After all the fuss of the Catalan "vote" on 9 November, why the blog silence since then Brian?
Well, apart from the usual finding-time-for-blogging problems, I try to just post when there is some news or something new and relevant. The fact is that there has been an intense debate and much toing and froing since then over what to do next but no "news" till now.
Given that the November vote was a success, but "merely" a non-binding expression of public opinion, and the fact that the Spanish government are still refusing to permit a proper referendum, the pro-independence camp decided that the next step must be elections. Autonomous elections for a new Catalan parliament/government cannot (?) be prevented by Madrid. If parties standing on a promise of making a unilateral declaration of independence win a majority, the next step would be tough but necessary - declaring the independence of Catalonia, ignoring Spain and the international community and then see what happens.....this week, the two major political parties in Catalonia (both pro-independence) finally agreed on the method and date for this election. That is, they decided that pro-indy parties should stand separately as usual - there'd been talk of some kind of grand coalition, or a single "list" of pro-indy names which would have been voted on ignoring traditional party names - but with a common road map for independence laid down in their political programme. The elections will be on 27 September. Seems a long way off, but it's to give more time for a debate, and is not that long in the overall scope of things - Catalans have been trying to reclaim independence on and off for the last 300 years.
Meanwhile, the Spanish courts are going to press charges against President Mas and other Catalan ministers for organizing the non-binding 9 November "public consultation". He's accused of disobedience (the Constitutional Court had suspended the vote while they investigated whether it was constitutional or not), perversion of justice, abuse of power, misuse of public funds, and could face jail. If he goes to jail, Catalonia's independence is guaranteed as this would sway over the hundreds of thousands of doubters!