A Spanish failure, a Catalan lesson. Antoni Bassas' analysis, transcribed.

As the clock ticks and we are confronted with mounting evidence that fresh elections are unavoidable in Spain, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Spanish political system has hit rock bottom. Not that it ever flew very high, mind you. But these four months —wasted on petty stuff while society has urgent problems to deal with— are the definitive sign of the extent to which the Spanish political system is strongly controlled by elite special interests who expect nothing but a grand coalition between the PP and the PSOE (and if those two are able to reach an agreement, Ciudadanos will tag along). They expect to be able to continue in the business of power, as always. They have been hoping for this for four months and they would have waited as long as it took. The PP and the PSOE jointly saved the Spanish monarchy a few years ago in a swift State operation, and now they are hoping to save themselves -- you could say they are expecting their reward-- prolonging the agony of bipartisanship for as long as they can. Spain’s national sovereignty doesn't appear to rest in the people, but in power.

From this point of view, the Catalan political system has proved to be much more alive than the Spanish. Much more dependent on society. And, as a result, the independence process feels much more transformative than the public demonstrations of 15-M (the “indignados” protests). Look at the Catalan party system back in 2010 and look at it now: CiU has split, Convergència and Esquerra ran together in the 27-S elections, the CUP made a huge leap forward, Ada Colau is the mayor of Barcelona and has put the brakes on Iglesias' ambitions; and the PSC has gone from being everything to nothing, with a leader —Carme Chacón— who aspired to everything but only today has renounced her candidacy in these new elections. If you want an example of the extent to which what everybody has said so many times is true —that the Catalan process has been a bottom-up political phenomenon—, I will give you one: 72 representatives in favor of independence say there has been a real political change in Catalonia. An altered party system. International repercussions. Unprecedented popular empowerment in the Spanish political system. Sánchez admitted yesterday that he had made a mistake when he called Rajoy "indecent". And so the campaign begins.

Despite all the mistakes that you may wish to point out, in Catalonia we have not wasted our time, and together we have created a new mental map to understand how we can best defend our interests from now on. We have said to the parties "we want it to be this way". The Spanish parties, in contrast, are repeating elections and still have the power to be the ones who say to the people "we want you to be that way". Please vote again. So when the campaign begins anew in a few weeks and we go to the polls on June 26, we should think that it has not been a complete waste of time. Therefore, it is important that we don't miss this chance to cast our vote.

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