Wednesday, February 6, 2008

American Democracy, British Observations and EU Concerns

Our democracy is capturing the imagination of a lot of people in Britain, both because of the wild, almost anarchistic aspects of our nomination process to elect a President and because of the scale in which we are engaged in the process. I do not know how many articles I have read in the British press and blogs of late expressing admiration of and the consideration of a desire for such a system across the pond.

In a parliamentary system such as in Briain's, the electorate have no direct say in who will be chosen Prime Minister. The party with the most representatives in Parliament appoints a Prime Minister. The cynicism by which Britain views its political process is significantly more jaundiced than in America. And the EU has only a patina of democracy. EU Referendum has an intelligent rant on this today, comparing the exercise of democracy in America with the state of affairs in the EU, where they are currently far more concerned with enacting protectionist measures to keep out Chinese candles than they are with the exercise of democracy. That particular blog, not one given to overstatement, entitles their post EU Macht Frei - a play on the sign above nazi concentration camps which read Work Makes You Free.

As to the EU, I blogged on the latest EU consideration to ban outdoor heaters, calling it a textbook example of EU overregulation. The move would hit Britain extremely hard, with the costs estimated at a quarter of a billion pounds in lost business. The legislation is ostensibly to fight global warming, but will in fact only reduce Britain's carbon footprint by .002 of 1%. Yet never one to let common sense stand in the way of regulating, the EU has voted 592 to 26 to pass the measure.

I am sure that the EU will fall under its own weight eventually, My only question is whether it will take Britain with it? Right now, that's an even money bet.

1 comment:

Grahnlaw said...

Yes, blame the intergovernmentalists for the proto-democratic state of democracy in the European Union, although the Treaty of Lisbon is a step forward.