Following the last round of referendums that took place on february the 28th and waiting for the new round of referendums that will take place on april the 25th a disruptive factor has just entered the catalan political arena. Joan Laporta, the president of Barça, has created a new website www.laporta2010.cat where he’ll explain his ideas about politics, it displays a logo with the catalan independentist flag blended with his name and advocates that “now’s the time for brave decisions”.
With a very clear independentist political discourse Laporta emerges as the leader that independentism needs right now, with center-right background this professional lawyer who has led Barça into its most glorious times is a media personality and his clear support to independentism is creating very strong reactions against him with threats and “friendly advice” coming from all sides asking him not to be a candidate to the Generalitat.
His political space would greatly overlap that of CiU’s leader Artur Mas and will likely put in jeopardy the latter’s possibilities of becoming the president of the Generalitat. I personally believe that, should he finally be a candidate, he is in a position of being anything from the 3rd force to actually winning the elections with polls confirming this. Many people might reject him because of his strong character and his frequent temper outbursts, some people object seeing a potential political leader in him, but what I think is that he’s the type of person with a character that is completely opposite from that of all of current Catalan politicians. He’ll say things very clearly, he’ll not change his independentist discourse overnight and he’s not afraid of confrontation with the Spanish and of defending Catalan interests until the last consequences, he’s the type of leader we need to make a declaration of independence.
What Laporta hasn’t made yet clear is whether he’s going to make his own political party or he’ll form a coalition with Carretero’s Reagrupament, likely since Carretero and Laporta have made several public displays of sympathy for each other and since he’s made it clear that he’ll only go as a leader his choices are limited since, ERC and CiU won’t accept him as a leader.
On the other hand, Carretero has explicitly said that he’d be happy for Laporta to lead a possible coalition with Reagrupament and go together to the next elections or a similar arrangement.
What is clear is that Reagrupament has grown to be a serious force in the next elections and probably a decisive one being backed by respected personalities such as Heribert Barrera, Moisès Broggi, Victor Alexandre, Toni Strubell and many others, gathering a very strong representation within the Catalan middle classes and adding to its cause people from very varied political backgrounds and more importantly, people who never before have been actively involved into politics. This is where the force of Reagrupament comes from since a substantial amount of the Catalan middle classes has finally realised that the real fight is not to try and make left or right wing policies, there will be no left or right wing policies until there’s no real independence and Catalonia organises itself into a state within the European Union. The strength of Reagrupament and the people behind it is becoming clearer day by day judging by the constant attacks it is suffering almost on a daily basis by the unionist media.
As a result of the growth of Reagrupament and the success of the Referendums of 13D and 28F the other political parties are forced to take positions more in favour of the independence of Catalonia and forcing the PSOE to make it clear that they are a Spanish party and that Catalonia is not its main concern.
A future candidacy led by Laporta, Carretero and Carles Móra, mayor of Arenys de Munt has the potential to destabilize the current balance of forces in the Catalan Parliament in a positive way with the potential to be the catalyst Catalonia needs to make a declaration of independence or to force whichever force was voted by the majority to organise a binding referendum of independence organised by the Generalitat, a referendum that, judging by the results in the past 13D and 28F, no doubt about it, Catalonia will overwhelmingly win. In any case, we have very interesting times ahead.