In just over a week, many Catalan towns will hold 'consultaions' about Catalan independence. These consultations (consultes) take the form of a mock referendum. They're not legally binding in any way, and voting in them is so open that even I can join in! The thing about these consultations is that they do make it feel (however superficially) like Catalonia is starting to seriously consider its status as part of Spain. The organisers and political groups involved are certainly keen to make it look like that, at any rate.
On this blog, I've been careful to avoid a categorical endorsement of Catalan independence for many reasons. So I decided to ask some open questions to anyone interested in answering them. And you don't have to be in favour of Catalan independence to take part: if you think you've got a point to make, make it. I plan to do something similar directed at opponents of independence over the next few days. Feel free to answer whichever of the questions you like.
- Why should Catalonia be independent?
- What exactly do you think will be gained if Catalonia becomes independent?
- What model do you see an independent Catalonia adopting? Some sort of republic? How would it be organised?
- Do you think that the current crisis is a good time to decide something like this? Why?
- What damage do you think this would do to Spain? Do you worry about that?
- Is an independent Catalonia an economically viable state?
- What should the process be in the result of a vote in favour of independence?
- What should be the status of Spanish citizens in Catalonia? Would dual citizenship be allowed?
- What about immigrants? Would they become citizens? What would the immigration policy be?
- Would you expect all the political parties in Catalonia to break ties with their Spanish equivalents?
- What would happen if the EU had trouble accepting Catalonia as a member?
- What would happen to Catalan government agencies aimed at trade and business? Would they be absorbed by embassies?
- Who would be the head of state? Would you deny Juan Carlos's claim to sovereignty?
- Would the Catalan constitution guarantee the right to receive state services in Castilian Spanish?
- How would you deal with people potentially wanting to leave for Spain proper?
- What flag would you have? Senyera or Estelada?
- What would happen to utilities like the phone/data system?
- What sort of rights would be included in the constitution anyway?
- How would you deal with other parts of the 'Catalan Countries'? Would you seek their absorption?
- How important would the status of FC Barcelona be? Do you think the Spanish league would still have them?
- Would you bother with armed forces? If so, how?
- What would happen if there was a Spanish boycott of independent Catalonia?
- What would happen if there was a Spanish military response?
- Can a constituent part of an EU and NATO member even declare independence?
- Would you demand that companies trading in Catalonia establish separate entities in Catalonia? How?
And that's enough for now. I know that I've asked a lot of questions. But these are just some of the questions that will be asked should Catalonia approach a genuine referendum.
So, what do you say?