André Blais

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A man buys a newspaper featuring the results at the Catalan regional election at a news stand in Barcelona on Dec. 22. (Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press)

The result of the election held in Catalonia on Dec. 21 appears contradictory. On the one hand, parties advocating independence collectively won a majority of seats. On the other hand, the party that most strongly opposes independence, Citizens, came in first place.

The election came amid enormous political unrest. In October, the Catalan government held a referendum on independence, even though Spanish courts had declared it illegal. After the results came in, the Catalan parliament unilaterally declared independence — after which the Spanish government suspended Catalan autonomy and jailed many pro-independence leaders.

In the wake of such dramatic events, we might have expected citizens to shift their votes significantly.…  Seguir leyendo »