“The Republic that we want”- Survey

150px-LibertyEqualityorDeath

The Republic that we want”- Survey

Introduction

After 40 years under a dictatorship, Spain shyly started walking towards democracy. Looking at what we used to have, we achieved a lot; looking at all the way that remains ahead, we astonishingly realized that we were already starting to acquiesce in the minimums and almost had resigden to the “demo” (a sort of  simulation of democracy…) but now we are going for the “cracia”, for the power of the people.

No crown, no heir, democracy means people”.

The Republic

Republic comes from the latin term “res” thing, that is public, which belongs to the “populus” or people,  it means that the people holds the power, and they  temporary  delageate it on their representants. This is an essential difference betwen monarchical governments where the attribution of sovereign is lifelong and often, hereditary.

One essential characteristic of a  republican government  is the constitutionally stablished ,power divission into three different ones according to their specific functions: an administrative body, represented by the  Executive Power, a “law making one”, called Legislative Power and another one whose mission is applying those laws in the specific cases where their aprreciation is needed, the Judicial Power.

Other characteristics of the Republic, are:

  • All citizens are equal before the law .
  • The governors must be responsible before the people who chose them, for their acts of governance.
  • The need  that every act of governance is public (transparency); which means that those must not be secret, but expounded to the citizens so that these can be controlled.  

The essential pillars of the Republic

The three essential pillars of te Republic according to Aristotle are:

  • The power divission and its reciprocal control.
  • The political active participation  by the citizens. These means, thetransparency of every State act, the instruction on basic aspects of  politic culture  and the exigence of liabilities to the governers.
  • The representation of every social class inside the government institutions with equal attributions and prevalence of none.  (Access  to those judgeships must be restricted, and they will necessarely be collegiated according to the affected field, the magistrate must belong to the class he/she representates and be chosen exclusively through their vote).

It must be considered that for Aristote, the supreme aims of any form of government should be:

  • Freedom = Equality (“we only are free among equals)”
  • The  realization of justice and common good.
  • The full realization of human cognitive skills development (for which he judges necesary the fulfilment of the two prior points, following Socrates‘ essential concept [GOOD=TRUTH. According to which  good is equal to  truth and bad to ignorance ]
  • Out of this, we can deduce that if we are only free among equals there must not be a governing class, but every class must govern equally

Republic and Democracy

The term democracy comes from the ancient greek (dḗmos, which translates as “people”) and κράτος (krátos, which translates as “power”).

This way, republic is the governance of the law; while democracy means the governance of the people.

Thus, democracy admits gradation, meaning that there can be forms of government that are closer to the idea of Equality = Freedom; since laws are made for citizens and by citizens.  

Democracy’s basic definition: in order that a government can be considered minimally  democratic, it needs to have at least: male and female universal suffrage; free, competitive, recurring and correct ellections; more than one party; and more than one source of information.

In the sphere of the democracies that are above that minimum treshold, it is necessary to annalize how far they have gone or can go in the process of the finest fulfillment of the two main objectives of the ideal democracy: freedom and equality

A quality democracy is the one that develops satisfactorily the procedures designed to favor freedom and political and social equality, and whose public policies meet the demands of the citizens.”

Democratic Development: Political participation mechanisms

It’s not just about voting every 4 yearswe have to demand, we have to get involved, we have to supervise,  we have to compel that responsabilities are assumed, we have to be awake, we have to listen, debate, get informed, we have to “fight” for democracy!

These are some ways of direct participation, they are mechanisms of opinion and public ellection.

  • Popular initiative: The right given to the citizenship to present draft legislation proposals before the correspondant public institution.
  • Referendum: A direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to eiter accept or reject a particular proposal or to revoke or not a norm already in force.
  • Popular consultation: The mechanism trough which the President, the Governor, the Major or other governing personality can ask a question about a general domain, about an issue of national or regional relevance, etc. to the citizens so that they can formally state their opinion.
  • Open cabildo: The public meeting of the district or municipal councils or local administrative boards where inhabitants can directly participate in order to debate matters of public interest for the comunity.
  • Impeachment : The political right by which citizens can remove a Governor or a Major from office.

         The survey will be published after the summer or once a significant sample is           obtained.  At the end of the survey, you must press the “finish survey” button to remain registered responses.  See abreviated list of related terms after the survey (Look below for more information)

Link to survey: http://cort.as/9gSv 

THE REPUBLIC THAT WE WANT-  Survey:

Abreviated list of related terms (links available):

I CHOSE: I, REPUBLIC

                      WE DON’T WANT TO BE SUBJECTS, WE WANT TO BE  CITIZENS:                      WE CHOSE REPUBLIC.

BYE MONARCHY: WE CHOSE  REPUBLIC.

WE WORK TOGETHER FOR THE SPANISH FEDERAL REPUBLIC!

Thank you very much for your participation!

Email: destinorepublicano@gmail.com

Twitter: @destinorepublic  

#Larepublicaquequeremos

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Interview with Luisa Martin (JER) and Carlos Hermida (RPS)


JER logo  Republicanos 2

Interview: Luisa Martín (JER) – Spanish Republican Association and Carlos Hermida (RPS) – Republicanos    

 

1.   How would you define JER?

The Spanish Republican Association (Junta Estatal Republicana in Spanish or JER) is formed by a wide group of organizations, collectives and individuals who share republican ideas and that have committed themselves to working in order bring about the Spanish III Republic. In my opinion, that could be an instrument in order to create a republican popular front.

2.   How was it created? What are its objectives?

JER was created after the First National Republican Meeting, held in Madrid at the events hall of the Friends of UNESCO Association (Club de Amigos de la Unesco in Spanish), last 21st of January 2012.

In the Second National Republican Meeting, held in Rivas-Vaciamadrid last 19th of January 2013, JER’s objectives were clearly defined: to separate from the current regime and to establish a Federal Republic, which will be secular and supportive, and will have citizens as its core element and as the main character of politics. It will also implement an economic model that will give priority to the public sector. This Republic must seek once and for all the Truth, Justice and Compensation for the victims of Francisco Franco’s criminal fascist dictatorship.

3.   Your call for a public demonstration last 14th of April in Madrid had a massive response (more than 20,000 citizens turned up). Were you expecting such a response? Why do you think so many people answered the call? Does this pave the way for other courses of action?

The massive response to the 14th of April protest is mainly due to the corruption scandals that affect the Spanish Royal Family, which has enhanced dissatisfaction of the citizens, since they have been hit by the economic crisis and spending cuts in social services. This protest has given way to a new political scenario in which an important social sector is openly questioning monarchy.

4.   In your point of view, what are the mistakes that the Republican movement in Spain has made? How would you correct them? Are you doing anything on this front?

The Republican movement in Spain has had in many occasions a purely testimonial character.  It has defended the II Republic, but it has not set any political objective.  This situation has changed with the creation of the Republican Federation (Federación Republicanos in Spanish). We have precise plans and objectives: abolishing the monarchy and establishing the Democratic and Federal Republic of workers of all classes in Spain.

5.   If I go out to the street of any Spain city and ask to an girl or boy 20-year-old  about the 7th of July, 98% will say will say “San Fermín” without any doubt. But, if I ask about 14th of April, a very high percentage of them will have doubts or say that they cannot link that date to any important event. Only a few of them will give the correct answer (the “Day of the Spanish Republic”). Just one or two will finish saying “Bourbons to Estoril”, as the saying goes in Spanish. Do you agree with my hypothesis?   

It is true that there is a deep historical ignorance about the II Republic, but I believe that is changing. There are more and more young people who are becoming interested to know what really happened in Spain during the 20th century.

6.   Do you agree that history education in Spain still focuses on Philip II’s Imperial Spain (16th Century), the Bourbon Restoration under Alfonso XII (1874), and the Constitution of 1978, while other parts of the history are only mentioned? If yes, why?

17 and 18-year-old students in Spain study the II Republic, the Civil War and Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. Nevertheless, how textbooks and teachers explain these subjects is a completely different story. Some neo-Fascist ideas lacking any historical basis have been spread. It is fascist propaganda but some people buy it and we must fight against those interpretations.

7.   Are the altar and the throne (Church and Monarchy) still the references to the identity of Spain, as the Constitution of 1812 said? Do we keep looking to the past rather than the future? Are we risking petrifying ourselves if we only look backwards?

First of all, the Constitution of 1812 was very advanced, and it set an example for other European and American constitutions. Its content should not be reduced to that reference to the altar and the throne that is made in the question. The Spanish right-wing has managed to keep some myths of the Spanish identity which are absolutely reactionary and that have nothing to do with historical facts.

8.   Many people believe that Spanish Republicans are nothing but a bunch of nostalgic dreamers whose only objective is to try to reinvent or to rewrite  the Second Spanish Republic. What would you say to them?

We republicans are not nostalgic dreamers. The II Republic is a fundamental reference, but we look to the future, we want to transform this country. Thanks to our work, the republican sentiment is spreading and, mark my words, one day the Republic will be a reality in Spain.

9.   The Republican movement in Spain is formed by many groups with different ideologies, such as socialists, communists, Marxists, agnostics, Catholics, trade unionists, etc. They talk about union, consensus, but how are they to form a common front?

In the Republican Federation we believe it is crucial to form a republican social front, a popular front to achieve the Republic. In order to accomplish this, the left-wing must unite, but that does not mean that the different organizations have to renounce to their names, nor their past or their programs. It only means setting aside what separates us and focusing on what unites us, as was done in February 1936, when the Popular Front was formed.

10.    The objective is to achieve a republic, no doubt about that. But, what republic? A Spanish Federal Republic? Is Federalism an option for you?

We hope to achieve a Democratic and Federal Republic of workers of all classes in Spain. This new Republic will answer to the interests of a new power, which will be formed by workers, small and middle-size bourgeoisie, middle-classes and intellectuals, all of them against the current oligarchy power. This Republic will be a Federal one, because we believe it is the only way to successfully answer to the historical national aspirations in Spain, making coexistence possible between the different peoples in Spain.

11.    We are living an interesting political moment in Spain. In the last two years, 15M Movement has been created, as “the outraged” or the Platform of those affected by the Subprime mortgage crisis (“Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca” in Spanish). Minor left-wing and nationalist parties are getting more votes and seats in Parliament. Real Democracy Now movement (“Democracia Real Ya” in Spanish) is thinking about running to the next elections as a political party, following the example of the Italian Five Star Movement. Is this the end of a political era in Spain?

That is right. We are at the end of a political era. The model created during the Transition is obsolete. The Monarchy and the Constitution of 1978 represent an obstacle to the social and economic development of our country. There must be a real democratic breach and that can only be achieved through republican ways.

12.    Judge Baltasar Garzon recently spoke about his possible participation in politics. What is your opinion about that?

Baltasar Garzon, as any other citizen, is entitled to intervene in the political life of his country. The question here is what program is he going to do it with and what are his objectives. If he wants to reform the Constitution and the institutions, he will fail. This system cannot be reformed. It must be demolished and superseded by another regime.

13.    Surveys show that citizens are more and more dissatisfied with “traditional parties” such as PP and PSOE and the institutions that were born during the Spanish Transition. Is this the end of the two-party system? Is there a need to regenerate politics in Spain? Would it help if the electoral law was modified?

Yes. Everything must change. The only regeneration can come with the Republic. But I insist there is no possible regeneration with the monarchy. Its origin is in Franco’s dictatorship, it has the genetic print of fascism and that is the reason why the current system is not democratic. It was designed by the same people who ruled this country during Francisco Franco’s cruel dictatorship.

14.    As indicators of “the quality of a democracy”, we can list, among others, the active participation of citizens in the political action of a country, as the fact of demanding transparency and that politicians respect the laws, denouncing and showing “zero tolerance” to corruption and privileges. Because in democracy politics is a work of everybody. It is no longer enough to vote every four years. Do you believe that politicians have risen to the occasion?

Democracy is about real and active participation in politics by citizens. If everything is reduced to voting every four years, that is only democracy in appearance. A false democracy. That is happening now.

Most of today’s politicians are not up to the circumstances, and they have formed a corrupt caste in the Spanish society. Nevertheless, it is a terrible mistake to say that all politicians are the same. True, some are, but not all. Furthermore, this is not only a mistake, but a dangerous statement, since it opens a door to fascism with its demagogy against politics and a false message —“neither right nor left, they are all the same”.

15. Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

I just want to add that Monarchy is the problem and the Republic is the solution. A republic will give freedom back to the people, and also social justice and national sovereignty. On behalf of JER and RPS, thank you very much for your interview.

Luisa Martín (JER) – http://jer-spain.blogspot.com.es/

Carlos Hermida (RPS) – http://federacion.republicanos.info/

———————

*Real Democracy Now Manifesto

Tuesday, 17th of May 2011

We are ordinary citizens. We are like you: people who get up every morning to study, go to work or job-hunting. We are people with families and friends. People who work hard every day to live and give a better future to those close to us.

Some of us have progressive ideas, others have conservative ones. Some of us are religious, others not. Some of us have very fixed political ideas, others are apolitical. But we are all worried and outraged because of the political, economic and social situation that we are living. We are worried and outraged because of the corruption that can be seen among politicians, businessmen and bankers. We are worried and outraged because the ordinary citizen is defenseless.

This situation is hitting us daily. But if we all unite, we can change it. It is time to move, time to build together a better society. That is why we believe firmly that:

Equity, progress, solidarity, free access to culture, ecological sustainability, development, welfare and happiness of the citizenry must be priorities in any advanced society.

There are basic rights that these societies must defend: the right to housing, work; the right of culture, health, education; the right to participate in politics, of the free personal development and the right to consume the goods that are necessary to live a happy and healthy life.

The current way of functioning of our economic and government system does not respond to these priorities and is an obstacle to the progress of mankind. Democracy begins with the people (demos: people; cracia: government), so the government must be the people. Nevertheless, in this country the biggest part of the political class does not listen to us. Its mission should be taking our voice to the institutions, making political participation possible through direct channels and trying to do it in the best interest of the overall majority of the society. Right now, the mission of the political class in Spain is to become rich and more prosperous and powerful at our expense, and it only listens to the dictates of the big economic powers while clinging to power in a particracy led by the never-changing PP-PSOE.

Things like greed and the fact that only a few are getting all the power generate inequalities, tension and injustice, and that leads to violence, which we refuse. The unnatural and obsolete economic model which is nowadays used is leading the social machine to a spiral that forces it to consume itself and makes rich only a few, while condemning the rest to scarcity and poverty. Until the system collapses. 

The main purpose of the system is to amass wealth. That is its priority, above efficiency or the welfare of society. It does not matter if resources are being wasted or the planet destroyed. It does not matter if that means higher unemployment or unhappy consumers.

We citizens are part of the machine which is destined to make rich only a few who are not even aware of our needs. We are nobody to them, but none of this can happen without us, since it is us who are making the world move. If, as a society, we stop giving our future to an abstract economic return that is never for the benefit of the majority, we will eliminate the abuses and deficiencies that we all suffer.

There must be an Ethical Revolution. Money has been given more importance than the Human Being and it must be put to our service. We are people, not market products. I am not what I buy, why I buy it, or who I buy it from.

For all those things, I am outraged.

I believe I can change things.

I believe I can help.

I know that, together, we can make it.

Come with us. It is your right.

 ———————–

References/ Links:

15M Movement – Proposals

NI - NI                          Young people have no confidence in the two major parties.  May be the end of the two-party system in Spain?

15M – Consensus Assembly Sun May 20, 2011

The following contains a set of proposals that synthesize the thousands that were collected by the Assembly held on May 20, 2011 in Camping Sol (Madrid).

As a result of the consensus reached at the Assembly held on May 20, 2011 in CAMPING SOL (Madrid), and as a result of the compilation and synthesis of the thousands of proposals received along these days, has developed an initial list of proposals. We recall that the Assembly is an open and collaborative process. This list should not be regarded as closed.

Proposals approved in the Assembly today May 20, 2011 in CAMPING SOL (Madrid).

1. Changing the Electoral Act so that the lists are open and single constituency. Obtaining seats should be proportional to the number of votes.

2. Attention to the basic and fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution such as:

2.1 Right to adequate housing , articulating a reform of the Mortgage Act for the delivery of housing in the event of default debt cancellation.

2.2 Public health , free and universal.

2.3 Free movement of persons and strengthening of a public education and secular.

3. Abolition of discriminatory and unjust laws and measures such as the Law of the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education, the Aliens Act and the so-called Sinde Law .

4. Favorable tax reform to lower incomes, reform estate taxes and probate. Implementing the Tobin tax , which is levied on international financial transfers and elimination of tax havens .

5. Reform of the working conditions of the political class for their salaries Abolish lifetime. Programs and policy proposals are binding.

6. Rejection and condemnation of corruption. That is required by the Electoral Act present a clean and free of lists accused or convicted of corruption .

7. Measures plural with respect to banking and financial markets in accordance with Article 128 of the Constitution, which states that “all the wealth of the country in its different forms and whatever its ownership subordinated to the general interest.” Reducing the power of the IMF   and the ECB . Immediate   nationalization  of all the banks that have had to be rescued by the state. Tougher   controls on financial institutions and operations to prevent abuses in any form.

8. Real separation between the Church and the State, as required by Article 16 of the Constitution.

9. Participatory democracy and direct in which citizens take an active part. Access to popular media , to be ethical and truthful.

10. True regularization of working conditions and compliance is monitored by state powers.

11. Closure of all nuclear power plants and the promotion of renewable energies and free.

12. Recovery of public enterprises privatized.

13. Effective separation of executive, legislative and judicial branches.

14. Reduction in military spending , immediate closure of arms factories and greater control of the security forces and the state. As we in the peace movement “No to war”.

15. Recovery of Historical Memory and the founding principles of the struggle for democracy in our state.

16. Total transparency of accounts and financing of political parties as a measure of containment of political corruption.

 

TOP 21 – SPAIN XXI CENTURY:

To give an overview, a list of the 20 most frequent groups of proposals within a total of 14,679 proposals presented below:

  1. Abolition of privileges of politicians : 741
  2. Reform of the electoral law (not the law Hondt and districts ): 628
  3. Measures against corruption (including more control and increased penalties ): 624
  4. Public Education 551
  5. Improving the working conditions of workers : 475
  6. Regulation of banking and financial system (including bank nationalization -111 – and payment in -100 -): 434
  7. Strategies for sustainable energy : 352
  8. Direct democracy via public participation , referendums and Legislative Initiatives Popular : 330
  9. Strategies for sustainable mobility : 297
  10. Housing decent and affordable: 272
  11. Open electoral rolls : 246
  12. Public health : 244
  13. Protection and animal rights : 238
  14. Pro-public company (not including privatization and nationalization of private enterprises or privatized ): 214
  15. Measures to ensure political accountability : 195
  16. Secular education : 158
  17. Remove the monarchy : 128
  18. Separation of powers : 119
  19. Regulation of wages higher: 119
  20. Requiring political requirements : 116
  21. Transparency in administration: 105

 

See Link: 

 

The Spanish Republic

The Spanish Republic – Steve Freeman

Republican-Flags

The Spanish and English republican flags

Speech by Steve Freeman from Occupy London’s Real Democracy Working Group to the meeting held on 23 June 2012 outside St Pauls Cathedral, London, on the sight formerly held by the Occupy London camp.

 

“I think it is very important to remember that many people from this country went with the International Brigades to fight for the Spanish republic. And they would have seen this flag [pointing to the red, yellow and purple tricolor] in Spain themselves when they were part of that struggle.

 So it is fantastic that that flag should today come back here, because there is a real historical connection between the people of England and the people of Spain. And that [pointing to the red, yellow and purple tricolor] is a big reminder of that historic connection.

And another way we have that connection is of course the 15M movement in Spain, the Occupy movement in Spain, of course, was great inspiration, spreading over to America [Occupy Wall Street] and to the Occupy movement that we have been involved in here in this country.

 So it is really good that we in the Real Democracy Group have been able to make a contact with our Spanish friends and comrades, as it were, to be able to have them here to speak to us today and to remake that link.

Because republicanism is essentially about people governing themselves – it is about the power of the people. It means we do not believe in bureaucrats, in monarchies, in armed forces, in politicians ruling us. We believe in the rule of the people – that is the essence of republicanism.

 And even though this [Spanish] republic was defeated and crushed, it is inevitable that when the people of Spain begin to struggle again, begin to search for democracy again, they will find their way back to their history and the struggles that have affected them in the past, bringing that history back.

 The flag here of course [pointing to the red, violet and green tricolor] also connects with our history. Some of us have been promoting this idea of a flag that connects together our own democratic history – the history of the Levellers (Green -1648-9] who fought for a republic in English civil war – the Chartists [red and green] who [in the 19th century] fought for the right for people in this country, working class people, to have the vote – and the Suffragettes who fought in this country for the right for women to have the vote.

 And that is part of our democratic tradition. So it is fantastic that we should see these two flags [Spanish and English republican flags] together, and that [pointing to the Spanish republican flag] really means such a lot for the people in this country who fought in Spain in the 1930s.

Thank you very much”

Steve Freeman.

London, June 23th, 2012.

http://www.republicansocialists.org.uk/