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Thread: Pan - European - pro EU Democracy movement

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    Pan - European - pro EU Democracy movement

    Just a little fantasy I had while on the train up to Dublin this morning.

    Possibly student in nature.

    Basic ideology: EU is cool, but it is badly run and should be (more) democratic. Avoid debates on EU powers and state soveirgnty for universal appeal: Slogan of let the people decide on EU V State power.

    Can it be done? Should it be done? When should it be done? Pie?
    "Wise men talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something."
    -- Plato

    "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
    -- Thomas Paine

  2. #2
    fracas Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by wilted_laughter
    Basic ideology: EU is cool, but it is badly run and should be (more) democratic. Avoid debates on EU powers and state soveirgnty for universal appeal: Slogan of let the people decide on EU V State power.
    this doesn't sound very European. don't the neo-aristocrats run things?

    seriously though, are you asking about a federal europe vs a confederated europe? and instead of having the national governments decide have the people decide first, then craft the constitution accordingly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fracas
    this doesn't sound very European. don't the neo-aristocrats run things?
    Which is the problem

    Quote Originally Posted by fracas
    seriously though, are you asking about a federal europe vs a confederated europe? and instead of having the national governments decide have the people decide first, then craft the constitution accordingly?
    Eh? I'm talking about directly elected officials running the EU as oppossed to national governments and national governments appointees. See my "thoughts on how the EU should be run" thread.
    "Wise men talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something."
    -- Plato

    "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
    -- Thomas Paine

  4. #4
    fracas Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by wilted_laughter
    Eh? I'm talking about directly elected officials running the EU as oppossed to national governments and national governments appointees. See my "thoughts on how the EU should be run" thread.
    check
    but iirc the current eu constitution does not allow this does it? as the current set up is a confederation of nations instead of a federation of europeans.

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    Yes.

    I'm generally pro EU constitution though. I think it brings EU in a more federal direction.

    Federal institutions can still be limited in their power over national governments, what I want is political clarity and democratic accountability in the EU.
    "Wise men talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something."
    -- Plato

    "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
    -- Thomas Paine

  6. #6
    fracas Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by wilted_laughter
    Federal institutions can still be limited in their power over national governments, what I want is political clarity and democratic accountability in the EU.
    accountability is crucial otherwise the EU will be more like the UN.
    i agree with you on this though some others, like Eddie, won't. that indirect representation is good enough via your elected government.

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    Federal institutions can still be limited in their power over national governments
    If the US has shown us anything, it's that that is not the case. It may have taken some time for Washington to become like any other National Government - but the EU's constitution is nowhere near as tight, and its people nowhere near as resistant to centralisation and bureaucracy (As the Americans of 200 years ago were).

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    National Governments are elected primarily over domestic issues, and MEPS are elected as a show of support for government of opposition; with any real regard to EU policy.

    National Governments delegate law making power in the EU to unelected officials.

    It's just not democratic, the information available and input of citizens into the running of the EU is limited.

    Considering 60% of legislation going through the Irish legislature is from the EU, for example, this situation cannot be allowed to continue.

    The EU is exercising great influence over the lives of its citizens but it is not accountable to them.

    EDIT: Warseer: True, I agree. I believe the EU constitution will speed up the EU's slide into federalism. What I want is that process to be accountable to the electorate. Confederate institutions are inadequate for what is in practice a federal entity. But I do believe federal power can be checked (that is, its possible), that doesn't mean it will be, and that doesn't mean that's what I want.
    "Wise men talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something."
    -- Plato

    "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
    -- Thomas Paine

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    In my opinion, and this is a fairly recently conclusion, constraining a federal institution is "possible" only in the way it's possible I might beat Mike Tyson in a boxing match with both hands tied behind my back.

    It's also a mistake, in my view, to see democratic institutions as providing "accountability" in any positive sense. To be accountable to popular prejudices and sentiments isn't a particularly grand form of accountability.

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    There is a problem in that the right, certainly in Britain, doesn't like european wide elections precisely because it gives the EU legitimacy to overrule national governments, without the right being able to shout about being ruled by foreigners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Symbiote
    In my opinion, and this is a fairly recently conclusion, constraining a federal institution is "possible" only in the way it's possible I might beat Mike Tyson in a boxing match with both hands tied behind my back.
    My knowledge on this issue is fairly recent, with the same recent conclusion. I suppose that's part of the reason I advocate greater democracy, on reflection.

    The initial statement that I made wasn't really in that context that you rightly interpreted, perhaps it would have been better I said can be limited just as much as EU institutions (under the constitution) or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Symbiote
    It's also a mistake, in my view, to see democratic institutions as providing "accountability" in any positive sense. To be accountable to popular prejudices and sentiments isn't a particularly grand form of accountability.
    You don't have to tell me that. It's the best accountability we have.
    "Wise men talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something."
    -- Plato

    "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
    -- Thomas Paine

  12. #12
    fracas Guest
    what is up with this?
    The 732-assembly voted against tighter auditing control of their pensions payments and generous office allowance and refused to back a move to have their travel expenses reimbursed at cost value.

    Those opposing reform, led by a large lobby of French, Germans and Italians, also rejected the idea of publishing their expenses on the internet and imposing sanctions for those who disobey the rules.
    link

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fracas
    what is up with this?

    link
    Self serving bastards. You know... the usual drill
    Knowledge is power. Hide it well.

  14. #14
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    I am *shocked*
    "Wise men talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something."
    -- Plato

    "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
    -- Thomas Paine

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symbiote
    In my opinion, and this is a fairly recently conclusion, constraining a federal institution is "possible" only in the way it's possible I might beat Mike Tyson in a boxing match with both hands tied behind my back.
    It depends on the environment in which the state exists. Certainly technology has made it a lot easier to centralize authority.

    On the other hand, technology like the internet makes it easier to subvert and bypass it.

    Governments tend to seek more power over time. I don't think that's in dispute.

    The trick is how to limit that tendency.

    It's also a mistake, in my view, to see democratic institutions as providing "accountability" in any positive sense. To be accountable to popular prejudices and sentiments isn't a particularly grand form of accountability.
    It ain't pefect, but it's the best system we have.

    Are familiar with state laws regarding recalls and ballot initiatives?

    They are wonderful checks on government arrogance.

    Remember that the one of the things you want in government is an certain amount of inertia so that it takes forever to accomlish anything. Part of the problem with Europe is that most countries use a parliamentary system where if you have a majority, you get what you want, period.

    The American system is based on creating two of everything (bicameral) and even when the same party controls both, the contending egos ensure nothing gets done.

    Add in a wholly independent executive and a judiciary with delusions of grandeur and you're looking at a system optimized for gridlock.

    The final piece of the puzzle is that we created both state and federal versions of this, ensuring that nothing ever gets done anywhere with taking a huge amount of time and effort.

    As I was saying, the recall and ballot initiative are two practices that greatly limit the ability of elected officials to **** off their constituents with impunity.

    In Michigan, 20 years ago we had the Senate switch from Democrat to Republican control after a particularly unpopular tax hike. The people didn't have to wait for the next election: they recalled two Senators and flipped control of the body, sending a clear message and stopping further tax hikes.

    Even now, more than two decades later, politicians get really nervous when they hear that a recall petition is being circulated.

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