date by some media outlets when they speak about independence. A victory thanks to the globalness (and to the Internet in part) and to the Catalan Formula: the polls.

The polls are the key to everything. This icon awakens no uneasiness, except in Spain, of course. Here and on an international level, as well as for a model for other nations without their own State, the Catalan solution of civilized polls is an authentic lesson. The message is very clear. We want to vote. We want to do it for real one day. Everyone. And with the real power to decide.

by Saül Gordillo. Originally published on his blog on 14 December 2009

95% Vote Yes for Catalan Independence

Turnout for the referendum could reach 30%, according to the early returns

200,000 people have voted on Independence for Catalonia. Most municipalities easily surpassed the 20% mark * There were some that surpassed the turnout for the referendum on the Estatut [Statute of Autonomy]

Some 200,000 out of the 700,000 eligible voters went to the polls in the 166 municipalities in which they were able to decide today whether Catalonia should become an independent state within the European Union. These are provisional numbers given by the Coordinadora Nacional de la Consulta [National Coordinator for the Referendum]. Little by little the results are being made public, town by town, and you can follow the returns on this special page on Vilaweb.

In the vast majority of municipalities, the turnout was easily more than 20%, and in a few it was even higher than in other official elections, including the referendum on the Estatut [Statute of Autonomy] of 2006; this is the case for example, of Taradell, in which 2,608 voters have gone to the polls today. This was 954 more than voted in the European elections earlier this year, 803 more than who voted on the referendum for the European Constitution and 121 more than who voted on the referendum for the Estatut.

In some other towns, the turnout was much lower, as in the case of Roses (10.4%) and Vilanova i la Geltrú (15.6%).

The coordinating committee says it is satisified with the turnout and the mayor of Arenys de Munt, Carles Móra, spoke of the "overwhelming triumph of sovereigntism". The spokesperson for the coordinating committee, Uriel Bertan, explained that the turnout was highest where they were able to work in "equal conditions" as the institutions have done in other elections.

Out of the 700,024 Catalans at least 16 years of age—including registered immigrants—called to vote on independence, this Saturday the residents of the smallest town in Catalonia, Sant Jaume de Frontanyà, population 21, was the first municipality to complete the referendum after the pioneering Arenys de Munt. In total, there were 167 municipalities that held referendums, counting Sant Jaume de Frontanyà, spread out over 29 Catalan counties. The largest town where the vote was held was Sant Cugat del Vallès, where the mayor, Lluís Recoder (CiU), voted with an absentee ballot ahead of time, and the county with the most towns participating was Osona, with a total of 35.

The 252 electoral colleges and 564 tables opened, as on any other election day, at 9am and closed at 8pm. All of the data was contained in a central computer system that guaranteed that there was no electoral fraud, and that it was impossible to vote twice. In addition, there were representatives from all of the parties that supported the referendums: CDC, ERC, CUP, EPM's (in conjunction with ICV), and RCat, among others.

Originally published in VilaWeb on 14 December 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More votes in Berga for independence than there were for the Estatut

4,616 citizens of Berga have voted in favor of independence of Catalonia, more than the Estatut received in the referendum of 2006

The results also were higher than the number of votes obtained in the last elections by the parties in favor of the "yes".

In Berga, 4,706 people voted, of which 96.97% voted yes, 81 deposited No papers, 34 votes were blank, and 21 voted nothing. The sum of the votes to the parties that supported the campaign for a yes vote represented 4,085 votes (the sum of CiU, CUP, ERC, and PRC), a figure that was also surpassed by those who voted in favor of independence.

Originally published in Vilweb on 13 December 2009

More than 120,000 Catalans have already voted on independence

At 1pm, 17% of the population had already voted, not counting absentee ballots

At 1pm in the afternoon, 121,500 Catalans have already taken advantage of their right to decide in one of the 166 municipalities that today celebrate a referendum on the Independence of Catalonia. This figure is about 15% of the national electoral population. It's important to keep in mind that the participation in official electoral convocations is generally offered at 2pm in the afternoon, and with one hour more of voting, participation in the referendum on the Estatut was at 20%, on the European Constitution was 21% and in the last elections for the European Parliament was 19%. This 17% is without a doubt a significant amount that the political parties will have to take into account in the future.

At 1 pm 16.4% of the elegible population had voted in Osona; in Vic it was 19.1%.

The total provisional participation, without counting absentee ballots, in the referendum on Independence for Catalonia that is being celebrated today in the county of Osona, counting data at 1pm is 16.4%. In the case of the capital of the county, Vic, this figure climbs to 19.1%.

Osona Decideix [Osona Decides] sees this data very positively, since it is in line with the participation in other elections even though they're counting the information with one hour less of voting (since participation in other votes has generally been counted at 2pm). In the case of the referendum on the Estatut, in Osona the vote was 23.54% and in Vic 23.69%.

Originally published in on 13 December 2009 at 14:42.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

'Le Monde" asks the European Union to pay attention to Catalonia's push for independence

Huge amount of coverage in the international press, even today, on the referendums of December 13

The prestigious Parisian newspaper, Le Monde, opens today's edition with a front page article about the referendums for independence taking place on December 13 and on its inside pages is running an editorial that says that what is happening in Catalonia should be getting the attention of the European Union.

The newspaper's top stories include coverage of the summit in Copenhagen as well as one titled, "Nationalist Catalans organize a referendum". The article's byline carries the name of Vic Jean-Jacquies Bozonnet, que underlines the importance of the immigrant vote.

More important still, however, is the publication of an editorial in the newspaper titled "Le Mal Catalan" [roughly translated as "The Catalan Unease"] that demands that Europe pay atention to the phenomenon that is happening in the Principat.

The editorial describes the events that will happen on Sunday and affirms that "Catalonia is not the only region in Western Europe that is working on its desires for emancipation," naming also the Basque Country, Flanders, and Scotland. According to Le Monde, the existence of the European Union has given these nations a "peaceful, common framework" that lets us imagine a "break without violence." "Modifying the old borders nowadays is no longer synonymous with violence." The French newspaper also says that the expansion of the EU towards the East has given wings to Catalan Nationalism "with reason" since "these countries are smaller and have a weaker economy" than Catalonia.

Originally published in Vilaweb on 12 December 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Barcelona will vote on Independence

Sagrada Família

"Barcelona Decides", the coordinator of the vote, will introduce itself on Wednesday at 1pm in front of the Sagrada Família

First it was Arenys de Munt on September 13, on Saturday, 161 towns more will add their voices, and next February and Abril the wave will grow higher, with places like Sabadell, Girona, and finally, Barcelona. The Catalan capital will also vote on independence, and this Wednesday, the citizen-led coordinator in charge of organizing the project will introduce itself. After two months of contacts and meetings, the group Barcelona Decideix [Barcelona Decideix] will introduce itself at 1pm in front of the Sagrada Família, with representatives from the different districts and organizations of the city. The referendum in Barcelona could be the final step towards independence, given the decisive weight of its population within the totality of the Principality and the immense international reaction that a referendum on independence in the Capital city would certainly have.

According to the organizers, the presentation will take place in front of the Sagrada Família, because it is a symbol both of the city and of Catalanness. During the ceremony, the date for celebrating the referendum will be declared and the Web site for the group,, will be presented.

Originally published in directe!cat on 8 December 2009 at 12:31h

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Catalans would vote in favor of independence, if given the chance

A macro-survey by the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), of 2,614 people, organized by Miquel Strubell, reveals the overwhelming results: 50.3% would vote Yes in a referendum on self-determination, only 17.8% would vote against, with 7.2% undecided. It is the first time that a scientific poll reveals this data. The poll also exposed that 83% of those polled believe that Catalonia has the right to freely and democratically decide its own political future, and only 15% of the total did not.

The survey to which directe!cat had access, reveals that the principal motives of those in favor of a Yes vote are due, in certain percentages, to emotional reasons— for example, 29.6% admit that they are simply tired of Spain—, but combined with other reasons based on economics and democracy. In contrast, the group that mostly called on their feelings and personal convictions when deciding hjow to vote were those voting against independence. They believe that it would be economically unviable, and that it might generate a conflict or that the laws don't cover it.

[Translation of Graph:

Motives for voting in favor
Motives for voting against
Motives for abstaining
Base in favor: 1,276
Base against: 438
Base abstaining: 607
It would be a peaceful and democratic way: 65.7%
Feelings or convictions 60.8%
It's not my place to decide: 38.4%
Economic reasons: 62.3%It would be unviable economically: 29.3%
Feelings or convictions: 29.2%
Feelings or convictions: 58.6%The law doesn't allow for it: 25.9%
I would be scared of repercussions: 25.7%
Linguistic or cultural reasons: 56.4%I would be scared of repercussions: 25.7%
The law doesn't allow for it: 20.6%
Tired of Spain: 29.6%
None of the above: 5.8%
It would be economically unviable: 18.5%
None of the above: 0.9%
Don't know: 0.9%
None of the above: 13.9%
Don't know: 0.5%

Don't know: 3.2%
No answer: 0.1%

No answer: 0.4%

The study was made on a map of six zones. By territories, the Girona counties are those that have the most affirmative votes (64.5%). Right behind them is the zone of central counties, with 64.2% in favor. The Terres de l'Ebre (63.4%) would also vote in favor, as would those of Ponent (56.3%). Under 50% there are only two zones: that of Camp de Tarragona, with 47.2% and that of Barcelona, which falls to 46.3%. It's important to note, however, that the Yes vote would be the winning option in all zones and that it is in Tarragona (25.9%) and not Barcelona (19.8%) in which there is the highest percentage of No votes for the Independence of Catalonia.

But the study also underlines one of the chronic difficulties of Catalanism and Independentism: the lack of confidence in their own ability to achieve independence. 58.1% of those polled believe that Catalonia will not get to be independent. Only 31.1% believe that it will, along with 10.7% that is not sure and thus, has no opinion.

Originally published on on 3 December 2009

Miquel Calçada, Founder of the Flaix Group, calls Catalans to Vote

It's true that there are people who believe that the referendums, the consultations that will take place on December 13 aren't good for anything. Technically, they aren't. But symbolically, they are extremely important. Since the city government of Arenys de Munt began their referendum, we have had a path to follow, and since then we are following, what I personally and humbly feel is the only possible path. There is no "just in case" here, there are no Plan B's, there are no Plan A's, there are no Plan E's, there is just this one way.

So, I encourage you to actively participate and to go vote in the referendums that will be held in your towns, villages, and cities on December 13. I hope that you will, in addition, vote in the affirmative, that you will vote Yes. But if you have to vote no, well, I wouldn't recommend it, but go and vote, that is, let's make sure that that day the percentage of people who go the polls is really incredibly high, because on that will depend, that is, the fact that a lot of people go to vote will place the topic of the referendums in the center of the political agenda.

And we hope that some day our parliament will be able to take that step forward and declare the independence of our country.

Original transcript:
És cert que hi ha gent que creu que els referèndums, les consultes que es faran el dia 13 de desembre no serveixen per res. Tècnicament, no serveixen per res. Simbólicament, són importantíssimes. Des que l'ajuntament d'Arenys de Munt van començar la seva consulta va ser quan algú fa per marcar el camí i des d'aleshores estem seguint crec tots plegats una via que és la que la que personalment i humilment crec que és la única. Aquí no hi ha "en cas possible", no hi han plans B, no hi han plans A, no hi han plans E, només hi ha aquesta via.

Per tant, jo us encoratjo a participar activament i anar a votar a les consultes que es facin en els vostres pobles, viles i ciutats el dia 13 de desembre. Espero a més a més que ho feu, doncs, votant afirmativament, votant pel Sí. Però si heu de votar pel no, en fi, jo no us ho recomanaré, però aneu a votar, és a dir, fem que aquest dia realment la participació sigui increïble, perque d'això dependrà, és a dir, el fet que la participació sigui gran, dependrà que el tema de les consultes el posem en el centre de l'agenda política.

I esperem que algun dia el nostre parlament sigui capaç de donar aquest pas endavant i declarar la independencia del nostre pais.

Originally published on Vilaweb, November 30, 2009

Joan Laporta, President of FC Barcelona, calls Catalans to vote on December 13

Joan Laporta, President del FC Barcelona
The referendum on December 13th is the referendum for dignity, for our national identity. Catalonia is a nation. The best way that we have to administer our national resources, to improve the wellbeing of our citizens, to deepen our appreciation of our national identity and dignity is by having our own state.

I encourage you to participate in the referendum on December 13th. We have to decide what we want for our nation. Come on Catalans! We have to go vote Yes!

El referèndum del 13 de desembre és el referèndum de la Dignitat, de la consciència nacional. Catalunya és una nació. I la millor manera que tenim d'administrar els nostres recursos, de millorar el benestar dels nostres ciutadans, d'aprofundir en la consciència i la dignitat nacional és tenir un estat propi.

Us animo a participar en el referèndum del dia 13 de desembre. Hem de decidir que volem per la nostra nació. Som-hi catalans! Cal anar a votar sí.