The Socialist Party of Catalunya (PSC) seems to have gone crazy. After taking the stand that they support a referendum if it is held legally, when the Catalan Parliament recently voted to petition the Spanish government, asking that it allow a referendum to be held, the PSC voted against it.
Besides the fact that they had said one thing and then voted another, I wondered why they had taken such an undemocratic stand. Voting is a basic democratic right. There have been two massive demonstrations in Catalunya in the last two years, one with over a million people participating and the other with almost two million. These people were telling their elected representatives that they want a referendum.
The motion was approved by almost two thirds of the Catalan Parliament, and the PSC was the only non-right wing party to vote against it. So what is the PSC up to? The party is officially against Independence in accordance with their national party, but how could they be against people voting? Voting means you can vote “no” just as well as “yes”. How much of the population is for independence and how much is against? It seems obvious that if you don’t allow a vote, it’s because you’re afraid to find out.
The PP (majority party in Spain) has not only taken a very inflexible position against holding a referendum but has also taken political actions that are anti-Catalan, attacking the educational system, the language, and its finances. Spain doesn’t want Catalunya to separate because Catalunya is Spain’s goose that lays golden eggs, contributing much more to the communal Spanish pot than its share of population.
Being anti-Catalan and anti-referendum is good currency in Spain and the PP does a good job of playing an active anti-Catalan part. Their anti-Catalan stance is a way of campaigning in the rest of Spain (and taking the public’s attention away from all the scandals the party is involved in) so that in the next national elections, the PP can again hope to win their absolute majority.
The Catalan Socialists, PSC, are a part of the greater Spanish Socialist party (PSOE). If a majority of Spaniards are anti-referendum and like golden eggs but don’t much care for Catalans, isn’t it a good idea to be anti-referendum if you are a major Spanish political player?
Here in Catalunya, as each week passes, the PSC loses support and has arrived at its all-time low. I believe that the national party, PSOE, is sacrificing the Catalan socialists in favor of having a better chance of winning the next Spanish congressional elections.
What does that mean? With both the PP and the socialists alienating Catalans in order to win over the rest of Spain, could it be that both the PP and PSOE think that Catalan Independence is a foregone conclusion? If so, the PSC will have a hard time of it when independence is declared and they have no voter base left.
Photo from Cokbulan Coskun