For many years I have been listening to Spanish politicians say that a democracy is based on the “rule of law”, that voting in a referendum for independence goes against the rule of law and thus against democracy. I have even literally heard the ex-president of Spain Mr. Mariano Rajoy and many others say the sentence “voting is illegal”.
Well so, when we look at the Collins online dictionary (just to mention a renown one, but there are thousands of good online dictionaries in many languages with similar definitions), it defines democracy as a system of government in which people choose their rulers by voting for them in elections. Nothing mentioned about the rule of law as most Spanish politicians declare that Spain is a democracy because is a state based on the rule of law…
In Wikipedia we see that Democracy comes from the ancient Greek δημοκρατία/dēmokratía, which literally means rule by the people, and follows “is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. (…). Some cornerstones of these issues are freedom of assembly and speech, inclusiveness and equality, membership, voting, right to life and minority rights.” And though the same page in Spanish is not translated but another text, again it does not mention the rule of law.
Let’s have one thing clear DEMOCRACY and the RULE OF LAW (in English, it sounds like the Old West, right?) are two different things. Nevertheless, the Spanish constitution is supposed to be based on a welfare state model using democracy to build a parliament and a senate, which generate laws; but it seems most Spanish politicians have forgotten that and all they learned at politics class and what is actually mentioned in their current Spanish constitution.
In politics, the “rule of law”(from the German idea Rechtsstaat– in Spanish Estado de derecho) is actually a model of order for a state -whether democratic or not- in which all members of society are equally subject to a series of laws, and is included in many constitutions as statement to make sure even politicians, judges, police all are in service to the people and are subject to the same law than the rest of individuals.
If, as Spanish President Mr.Pedro Sánchez, Spain is a state based on the rule of law, that means that he believes both welfare and democracy are subject to law first. Therefore, for him the rule of law, justice, police force and public institutions must have preference over people voting and over the welfare of the citizens.
That the president of a supposed democratic country, from an apparent left wing party, dares repeating this over and over again, so all media will record his fiasco for the history of time, should be concerning to all true democrats all over the world, but specially those in the European community, because it affects them directly. German people could not conceive that Mrs Merkel would say such things and be elected again. No French Prime Minister ever in the history of republican France has dared saying such an insult to democratic values, putting law over the people, and especially during political campaigns before the elections.
It is obvious that the Spanish democracy is festering, as politicians of parties like Partido Popular, Ciutadans, PSC/PSOE do not work in favor the people but in favor of themselves. Because they all defend publicly that the law is above voting, that by law you can forbid to vote and that if you defy that law and try to vote anyway or demonstrate or protest about it, you are exposed to the use of force by the authorities using the police which is supposed to protect citizens and their rights, not otherwise.
Spanish democracy has been openly festering for so many years now and what is shameful is that the most of the world prefers to support the current Spanish corrupted government, which not only is allowing fascist parties and organizations like Falange to exist, but is proposing to make a law to that voting in a referendum for independence (or any other voting not authorized by themselves) becomes illegal, or even ban political parties that support independence of their own territories. So they want to prohibit that Catalans enjoy our right of self-determination, which we are entitled to by the Letter of Human Rights that Spain signed to become member of UNO or the EC.