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VV’s diary

8/1: Does Bavaria have the right?

The right to self-determination is not abstract and theoretical, essentialist. It is political

If a political party with a two percent share of the vote and no institutional representation asks if a territory can exercise the right to self-determination, such a request does not present a serious political problem and one could refuse to respond or reply with knee-jerk legal arguments. This is what has just happened in Bavaria. But if in Bavaria a group of parties that represent eighty percent of the electorate, who control the state government and have an absolute majority in the Bavarian parliament, as well as heading the vast majority of town councils, were to ask for a referendum on self-determination, Germany would have a political problem and I am convinced that it would offer a political response, not a knee-jerk legal response, because its democratic sensibilities would require it. Because the right to self-determination is not abstract and theoretical, essentialist. It is political. And what gives one the right to self-determination are neither constitutions and statutes, nor history or language... It is the majority will of the citizens of a territory to exercise this right. Bavaria may have such a specific personality as Catalonia (or not). But there, two percent of the population wish to exercise their right to self-determination, whereas here eighty percent wish to do so. This is the difference.

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