Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Why Europe Is Doomed...Again

This is quite possibly the most upfront anyone has ever been about the nature of the thinkers behind the European Union.

In her new book, Danish Liberal EU spokesperson Charlotte Antonsen questions the use of referenda as a useful way to build up European democracy.

The book - "Towards the European Constitution" warns that the EU could fall apart if the Danish practise of consulting the people in referenda over important EU treaties is copied by other member states.

"Referenda have a very conservative effect on development. If the other countries copy us, the EU will fall apart", she writes.

Mrs Antonsen, a member of the Danish Parliament for the ruling Liberal party, argues that representative democracy is just as democratic as referenda.

"Referenda are in fact pure gambling. There is no guarantee of a positive outcome, unfortunately".
Now, I'm not really a fan of referenda in general - as a tool it seems too unwieldy, and would come in a distant second to representative government - but Good Lord! This is a blatant dismissal of the democratic system! I refer you to USS Clueless [emphasis in original]:
Think about what she's saying here. These questions are far too important to trust to the voters to decide. We cannot do what we need if we consult them in order to find out what they really want.

"There's no guarantee of a positive outcome." You should never hold a referendum unless you can be sure ahead of time that it will result in approval.

You should not consult the people and actually let them decide because they choose the wrong answer.
Pardon me while I adjust my tote board on European Union intellectuals.
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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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