What’s ‘Democracy’?

What’s ‘Democracy’?

By Peter H. Salus

Editor’s Note: Once again, our resident multicultural and multinational correspondent, Peter H. Salus, gives us a glance at European politics in an age of Trump. He notes that the current Spanish government has already sought the White House’s assistance in this matter.

In 1980 and again in 1995, the Province of Quebec held referenda concerning independence from Canada. In both cases the voters elected to remain.

On 18 September 2014, Scotland held a referendum. 45% of the voters opted for independence; 55% voted to remain a part of Great Britain.

On 26 September 2017, the Kurdish population voted to become independent of Iraq. The vote was 92% for independence.

The Catalan population of north-eastern Spain plans to hold a referendum. Spain has sent in armed troops by land and sea to prevent a vote from taking place. Since the time of Franco (1939-75), the Guardia Civil has been noted for its equanimity and gentleness.

Surely preventing a vote is true democracy.

Oh, in terms of “openness,” the UK ranks 10 and Iraq, 166. Spain is 41.

In terms of GDP [IMF], UK is 24, Iraq 68, and Spain 33.

Spain is running scared.