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By a free and fair referendum

Referendum 20-F. Report Box (updated in 10th Mar)

[versión en castellano]

Introduction

Next 20th February of 2.005 a consultative referendum on the European Constitutional Treaty is to be hold.

Until now, the campaign is taking place in a significant unfairness atmosphere. A great number of public administrations are carrying out electoral propaganda for the vote YES for the Treaty, communication media and other real powers are clearly helping out the "ruling" position. Even the Government, public administration who is calling for referendum, is carrying out an institutional campaign with explicit, and even literal, references for its position.

Propaganda level is so higher that several Spanish democrat collectives state their concerns on the freedom and fairness of the consultative referendum. In the present conditions the political legitimacy of the consultation does not exist; that is the reason because the Spanish democrat community has to do and effort of report and monitoring until achieving the popular consultation becomes free and fair.

Nothing is more harmful for the ideals of Direct Democray than the defective application of the Political Freedoms. In the first referendum since almost 20 years, the Spanish democrat community has to make sure Direct Democracy is not devalued before people. Please, collaborate.

Forum

Please use the forum "by a free and fair referendum" to know and exchange information on this issue. If you know another new aggression for the freedom and fairness of the consultation, please report it in the forum, and when enough information is present, please add it in the following sections.

Funding

  • Cost of the governmental campaign reported due to unfairness: 8 millones €
  • Direct public funding to the parliamentary political parties. YES 8.1 millons € / NO 0.9 millons €
  • Direct public funding to the civil society. 0 €
  • Unknow source funding for campaigners of YES (Plataforma Cívica por Europa): 2 millones € (estimation). Likely governamental or EU sources.

Media coverage

Estimation of unfairness of the media coverage
Until this date, the media coverage of the positions on the referendum is acutely unfair. In terms of number of persons reached by the media coverage, it is estimated the following unfairness:

  • News and positions from the political parties. Unfairness for the vote YES 1:100.
  • News and positions from the civil society. Unfairness for the vote YES 1:10000.

TV debates with national coverage

  • Number of debates in the public TVs: 3 info
    • 18-ene: 02:30 AM, Secondary National TV, Programme "Europa 2005". (at night!)
    • 22-ene: 11:00 AM, Secondary National TV, Programme "Parlamento".
    • 29-ene: 11:00 AM, Secondary National TV, Programme "Parlamento".

  • Number of debates in the private TVs: 0

Report Cronology

10/Mar/2005. The National Electoral Body rejects the denounces of the days 17, 18 and 21 of February stating the reported facts are protected by the constitutional right to the speech freedom
By means of these three decisions, the electoral authorities reachs rock bottom before desolation and impotence of the Spanish democrat activism. AnotherDem will go on to prove before Supreme Court the plebiscitary nature of this popular consult

21/Feb/2005. Another Democracy Is Possible considers 20-F plebiscite to be illegitimate and claims on resignation of the Spanish electoral authorities
Consultation on the so-called European Constitution took place within the context of an unacceptable institutional unfairness. Related to it a degrading turnout level appears: the lowest one of our democratic History and the second lowest one among all national consultations with the European scope. English Press Note [forum]

21/Feb/2005. Another Democracy Is Possible reports before the National Electoral Body many media asking for vote YES during the reflection and voting days
The democrat group AnotherDem, in the midst of such dismay, reports many media due to ask for vote YES during the reflection and voting days. This new fait accompli has been carried out, at least, by the daily El País, El Mundo, Cinco Días, Expansión y Nueva Alcarria, as well as TV Tele5.National Electoral Body has not answered yet. Complete text of the appeal [forum]

18/Feb/2005. Less than 24 hours, AnotherDem has to report before the National Electoral Body other two public institutions asking for vote YES
Nearly reflection day, and less than 24 hours, Spanish democrat activism has to report the campaign of other two public institutions asking explicitly for the vote YES. Now they are the General Council of Spanish Collegues of Economists and the High Council of Spanish Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Navigation. National Electoral Body has not answered yet. Complete text of the appeal [forum]

17/Feb/2005. New appeal of AnotherDem before the National Electoral Body against other public institution asking for vote YES
Again Spanish democrat activism has to report the campaign of other public institution asking explicitly for the vote YES. Now it is the Council of Users and Consumers, public institution dependent for the Ministry of Health and Consume. National Electoral Body has not answered yet. Complete text of the appeal [forum]

16/Feb/2005. Another Democracy Is Possible claims on resignation of the National Electoral Body
Press Note [debate]

11/Feb/2005. Spanish Supreme Court postpone on the 24th February its decision on the preventive measurements claimed by AnotherDem
Today, the Spanish Supreme Court has informed AnotherDem of a term of ten labour days, the longest one legally possible and four days after the plebiscite on 20th February!!!!, for the judicial parties submit arguments before deciding on the claimed preventive measurements:

  1. Suspension of the campaign, supposedly informative, of the Spanish Government
  2. Suspension of the campaign, supposedly informative, of the website of the Spanish Government
  3. Ban of the indiscriminate use of the emblem and flag of the EU in the electoral campaigns.
  4. Effective removal of the material including the illicit slogan; "We, the first one with Europe".
Appeal before the Supreme Court, Spanish pdf

11/Feb/2005. The Spanish National Electoral Body answers with two words to the biggest report in Spain against the illicit propaganda

The Spanish National Electoral Body has agreed "to get the message" of the report of AnotherDem on the 31st of January. That is the complete transcription of the answer of the Spanish electoral authorities, effectively informed on the 3rd February, though until today it could no be able to be certain that is the final and comprehensive answer of the Spanish electoral authorities to the report.

The appeal of the 31st January was a complete report of 50 pages and other 60 pages with documentary proofs, which not only proves the governmental campaign goes on affecting seriously principles of freedom and fairness, besides it introduces the novelty to report of campaigns of juridical persons, something absolutely banned by the Spanish electoral legislation; more specifically the campaigns of the European Commission and the General Council of the Spanish Lawyers. Other reported fact is the massive use in the campaigns of the emblem and flag of the EU, something by analogy with the emblem and flag of Spain is absolutely banned in the electoral campaigns. With this quite tiny answer for the biggest report and appeal submitted in Spain, the Spanish electoral authorities has set up a new ceiling for its actions

Report 31st Jan, Spanish pdf

10/Feb/2005. Spanish regime bans all civil demonstrations against the European Constitution
Delegation of Spanish Government in Catalonia, following guidelines from the National Electoral Body, has carried out the first measures to ban the demonstration called by the "Platform for the vote NO" against the European Constituion in next 12nd February at 19:00 in the University Square. Specifically, the governmental delegation rejected the autorization stating only political parties have the right to call for demonstrations during the electoral campiagn. The "Platform for the vote NO" could not appeal against the ban because it was materially no possible, as counterclaims have to be submitted within the next 24 hours
Info, html

7/Feb/2005. AnotherDem reports the National Electoral Body to the Supreme Court due to laziness of its duties
Passiveness of the National Electoral Body before reports of fairness of the campaign of the Spanish Government has provoked the democrat group AnotherDem submits an appeal before the Supreme Court.
Press Note, Spanish html
Complete text, Spanish pdf

31/Ene/2005. New appeal of AnotherDem before the National Electoral Body
The Spanish democrat group AnotherDem has submitted a new and documented appeal before the National Electoral Body reporting the campaign of the Spanish Government, and the campaigns of the European Comission and the General Council of the Spanish Lawyers. Also, the disproportionate use of the embleme and flag of the European Union has been reported.
Complete text, Spanish pdf

29/Jan/2005. National Electoral Body has nothing to do with its responsabilities
National Electoral Body closes the appeal of the left-wing party IU-ICV against the informative campaign, after governmental corrective actions.
+ info

27/Jan/2005. Appeal before the National Electoral Body of the Coordinating Committe for the vote NO The Committe grouping over 200 organizations reports attacks, police intolerance and censorship in public media. info

24/Ene/2005. Opinions in the Forum of the govermental website on the European Constitution, vastly against the text
Source: Europa Press
The majority of the opinions present today in the Forum of the governmental website on the European Constitution (www.constitucioneuropea.es/foro) set up by the Foreigns Ministry to spread the text and allow people write their opinion, are against the Treaty to be held in referendum the next 20th February.
html
Source: OtraDem
Despite of the majority of the opinions are against the Treaty, censorship goes on. All posts including Internet address are censored. Foro.

25/Jan/2005. Spanish National Radio does institutional campaign for the vote SI
In Radio 5 (Spanish public radio oriented only to news), at least after all hourly informative programme, one spot of a campaign set up by the own Spanish National Radio is transmited. In these spots, VIPS talk about the European Constitution. Everybody are inconditionally for the Constitution, making a clear campaign for the vote YES. More info in this thread of our Report Box.

21/Ene/2005. State Secretary of Communication, Miguel Barroso, pressures several media ‘to minimize’ the blow to the governmental campaign for the European Constitution
Source: El Confidencial html

20/Ene/2005. The Center of Juridical Studies Tomás Moro will go on reporting the campaign of the socialist Governmentfor the 20-F
Fuente: Hispanidad
Text html

20/Jan/2005. Increasing reports of censorship in the forum of the Spanish Government on the European Constitution.

19/Jan/2005. National Electoral Body bans the slogan of the Government and other elements
(Press Note)

  • National Electoral Body bans the use of the governmental slogan "We the first with Europe"
  • National Electoral Body avoids pronouncing on:
    • The guidelines of the campaign of the Government: enumaration of achivements of the UE and to show the Treaty as a state commitment.
    • To ask Government for doing public the campaign (contents, schedule, budget).
    • The shutdown of the website of the governmental campaign.
    • The widespread use of the embleme and flag of the EU.

19/Jan/2005. Center of Juridical Studies Tomás Moro reports before the National Electoral Body the unfair nature of the campaign of the Government
(html)

18/Jan/2005. Spanish regime supports a meeting for the vote YES with facilities of the National House of Deputies

Diario El País, 18/Ene/05 Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, president of the Convention that made up the text of the European constitution, stated yesterday in the National House of Deputies that "the answer of the Spaniards" in the referendum called by the Government in the next 20th February, the first one to be hold in the EU, is "quite significant for the European process".

The ex-president of France delivered a speech and held a colloquium in the opening day of the International Universitary Forum, organized by an university of Madrid and the Parliamentary Journalist Association.

In the opinion of Giscard, respect of the constitutional treaty, "there are no perfect works", though in this issue "it has been made all possible", according the concerns of every countries in the EU.

In the same act, the president of the European Parliament, Josep Borrel, warned on the "risk of the abstention" in the referendum of February. Before an audience plenty of universitary students, Borrel urged young people to commit with the European construction because "Europe cannot make itself".

In the same forum, the EP and ex-minister of Internal Affairs Jaime Mayor Oreja stated the vote YES is claimed in Spain among difficult circunstances [...]

17/Jan/2005. Appeal before the Spanish National Electoral Body against the institutional website of the Spanish Government
Source: OtraDem
English text html

17/Jan/2005. IU (United Left) will decide this week if it will appeal before the Electoral Commission the government´s campaign about the European Constitution
Source: Europa Press
Text (spanish) html

14/Ene/2005. ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia) has requested the Electoral Commission to cancel the institutional campaign about the European Constitution.
Source: Europa Press
Text (spanish) html

15/Jan/2005. Official calling for referendum pdf

11/Jan/2005. City Council of Cuenca plans its campaign for the vote YES
Source: Independientes por Cuenca
Text html

10/Jan/2005. Spanish electoral authorities keep pout before the appeals
The Spanish National Electoral Body has stated public administrations are free to do anything meanwhile the referendum had not been formally called (scheduled on 15th/Jan).

  • All appeals have been rejected without estimating their contents with a short sentence:
    National Electoral Body: "Acts of propaganda happenned before the approval of the Royal Decree of calling for referendum are not subjected to the constraints stated by the electoral legislation for the campaign." +

  • The National Electoral Body states as outside competence application of the General Law of Publicity (LGP) to the electoral institutional campaign. The LGP is the Spanish regulation defining precisely the juridical concepts of deceptive, unfair and subliminal publicity.
    National Electoral Body: "In issues beyond the competence of the Electoral Body, it is no possible to point up what is the jurisdiction competent regarding of an hypothetical infringement of the General Law of Publicity." +

4/Jan/2005. Appeal before the Spanish National Electoral Body against the campaign for the vote YES of the Government of Cantabria (in the North of Spain)
Source: Platform against the European Constitution in Cantabria Texto html

4/Jan/2005. Appeal before the Spanish National Electoral Body against the institutional website of the Spanish Government
Source: OtraDem
English text html

Dec/2005. The Spanish Government starts its institutional campaign of propaganda

  • Institutional website. Its significant unfairness has already provoked reports.
  • Unfair eslogan, "We the first ones with Europe"
  • TV spots. Popular celebrities recite populist articles of the constitution.
  • Huge publicitary bills. Popular celebrities together with populist articles of the constitution.


Monitorization of referendums in Europe

  • Selling the EU at any price - unfair accession referendums
  • Report on the quality and fairness of the accesion referendums
    TEAM Referendum Monitoring Report pdf

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