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The EU thread - Bigger clusterfuck than the States - Czech Update p6

zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
edited June 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
So, many may have heard already that Ireland's referendum bitchslapped the Treaty of Lisbon(the only country in the whole EU it seems, with legal system asking for its citizens' opinion on decisions that affect it's constitution).
There have been all kinds of articles on how the vote went & why was it negative etc.(nationalistic propaganda to the uneducated masses, fear that the country's internal policies would be directly under the influence of foreign nations etc). I'm not supplying any of those. Try Google and that's all you'll have for 10 pages.

Here is the article I'd like to discuss:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080614/ap_on_re_eu/europe_s_irish_setback
Spoiler:

First off, I'd have been in the NO camp. My position is that while many of the changes in the Treaty of Lisbon were positive(the human rights chart becoming a de jure European law?), others were pretty outrageous(especially the continued push for that fucking double majority EVERYWHERE).
However, I'd like to hear how do other "Europeans" feel. The push for unification in Europe on pretty much every single aspect of life is becoming stronger and stronger. It seems to me, that with the current structure of the EU, new & smaller members are left almost voiceless and if the integration continues, the "representative democracies" in those countries would soon be left with the very important role of making minor decisions regarding local financial policies, after receiving the nudge in the right direction, of course.
There seems to be a strong desire(at least in my opinion) in the European population to slow down the unification process and probably even reverse some of it's legal(or even economic) implications.

Why are people in different European countries fearful of each other(while staying respectful)? Is it because of uninformed opinion? Were those articles right? "uneducated mases, uneducated masses" lolz?

Do you agree with the current practice of not involving the population in major EU decisions, leaving that to the lawfully elected politicians & EU representatives? Is the cost of referendums a good enough reason to avoid them as much as possible?

How do you feel about the possibility that Ireland's vote would be largely ignored, the process will continue, and that at best reelections will be held until a positive vote is obtained?

Anything else that bothers you surrounding the EU.

This is either our EU love thread, or EU hate thread. Time will tell.

PS: Had to mention the States in the title, otherwise all them yanks would have totally ignored us.

Edit: edited a couple of typos, probably a zillion more left...

zeeny on
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Posts

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I love the idea of a more united Europe, but the existing EU as it is is deeply undemocratic, bureaucratically labyrinthine and corrupt.

  • Panda4YouPanda4You Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    zeeny wrote: »
    I love the idea of a more united Europe, but the existing EU as it is is deeply undemocratic, bureaucratically labyrinthine and corrupt.
    Why do you hate Europe, son?

    As I percieve it, government officials' tend to express themselves naively at best, and dishonestly at worst, about the intent of various EU-related machinations:
    "Federal army!? Shame on whoever even entertaining the thought! kekekeke!", just to name one thing.
    Also, two seats of parliament lol.

    "In this discussion of copyright it's actually appropriate to call it theft:
    This music is being (preemptively) removed from the public domain; it's being stolen from the people."
  • NoelVeigaNoelVeiga Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I just don't think we can move forward in this process unless we are all willing to go all in.

    I mean really all in, as in "giving up national governements" in. The OP is so right, we can't afford to consolidate a more powerful federal government for the EU without a direct democratic legitimation. As long as we're not prepared to work on a one-man-one-vote basis, there's no point in building up the Union.

    The real question is how do we get there? What does it take? How can we bring people to a place where they stop thinking in petty national terms about stuff and just work for the greater good? How do we erradicate nationalism in a continent where the UK isn't willing to open their borders fully and French farmers dump Spànish fruit trucks en route? How do we do any of this with the right on the government, pushing for a 65 hour a week work schedule and looking a Turkey sideways because they're not a Catholic country?

    Maybe what we need is twenty or thirty more years. We should really work on a common military policy and let our intervention in foreing affairs as an unit lead the European sentiment. I don't know.

    As for the consequences, it's all Bussels' fault. They've been building up this catastrophist mesage to push the Constitution and the Treaty. "Pass these or the Union will collapse". Bullshit. I voted yes on the Constitution, and even I can tell the nays are the most democratic thing to happen in the Union in a long, long while. They're proof that a) we're willing to vote and intervene as a group on the way we want things to be and b) we're not letting the bureaucrats and lobbyists in Brussels take us down whatever path they see fit (take notice, US).

    And, honestly, I don't see why the Union process should lead to us all having the same policies on abortion, gay marriage or anything else. The US does fine with non-federal criminal policies, I don't see why we couldn't work like that, too. We need basic human rights consensus and common economic and foreign affairs leadership, but that's about it.

    I do think we need a change of cycle before this can move forward. We need a mostly left-wing union to draft a mostly left-wing Constitution that right-wingers can pull their way after the fact, not the opposite. With a blue UE moving to cut rights to immigrants and workers you're gonna get a negative reaction from the base to any proposal, even if it's reasonable, just because there's a sort of democratic thirst out there. We want to pass judgement on Brussels, and we don't have a proper outlet for that. That's why referendums like the Irish one end up being about overall policy or national government support.

    But, hey, it's a great place to live, best in the world, we have the best human rights support and we should be the model for every other country out there. It's about time we start believing in it and defending it publicly.

    Nah, the Union won't break. There's no way we're turning back on the Euro or the common airspace or whatever else. That's the one good part of this modular administration we've built. Now cook up a Constitution with two chambers, one directly elected by the whole Union and I'm game for anything.

    Oh, and can we consider kicking Italy out if they don't get rid of that idiot Berlusconi? Damn, that was a stupid move.

  • QliphothQliphoth Registered User
    edited June 2008
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    As long as we're not prepared to work on a one-man-one-vote basis, there's no point in building up the Union.

    Would a one man one vote principle work in the EU? This would give far more representation to the countries with a large population and smaller countries would end up having their decisions made by people elected by the large countries. Though thats probably better than them not being democratically elected at all..

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • NoelVeigaNoelVeiga Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    As long as we're not prepared to work on a one-man-one-vote basis, there's no point in building up the Union.

    Would a one man one vote principle work in the EU? This would give far more representation to the countries with a large population and smaller countries would end up having their decisions made by people elected by the large countries. Though thats probably better than them not being democratically elected at all..

    So how is that different from larger regions having more power within countries? Why is that a bad thing? Isn't that the definition of democracy? That the majority gets to call the shots?

    See? That's why we're not ready, we still think of our home countries as units opposed to each other. That's not how you build a common, democratic government.

  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    As long as we're not prepared to work on a one-man-one-vote basis, there's no point in building up the Union.

    Would a one man one vote principle work in the EU? This would give far more representation to the countries with a large population and smaller countries would end up having their decisions made by people elected by the large countries. Though thats probably better than them not being democratically elected at all..

    So how is that different from larger regions having more power within countries? Why is that a bad thing? Isn't that the definition of democracy? That the majority gets to call the shots?

    See? That's why we're not ready, we still think of our home countries as units opposed to each other. That's not how you build a common, democratic government.

    Well it's a pretty idea, but the reality is that the smaller countries would effectively become vassal states to the big ones, because Germany alone could out-vote an entire voting bloc of smaller countries. There are major cultural and religious divides within Europe; many people feel that people from very different origins shouldn't be making decisions for them. For example, the Nordic countries are highly secular nations with a strong emphasis on environmental issues, social security and education. In these areas our standards are much higher than most of the rest of Europe (aside from Spain whose healthcare efficiency is equal to Sweden, apparently), so we're understandably a bit wary about letting EU legislation overrule ours.

    I voted Yes when we originally joined EU, but I'd vote for leaving the union now if possible. We're paying for a gargantuan, byzantine entity that restricts our sovereignty, yet has utterly failed to explain to its people why and how its existence is a good thing.

    MSL59.jpg
  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    As long as we're not prepared to work on a one-man-one-vote basis, there's no point in building up the Union.

    Would a one man one vote principle work in the EU? This would give far more representation to the countries with a large population and smaller countries would end up having their decisions made by people elected by the large countries. Though thats probably better than them not being democratically elected at all..

    So how is that different from larger regions having more power within countries? Why is that a bad thing? Isn't that the definition of democracy? That the majority gets to call the shots?

    See? That's why we're not ready, we still think of our home countries as units opposed to each other. That's not how you build a common, democratic government.

    Its the same train of thought that has the US having electoral votes from the states that represent their various sizes but not perfectly - more populous states have a larger say than the smaller ones do, but the smaller ones do still need to be able to make their voices heard - especially in something like the EU where we're talking seperate nations rather than just different regions within the same country.

    Can't see why there isn't a more democratic way of voting for MEPs, other than just voting for the party to you want to send someone. The biggest impact it would have would be to give the EU better connections to the voters, which would lessen some of the larger issues with it at the moment - the people don't trust them, so the politicians seem to think they need to trick or get around the people to get anything done, which just reinforces the disconnect felt by the people because no one listens to them and the politicians are corrupt.

    That said, you also need some serious anti-corruption rules and enforcement - it really needs to be stressed that this isn't acceptable and 'business as usual' that it seems to be in some countries.

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    As long as we're not prepared to work on a one-man-one-vote basis, there's no point in building up the Union.

    Would a one man one vote principle work in the EU? This would give far more representation to the countries with a large population and smaller countries would end up having their decisions made by people elected by the large countries. Though thats probably better than them not being democratically elected at all..

    So how is that different from larger regions having more power within countries? Why is that a bad thing? Isn't that the definition of democracy? That the majority gets to call the shots?

    See? That's why we're not ready, we still think of our home countries as units opposed to each other. That's not how you build a common, democratic government.

    Oh, it's different, alright. A nation is a community based on common historical heritage, similar if somehow different belief system and in most cases sharing a language.(simplified definition, I know). In most cases tolerating the opinion of people you share a bond as compatriots with is a lot easier, as you simply can not dispute their right to participate in the government of the country.
    However, having your vote basically nullified by the population of a country that is 10x the size of yours, have different cultural beliefs, are unable to communicate with you and in many cases of the EU have enough historical disputes with state X in the past to make some people still feel awkward? No thanks.
    My position wasn't that 1 vote = 1 man is even remotely good for the EU. My position was that double majority is a fucking BS exactly because of the population requirement. I'd sure like to see the citizens of the member states have a bigger say in EU's decisions, but if it comes to EU wide voting counting total votes, then Ger, Ita, Fra, UK, Spain & Poland may directly let us know what they've decided so we can save some money, mkay?

  • RhakaRhaka Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    When the EU Constitution came up for referendum in Holland several years ago, I voted no, because the document is a bloated piece of shit that basically requires a PhD to understand. I'm not very comfortable with the foundations of my government being buried in a layer of legalese shit.

    That said, I am all for a united European government and reducing the power of individual nations, as long as smaller nations like my own are still able to get a say in matters.

  • NoelVeigaNoelVeiga Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    zeeny wrote: »
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    As long as we're not prepared to work on a one-man-one-vote basis, there's no point in building up the Union.

    Would a one man one vote principle work in the EU? This would give far more representation to the countries with a large population and smaller countries would end up having their decisions made by people elected by the large countries. Though thats probably better than them not being democratically elected at all..

    So how is that different from larger regions having more power within countries? Why is that a bad thing? Isn't that the definition of democracy? That the majority gets to call the shots?

    See? That's why we're not ready, we still think of our home countries as units opposed to each other. That's not how you build a common, democratic government.

    Oh, it's different, alright. A nation is a community based on common historical heritage, similar if somehow different belief system and in most cases sharing a language.(simplified definition, I know). In most cases tolerating the opinion of people you share a bond as compatriots with is a lot easier, as you simply can not dispute their right to participate in the government of the country.
    However, having your vote basically nullified by the population of a country that is 10x the size of yours, have different cultural beliefs, are unable to communicate with you and in many cases of the EU have enough historical disputes with state X in the past to make some people still feel awkward? No thanks.
    My position wasn't that 1 vote = 1 man is even remotely good for the EU. My position was that double majority is a fucking BS exactly because of the population requirement. I'd sure like to see the citizens of the member states have a bigger say in EU's decisions, but if it comes to EU wide voting counting total votes, then Ger, Ita, Fra, UK, Spain & Poland may directly let us know what they've decided so we can save some money, mkay?

    Congratulations, you've officially reduced European politics to the Eurovision festival. Good job.

    Seriously, though, it's not countries voting, damnit, we need to get that through our collective thick skulls. It's people. Don't give me patriotic crap about "common past hertiage". Leave the flag-wrapping to the Americans.

    10% of our population in Spain now are first generation immigrants. One out of ten people sitting in the subway with me every day come from a different background. My region has its own language in Spain, and so do two others, and there are strong independentist movements in at least three major areas. We still vote as a single country, one man, one vote.

    Let's just do the same. Let's accept that some people will need to make sacrifices for the common good.

    And it's not just that I'm Spanish, either. Here's a common area in which Spaniards are idiots: We got into the union in 89, struggling to overcome the leftover structural deficit from the dictatorship (ended in 78) and facing worldwide economical crisis. We received billions of german and french money to build a modern infrastructure system, full with high speed trains, new airports, roads and highways.

    Now the Eastern Europeans hopped in, suddenly we've bounced back to the 8th position in the worldwide economic ranking and my country full of egotistical idiots is fighting like hell to keep receiving money or, at least, not have to give any.

    How stupid is that? Let's do for Poland what Germany did for us. Let's help them build better roads, creating new jobs in the process, so they stop coming here looking for it, like we stopped going to Germany and South America, and create new markets for our products, which will sell better there because we won't have to pay as many taxes, since we're all in the UE.

    But no, it's not politically correct to be a Spanish politician and say "you know what? We have to give these people money so they can catch up". It's seen as a national failure, as unpatriotic.

    And that's why this good idea isn't working out, I guess. People are still just too stupid. As I said, maybe we can change our minds if they give us a few decades. I honestly hope so.

  • Run Run RunRun Run Run __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2008
    Well, the EU will eventually become stronger.
    But with all good things it takes a significant amount of time.
    Give it another 2-3 generations of people having grown up in the EU, many of the old school nationalists having died off, and things will look much brighter.


    What cracks me up the most about people who are sceptical about the EU is that they are actually only hurting themselves.
    Only a unfied Europe is strong enough to compete economically worldwide.
    I say we should make an experiment. Let a major nay-sayer, like for example the British, leave the EU. Just for 15-20 years.
    And then check up on them again. I'm honestly curious about how far they'd dwindle down into political and economical insignificants


    I love the irony that Germany, the by far richest country in the Union, and the one that would have the greatest chanche of actually succeeding when independent, is the most pro EU country and keeps on pumping billions into other nations so that they can prosper too.

    Nah, I'm not bitter.

    kissing.jpg
  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Well, the EU will eventually become stronger.
    But with all good things it takes a significant amount of time.
    Give it another 2-3 generations of people having grown up in the EU, many of the old school nationalists having died off, and things will look much brighter.


    What cracks me up the most about people who are sceptical about the EU is that they are actually only hurting themselves.
    Only a unfied Europe is strong enough to compete economically worldwide.
    I say we should make an experiment. Let a major nay-sayer, like for example the British, leave the EU. Just for 15-20 years.
    And then check up on them again. I'd be honestly curious about how far they'd dwindle down into political and economical insignificants


    I love the irony that Germany, the by far richest country in the Union, and the one that would have the greatest chanche of actually succeeding when independent, is the most pro EU country and keeps on pumping billions into other nations so that they can prosper too.

    Nah, I'm not bitter.

    Norway decided to stay out and they're still doing fine.

    MSL59.jpg
  • EchoEcho staring is caring Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited June 2008
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Norway decided to stay out and they're still doing fine.

    The progress promised to Sweden by joining EU happened to Norway instead.

  • Run Run RunRun Run Run __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2008
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Norway decided to stay out and they're still doing fine.

    Norway has oil. Lots of oil. That's what makes them rich.
    And political they are still very light weight.

    kissing.jpg
  • BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User
    edited June 2008
    First off, I might as well say I'm essentially pro-EU, pro-federal/confederal government eventually, pro-social democracy, pro-Lisbon Treaty, and I was pro-Constitution.

    The EU has plenty of problems, but to some degree the problem is one of PR, which I think the Lisbon Treaty (and the Constitution) has been the victim of. Over the years there have been numerous anti-EU stories (at least in the UK) which, despite being usually inaccurate and propagated by people who don't like the EU inherently, are sort of absorbed by people who then gradually build up a sense that the EU's a bad thing. Some of the weirder stories we've had have included getting rid of national football teams (what the hell?) and the banning of non-straight bananas. I don't want to sound condescending, but I think some of the negativity is down to the ignorant masses thing. Of which I'm a part, I know.

    I think a lot of the anti-EU stuff could be dealt with by having EU institutions try to interact directly with the population, in the same way we have national leaders in the news all the time. They've done this kind of already - you see "this project was part-funded by the EU" signs in places like trainstations and housing estates (I think) from time to time. Also, probably getting us to vote on more stuff - we vote for the Parliament already, maybe arrange for the Council (which I think is made up of national representatives relevant to whatever the Council is dealing with at the time) or Commission (which is made up of national representatives appointed by the governments for so many years). That'd at least stop the claim that it wasn't democratic. It theory.

    Another problem is the governments' attitude to the EU. They want to shape it how they want every so many years to patch it up in some way, instead of really looking at it and overhauling it like it probably needs. It's essentially evolved over decades, and has changed radically even since the EU was formed in '92. It really needs to be designed again from the ground-up to be a quasi-confederation like it is now and like it's going to become more like in future. Instead, the Treaty and Constitution (I admittedly understand neither fully) seem to have been attempts to patch up the problems.

    Incidentally, the EU has and continues to be a largely positive force in Europe. It was created as an attempt to stop France and Germany fighting again, which as long as it exists it will continue to do, it's vastly improved and strengthened the economies of every member nation, it's done an excellent job of encouraging a quick transition to democracy in Iberia, Eastern Europe, and it continues to positively influence potential member states into reducing corruption and improving their democracies and civil rights.

    I agree with Noel completely about the "we should stick to our own" nonsense, Europeans can get on spectacularly well when we're not being jackasses to each other for no reason. Britain and France pretty much hate each other, even though we've been stuck together throughout history, been allies for over a century and have had incredibly similar histories since WW2 (collapse of colonial empires, economic problems, dealing with making a new place for ourselves in the world, etc.)

    Or look at the French and Germans - the precursor to the EU was created to stop them killing each other in some other war because they just couldn't get along. Now as far as the British media's concerned, they're in a joint conspiracy against us. 60 years after they were at each other's throats, which they'd been doing for centuries, they're considered the best friends in the EU. Really, that says a lot about how much nationalism matters.

  • NoelVeigaNoelVeiga Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Echo wrote: »
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Norway decided to stay out and they're still doing fine.

    The progress promised to Sweden by joining EU happened to Norway instead.

    Did you guys miss the part where I spoke about how Spain went from third world dictatorship to world's 8th largest economy in 20 years? The economimc benefits of smaller or underdeveloped countries are out of the question, as long as the cooperation funds remain in place.

    Economy isn't the problem here. It's never have been. It's everything else that we need to work out.

  • BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Norway decided to stay out and they're still doing fine.

    They have special deals with the EU to let them do that. They get the economic benefits but without being able to have any say in the EU. Switzerland too. They could both, in theory, be screwed over by the EU and not be able to do anything about it. Not going to happen, but they could. Also neither get EU subsidies, which is more of an issue for countries in the east which need lots of investment quick. I think they might both be in Schengen, too.

    At any rate, they're benefitting from the EU's existence, even if they aren't participating fully

    edit:
    Oh, additionally, I wouldn't mind seeing an EU with more focus on the society and people rather than enabling corporations. Sure, that can be important too, but it should be of secondary importance

  • BogartBogart MR. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Yes, there are plenty of people in the UK opposed to any further development of the EU because lol foreigners, but plenty more object to development while the EU is corrupt, unaccountable, unelected and resolutely opposed to anything that would result in unfavourable changes for the biggest and most heavyweight members.

    The reaction of some states to Ireland rejecting the treaty is one reason so few people trust the EU. Reject the treaty? OK, we'll try and ignore your democratic vote and then engage in some legal chicanery down the road to do it anyway because fuck you get with the program.

    The EU has brought huge benefits to many (all, even) members, but it's also in dire need of reform, and I think many people simply aren't willing to put reform off before we extend its power any more.

  • NoelVeigaNoelVeiga Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Bogart wrote: »
    Yes, there are plenty of people in the UK opposed to any further development of the EU because lol foreigners, but plenty more object to development while the EU is corrupt, unaccountable, unelected and resolutely opposed to anything that would result in unfavourable changes for the biggest and most heavyweight members.

    The reaction of some states to Ireland rejecting the treaty is one reason so few people trust the EU. Reject the treaty? OK, we'll try and ignore your democratic vote and then engage in some legal chicanery down the road to do it anyway because fuck you get with the program.

    The EU has brought huge benefits to many (all, even) members, but it's also in dire need of reform, and I think many people simply aren't willing to put reform off before we extend its power any more.

    I totally agree.

    The pro or con union divide, though, is between the people who know this and hope it will be fixed and we'll move on and the people who are happy this is true so the union is paralyzed.

    Not even the EU itself denies its need for reform, hence the Constitutional attempts. The problem is you need accountability first, then make the Constitution. They're doing it backwards.

  • EchoEcho staring is caring Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited June 2008
    Yep, the lack of accountability is why I'm opposed to the EU in its current state. Give me a way to vote morons out of office when they suggest stupid stuff and I'm all for it.

    As it is now, there are a lot of people going "a bunch of unaccountable people in a far away country deciding shit for me" about it.

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    NoelVeiga wrote: »
    As long as we're not prepared to work on a one-man-one-vote basis, there's no point in building up the Union.

    Would a one man one vote principle work in the EU? This would give far more representation to the countries with a large population and smaller countries would end up having their decisions made by people elected by the large countries. Though thats probably better than them not being democratically elected at all..

    So how is that different from larger regions having more power within countries? Why is that a bad thing? Isn't that the definition of democracy? That the majority gets to call the shots?

    See? That's why we're not ready, we still think of our home countries as units opposed to each other. That's not how you build a common, democratic government.

    Oh, it's different, alright. A nation is a community based on common historical heritage, similar if somehow different belief system and in most cases sharing a language.(simplified definition, I know). In most cases tolerating the opinion of people you share a bond as compatriots with is a lot easier, as you simply can not dispute their right to participate in the government of the country.
    However, having your vote basically nullified by the population of a country that is 10x the size of yours, have different cultural beliefs, are unable to communicate with you and in many cases of the EU have enough historical disputes with state X in the past to make some people still feel awkward? No thanks.
    My position wasn't that 1 vote = 1 man is even remotely good for the EU. My position was that double majority is a fucking BS exactly because of the population requirement. I'd sure like to see the citizens of the member states have a bigger say in EU's decisions, but if it comes to EU wide voting counting total votes, then Ger, Ita, Fra, UK, Spain & Poland may directly let us know what they've decided so we can save some money, mkay?

    Congratulations, you've officially reduced European politics to the Eurovision festival. Good job.

    Seriously, though, it's not countries voting, damnit, we need to get that through our collective thick skulls. It's people. Don't give me patriotic crap about "common past hertiage". Leave the flag-wrapping to the Americans.

    Do you actually have a counter argument about why 1 vote = 1 man is a good idea and how does it help currently small countries to keep their political autonomy or is it just a pity pseudo retort "patriotism patriotism lol" & a bunch of irrelevant fallacies?
    On the second part of your post, your idea about how Europe is, simply does not reflect the truth. There is 0 sense of kinship between many of the countries, their problems are not the same, their priorities are not the same, there beliefs are not the same. The fear that a reform could be imposed externally was a pocket ace for the opposition in the Ireland vote. How again, do you see 1 man 1 vote helping the case?
    You also seem to put economical interest as a priority no 1. Sorry, while the EU may eventually be a good thing for all the currently underdeveloped economies, its reach is going further than that and the results for the citizens of those same countries are not that obviously beneficial.

  • BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Bogart wrote: »
    snip

    I'm not sure I have your faith that most people who don't like the EU do so on a rational basis. I think a lot - most - of it does come down to xenophobia and this idea that we don't want Frogs making decisions for us (ignoring the fact we have an equal amount of decision making as the French). Every time I hear someone complain about the EU, it seems to come down to them disliking the EU inherently - they want to get out of the EU rather than improve it, and their complaints they see as causes to leave. I think some of it definitely comes down to, as I said before, horribly wrong stories about how the EU's screwing us in some nonsensical way.

    I really think if the governments of the EU bothered selling the idea of the EU and what they're trying to do, there'd be a lot less negativity. The Lisbon Treaty is essentially designed primarily to make the EU more functional, so what're people voting against? Scaremongering, near as I can tell. On the other hand, the governments are doing a shabby job of trying to solve the problems, and this Sarkozy "just ignore the Irish" argument is disgusting.

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Bogart wrote: »
    snip

    I'm not sure I have your faith that most people who don't like the EU do so on a rational basis. I think a lot - most - of it does come down to xenophobia and this idea that we don't want Frogs making decisions for us (ignoring the fact we have an equal amount of decision making as the French). Every time I hear someone complain about the EU, it seems to come down to them disliking the EU inherently - they want to get out of the EU rather than improve it, and their complaints they see as causes to leave. I think some of it definitely comes down to, as I said before, horribly wrong stories about how the EU's screwing us in some nonsensical way.

    Exactly, but if you want to progress, you have to address this before moving on, otherwise you'll just keep getting results like the Ireland vote. Those are fears that could be stamped upon with the right political moves & reforms.

  • BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Echo wrote: »
    Yep, the lack of accountability is why I'm opposed to the EU in its current state. Give me a way to vote morons out of office when they suggest stupid stuff and I'm all for it.

    As it is now, there are a lot of people going "a bunch of unaccountable people in a far away country deciding shit for me" about it.

    Accountability and lack of corruption are great, but it's not exactly the EU that is the only one with these problems. A corrupt war criminal was the UK PM for years, he left office and is now getting high-paid jobs in the commercial sector. Berlusconi is a fascist and a criminal for Christ's sake, and he just got voted back in. The EU's problem is that it is somewhat inefficient in an attempt to look like it's serving everyone. Having two physical Parliaments, for example. Not like people are getting pay-offs from Halliburton to let them continue taking taxpayer money for doing essentially nothing.
    zeeny wrote: »
    Exactly, but if you want to progress, you have to address this before moving on, otherwise you'll just keep getting results like the Ireland vote. Those are fears that could be stamped upon with the right political moves & reforms.

    Those are fears that could be stamped out with good governance *and* good PR. People in the UK read blatant lies in the Sun and Daily Mail and get filled with indignation at whatever's not really happening. That needs to be combatted before anyone'll be in favour of the EU. It's an easier battle in places like France and Ireland, I suppose, where they're traditionally pro-EU anyway.

    The thing is, the Consitution and Lisbon Treaty were at least attempts at some sort of reform and they were still rejected. Maybe people thought they were the wrong sort of reforms (me too, to some extent) but largely people were ignorant about them (you know, like everyone) - which wasn't necessarily their fault

  • BogartBogart MR. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Bogart wrote: »
    snip

    I'm not sure I have your faith that most people who don't like the EU do so on a rational basis. I think a lot - most - of it does come down to xenophobia and this idea that we don't want Frogs making decisions for us (ignoring the fact we have an equal amount of decision making as the French). Every time I hear someone complain about the EU, it seems to come down to them disliking the EU inherently - they want to get out of the EU rather than improve it, and their complaints they see as causes to leave. I think some of it definitely comes down to, as I said before, horribly wrong stories about how the EU's screwing us in some nonsensical way.

    I'm not sure I have your faith that most people who don't like the EU do so on a irrational basis.

    Plenty do, I'm sure, but to shrug off criticism because 'most of it' comes from xenophobia is pretty patronising. It isn't just white van man who's narked at the EU. The EU has huge problems within itself it needs to sort out, but it appears utterly resistant to these reforms and we seem to have no leverage with which to force them to do so. Are we supposed to simply take it on faith that reform is coming and in the meantime do as we're told and ratify whatever treaty is put in front of us?

  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I really think if the governments of the EU bothered selling the idea of the EU and what they're trying to do, there'd be a lot less negativity.

    Yes. Over the years I've gone from EU enthusiast to a bit of a disgruntled cynic, but I'd attribute at least half of the blame to governments rather than the EU itself. And the media too, although I suspect part of the reason for the lack of informative EU-related news coverage is that even expert political journalists have a hard time figuring out what's going on.

    I don't think it's fair to call anti-EU people stupid when the union hasn't done a damn thing to make its intricacies even remotely understandable or accessible to the common man. People quite naturally distrust what they don't understand, and I'd rather give the "stupid" label to the elitist view that such reactions are irrational and primitive and therefore can and should be ignored. There's a strong movement to advance the union without regard to any kind of democracy in the process, party because "voters don't understand what they're voting on so they shouldn't vote at all". I think this is wrong, and in worst case scenario, dangerous. The history of Europe is full of incidents where governments ignore the people and end up being overthrown; you'd think France of all countries would still remember that lesson.

    MSL59.jpg
  • TubeTube Says some shit Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited June 2008
    Not to state the obvious, but who gives a shit about Ireland?

  • BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Not to state the obvious, but who gives a shit about Ireland?

    Zombie Oliver Cromwell?

    Pre-'21 Britain?
    Bogart wrote: »
    I'm not sure I have your faith that most people who don't like the EU do so on a irrational basis.

    Plenty do, I'm sure, but to shrug off criticism because 'most of it' comes from xenophobia is pretty patronising. It isn't just white van man who's narked at the EU. The EU has huge problems within itself it needs to sort out, but it appears utterly resistant to these reforms and we seem to have no leverage with which to force them to do so. Are we supposed to simply take it on faith that reform is coming and in the meantime do as we're told and ratify whatever treaty is put in front of us?

    Based on my experience, I rarely hear constructive criticism from from people who aren't actually pro-EU. Most criticism comes from UKIP types who boil down their arguments to we are giving money to them, and they are telling us what to do. Without any reasoning behind it. The example of having two Parliaments I mentioned earlier would be an entirely legitimate complaint, for example. I've never heard another person mention it specifically. It's not so much that there's wasted money, it's that we're giving the EU money at all. Or the whole "insert weird anti-EU myth here" thing

    I don't think it's patronising to say that it boils down to xenophobia because that's exactly what I encounter. I've criticized the EU in this thread myself - there's nothing wrong with criticism, it's just I rarely see any criticism that I feel is legitimate.

    And how're we supposed to reform the EU when half the population doesn't know and doesn't want to know about it? Really, UKIP doesn't want reform, it wants dissolution. Or for the UK to get as far away as possible. Not conducive to reform
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Yes. Over the years I've gone from EU enthusiast to a bit of a disgruntled cynic, but I'd attribute at least half of the blame to governments rather than the EU itself. And the media too, although I suspect part of the reason for the lack of informative EU-related news coverage is that even expert political journalists have a hard time figuring out what's going on.

    I don't think it's fair to call anti-EU people stupid when the union hasn't done a damn thing to make its intricacies even remotely understandable or accessible to the common man. People quite naturally distrust what they don't understand, and I'd rather give the "stupid" label to the elitist view that such reactions are irrational and primitive and therefore can and should be ignored. There's a strong movement to advance the union without regard to any kind of democracy in the process, party because "voters don't understand what they're voting on so they shouldn't vote at all". I think this is wrong, and in worst case scenario, dangerous. The history of Europe is full of incidents where governments ignore the people and end up being overthrown; you'd think France of all countries would still remember that lesson.

    I didn't call anti-EU people stupid, I said they were largely ignorant xenophobes. There's a difference. And I readily admit I'm just as ignorant, I think a lot of people are. And I agree, and have said that the EU fails consistently to promote itself to the people it represents.

    Remember, though, that this idea circumventing the population of the EU isn't something wrong the EU itself but with the governments that have been negotiating this stuff. The EU as an entity is beholden to the governments that are involved. This is something governments do all the time, as well - sometimes it seems legitimate, sometimes not. The idea that the EU isn't democratic because the people aren't voting on everything ignores the fact that 27 democratically elected governments are the ones participating.

    And... you're seriously suggesting people might start revolting because they get the Lisbon Treaty forced on them? It's not like they'll be getting forced into concentration camps.

  • NoelVeigaNoelVeiga Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    zeeny wrote: »
    Do you actually have a counter argument about why 1 vote = 1 man is a good idea and how does it help currently small countries to keep their political autonomy or is it just a pity pseudo retort "patriotism patriotism lol" & a bunch of irrelevant fallacies?
    On the second part of your post, your idea about how Europe is, simply does not reflect the truth. There is 0 sense of kinship between many of the countries, their problems are not the same, their priorities are not the same, there beliefs are not the same. The fear that a reform could be imposed externally was a pocket ace for the opposition in the Ireland vote. How again, do you see 1 man 1 vote helping the case?
    You also seem to put economical interest as a priority no 1. Sorry, while the EU may eventually be a good thing for all the currently underdeveloped economies, its reach is going further than that and the results for the citizens of those same countries are not that obviously beneficial.

    I hate repeating myself.

    Are you aware that in my country there are several major parties advocating independence for ther regions?

    Are you aware that there is at least one terrorist organization here killing people in pursuit of independence?

    How much "sense of kinship" do you think those people have? Some of them would kill me for speaking like this. Literally kill me. I doubt that kind of animosity exists between Belgium and Poland, frankly.

    But still we vote and all our votes count the same (well, sort of, they count whatever the D'Hont system says they count).

    That's called democracy.

    What protects the smaller regions from abuse?

    Well there's a senate. Senates are meant to do that.

    Then, there's a Constitution. It sets the rules of the game so nobody can abuse the minorities. One of the things it sets up is a Senate.

    That's how it works. That's why I said the accountability needs to come first, then the Constitution, then the direct electoral system.

    You seem to be arguing for two opposite things at once. You argue for a more democratic, socially responsible EU, and then you argue against people choosing their leaders directly. So, which is it? More democracy or less?

    As for your skepticism about the economic virtues of the UE... just name me one country that has taken an economic hit from it. Germany had to put money, and so did France and other large countries, but the whole principle behind the economic treaties in the UE is building up the smaller countries so they end up supporting the whole economic system. It's one of the few things in life that makes corporations and poor countries happy at the same time.

    It's helped the Mediterranean countries already. Come back in five years and ask the Eastern countries what they think about it. Sure, some policies have been misguided. They should have never dismantled agriculture in the south to the extent they did, which would have helped with the food crisis and provided a way out from the real state crash. But, overall, we're better off than we'd be without the Union. By far.

    I'm far more concerned about the EU attempting to cut or undermine rights, potentially creating conflicts between national Constitutions and EU directives. THAT could take the whole thing apart. We're already questioning the harsher legislation against immigrants in Spain and opposing some of their labor proposals. That one could get ugly.

  • KartanKartan Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    A pity I saw this thread so late...



    Tube: the EU gives a shit about Ireland. If its laws require every state to agree to a treaty, and one doesn't, that is spelled "critical failure".

    I have to say, when I first heard about Ireland voting against the treaty, I was...angered. Angered that the irish (obviously) didn't understand the importance, that they (obviously) wanted to continue with a paralyzed europe etc. But on the other hand, pulling some legal back door maneuver and simply overruling the irish is a no-go, as is "vote until you agree".

    I think the problem is that the EU comes across as a project of the ruling elite (whoever that may be) working together with the big buisness to reate a capitalist wonderland. To be fair, the EC kinda was (besides keeping the french and the germans from killing each other again). People don't realize what exactly the EU means to them. They don't notice (or don't remember) that they can pay with the Euro in many countries, that they don't have to show their passport when crossing borders, that they can (theoretically) work in any EU member state, as well as import goods and services from any EU member, without paying customs.
    On the other hand, a lot of the criticism is well founded. The european parliament is essentially a tiger without teeth. An institution where national politicians go when they fail on the national stage, because there, they won't have anything to say. Funnily enough, the Lisbon treaty was supposed to change that.


    With the failure of this treaty, the EU is, in my opinion in a critical state. You can't hope to run anything with 27 members when everyone has a vote and things only pass if everyone votes for it, especially when you are talking to even more countries about joining. The EU NEEDS a reform, post haste. The lines of conflict for the 21st century are being drawn right now,. Russia is getting back on its feet, China is surging, India is right behind it, and with due respect to our american hosts and collegues, the world needs another democratic superpower. Unless we get our shit together soon, we run the danger of becoming "that peninsula of asia, something with e or so". And if given the prospect of yet another constitution/treaty/reform/whathaveyou marathon, taking years to finish and a PhD to understand, with the same risk of being shot down somehwere along the line, I do wonder if it is not time to pull the ultra-radical option and call for an election for a national assembly, to unify at least part of the current EU into a sovereign state.

  • BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Kartan wrote: »
    A pity I saw this thread so late...

    snip

    It was started 11 hours ago and we're on page 2, you're not late

    I agree largely with what you're saying, especially the stuff I haven't mentioned yet about the importance of the EU in the future. Countries like France and Britain will become increasingly irrelevant and easy to ignore with giants like India and China (not to mention smaller potential powers and a more assertive Russia) growing, as well as an increasingly insecure US we need to try to calm down. The EU could work well in favour of all of our interests for the future with a kind of confederation system at least. I doubt it'll ever become a full nation state - what would we do with various monarchs?

  • CuddlyCuteKittenCuddlyCuteKitten Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I think the funniest bit by far is that most of the naysayers base their decision on the fact that the new treaty (or the constitution) "requires a PhD to understand".

    I once studied law in Sweden and EU law was what made me reconsider and choose to be a dentist instead. I've read the current treaties and the constitution and I can safely say that the later is far easier to understand and make sense of.

    I think it's just that they made it as simple as they could and people could at least get a good enough understanding of it to totally misinterpret it instead of the current situation where no one understands it at all.

    The second funniest thing with the naysayers is that they feel that the new treaty will limit their countries say in the EU while in reality it actually strengthens smaller countries and the population at large by making Parliament at least some kind of factor.
    But most people can only understand what happens with the new treaty and fail to realise that it's an improvement. Instead they block it and demand something more without realisign that EU's current capacity of reform isn't up to such a task. But hey, why take it in small steady paces when you can bitch and whine?

    The third thing that amuses me is that naysayers complain about red tape while voting against a treaty that is specifically designed to remove red tape and make the process more efficient and more transparent. Seriously, who today realise why, where, when and what really happens in the EU bureaucracy? I certainly don't and I got a top grade in EU law before I left law school

    The fourth amusing thing is that democracy works because people realise that they can't understand everything required to make decisions for a country and instead elect officials that are supposed to get informed about the issues at hand and then make good decisions for them.
    This works fine as long as the issues are fairly simple and easy to understand like fishing quotas and new taxes.
    But as soon as it's about a document that you really can't understand you can't trust your elected officials who probably have a lot more means to get what it's really about and instead everyone has to make the decision.

    And yes I know about half of the Irish parliament didn't even read the 227 pages. Why would they? It's not like you get anything out of it if you’re not an expert on treaty law. The way it's supposed to work is that you send it to the judicial committee where representatives from all parties who are interested in that kind of thing have oodles of lawyers to help them understand the thing. They then sit down and make suggestions to their party leadership on how shit works and a decision is formed.

    waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaow - Felicia, SPFT2:T
  • Cynic JesterCynic Jester Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Norway decided to stay out and they're still doing fine.

    They have special deals with the EU to let them do that. They get the economic benefits but without being able to have any say in the EU. Switzerland too. They could both, in theory, be screwed over by the EU and not be able to do anything about it. Not going to happen, but they could. Also neither get EU subsidies, which is more of an issue for countries in the east which need lots of investment quick. I think they might both be in Schengen, too.

    At any rate, they're benefitting from the EU's existence, even if they aren't participating fully

    edit:
    Oh, additionally, I wouldn't mind seeing an EU with more focus on the society and people rather than enabling corporations. Sure, that can be important too, but it should be of secondary importance

    I know Norway is part of the Scengen Treaty, I'm pretty sure Switzerland is too. As it stands, Norway going into the EU would be a pretty retarded idea, as we have an incredible source of income due to oil, and little to nothing to gain from joining. We get the economic advantages we need thanks to trade treaties and any political advantages would be eclipsed by the losses we'd incur. Barring any special incentives(Oil money stays in Norway, etc), I can't see Norway joining any time soon.

  • NATIKNATIK Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I personally oppose EU for one single reason, it is way to anti democratic and capitalistic to me. I am a pure socialist and a member of Socialistisk folkeparti (socialist peoples party in danish), about 50% of the party is anti EU, the official party stance changes between for and against every so often.

    I have no illusions that we could make EU more socialist since most of europe is liberal or social-liberal, which just isn't enough for me, it is much easier to get Denmark to be socialist (the danish people are inherently very socialist) then to convince practically every other nation in EU to be.

    I do love the idea of EU, but given the political orientation of the major players in the project I can't support it, it would create an insurmountable liberal powerblock that it would be stupid to help set in place as a socialist.

    steam_sig.png
  • edited June 2008
    Kartan wrote: »
    A pity I saw this thread so late...

    snip

    It was started 11 hours ago and we're on page 2, you're not late

    I agree largely with what you're saying, especially the stuff I haven't mentioned yet about the importance of the EU in the future. Countries like France and Britain will become increasingly irrelevant and easy to ignore with giants like India and China (not to mention smaller potential powers and a more assertive Russia) growing, as well as an increasingly insecure US we need to try to calm down. The EU could work well in favour of all of our interests for the future with a kind of confederation system at least. I doubt it'll ever become a full nation state - what would we do with various monarchs?

    While I agree with the view that their perceived power will decrease, until they relinquish their UN Security Council places you can't ignore them by any general measure.

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2008
    Echo wrote: »
    Yep, the lack of accountability is why I'm opposed to the EU in its current state. Give me a way to vote morons out of office when they suggest stupid stuff and I'm all for it.

    As it is now, there are a lot of people going "a bunch of unaccountable people in a far away country deciding shit for me" about it.

    You realize of course that the second paragraph applies perfectly to what Ireland just did as well, right? So someone in Italy going "a bunch of fundies and truckers in rural Ireland deciding shit for me" isn't too far off the mark.

    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User
    edited June 2008
    NATIK wrote: »
    I personally oppose EU for one single reason, it is way to anti democratic and capitalistic to me. I am a pure socialist and a member of Socialistisk folkeparti (socialist peoples party in danish), about 50% of the party is anti EU, the official party stance changes between for and against every so often.

    I have no illusions that we could make EU more socialist since most of europe is liberal or social-liberal, which just isn't enough for me, it is much easier to get Denmark to be socialist (the danish people are inherently very socialist) then to convince practically every other nation in EU to be.

    I do love the idea of EU, but given the political orientation of the major players in the project I can't support it, it would create an insurmountable liberal powerblock that it would be stupid to help set in place as a socialist.

    I like your sentiment, but I honestly think it's impractical, sadly. The best I think we can hope for is social democracy, and considering the EU is made up of nations, the direction it goes in tends to depend upon the various governments in power. The EU can facilitate better trade and stuff, but I think it should largely take an interest in the wellbeing of the population as a whole. As long as it's not empowering corporations to rape us (which I don't think it's really done, as far as I'm aware), that's good. I mean, we've had civil rights issues referred to the European Court of Human Rights, which isn't a bad thing. I think they gave legal aid during McLibel, for example
    Plutocracy wrote: »
    While I agree with the view that their perceived power will decrease, until they relinquish their UN Security Council places you can't ignore them by any general measure.

    The UN Security Council is only relevant in certain cases. It was entirely irrelevant during Iraq, and it only would have been a rubber stamp to an inevitable war. In terms of economics, it's irrelevant, and it's often irrelevant in diplomacy. Threatening people? Kind of relevant. Starting wars? Kind of relevant.

  • NATIKNATIK Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Your comment seriously confuse me ege, certainly the "yes" side all over Europe is annoyed that the Ireland voted no but you can't seriously argue that it is the same as an unaccountable government ruling over all Europeans. Ireland voting no is the most democratic outcome any country has come out with, I haven't looked at the treaty myself due to it not needing a vote in Denmark, but if the Irish people thought that they couldn't accept it then it should be respected and in no way made to appear like it is somehow an asshole move on their part, it is their right to say no.

    If the rest of Europe think that the treaty is worth going forth anyway they can actually do so aswell, it would not be unpresedented, I know for a fact that that Denmark have voted no to treaties that still passed, our government just went in a made seperate agreements with EU so we didn't hold back everyone else but the parts of the treaty that made the Danish people complain was made to not apply to Denmark.
    Ofcourse this requires that it is possible to make such allowances but really lets see what happens...


    EDIT:
    NATIK wrote: »
    I personally oppose EU for one single reason, it is way to anti democratic and capitalistic to me. I am a pure socialist and a member of Socialistisk folkeparti (socialist peoples party in danish), about 50% of the party is anti EU, the official party stance changes between for and against every so often.

    I have no illusions that we could make EU more socialist since most of europe is liberal or social-liberal, which just isn't enough for me, it is much easier to get Denmark to be socialist (the danish people are inherently very socialist) then to convince practically every other nation in EU to be.

    I do love the idea of EU, but given the political orientation of the major players in the project I can't support it, it would create an insurmountable liberal powerblock that it would be stupid to help set in place as a socialist.

    I like your sentiment, but I honestly think it's impractical, sadly. The best I think we can hope for is social democracy, and considering the EU is made up of nations, the direction it goes in tends to depend upon the various governments in power. The EU can facilitate better trade and stuff, but I think it should largely take an interest in the wellbeing of the population as a whole. As long as it's not empowering corporations to rape us (which I don't think it's really done, as far as I'm aware), that's good. I mean, we've had civil rights issues referred to the European Court of Human Rights, which isn't a bad thing. I think they gave legal aid during McLibel, for example

    I agree that EU has done a lot of good, but it just isn't enough justify the power we are granting it in my mind, we could do most if not all of these things without a institution like the EU as it is envisioned by the current pro-EU political players.

    steam_sig.png
  • CuddlyCuteKittenCuddlyCuteKitten Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    NATIK wrote: »
    Your comment seriously confuse me ege, certainly the "yes" side all over Europe is annoyed that the Ireland voted no but you can't seriously argue that it is the same as an unaccountable government ruling over all Europeans. Ireland voting no is the most democratic outcome any country has come out with, I haven't looked at the treaty myself due to it not needing a vote in Denmark, but if the Irish people thought that they couldn't accept it then it should be respected and in no way made to appear like it is somehow an asshole move on their part, it is their right to say no.

    If the rest of Europe think that the treaty is worth going forth anyway they can actually do so aswell, it would not be unpresedented, I know for a fact that that Denmark have voted no to treaties that still passed, our government just went in a made seperate agreements with EU so we didn't hold back everyone else but the parts of the treaty that made the Danish people complain was made to not apply to Denmark.
    Ofcourse this requires that it is possible to make such allowances but really lets see what happens...


    EDIT:
    NATIK wrote: »
    I personally oppose EU for one single reason, it is way to anti democratic and capitalistic to me. I am a pure socialist and a member of Socialistisk folkeparti (socialist peoples party in danish), about 50% of the party is anti EU, the official party stance changes between for and against every so often.

    I have no illusions that we could make EU more socialist since most of europe is liberal or social-liberal, which just isn't enough for me, it is much easier to get Denmark to be socialist (the danish people are inherently very socialist) then to convince practically every other nation in EU to be.

    I do love the idea of EU, but given the political orientation of the major players in the project I can't support it, it would create an insurmountable liberal powerblock that it would be stupid to help set in place as a socialist.

    I like your sentiment, but I honestly think it's impractical, sadly. The best I think we can hope for is social democracy, and considering the EU is made up of nations, the direction it goes in tends to depend upon the various governments in power. The EU can facilitate better trade and stuff, but I think it should largely take an interest in the wellbeing of the population as a whole. As long as it's not empowering corporations to rape us (which I don't think it's really done, as far as I'm aware), that's good. I mean, we've had civil rights issues referred to the European Court of Human Rights, which isn't a bad thing. I think they gave legal aid during McLibel, for example

    I agree that EU has done a lot of good, but it just isn't enough justify the power we are granting it in my mind, we could do most if not all of these things without a institution like the EU as it is envisioned by the current pro-EU political players.

    If 1 % of Europe’s population votes no on something that affects everyone that already said yes how is that not the same thing?

    And no they can't actually go ahead and do it anyway because you cannot change the core treaties and systems that the EU is built on if you don't have the agreement of every member state.

    Most of the time when countries get exceptions it's about things that doesn't affect the decision making structure so I do think that Ireland really did fuck over everyone (or saved Europe depending on which side you’re on).

    waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaow - Felicia, SPFT2:T
  • edited June 2008
    Plutocracy wrote: »
    While I agree with the view that their perceived power will decrease, until they relinquish their UN Security Council places you can't ignore them by any general measure.

    The UN Security Council is only relevant in certain cases. It was entirely irrelevant during Iraq, and it only would have been a rubber stamp to an inevitable war. In terms of economics, it's irrelevant, and it's often irrelevant in diplomacy. Threatening people? Kind of relevant. Starting wars? Kind of relevant.

    That's because the US was pushing for the war, and when a hegemonic superpower wants a war it's kinda hard to say no to them.

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.
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