First-Hand Take on Catalan Voting

SPN Catalan Vote 03 OnLToday has been an interesting day here in Catalonia. For the last year and a half, I have been a volunteer and today, I have been helping people to find out where they needed to go and vote.

From 8am onwards, there has been a steady stream of voters making their way towards a local high-school to cast their votes.

For people from the UK, democracy is a word not often used or bandied about because I believe that democracy genuinely exists in the UK. However, in Spain, we live a different reality.

Catalans decided five years ago when Madrid annulled the estatut that they had to challenge central government because they saw and still see, no future for themselves within a Spanish state.

I have spoken to many people who say that the financial restrictions placed upon Catalonia by Madrid are important but many more believe that they have a right to be their own boss.

Catalan voting tableCatalans want to shape their own future and I certainly think they are capable of it. Madrid needs to learn to listen to people, if it does not, its days are numbered.

This process has nothing to do with political parties as the Madrid media would have Spaniards believe – there is a huge majority of people here who want change.

The Catalan PP insist they represent the ‘silent majority’ but they have proved that they have no backing amongst the people here.

In a democracy, elections or consultations should be the norm and in my opinion, when a political party calls people who want to vote a threat to democracy, they need to take a good look at themselves.

Earlier today , I was having a well-earned coffee break in a bar opposite the polling station and I was speaking to a man from Soria in Castilla. He expressed surprise at my being a volunteer and asked me if I had also voted. Obviously, he had no intention of participating today – a mindset shared by many residents here from other parts of Spain.

Catalan vote volunteersI can honestly say that it has been a lovely day here with people wanting to express their idea for Catalonia’s future. The day has been incident-free in Figueres, which after the incidents of Thursday night (swastikas , Spanish flags and homophobic slogans) has been a relief.

If there are any “politicians” out there, it’s time to get to work. The people have spoken.

(News: Figueres, Cataluña)

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