[pp.int.general] Request - help with research

Reinier Bakels r.bakels at maastrichtuniversity.nl
Tue Jul 7 08:57:48 CEST 2009

> give you my opinion, and a avoid further hazzle. I'm active for the  dutch 
> pirate party, because of democracy.
> If PP(NL) core issues where not about democracy, i would not even  write 
> this. And most members, even see democracy as our primary  objective. 
> Without free information, you can't have a free society.
> So i really don't think this is up to debate.
I think I confused the subject.
Yes, of course PP favours democracy: it uses the democratic system to get 
its proposals adopted.
No, I don't think the PP should aim at reforming the democratic system 
itself. For the reasons I already gave: 1) I am not sure whether the 
democratic system is a problem in all countries (yes, it is on the European 
level) 2) countries are (very) different in this respect 3) It is not easy 
to devise a better alternative.
To give just one example: in NL we traditionally don't have a referendum 
system (unlike e.g. Switzerland). We have a political party (D66) that 
particularly promoted referenda. It was not a success. If there are 
occasional referenda, the voter participation is often deceptively low. The 
system of elected politicians (indirect democracy) has its advantages:1) the 
political debate articulates the debate and clarifies the controversy at 
hand 2) governments always have to make popular and impopular decisions 
(like imposing taxes), and referenda tend to favour popular decisions.
A very bad example is the referendum on the "European Constitution" (aka 
Lisbon treaty). I bet than no one really understood the issue. People 
believed that the question was: "constitution yes/no", but actually the 
question was whether the Nice treaty should be replaced. The real question 
is: "what improvements do you want?" The current mood is: "less Europe". I 
woukld say: YES, because Europe is a heaven for copyright lobbyist "policy 
laundering", NO because the future, especially for yournger people is a 
European rather than a strict national identity, and the European Union has 
proved essential to improve the situation in many former dictatorships 
(Greece, Spain, Portugal), and it is essential to develop Eastern Europe. As 
a matter of international solidaity, but also in our very own interest, to 
foster political stability.

> On Jul 6, 2009, at 11:19 AM, <bakel362 at planet.nl> wrote:
> >
> > In The Netherlands, it is very easy to start a political party/ 
> > movement. If you want to participate in elections, you must pay an 
> > amount of money (something like 10000 euro) and you only get it back  if 
> > you het electred. There is no threshold: to get one (of 150)  seats, you 
> > need 1/150 votes, which is about 60000 votes.
> >
> > I wonder whether "democracy" should be an explict PP issue. The 
> > situation between country widely varies (unlike in "intellectual 
> > property") and there are usually no easy solutions.
> >
> > To name just one problem: should PP welcome or reject populist  parties 
> > that have become so fashionable lately? Incidentally, the  Piratpartiet 
> > was labeled "populist" itself. Proponents argue that  populist parties 
> > care for the real needs of real people, unlike the  political 
> > establishment. Another definition of populist is: luring  voters by 
> > making unrealistic proposals ("kick all muslims out").
> >
> > Groeten, Grüße, Regards, Cordialement, Hälsningar, Ciao, Saygilar, 
> > Üdvözlettel, Pozdrowienia, Kumusta, Adios, Oan't sjen, Ave, Doei, 
> > Yassou
> > 

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