[pp.int.general] Lissabon Treaty: very bad news
r.bakels at planet.nl
Sat Jun 21 15:07:59 CEST 2008
> Legitimate fears and doubts, specially if that super state has different
> decision-making procedures from their country's. Were Irish folks supposed
> to simply say yes, bwana?
There were just two options: YES or NO. Which oversiplifies the problem ...
> That's a very, very bizarre notion of democracy that I would hardly -if
> ever- share. Referendum bypasses parliament? How, if sovereignty does not
> lie in parliament, but in citizens -who are the ones who vote-?
> Parliaments make use of citizens' sovereignty as they're formed by
> citizens' representatives, and such political regime is chosen because of
> being pretty difficult to get together 5,10,25,45,60 million people daily
> debating and making decision. However, never forget it: sovereignty lies
> in citizens, and if such enormous change like one brought by Lisboa's has
> to be decided, the normal procedure is to consult sovereigns ... EU
Sorry, now we really get confused. Yes, parliaments are based on the
sovereignty of people just as referenda are. But parliaments are instituted
because they add value (not just because it is technically infeasbible to
vote every day on everything). Firstly, professional politicians have the
skills (or at least the infrastructure) to articulate arguments. Now the
government (at least in NL) made flyers (I guess an advertising agency did)
and people said it was all nonsense, and no true exchange of arguments took
place. Secondly, parliaments can be held responsible for results of policy.
Proper policy always requires a mix of popular and unpopular measures: e.g.
lowering taxes *and* increasing government spending are perhaps popular
measures, but will not work in the end: the state will go bankrupt. Usually,
people do not like change, because change is a risk. But change may be
needed in the end for improvement. yes, it is pretty basic.
> > Justice was not fired after he ignored a parliament resolution NOT to
> > vote in favour of the Data Retention Directive!!
> > And so on
> Your Minister of Justice wasn't fired because of the menaces I commented
> before. What would have such sacking been, but just a cosmetic measure? If
> Netherlands had been forced to accept Data Retention despite Dutch
> Parliament's resolution, it would have been useless to sack that
> minister -specially if he/she's a main piece in Dutch government-.
Perhaps I did not make myself clear. Right now, the DRD is a given, and the
national government can only "fill in the blanks" for its implementation. I
actually referred to the process leading to the adoption of the DRD by the
Commission *and the Council*. Here our Minister (Donner at the time) simply
ignored the majority vote of the Dutch parliament and voted in favour. Well,
to sack the minister is an extreme measure, but the fact of the matter is
that the democratic system failed completely here - bacause the parliament
was ignored. Well, it is not against the strict rule of the game, because a
*resolution* is not binding on the minister, but that is merely a formal
comment. Could this have been remedied by better regulations? In any system,
ministers are not just the puppets of the parliament. I think it is really a
mentality problem. No one is interested in "Brussels" (and no one is
interested in privacy in particular. Same for "intellectual property" in
general). No news whos on television ever pays attention to "Brussels".
But now there is a curious paradox. One the one hand, newsmedia are not
interested in the "Brussels" policy making process, because people are not
interested. On the other hand, now that it comes to a change in view of the
"Lisbon Treaty", there *is* all of a sudden a public interest. I wish the
Commission, Council and EP would exploit this attention in a positive way.
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