It’s not really about whether Crimea should be part of Russia, nor an abhorrence of all things Putin (as valid as such feelings would be). It’s really about the nation state itself:
Activists pushing for the Italian region of Veneto to become an independent country have claimed that over two million residents backed their call in an unofficial referendum.
Although the poll lacks any legal basis, organisers said the high number of voters -56 per cent of registered voters in the region – meant a clear majority of voting Venetians were in favour of restoring the independent Venetian Republic, which dominated the Mediterranean for centuries until it was occupied by Napoleon.
The result was announced to cheers from supporters in a piazza in Trevisolate on Friday after a week of voting.
“It’s a huge party here, it’s like a reunion,” said Cristiano Zanin, one of the organisers of the poll, which was held online and through polling stations set up by local town halls across the region.
Organisers said that of a total of 2.36 million votes cast, out of a total of 3.7 million qualified voters, 2.1 million voted for independence and a quarter of a million voted against.
What paralyses politicians with fear is that if you just let any old group vote about whether to leave whatever nation state they’re currently crammed into then a lot of them will vote to leave. Crimea from the Ukraine (and does anyone doubt that the result would be different if the referendum was had all over again under more equitable rules?), Catalunia from Spain perhaps, Veneto (or even the whole North) from Italy, perhaps Bavaria from Germany?
Me, I’d be entirely happy with any and all of those outcomes. But the people currently in power wouldn’t be for obvious reasons. And it’s the fear at looking at their own people which makes them insist that no one can leave some other grouping.