It Doesn't Matter that Catalonia's Vote "doesn't count."
On Sunday, Catalonia's made a huge move in their steps towards independence, or at least, change. In a push led by Catalan president Artur Mas, a vote was held to see if voters wanted to be independent or not. The big news headline answer: yes! Over 80% voted yes.
But, a closer look at the set up of the vote, and the statistics, is necessary to understand what is really happening here.
First off, only 37% of six million eligible voters came out to vote. Of those those that voted, 80% said yes, Catalonia should be a state and yes, it should be independent. 10% said yes it should be a state, but no it should not be independent. 4% said no to both questions. Others spoiled their ballots.
Why didn't everyone go to this vote? Because turnout is rarely 100%, and because this vote was not official. It was not sanctioned by Madrid, and it's still being decided by the country's constitutional courts whether or not this mass push by Mas was even legal. Many citizens didn't vote because they see this as a separatist movement, or they see it as illegal. Others just couldn't make it.
What does this mean for Catalonia? Well, whether or not the vote is counted as 'legal,' the pressure has been increased on Madrid to address the concerns and wants of Catalans, regardless of what they want to do. Mr Mas will renew calls for a real referendum. Mr Rajoy will continue to refuse him one. In the meantime this row will rumble on.