Democratic Convergence of Catalonia

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Democratic Convergence of Catalonia
Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya
Abbreviation CDC
President Artur Mas
Secretary Josep Rull i Andreu
Lluís Corominas i Díaz
Founded 17 November 1974
Dissolved 8 July 2016
Succeeded by Catalan Democratic Party
Headquarters C/Còrsega, 333
08002 Barcelona
Ideology Catalan nationalism[1][2]
Liberalism[1][3]
Conservatism[1]
Centrism[4]
Social democracy (minority)[5][6][7]
Political position Centre-right
European affiliation Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
International affiliation Liberal International
European Parliament group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Colours          Blue, white
Parliament of Catalonia
29 / 135
In Together for Yes[8]
Congress of Deputies (Catalan seats)
8 / 47
Spanish Senate (Catalan seats)
2 / 16
Website
www.convergencia.cat

The Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (Catalan: Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya, CDC; IPA: [kumbərˈʒɛnsiə ðəmuˈkɾatikə ðə kətəˈɫuɲə]) was a Catalan nationalist,[1][2] and liberal[1][3] party in Catalonia (Spain).

It was the largest political organization in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, with more than 60,000 members.[citation needed] The last president of Democratic Convergence of Catalonia before its refoundation was Artur Mas, and its General Secretary were Josep Rull i Andreu and Jordi Turull i Negre.[citation needed]

Rather than using its full acronym (CDC) the party was frequently referred to just as Convergència, and its members convergents in Catalan or convergentes in Spanish.


History[edit]

Founded in 1974, in the wake of the Spanish transition to democracy, Convergència was the major partner in the long-standing coalition Convergence and Union (CiU), together with the Democratic Union of Catalonia. Until their split in 2015, both parties partnered in a coalition which dominated Catalan regional politics since the 1980s until the early 2000s.[9] CDC's founder, Jordi Pujol, was the regional president of Catalonia for 23 consecutive years.

After spending seven years in opposition, CiU, led by Artur Mas, returned to power in the 2010 parliamentary elections but, unlike in previous stints at government, CiU could not attain an absolute majority.

Separatist turn[edit]

The minority government era in Catalan politics started in 2010, introducing previously unseen variable geometry in the region's politics. Hence, CiU partnered initially with the Socialists' Party of Catalonia,[10] then with the Popular Party.[11]

Eventually, none of these tactical agreements held and a period of political instability followed, substantiated in successive snap elections (2012 and 2015).

During this period, Convergència, led by Mas, initiated a progressive but fast turn into separatism, leaving behind its more vague Catalan nationalist stance. By 2015 Convergència was openly advocating and trying to lead Catalan separatism.

One of the consequences of the separatist turn was the termination of the CiU coalition with Unió Democràtica for the 2015 election. At that point, Convergència together with Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya formed a new coalition Junts pel Sí which explicitly demanded independence for Catalonia.

The situation remained unstable, as Junts pel Sí could not attain an absolute majority. As of 2016 it runs a minority government led by CDC member, Carles Puigdemont.

At Spanish-wide politics[edit]

Historically, at times of minority governments, CiU had played the role of kingmaker, allowing the formation of Spanish government by lending tactical support of its MPs at the Spanish Parliament in exchange for additional investments in Catalonia from the Spanish government.

Once CiU split, in the 2015 Spanish general election, the party run as the main member of the Democracy and Freedom coalition.[12]

International[edit]

CDC was affiliated with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party and with the Liberal International.

Factions[edit]

During the late 1970s and 1980s it claimed a social-democratic strand within its ranks, namely personified in militants such as Ramon Trias Fargas or Miquel Sellarès.[citation needed]

CDC had a current which advocated Catalan independence from Spain. This current grew stronger after 2006.[citation needed] The main exponents of the independentist current within CDC were Felip Puig,[13][14] Oriol Pujol,[15][16] David Madí,[17] and Àngel Colom.[18]

Regional sections[edit]

The section of CDC in the Occitan-speaking Val d'Aran is known as the Aranese Democratic Convergence.

Refoundation[edit]

Led by its president, Artur Mas, on July 8, 2016, CDC held its last congress in which the members agreed to form a new party that will have its first congress from 8 to 10 July. Mas retained the presidential role in the refounded party.[19]

As for the reasons behind the rebranding process, some quote the desire to dissociate the party from its many corruption problems -including the ones of its founder- which accumulated during its dominance of Catalan regional politics.[20]

It had initially proposed two names for the new party: Més Catalunya and Catalans Convergents, but different party factions expressed their rejection of both proposals,[21] and on July 9, three other proposals were presented: Junts per Catalunya, Partit Demòcrata Català and Partit Nacional Català.[22]

Eventually, the party chose to re-style itself as "Partit Demòcrata Català" (Catalan Democratic Party). However, that name is currently suspended, since it is nearly identical with the one of another existing political party.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Dowling, Andrew (2005), "Convergència i Unió, Catalonia and the new Catalanism", The Politics of Contemporary Spain, Rotledge, p. 106 
  2. ^ a b Ramiro, Luis; Morales, Laura (2007), "European integration and Spanish parties: Elite empowerment amidst limited adaptation", The Europeanization of National Political Parties: Power and organizational adaptation, Routledge, p. 145 
  3. ^ a b "Parties and Elections in Europe, "Catalonia/E", The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck". Parties & Elections. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Smith, Angel (2009), Historical Dictionary of Spain, Scarecrow Press, p. 199 
  5. ^ Perfil: Puigdemont, el ala más independentista de CDC
  6. ^ Mas vira hacia la socialdemocracia a las puertas del 27-S con su nuevo Gobierno.
  7. ^ El sector liberal planta batalla a la socialdemocràcia de la nova CDC.
  8. ^ Así se reparten las fuerzas entre los diputados de Junts pel Sí
  9. ^ UDC sale del Govern y pone en jaque una alianza de 37 años de CiU
  10. ^ Mas, investido presidente con la abstención del PSC
  11. ^ La abstención del PPC permite la aprobación de los presupuestos de Catalunya de 2012
  12. ^ "CDC concurrirá a las generales bajo el nombre de Democràcia i Llibertat". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 2015-11-06. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  13. ^ http://www.lavanguardia.es/politica/noticias/20100827/53990327112/felip-puig-la-independencia-de-catalunya-solo-sera-posible-a-traves-de-ciu.html
  14. ^ http://politica.e-noticies.es/el-ultimo-deseo-de-felip-puig-es-la-independencia-31662.html
  15. ^ http://www.vozbcn.com/2010/08/27/30427/pujol-cataluna-gran-murcia/
  16. ^ http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/3755946/20100719/oriol-pujol-aclareix-ciu-independentista.html
  17. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcMtYa_TB9k
  18. ^ http://www.naciodigital.cat/noticia/17862
  19. ^ El Partit Demòcrata encumbra a Mas con el 95% de los votos|El Mundo
  20. ^ Convergencia i Unió: Refundación agitada| El País
  21. ^ "Un motín en CDC obliga a aplazar la elección del nombre del nuevo partido". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 8 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  22. ^ "Los tres finalistas para la nueva CDC: 'Junts per Catalunya', 'Partit Demòcrata Català' y 'Partit Nacional Català'". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 9 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  23. ^ Noticias de Cataluña: El partido de Mas no podrá llamarse 'Partit Democràta Català' por confusión con otro

External links[edit]