Gentium News

Catalonia: Why Should You Vote?

  • 22nd November 2017

The international media is being fed a diet of lies about the political preferences of the Catalans. One of those lies is that the Catalan autonomy movement is in a substantial minority.

            That is because the government in Madrid has hired the remnants of an internationally discredited London media consultancy, Bell Pottinger, to deliver anti-Catalan media stories in the English language and German language media. Madrid has more money than Barcelona. This strategy is proving effective. Bell Pottinger has been found guilty of inciting racially-motivated murder in post-Apartheid South Africa. Madrid works with Bell Pottinger.

            I have written a series of articles in English. In those articles, I have explained that whatever one things about the idea of Catalonia’s independence, Catalonia’s residents have the right to express their opinions at the ballot box and Catalonia’s democratically elected politicians have the right to use peaceful methods to pursue the opinions of the voters who elected them.

            Access to my articles on the internet has been blocked illegally by sophisticated hackers. Using information technology expertise, I have ensured that these efforts have backfired. More people than ever have read my articles as a result.

            There is only one method to defeat the power of money to influence elections. Everybody must vote. It is very difficult for money to stop people from voting. The Police can be hired to remove ballot boxes. People can be threatened. But the elections on December 21 have been ordered by the government in Madrid. Rajoy wanted those elections much later. But officials in the European Union firmly told him “no”. The international community will be watching these elections. They will scrutinised from abroad more than any election since the death of Francisco Franco. And they should be.

            I have spent my career organising and observing elections in divided societies. I will personally ensure that this election is fair and that the voting papers deposited in ballot boxes are counted correctly. I will do everything possible to ensure that no ballot boxes disappear and nobody is intimidated. If any wrongdoings occur, I will ensure that these facts become known in the international community and by the English-speaking and German-speaking media.

            I am a foreigner undertaking these efforts because I care about democracy in Spain and I care about the future of Catalonia. In return, I ask that you vote. I am taking risks. I have two young children. I ask you to take risks too. Europe needs you to do this. Europe will be destroyed if the fourth-largest economy in the Euro zone engages in electoral fraud.

            I have undertaken a detailed study of every election in Catalonia since the region’s first democratic elections in 1981. The electoral system uses a four-constituency D’Hondt method proportional representation closed party-list. D’Hondt was a European election specialist whose work has always been supported by the European Union. The D’Hondt method is fair. It means that everybody gets a voice. The composition of the Catalan Parliament after December 21 will reflect the genuine preferences of the voters. But for the system to work, people must vote. The voter turnout must be as high as possible. You must vote.

            Every person reading this article has different political views. I do not try to persuade you to change your views. You should vote in accordance with your views. I am asking you to express your views at the ballot box. Modern Europe is premised upon these principles. Modern Europe is premised upon allegiance to democracy and the maintenance of human rights, including the right to vote.

            Please exercise your human right. Please exercise your right to vote on December 21. Catalonia needs you to do this. Spain needs you to do this. Europe needs you to do this. We must not turn back time. We must protect the achievements of the last 42 years.

Matthew Parish