A Sporting Occasion

The future direction of Catalunya can be said to be at stake today, as over three and a half thousand delegates of CUP gather at an indoor athletics stadium to hammer out their position on the shape of a Catalan government.


What I said in this post immediately after the Catalan elections of 27 September has proved to be true: that nothing much was going to happen until after the Spanish election which took place just before Christmas. If that election had yielded a decisive result, there might now be a clear way forward. But it didn't; so in effect the Catalan situation is just as much up in the air now as it was three months ago.

The problem is that the Catalan parliament has to elect a new President of the Government within three months of its first meeting (i.e. before 9 January) because if they fail to agree on one, new elections must be held. Junts pel Sí (the coalition of pro-independence parties) have stuck to their position that Artur Mas should be President; CUP has refused to accept him. But neither side wants new elections because they already have what they both really want: namely enough seats between them to carry through the independence process in the Catalan Parliament. They would not put that in jeopardy.

So it is only a question of who leads the Catalan Government rather than what that Catalan Government does.


After months of negotiations, a proposal has been put forward by Junts pel Sí, and at today's meeting the CUP delegates will choose one of four options: Yes to the proposal with Mas as President; Yes to the proposal without Mas as President; No to the proposal, but Yes to Mas as President; or No to both. They'll have several rounds of voting with the least popular being rejected in each round.

My guess is that they'll choose the second. But CUP are unpredictable, and deciding these options by secret ballot can only add to that unpredictability. It may well be that for all their vehement public posturing against Mas, they might privately hold their noses and say Yes because independence is more important than who leads them to it.

We'll know by this evening.

Update - 20:50, 27 December 2015

Well, I wouldn't have thought it possible, but the result is an exact tie. After two of the options had been easily defeated (neither of which had more than 4% support in the first round) the last two options received exactly 1515 votes each.

     Round 1

     Option A: Yes to proposal, Yes to Mas ... 45.17%
     Option B: No to proposal, No to Mas ... 47.14%
     Option C: No to proposal, Yes to Mas ... 3.62%
     Option D: Yes to proposal, No to Mas ... 3.42%

     Round 2

     Option A: Yes to proposal, Yes to Mas ... 48.71%
     Option B: No to proposal, No to Mas ... 49.80%
     Option C: No to proposal, Yes to Mas ... 0.92%

     Round 3

     Option A: Yes to proposal, Yes to Mas ... 50.0%
     Option B: No to proposal, No to Mas ... 50.0%

A final decision is now going to be made by CUP's Grupo de Acción Parlamentaria (a sort of executive committee) on 2 January.

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