Not sure what happens today in Catalonia
We have not seen so much division and hostility in Spain since the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s.
It seems like every one of my Spanish friends has an opinion about today's vote. One of my friends refers to Catalonia as "crazy rebels." One of my other friends calls the government in Madrid a few names not suitable for a family blog.
At the same time, they're all very concerned about what happens the next day. The people who want independence don't know how they will react the day after. The people who want Catalonia to stay are afraid that it could lead to a civil war. And both sides fear the economic impact of putting everyone through this.
Today, the people of Catalonia will vote to split from Spain, as we see in this update by John Moody:
Catalans have their own culture and language, and for the past two years, their political leadership has been promising citizens a vote.
Spain's Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, has said such a ballot would be invalid and in violation of Spain's constitution.
The possibility that Catalonia would split off from Spain is very much like California's "Calexit" movement.
Politically and psychologically, the Golden State is different from America's misnamed "flyover" states, so its aspirations to be independent are understandable.
Just a few months ago, one independence movement said leaving the United States was the only way to defend "California values."
So, too, Catalonia's desire to pull away from the rest of Spain, of which it's been a part since the 15th century, when King Ferdinand of Aragon married Queen Isabella of Castile and united their realms.
Today, Catalonia is one of Spain's economic engines, and Barcelona, its capital, is the country's leading destination for tourists.
So independence advocates have a legitimate claim that Catalonia gives more than it gets from the rest of the country.
So what happens today? Nobody knows, because nobody really knows. The polls are too close to call, so turnout will probably decide the outcome.
Some of my friends in Barcelona disagree with the comparison to California. I do, too.
California is heavily dependent on the other 49 for defense. Have you seen how many military installations there are in California? Finally, California is not exactly bound together culturally like Catalonia. The disconnect with the other 49 is a coastal matter. All of those red areas want nothing to do with separation, and even the northern portion wants to break away and become its own state of Jefferson. Catalonia does not have those internal divisions. It is a more cohesive area.
If Catalonia breaks off, then secession could become the new game in town. If it does not break away, then get ready for a bitter marriage.
We should have some early reading of the vote this evening. Wait and see is all we can say for now!