If you go back 100years ago, everybody was actively engaged in, and interested in politics. In present times, it is the complete opposite. I know that when I go home to spend christmas with my family they will take pity that I engage myself in current affairs. I’m sure other people who involve themselves will also experience the same thing. Nobody is interested anymore.
But to not be interested in politics itself is a dangerous thing. This is because democracy relies on all of the people and their individual views.
Anyone who says they are not interested in politics is like a drowning man who insists he is not interested in water
Yet people are understandably bored by politicians, who in modern times act like robots, trained to spew the same rhetoric over and over. But how do these politicians get away with doing this? The answer is simple, its because of the lack of interest in politics by the majority. If everyone was actively involved and engaged, politicians would be made to answer questions with real answers or face real public revolt.
In the current situation, not only does a lack of interest bode well for those in power, but it also fuels bigger government. This is not good from a libertarian perspective!
The council of the European Union had a debate today on the external action service. As I was reading the report, one section caught my eye: “EU support for democratic governance” of nation states around the world. These were some of the points outlined:
The EU’s support should be based on a rights based approach,
encompassing all human rights, and the principles of participation, non-discrimination,
accountability and transparency.
The Council underlines that better use should be made of the wealth of experience the EU
has accumulated in the area of democratic transition
Wow, this is alarming considering that the core structure of the EU does not encompass all human rights (particularly some UK rights that are overruled by the ECHR), is not fully democratic, and is certainly not transparent! Where are those accounts that should have been signed off for the past 19 years?
Here is some more text from the report:
Notwithstanding the partner country’s needs and the commitment of the EU to provide
predictable funding, the Council notes that elements of an incentive based approach can stimulate progress and results in democratic governance.
The Council also notes that while financial incentives are not sufficient to trigger democratic reforms, an incentive-based approach works best when a critical mass of funding is available in order to generate significant impact and results, and where allocations form part of a broader strategy of EU engagement.
So basically the EU are going to do more of what they are already doing which is wasting millions on trying to persuade nations around the world to become more democratic, even though they acknowledge that financial incentives don’t actually work!
The report can be found here.
ps. The president of the council is non other than Catherine Ashton, who incidently has never been democratically voted for in her entire life.
The word nationalist is often thrown about when a europhile argues against those who oppose political union in europe. In fact, when the french, dutch and irish had referendums and all rejected the lisbon treaty, some MEP’s called the results nationalist, as to mean being nationalist is something bad!
A nationalist is someone who believes in democracy, who believes in one-man-one-vote and believes that government should be carried out by and for the people. However, he also raises the question: what people?
Representative government works best within a population whose members feel enough in common with one another to accept government from each other’s hands. After all, a policy functions best when there is a shared identity.
The unelected president of the European Commission, Jose Barroso, has argued that nation states are dangerous precisely because they are excessively democratic:
Governments are not always right. If governments were always right we would not have the situation that we have today. Decisions taken by the most democratic institutions in the world are very often wrong.
The EU now treats public opinion as an obsticle to be overcome rather than a reason to change direction.
Marxists used to contend that, if only the workers were in full possession of the facts, and free rationally to advance their own interests, they would vote for socialist parties, but in practice they were led astray by bourgeois interests. It was therefore necessary for good communists to act in the real interests of the majority.
This is the same argument the eurocrats support. Because they think people are unable to make an unclouded decision, eurocrats are entitled to disregard their desires in pursuit of their own preferences.
Even Tony Blair thought this:
The British people are sensible enough to know that, even if they have a certain prejudice about Europe, they don’t expect their government necessarily to share or act upon it.
And finally, the EU has so much power, that to save the dwindling euro currency in 2011, it effectively halted democracy in italy and greece ‘for their own good’ through brussels appointed apparatchiks.
A nationalist, is someone who wants what is best for his country, through democracy. Not someone who thinks they know what is right for everyone.
The fact is, if the EU were a country applying to join itself, it would be rejected on the grounds of being insufficiently democratic by its own rules.
ps. please read Dan Hannan’s book:
A Doomed Marriage: Britain and Europe
The United Kingdom is no longer a democracy.
What is the definition of a democracy? I don’t normally cite wikipedia but I thought their definition was apt:
Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.
Political self-determination. Such an elegant way of saying that the people of the country should determine their own destiny.
So what if I told you that the UK is no longer a democracy. That it instead transfers the majority of its powers to Brussels (EU). You would probably argue that I am wrong because even though EU law overrides a vast number of UK laws, we do elect MEP’s who are our representatives.
What is the most important role of democracy? It is the ability for the people to remove any representative in power who they don’t agree with as a majority. The fact that not one single taxpaying citizen in the UK can remove any of the european commssion members is why we no longer live in a democracy. We have no control over the rule makers.
The way governments in the UK and US should work is that they pass laws with the backing of the majority of their citizens, especially on decisions which potentially have a huge impact on the daily lives of those people.
This is unlike regimes such as the EU and China who appoint officials to write new laws, which are then approved by parliament, without involving the public at all.
But recently, these values the UK and US hold most dear, are being forgotten. One example, is of course the passing of the EU Lisbon Treaty strait through the british parliament without a referendum for the public to decide. The second, is described by this great William Warren cartoon: