Convergence and Union


Convergence and Union
Convergència i Unió
President Artur Mas
Founded September 1978 (coalition)
December 2001 (federation)
Headquarters C/Còrsega, 331-333
08037 Barcelona
Ideology Catalan nationalism,
Christian democracy,
Liberalism
Economic liberalism
Fiscal conservatism[1]
Political position Fiscal: Right-wing[2][3][4]
Social: Centre[5][6][7][8]
International affiliation Liberal International (CDC),
Centrist Democrat International (UDC)
European affiliation European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (CDC),
European People's Party (UDC)
European Parliament Group ALDE (CDC)
EPP (UDC)
Official colours Blue, Orange
Local Government
3,387 / 66,046
Parliament of Catalonia
62 / 135
Congress of Deputies
10 / 350
Spanish Senate
7 / 264
European Parliament
1 / 50
Website
www.ciu.cat
Politics of Catalonia
Political parties
Elections

Convergence and Union (Catalan: Convergència i Unió, CiU; IPA: [kumbərˈʒɛnsiə j uniˈo]) is a centre political party in Catalonia, Spain. CiU is technically a federation of two constituent parties, the larger Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) and its smaller counterpart, the Democratic Union of Catalonia (UDC). It is currently led by Artur Mas, who is the current President of the Catalan Government.

CiU is a Catalan nationalist party. It is usually seen as a moderate nationalist party, both in Catalonia and in the rest of Spain. Depending on the observer it is regarded as either conservative[9] or centrist. Still, liberal leanings may be found in the larger CDC, while Union is a Christian democratic party.[10] As for its position in the nationalist debate, it is deliberately ambiguous so as to appeal to the broadest spectrum possible, from voters who seek full independence from Spain to those who are generally satisfied with the present self-government status. In general, the CDC tends to be more supportive of Catalan sovereignty, while the UDC is considered closer to traditional Catalan autonomism and more nuanced nationalism.

In the most recent regional elections, held on 28 November 2010, CiU won by 38.5% of the vote. It gained 14 seats in the Catalan Parliament, which brought them to a total of 62 deputies. While they hold more than twice as many seats as any other party, they are still 6 seats short of a majority in the 135 member body. Although they have stated the determination to rule without a formal coalition, in certain issues they seek external support from other political parties, especially Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and People's Party (PPC).

Contents

Policies and ideology

CiU is usually seen as a centre political party[citation needed], with liberal, Christian democratic and Christian Socialist currents. It strongly defends the notion of Catalonia as a nation within Spain, and strives for the highest possible level of autonomy for Catalonia.

CiU is generally considered a Catalan nationalist party; this is also the term it uses to describe itself. Both the Spanish and Catalan media perceive it as a moderate nationalist force. However, its liberal fraction (CDC) has a relatively strong current which advocates Catalan independence from Spain and which has grown stronger after 2006.[11][12][13] Many high ranking exponents of the Democratic Convergence define CiU as a independentist political force.[14][15][16] The party's president Artur Mas has stated he would vote in favour of Catalan independence in a theoretical referendum of independence, but he added this would not be his official policy if elected as President of Catalonia.[17]

On the other hand, the Christian democratic part of the coalition, the Democratic Union of Catalonia, is less favourable to the idea of an independent Catalonia. Nevertheless, several prominent members of the Democratic Union have also supported independence, especially since the late 2000s.[18] However, the supporters of independence within the Democratic Union are a minority with much less influence than their counterparts in the Democratic Convergence.[19]

Terms of office

At the Catalan level, CiU ruled the autonomous Catalan government during the 1980s until 2003 for 23 consecutive years led by Jordi Pujol (CDC). Pujol was succeeded in the party leadership by Artur Mas (CDC), while Unió's leader (second at the CiU level) is Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida. It then served in opposition to a tripartite centre-left government of the Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC), the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the Initiative for Catalonia Greens (ICV) until November 2010, when it regained power (but lacking an overall majority, still needing a coalition partner).

2008 Spanish elections

The party won 10 seats in the Spanish national Congress of Deputies at the March 2008 elections.

CiU supported changes to the Catalan Statute of Autonomy to further increase Catalonia's autonomy. It is currently the most voted party at regional elections in Catalonia, but in 2003 lost its absolute majority and is the main opposition party at the Catalan autonomous level, having been replaced in the government by a centre-left tripartite coalition formed in 2003 and re-formed after the 2006 Catalan regional elections, which were called due to divisions in the coalition.

2010 Catalan elections

On Sunday, 28 November 2010 (28-N) CiU regained control of the regional parliament after seven years in opposition, winning about 38 per cent of the popular vote, earning 62 seats out of the total 135.[20] Its platform was broadly centrist, and somewhat ambiguous about independence from Spain.

In the 2010 elections the turnout was just above 60%, and the Socialists' Party of Catalonia were considered the biggest losers, holding only 28 seats of their former 37. All other parties lost support, as well, except the conservative People's Party of Catalonia, which increased its support by 1.5%, and the Citizens' Party which maintained their position.

See also

References

  1. ^ CiU suggests to eliminate the inheritance tax and cut one third the budget deficit - Terra, 02/06/2006 (Spanish)
  2. ^ CiU suggests another 'captain' to change the economic policy - El Confidencial, 21/10/2009 (Spanish)
  3. ^ CiU requests Zapatero to not allow that some regions pay taxes and other ones live with subsidies - El Economista, 16/03/2011 (Spanish
  4. ^ CiU tells Zapatero that because of his economic policy, "we are seen with mistrust" - El Periódico de Aragón, 14/07/2010 (Spanish)
  5. ^ Govan, Fiona (2 March 2011). "Backlash over Spain's energy saving". The Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/8357231/Backlash-over-Spains-energy-saving.html. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Spain's parliament in knife-edge austerity vote". Reuters. 27 March 2010. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2010/05/27/uk-spain-austerity-idUKTRE64Q1MQ20100527. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Spain nears deal on Catalan autonomy". The Age (Melbourne). 23 January 2006. http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/spain-nears-deal-on-catalan-autonomy/2006/01/23/1137864829530.html. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Catalan autonomy deal close". Al Jazeera. 22 January 2006. http://english.aljazeera.net/archive/2006/01/200841011353580795.html. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Sturcke, James (7 June 2006). "Catalan conundrum". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jun/07/spain.jamessturcke. 
  10. ^ Hough, Dan; Jeffery, Charlie (2006). Devolution and Electoral Politics. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 101. ISBN 9780719073304. http://books.google.com/books?id=cj7LQHiITqQC. 
  11. ^ http://www.lavanguardia.es/politica/noticias/20100827/53990327112/felip-puig-la-independencia-de-catalunya-solo-sera-posible-a-traves-de-ciu.html
  12. ^ http://politica.e-noticies.es/el-ultimo-deseo-de-felip-puig-es-la-independencia-31662.html
  13. ^ http://www.vozbcn.com/2010/08/27/30427/pujol-cataluna-gran-murcia/
  14. ^ http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/3755946/20100719/oriol-pujol-aclareix-ciu-independentista.html
  15. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcMtYa_TB9k
  16. ^ http://www.naciodigital.cat/noticia/17862
  17. ^ http://www.lavozlibre.com/noticias/ampliar/146082/artur-mas-votaria-si-en-un-referendum-sobre-la-independencia-de-cataluna
  18. ^ http://www.naciodigital.cat/noticia/12976/vota/3/1265708033
  19. ^ http://www.cronica.cat/noticia/Els_critics_dUnio_aposten_per_la_independencia_i_es_distancien_de_Duran_i_Lleida
  20. ^ Mulligan, Mark (28 November 2010). "Catalan centre-right retakes political control". Financial Times Newspaper, London Nov 28, 22:00h. Financial Times. doi:This version issued on ????????. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7111eeda-fb3b-11df-b576-00144feab49a.html#axzz16gFwlt28. Retrieved 2010-11-29. 

External links


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