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Originally published in Spanish: “Politólogos borrachos”. José Ignacio Torreblanca. El Mundo.

15th December 2018

Doctors do not intentionally harm their patients. Reporters do not make up news. Police agents do not fabricate evidence. Judges do not accept bribes. Each profession has a Hippocratic core which they can not violate. What about political scientists? What is so sacred about their professional identity? In addition to expecting from them, being political scientists as they are, not to falsify data or misrepresent facts, they are frequently asked to verify the freedom and fairness of electoral processes. This is why, to the extent they are engaged in or validated the fraudulent electoral process, they are betraying the trust placed on them by society while violating their profession’s Hippocratic core.

This is what happened in Catalonia last year, when some political scientists decided to get involved in the organization of an unlawful fraudulent referendum on self-determination. That it was unlawful was perfectly known, since both the Council for Statutory Guarantees and the Constitutional Court stated it publicly and repeatedly. And that it was fraudulent in its proceedings, and therefore in its results, was evident from the fact that half of the Chamber, which represents more than half of the Catalan people, made clear that they didn’t consider it neither legal nor legitimate, so they wouldn’t participate in it. Justice has now prosecuted the participants in the farce for usurpation of functions and repeated disobedience.

Taking advantage of scientific-professional credentials to deliberately falsify an election is enough to deserve a professional reproach, even if it doesn’t have any legal consequence. Hence the astonishment caused by the American Political Science Association (APSA) for having written a letter to the president Sánchez in protest for the prosecution of the political scientists who agreed to act as election board for the October 1st referendum. APSA argues, endorsed by their colleagues in Quebec and others, that such judicial actions are a professional intimidation, undermine the government’s compromise to democracy and violate their freedom of speech. This is why they are urging the president to withdraw charges. Political scientists that, inebriated by their secessionist yearnings, decided to engage in an unlawful election. Now they are proclaiming themselves before the world as victims of a wrongful prosecution, of the authoritarianism of a regressive government and a vengeful judiciary. The day we create a museum of the Catalan process we won’t have enough room to account for so many lies.