In Catalonia the regional Parliament has taken a step towards banning the bullfight in the region. They have approved for Parliamentary process a private initiative with 180,000 signatures. It still has a long way to go, and may not make it. Fan though I am of bullfighting, I am a much bigger fan of democracy, and if the elected representatives of the people are genuinely responding to the popular will then I would accord it a cautious welcome. But...
They probably aren't responding to anything of the kind, in fact. They are responding to a pressure group which has been very active in getting forms signed, but it is true that bullfighting has never been popular in Catalonia. Now there is only one active bullring in the whole region, a magnificent one, it's true, and it is only used a few times a year, but there has never been serious opposition, just lack of interest.
That this is all political manouevring and points-scoring is shown by the fact that it is the 'corridas' they are trying to ban, which, as I say, have little support in the region, and not the 'correbous', a local tradition involving bulls on ropes in the streets, goaded and attacked by the people, or thrown into the sea. That is a popular custom at festival time, and they daren't touch it, despite being at times genuinely cruel, which the bullfight really isn't.
No, the cause of this little rant is not the possible demise of bullfighting in Catalonia, but the disturbing fact that the Parliamentary vote was held in secret. That tells you all you need to know about democracy in Catalonia.
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