State of blindness
With a diligence to which we are unaccustomed, the TSJC has ruled against Artur Mas, former President of the Generalitat, Joana Ortega, his Vice-president, and Irene Rigau, ex-Minister of Education.
From a sociological standpoint, all three are law-abiding people who believe in the system, and political heirs to a moderate Catalanism that has come to support independence after Spain’s constitutional pact was effectively shattered. All three have been disqualified from holding public office for "flagrantly violating the law" in making the 9-N consultation possible.
The verdict goes against the entire government that defied Sapin’s central administration, and against all those citizens who went out and voted civically. The 9-N consultation scoffed at the Spanish government and was a success thanks to the Partido Popular’s shortsightedness and its inability to comprehend reality and respond politically. The same PP shortsightedness that will push their relation with Catalan society to the brink in coming months, when the referendum —which an overwhelming majority of Catalans desire— is called.
The disqualification for putting out ballots for a non-binding vote is a democratic absurdity. A political decision for a political trial. A grievance that will feed the independence movement at a time when many citizens were disheartened by the Palau and 3% corruption cases in Catalonia.
The Catalan government has made it clear that it will call a referendum in September, and some of the main players recognize in private that it is highly unlikely that it will be held. Tensions will continue to rise, and the response will be in the streets and, in the end, at the polls. History will judge the Spanish bureaucrats who preferred not to seek a political solution.