Misc 22/01/2021

Letter to Jesús María Barrientos: 'A very intense interest'

Have you thought about the old people, those isolating, infected or hospitalised who will not be able to go to vote?

Albert Om
2 min
Carta a Jesús María Barrientos: 'Un interès molt intens'

Dear President of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia:

The judges say that the vote must be held on 14 February because there is "very intense" public interest in holding elections. Your Honour, doesn't the court detect an interest that is as intense or more so that the health of the Catalans is not put at risk, at such a delicate moment in the pandemic?

I would like the judges who have taken this (still provisional) decision to take responsibility for the disquiet that the 75 000 people who will have to work at poll stations are experiencing right now. Each one with their circumstances, their fears, their health problems, and their weaknesses or strengths. Men and women who have not been able to gather in groups of more than ten people for many months and who, because of a court decision, will be forced to sit for fifteen hours while hundreds of voters parade in front of them. The magistrates of the High Court argue that they have kept the date of the elections in order to preserve the citizens' right to vote. Have they thought of the elderly, of all those confined, infected or admitted by covid who will not be able or not dare to go and vote?

Last Saturday I wrote a letter like this to Vice-President Pere Aragonès. I told him that postponing the elections seemed to me the easy solution and that I would have been grateful if the Catalan government had agreed with the Spanish government to vote on 14-F but with alternative formulae, reinventing the elections like so many things we have had to reinvent ourselves: from mobile ballot boxes to appointments for voting or even the possibility of extending the elections for a week. They didn't, and it's a shame. But postponing the elections was not a fad of the independence movement. Nobody can remember a decision gaining such wide from different parties: from Cs to ERC, from JxCat to PP and also the En Comú recognised that there were no health guarantees to go and vote. The one time that there is a consensus in Catalonia of over 80% of our representatives, did it really have to be blown to pieces? And should the unanimous voice of the health experts not be taken into account?

There are too many lawsuits between the High Court of Justice and the governments of the Generalitat, too many trials, too many sentences, too many disqualifications, too many gestures in public like the one you made by getting up and leaving an event at the Bar Association when you heard the Parliament's Speaker, Roger Torrent, speak of political prisoners. So many lawsuits and scores to settle, that it seems that if the Government had kept the elections on February 14, someone would have appealed to it too and you would then have had a very intense interest in suspending them by appealing to the health emergency and not denying anyone the right to vote.

P.S. One of the few things we have yet to see is, in the face of possible insubordination in some polling stations, the police acting as guarantors of compliance with the judicial resolutions. I have imagined them poll stations and bringing the ballot boxes. It will not happen, but we have come to a point where nothing can be ruled out.