Linguistic rights

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Saim
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Postby Saim » 2012-03-01, 9:09

You're right, unsupported assertion. My hypothesis would be that letting them be citizens would decrease resentment towards ethnic Latvians and help some ethnic Russians gain a greater appreciation of Latvian culture. But that's just one scenario that may not actually work given the facts on the ground.

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-03-01, 11:23

Or it would skew whole election system into favour of people who are not loyal to the country, which is why they didn't get it in the first place. Though now the situation is slightly different. However I am starting to have doubts, if Russians acctualy think what they are supposed to think according to pro-russian politicians. Would it be fair to force citizenship upon them just like that?

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Saim » 2012-03-01, 12:23

Why does the government get to decide whether someone is loyal or not? If you've lived in an area for decades you belong to that area, simple as that. One's level of patriotism doesn't come into one's right to political representation.

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-03-01, 14:52

So in your opinion the country has no right to deny citizenship in order to preserve its political integrity, but it has every right to force it on people who might not want it?

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby linguoboy » 2012-03-01, 15:50

Sol Invictus wrote:Most of former USSR is in somewhat similar situation. Theoretically you could assess situation of each language and look at linguistic policy, and see which is best.

Somewhat similar, but (a) not all border Russia itself and (b) the proportion of Russians is generally lower. The closest parallel that comes to mind is Kazakhstan, where ethnic Russians are now 24% of the population. Are Russians in Kazakhstan notably more eager to learn and use Kazakh than Russians in Latvian to learn and use Latvian? Not that I've heard, but all I have to go on is anecdotal evidence from people I know who live there.
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-03-01, 16:18

linguoboy wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:Most of former USSR is in somewhat similar situation. Theoretically you could assess situation of each language and look at linguistic policy, and see which is best.

Somewhat similar, but (a) not all border Russia itself and (b) the proportion of Russians is generally lower. The closest parallel that comes to mind is Kazakhstan, where ethnic Russians are now 24% of the population. Are Russians in Kazakhstan notably more eager to learn and use Kazakh than Russians in Latvian to learn and use Latvian? Not that I've heard, but all I have to go on is anecdotal evidence from people I know who live there.

Don't look at the nationality. The number of actual speakers may be grater or lesser e.g. Belarus has only 8% population Russian, but since it is second official language probably most people there speak it.

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby linguoboy » 2012-03-01, 17:31

Sol Invictus wrote:Don't look at the nationality. The number of actual speakers may be grater or lesser e.g. Belarus has only 8% population Russian, but since it is second official language probably most people there speak it.

I haven't see good figures for language use, just explanations that "everyone" in Kazakhstan speaks Russian but that only ethnic Kazakhs speak Kazakh--and that many of them prefer Russian for daily communication, even with other ethnic Kazakhs. (And this in spite of laws mandating education in Kazakh and requiring knowledge of Kazakh for governmental positions.)

Once you add to the Russians the other non-Kazakh ethnic groups in Kazakhstan (virtually all of whom speak Russian but not Kazakh), you're up to one third of the population.
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Saim » 2012-03-01, 18:35

Sol Invictus wrote:So in your opinion the country has no right to deny citizenship in order to preserve its political integrity, but it has every right to force it on people who might not want it?

How exactly do you force citizenship on someone? And is Latvia's "political integrity" really under threat?

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-03-01, 18:44

Saim wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:So in your opinion the country has no right to deny citizenship in order to preserve its political integrity, but it has every right to force it on people who might not want it?

How exactly do you force citizenship on someone? And is Latvia's "political integrity" really under threat?

By automatically granting it to everyone as pro-Russian politicians are suggesting. I thought I had mentioned it, but apparently not - basically as I said kids are entitled to citizenship, but parents have to request it, now politicians complain that it is too complicated (because, OMG, if kid has two parents both of them have to agree to it) and let's just drop this step and grant citizenship automatically. And technically I already answered to the second question in the post before the one you're quoiting

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Saim » 2012-03-01, 18:48

"Automatically granting" does not equal "forcing". You can always renounce it, even if you have the right to citizenship.

I still don't see how Latvia's "political integrity" is still under threat. Russians will still be a minority, and even if they weren't it's not like they'd just vote to become a republic of the Russian Federation or something. I can understand you'd be upset if you felt your language and culture was under threat, and perhaps I'm totally off-base as an Australian who's never been to Latvia, but it doesn't seem like it is.

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-03-01, 19:02

Saim wrote:"Automatically granting" does not equal "forcing". You can always renounce it, even if you have the right to citizenship.

No, you can't, you need to granted citizenship of another country to do that
I still don't see how Latvia's "political integrity" is still under threat. Russians will still be a minority, and even if they weren't it's not like they'd just vote to become a republic of the Russian Federation or something. I can understand you'd be upset if you felt your language and culture was under threat, and perhaps I'm totally off-base as an Australian who's never been to Latvia, but it doesn't seem like it is.

What did I say?

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2012-03-03, 8:36

Sol Invictus wrote:Or it would skew whole election system into favour of people who are not loyal to the country, which is why they didn't get it in the first place. Though now the situation is slightly different. However I am starting to have doubts, if Russians acctualy think what they are supposed to think according to pro-russian politicians. Would it be fair to force citizenship upon them just like that?

Half of my country isn't loyal. Just the other day thousands of Bosniaks in Novi Pazar greeted Turkish football fans with ''This is Turkey'' and ''Long live the Sandžak Republic''. Albanians have already gotten a Kosovo Republic and those that still live in Serbia would like to join Kosovo. Hungarians in the north are more loyal to Hungary than to Serbia, etc... What do you think we should do?

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby hlysnan » 2012-03-03, 8:54

Dissolution of Serbia.

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2012-03-03, 9:15

If the Serbian government previously had been more flexible, and had created internal borders in such a way as to minimise ethnic/linguistic minorities, it would not be as painful to lose one territory or another. In that case, the serbdominated parts of Kosovo would still be part of Serbia, and the albaniandominated parts of Serbia would be part of Kosovo, instead of having these parts still forming a minority problem. The same could be done with other groups. Some groups might fall between chairs due to not having a territorial distribution of their population, so their situation would not be solved by such an approach.

hlysnan wrote:Dissolution of Serbia.

One catch is that borders are hard to change today. Would Hungary accept getting back territories from Serbia, Slovakia and Romania, or would these form new microstates instead?

Moldavia/Romania and Macedonia/Bulgaria seems to be similar cases, where history could have formed fewer states than is the current case, if there was a will to do it.

Scania/Denmark is another, according to some people. (And Jämtland/Norway :twisted: )
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2012-03-03, 9:26

What do you think we should do in order to preserve our country and not get bombed or put under a trade embargo by EU/USA/NATO?

The only reason Latvia gets away with not respecting its ethnic minorities as much as it, as a European country, should is because that minority is the Russian one. Russians are the enemy, everyone knows that.

I found this on Wikipedia and I think it's just:
International recommendations to Latvia, which concern non-citizenship, include:
-granting voting rights for non-citizens in local elections
-facilitating naturalization
-reducing differences in rights between citizens and non-citizens
-avoiding asking those applying for naturalization to express convictions that are contrary to their reading of the history of their cultural community or nation.

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2012-03-03, 9:30

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:If the Serbian government previously had been more flexible, and had created internal borders in such a way as to minimise ethnic/linguistic minorities, it would not be as painful to lose one territory or another. In that case, the serbdominated parts of Kosovo would still be part of Serbia, and the albaniandominated parts of Serbia would be part of Kosovo, instead of having these parts still forming a minority problem. The same could be done with other groups. Some groups might fall between chairs due to not having a territorial distribution of their population, so their situation would not be solved by such an approach.

What Serbian government? We had a Yugoslav government headed by a Yugoslav Croatian communist that drew the borders. Milošević was also a Yugoslav communist and everything he tried changing was met with strong criticism from the West. Plus, he was an idiot and a dictator. Not much we could have done, really.

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2012-03-03, 10:11

Is there any territory that Serbia currently risks losing? Vojvodina seems to have 76% Serbs, so most of it cannot be lost.

Ludwig Whitby wrote:What do you think we should do in order to preserve our country and not get bombed or put under a trade embargo by EU/USA/NATO?

Is that at risk at this moment? I thought Serbia just got accepted as EU applicant, perhaps too late, but anyway.

If you avoid atrocities and do not try to get weapons of mass destruction, the bombing risk would be small.
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2012-03-03, 10:43

Preševo valley. There aren't any territories that we're in immediate risk of losing at the moment, but there are a lot of ethnic tensions everywhere.

Yeah, we just got recognized as a candidate. I think that we will become like Turkey, an eternal EU-candidate that has a very flawed democracy, ethnic tensions and violence in multi-ethnic regions and a moderately nationalist government. The only difference being that Turkey is a NATO member and has support from USA, whereas we don't and will probably be in an even worse situation.

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Hunef » 2012-03-04, 0:56

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:(And Jämtland/Norway :twisted: )
We'd prefer independence, though. :whistle:
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-03-04, 5:38

Ludwig Whitby wrote:The only reason Latvia gets away with not respecting its ethnic minorities as much as it, as a European country, should is because that minority is the Russian one. Russians are the enemy, everyone knows that.

I found this on Wikipedia and I think it's just:
International recommendations to Latvia, which concern non-citizenship, include:
-granting voting rights for non-citizens in local elections
-facilitating naturalization
-reducing differences in rights between citizens and non-citizens
-avoiding asking those applying for naturalization to express convictions that are contrary to their reading of the history of their cultural community or nation.

Oh please - we do not disrespect Russians, it is all political rhetoric, which may or may not be true to a degree. Not having citizenship is not ethnic, nor is history ethnic. Any person who was citizen of USSR and isn't eligible for citizenship was granted non-citizenship, which gives them far more rights as being stateless would have. Any person who wants to become a citizen has to take the same tests. Now as for Russians - they themselves don't appear to know what they want. For one they wanted a referendum on having Russian as second language. Except they announced that they don't really want two languages. Rather the pro-Russian party was pissed that it didn't get in the government and wanted revenge. For me it somehow appears that it was their own fault, not discrimination on ethnic basis as they like to claim. And contrary to what they like to claim only 18% of people eligible to vote voted to have Russian as second language (while 53% voted against) which is even less than the number of Russian citizens, not to mention the number of citizens who are not Latvians. Thus, although it is possible to manipulate statistics in a way that it appears it was an ethnic vote, it actually wasn't. Despite the fact they still went ahead to request three things - the automatic citizenship thing I mentioned, that Russian language may be used to contact local government and (not sure if it comes from that party, but there is some talk about it) about granting Russian status of regional language in regions in which most people voted for. As for the citizenship thing - as I said it is a bit strange that they request what they already have been given. Secondly it is not true that communication with local government in Russian is currently impossible - the local governments may, and already do, communicate in Russian, the only requirement is that the relevant paperwork is done in Latvian as well. As far as the pro-Russian party in question is concerned their whole communication is absolute farce, can't decide if they are idiots or fans of this idea.

Now I don't really know if the party has been talking about giving Russian regional language status, but, since it actually makes some sense, I suspect it actually might be wet dream of people of Daugavpils. The thing with that is, though, that the region in question, being located along Latvian border with Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and formerly also Poland, is highly multi-ethnic. Latvians of Daugavpils seem concerned with the idea, because they already are having trouble communicating in Latvian and fear discrimination. And there are as many Poles as Latvians in Daugavpils to whom hardly anyone has asked what they think (the real tragedy with whole Russian thing is that no-one pays attention to other minorities which might actually be threatened) and also almost as many Belorussians, although I assume they might also be Russophones. Plus while Daugavpils is highly Russian nobody really knows what happens in the rest of region wherethe support for Russian wasn't as high.


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