damn good post
Then you aren't paying any attention at all.
Which is par with the course in this whole mess.
The biggest problem is not even the referendum, but the fact that the Catalonian government was determined to launch an unilateral declaration of independence even before the referendum. To this point they engineered an spurious vote rife with irregularities in which the separatist side could only succeed.
Even if you exclude the Spanish Constitution and the legal argument the entire process is is a complete disaster. The Catalonian government went all the way to organise it, even if that meant breaking its own rules. Which it did plenty of times.
The usual retort is to claim that Rajoy could have negotiated a proper referendum and avoid this mess. That's a logical trap. It's simply not true. Article 2 of the Constitution makes that impossible. For that the current Spanish government, which doesn't even have the numbers to pass a new budget by itself, let alone pass critical legislation (or the will to entertain the separatist side), would have needed to rebuild the Constitution so Spain would have to aknowledge that its regions can simply break away after a vote. That's basically a non starter, not just for Spain, but basically for any country. And the separatist side knew it, so knowing that Rajoy would act like the malignant fool that he is, hastened a referendum, fingers crossed for a confrontation. At the end of the day, this is about a local government declaring itself in rebellion. No country is ever going to agree to that.
And it's not like Catalonian government is acting in representation of the majority of the population anyway.
According to the official numbers of the Catalonian government before the referendum only a minority of Catalonians (around 41% or so) wanted the break away from Spain. The 49% was on the remain side and wanted none of this.
Despite this, the Catalonian government decided to rally the masses, claiming that they were being silenced and hastened a referendum that was anything but democratic. Puigdemont and his allies made a mockery of the requirement of neutrality by continously campaigning for the "yes" side, used the resources of the government towards the same aims and mounted a process enterely ran by the separatist side. There were no guarantees of any kind, next to no supervision and no proper census. The census, as a matter of fact, is my favourite bit regarding this event, as the Catalonian government declared a "universal census". This means that anybody could vote anywhere. Thus the hilarity:
That table comes from a partial source so I had to check if it was true. As far as I've seen, it is. A number of small towns in inner Catalonia, where the separatist movement is the strongest, had more people voting for independence than their actual population, let alone the voting census. Espinelves is particularly brazen, as the "yes" campaign obtained 527 votes in a small town of 156.
The numbers for each locality can be checked using the official results at La Vanguardia and the site of the institute of statistics of Catalonia.
Even if we are to accept the explanation of those tiny towns in profoundly pro-independence regions receiving such an aberrant amount of "yes" votes because of the police closing down a number of polling stations elsewhere, it goes on to show that the numbers cannot be trusted at all. As a matter of fact, the Catalonian government has yet to provide the full results three days after proclaiming the victory of the separatist side. They are using percentages and color bars instead now. Because that is something acceptable and not odd at all.
Yet here we have the separatist-led Catalonian government, using a referendum with no requirement for a minimum turnout yet binding with a simple majority, rife with damning irregularities, no guarantees, no neutrality, conducted in a state bordering on civil unrest (which can be partly blamed on Rajoy, no doubt about that) and violating the terms of the Venice Commission to proclaim what will probably be an unilateral declaration of independence. That is some nation building right there.
I mean, Rajoy should be in jail. He's been my most despised acting politician since the 11-M and I've actually made threads about it, but acting like the Catalonian government is being treated unfairly here or that there are no arguments against the referendum outside of the legalese regarding the Spanish Constitution... well... it's brazen, to say the least.
This is a sectarian confrontation spurred by two governments (Barcelona and Madrid) with barely enough political support to stay afloat, yet acting like they are absolute rulers with no regard towards half (and more) of their respective populations. Both Rajoy and Puigdemont need to go so we can right the situation.
The problem here is that Rajoy believes that this is going to reinforce his pathetic popularity in the rest of Spain (it won't).
edit: woot, new page