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Vicenç Villatoro's Diary

December 8: Committed

Elections are won with votes. The debate is won with commitment.

In a participatory democracy what counts above all are votes at the polls. Above all, but not alone. Because voting is not the only way of participating in democracy. It's true that one person equals one vote, and that is how it must be. And ballots choose governments and should be able to decide the important questions (in Spanish democracy there are transcendent questions that are prohibited at the ballots, that can't be decided by voting). But also important is the degree of commitment behind each vote, the capacity and will to act politically with commitment to one's ideas. That is also democratic participation.

I thought of this in the midst of the thrilling demonstration in Brussels, because there are many people here, but especially much accumulated commitment. And that has a multiplicative value beyond the figures (which are extraordinary). All votes are equal, but the degree of commitment has an added value that serves to define hegemonies, and to make enthusiastic use of all channels of democratic participation (even though the Spanish government has tried to hamper many of them). Elections are won with votes. The debate is won with commitment. And Catalanism must be able to win both. (In the midst of the demonstration in Brussels, I thought: the commitment is here indeed.)

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