13/02/2021

It's up to you

3 min
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There are a number of reasons not to go to the polls. In fact, there are potentially as many reasons to be discouraged as there are voters called to the ballots. For the generations that have lived in a democracy, voting is a matter of fact, a routine that rivals the routines of a pandemic Sunday. What if the fear of contagion, what if laziness, what if the rain, what if the aperitif? What if disillusionment and weariness with political representatives overwhelmed by reality and with worn-out prestige. In fact, it is nothing new, as JFK said, that mothers want their children to grow up to be presidents, but do not want them to become politicians in the process. 

Yet voting is not a truism, nor is it a despicable right. Not this Sunday, just as it was not on October 1st for the old grandmothers who went to the polling stations despite the police beatings or precisely to respond to the police beatings with tons of dignity and civility. Remember the corridors to the ballot boxes that the voters opened when they arrived with their wheelchairs or walkers? Voting is an obligation for all those whose parents and grandparents would be ashamed of if they did not defend the democracy they fought for.

Participation

It is also an obligation for those who see voting as the only effective weapon against the abuse of power and the imposition of a political status quo completely out of step with reality, and for those, whatever they vote, who felt that their rights were trampled by one or the other in 2017. 

The election results will depend, more than ever, on citizen participation, and your vote counts. Every vote counts. The lower the turnout, the more likely it is that small parties such as the far right, which rides on misinformation, will be represented in parliament. 

It depends on every vote that Parliament recovers its dignity, that the institution of the presidency of the Generalitat strengthens its institutional sense and that politics becomes useful for citizens and for public debate.

The myths

The great enemy of truth is often not the deliberate and dishonest lie, but the persistent, persuasive and unrealistic myth. It is to be hoped that, just as most pro-sovereignty politicians have reflected on the viability of their proposals and their methods for achieving independence, so too have the parties opposed to the referendum and in favour of the unshakeable unity of Spain. Both parties should be capable of knowing what mistakes they should not make again and what is mythical in their positions.

Social progress in times of deep crisis such as those we are experiencing will be easier if the elections guarantee that the dialogue between all parties is based on clear and shared rules of the game that are complied with. But to get there, it will have to be accepted that tolerance is not a lack of commitment to one's beliefs and that it does not preclude condemnation of injustice, oppression or persecution. Dialogue does not mean conformity, this being the enemy of progress and also of freedom.

There are many reasons not to vote, but there are also many reasons to vote, and one is decisive. Whatever the turnout in these elections, the result will be an indisputable verdict. The result of the elections is unappealable and, whatever the verdict on Sunday night, it should facilitate the governability of the country and avoid a long period of uncertainty. Catalan society is not in a position to endure either a repeat election or negotiations dominated by the political reproaches that have been stratifying relations between partners and with political adversaries over the last few years.

A diagnosis

All political actors who can form a majority know that the diagnosis to face the future in the short term involves the freedom of political actors, overcoming the pandemic through vaccination, and making the right economic decisions to pull the country out of the pit. The cold statistics translate into people out of work, savings running out, family networks melting down, jobs at risk, and social support unable to cope with the wave of precariousness and poverty that the coronavirus is leaving behind.

This crisis is much deeper than that of 2008 and has caught us with a country only partially recovered and with an overly service-based economy. If we want to change the outlook for the country's future, it is time to choose what our priorities are and which politicians can fight for these priorities. The election results will be indisputable whatever the turnout, and today your future ultimately depends on you.

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