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Post re: Spain: Democracy and Dissent (Jordi Molins Coronado, Spain)
Created by John Eipper on 03/09/09 5:50 AM - re-spain-democracy-and-dissent-jordi-molins-coronado-spain

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re: Spain: Democracy and Dissent (Jordi Molins Coronado, Spain) (John Eipper, USA, 03/09/09 5:50 am)

Alain de Benoist wrote on 8 March: [Jordi Molins Coronado's] proposal [the prohibition from participation in a democratic election for those that support the use of violence] seems to me as anti-democratic as the prohibition of the Communist Party was by Federal German courts and government. It means that dissenters are not allowed to enter the vote, which prevents the possibility of any real change. It also prevents the citizens from showing by their vote how much they disagree with those "that support the use of violence." And finally it legitimates the use of violence by people who have from now on no other way to express what they stand for. Jordi Molins Coronado responds: This discussion is about meta-principles: should we allow as members of our club those that want to destroy our club? I do not believe the answer to the previous question may be given by general principles but by concrete realities. The law should very clearly state what it is allowed and what it is not allowed. Of course, I agree with Alain the law should restrict very narrowly what it is not accepted, in order not to curtail too much citizens' freedom. Only some very clearly defined "dangerous" ideas should not be allowed in the political process (e.g., converting the democracy into a dictatorship once in power; killing adversaries once in power). I do not find setting pre-established rules in democracy an anti-democratic concept. In fact, we are used to adding sensible restrictions: only those older than a certain age may vote, for example. The main risk is not having these rules, but a misuse of them. The Basque case in particular is an example of a borderline application of the aforementioned prohibition: in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Document number A/HRC/10/3/Add.2 can be downloaded from http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/terrorism/rapporteur/reports.htm , and some of its statements are: In the summary: "In the present report, the Special Rapporteur analyses the provisions on terrorism in Spanish law and concludes that certain legal definitions of terrorist crimes do not ensure fully respect for the principle of legality,"... "he expresses concern about allegations of torture and other ill-treatment made by terrorism suspects held incommunicado,"... "the Special Rapporteur recommends that certain measures be taken to ensure full compliance of counter-terrorism measures with international standards of human rights. " In particular, the prohibition of D3M in the past Basque 2009 elections is not based on any crime they have committed, but on "similarities" (for example, 82 of the 84 candidates of D3M belonged to the previously ilegalized Batasuna) with other previously ilegalized political parties. Additionally, there is the "Cui prodest?" question. In this case, as discussed in the previous message, if D3M had participated in the Basque 2009 elections, very probably PSOE and PP could not form a majority government. Also, the high judicial courts in Spain were maintained without major changes in the passage from the Franco dictatorship to democracy. It is my personal opinion (for which I do not have hard facts with which to substantiate my statement) the Spanish judicial system does not fully represent the Spanish population, but it is aligned much more closely to Francoist positions rather than democratic ones, especially on important issues like the previously discussed. As a summary: it is not a question of whether there can be political ilegalizations or not, it is a question of in which conditions, and if legality and decency are respected, where big political parties who have the support of most mass media can disrupt the political process to their convenience. I would like to stress that I firmly believe most people who wish to use violence do so because they have previously found themselves unprotected by the law. For example, I firmly believe if Francoists had been sent to court and condemned, instead of being left unpunished and keeping what they stole during the dictatorship, the hideous terrorist organization ETA would not exist today . As a consequence, it is not a problem of prohibiting some ideas or not, but to apply the law to everybody, irrespective of the power of the criminals. In other words, it is better prevent than to cure. -- For information about the World Association of International Studies (WAIS), and its online publication, the World Affairs Report, read its homepage by simply double-clicking on: http://wais.stanford.edu/ John Eipper, Editor-in-Chief, Adrian College, MI 49221 USA -- For information about the World Association of International Studies (WAIS), and its online publication, the World Affairs Report, read its homepage by simply double-clicking on: http://wais.stanford.edu/ John Eipper, Editor-in-Chief, Adrian College, MI 49221 USA

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