Categorized | News, Opinion


This is a nice comment from Andy Ellis who apparently lives in England but is Scottish as to the continuing discussion of Catalan and Scottish independence.  Of course my position is that both people groups have the right to decide that status but I am not sure if I support their cause.

But here it is:

The debate on Catalan self-determination is an interesting one, particularly when viewed in conjunction with the upcoming referendum in Scotland in September 2014. Prior to the “Edinburgh Agreement” between the UK government in Westminster and the Scottish government in Holyrood, a very similar debate was taking place in Scotland, about whether it was “legal” for the SNP government to proceed with a referendum at all. In a sense, the question was dodged, because unlike the Spanish government, the UK government blinked and “legalised” the referendum.

Whilst the Scottish and Catalan situations are not identical, it should be borne in mind that many Scots (including myself) did not accept that the permission of the UK government was required. The right of a people like the Scots or the Catalans to self-determination is not in the gift of London or Madrid. The SNP led Scottish government was elected in 2010 on a platform of holding an independence referendum, and that is what will happen. Although the currently polls suggest a No vote, it could be a close run thing, and a Yes vote is certainly feasible.

In Catalonia a large majority of the population now seen to be in favour of independence. Whether the Spanish government can maintain the profoundly anti-democratic position that the Spanish constitution somehow trumps the legitimate desire for self determination by the Catalan people remains to be seen. It is hard to see how Spain would be able to count on any support for forcibly preventing a referendum being held, except perhaps from other countries facing secessionist movements or minority problems like Serbia, Slovakia, Romania, Cyprus etc.

With luck, wiser heads in Madrid will prevail. If not, I and many other like minded supporters of self determination, would fully support Catalonia holding plebiscitary elections and declaring independence unilaterally, as might have been necessary if the UK government had tried the same regressive policy.

In the end, it is vanishingly unlikely Spain would adopt the Lincoln method: the EU would be unlikely to tolerate such action for a start, and given the current perilous state of the Spanish economy they can’t afford to bite the had that feeds them.

MY CONCLUSION:  I rejoice!  The Lincoln method is dead!  Now let’s dethrone the Sixteenth President as a national hero.  That will take a long time of education.

SLIGHT CORRECTION:  Andy Ellis is Scottish but lives in England!

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. Andy Ellis says:

    Thanks Sandy. One clarification, I currently live in England so will not have a vote in the upcoming referendum. I will however have a Scottish passport if the vote is Yes!

    • Sandy Sanders

      Thanks for that clarification – perhaps more form than substance! I have been interested in Scotland since my widowed grandmother was invited to join the Robert Burns club in New Smyrna Fla when I was a boy. Scotland should have that choice and my heart says yes but I am not sure what my head would say.



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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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