The Catalonia Referendum. Simple explanation

Written by Umberto Belluzzo

Let’s talk about the referendum in Catalonia, which has already created confusion: has  the referendum been accepted? was it a victory?

Yes we can call it a victory  however only on a political level since it is a loss for the government ;).

It’s difficult, I know, so here it is a simple explanation:

The number of total votes were about 2.2 million and out of those votes, about 2 million were “Yes” and only 200 thousands “No”. So basically 90% Yes and 10% No.

However  these numbers explain the votes but not the voters. Let me tell you:

Usually when we vote (for example in my country, Italy) we can only vote in a specific place (usually near where we live) and we have only one voting paper which is verified with a stamp (a really boring procedure that I really don’t want to get into). This procedure is to avoid fraud, that can happen if people vote more times with more voting papers in more places.

So basically what happened in Catalonia is that the Spanish government has intervened closing some sieges. This is why the Catalan government has taken a “countermeasure”.

The Catalan Government decided to allow whoever wanted to print his own vote voting paper without any official stamp on it, so that the voter can vote yes or no how many times he wants, and then just bring the schedule to any place and put it into a plastic box.

Nice way to vote isn’t it?

Of course the result is a lot of people voting more times than one. ( there are photos of some voters also posing with a smile for 4 times in different places). This is because there wasn’t any control so  people could have easily thrown out voting schedules and could have definitely manipulated votes.

Because of this,  it’s really difficult to take these results seriously BUT…

Let’s still take those results seriously so that we can understand how has it gone.

“Yes” has still won with 90% it’s not a thing you can invent right? No, you cannot invent it but you can still change it a little bit…

However let’s say there haven’t been any frauds in that referendum. Yes 90% is a great victory even though it is not this big of a shock. Here’s why:

What happens usually during a referendum?

There are people who go to vote and other people stay at home and this is for two reasons:

  1. in some cases it is for the “Quorum” so that the referendum in order to succeed has to reach a certain number of votes and if you want the referendum to fail you can stay at home without voting and finish all the episodes on Netflix of the fiction “Suits”( ooh what a fantastic fiction, I hope Netflix will pay me for this ;))
  2. In this referendum it’s different, there is no quorum because it’s an illegal referendum and people who are against the independence don’t vote because they recognize it’s an ILLEGAL referendum that’s what the central government asked to do. “Stay at home”.

Now, only 42% of the whole Catalan population went to vote and the 10% of them has also voted “No”, that means that the majority of catalans with 58% did not vote for the independence, easy ; ) .

To conclude this about 2.000.000 people voted to have the independence and destroy the integrity of the state. The Spanish population is about 43 millions people, so ONLY 4,3% of the Spanish population tried with violence to take a decision for every Spanish.

4,3%… it is a really small number isn’t it? We can’t talk of great victory anymore, I guess.

In democracy, usually the majority decide what is going to happen not the 4,3% of the population.

Now I don’t want to change any idea of yours, those of you who want to be independent etc. However the method of voting is WRONG because we are speaking about a minority of the population of one of the 17 regions with autonomy of the Spanish state which are protected by a constitution which was VOTED with real democracy in 1978.

Now you can say: “Yes but if the police had not intervened with violence more people would have voted”.

Yes of course I totally disagree with the violence of the police used against Catalan people and I would have done the same thing.

I heard the Catalan Government will announce on Monday the independence of Catalonia, this, for me, means more violence and many other problems for Spain and Europe.

Sorry for the length of this article but this field is really complicate, I hope you will understand.


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