Originally posted by Zion Mainframe
Now, for the first time in 50 years, we can finally say something, et voila! A NO-vote in France, and tomorrow also in Holland.
- Oh, I see, you mean you/we have not had referenda before?
Well. Some of us have but ok, it's a point of view I suppose but running any large institution by referendum is plain ridiculous IMO.
......and I do not accept it is necessarily more democratic either.
Interesting you bring up fishery. Dutch fisherman have to struggle with quota last couple of years, and with a reletively low financial support
by the EU.
- As have many fishermen.
There simply aren't the fish and we all have to wind down the fishing industry.
The Spanish fishermen get hundreds of millions of euro's each year, have totally different quota.
- This is not true.
The Spainish have been clever in buying up the licences of those leaving the industry.
The British could have done this as could the Duitch or anyone, they didn't and the Spainish did, tough luck on those left I suppose.
Fishing is an excellent example of the relevance of the EU and collective agreed action, fish respect no borders.
The Dutch actually pay more money to the EU than any other nation, even France and Germany.
- I'd be interested in your source for this claim.
I found this -
and this -
They lacked to inform us for many years, never held a referenda about the EU before. Now for the first time they ask the people, and the people
- Like I said, I think referenda are usually a superficial and not necessarily democratic way of engaging the people and very prone to getting
answers to questions that were not the ones asked.
THe information we get from the government and the 'independent' media is as 'fair and balanced' as FoxNews.
- Well in that case why believe anything?
Our Ministerof Justice informed us that a no-vote will lead to an instable Europe where a war is very likely to erupt.
- Or alternately he may well have said that a Europe of growing instability is one where the possibility of conflict is much more likely than a
united and cooperative Europe, hmmm?
A NO-vote indicated the people do not support the EU the way it is right now.
- This is absolutely not necessarily so.
Many commentators believe the French "no" vote was in large part about French unemployment and the threat many French people see coming from
globalisation etc etc.
Once again an answer that had little or nothing to do with the question put.
Dont you agree a United Europe will only be succesfull when the people of Europe themselves want it?
- Of course.
I am not denying Europe has some problems.
But I am far from convinced that this 'constitution' is part of that, it has merely - in large part - become the vehicle for expressing
dissatisfaction for that as well as the dissatisfaction people feel about the situation domestically in their own countries.
Thats very democratic, a constitution which only political experts can understand.
- No. I didn't say that.
Anyone can understand this doument but it does require a high degree of application and familiarity with legal terms and international
protocol.......how could it possibly be otherwise?
International agreements are simply not the stuff of simplistic language, complain about it all you like but that is the undeniable case.
Those who try to suggest differently are either ignorant of international affairs or deliberately attempting to manipulate the people.
How an you vote YES for such a 'constitution' ???!!!
- Because generally I follow politics, I have read parts of it, I have read 2 extensive guides to it (not both 'pro' either) and I do not start off
with the preconception that every 'expert commentator' is a liar about it, simply that there are various viewpoints, whatever the view.
On balance I think the 'constitution' is a good thing that would be of long term value to the EU and the peoples of Europe.
Yes they have, but they also passes many of them. The EU just has/gets too much control.
- The EU does nothing without the agreement of either the nationally elected representitives (the Ministers and Prime Ministers/Presidents) or their
delegates (the Commissioners).
......and again you are contradictorily complaining about the lack of democratic representation and yet criticising the directly elected Parliament.
They get involved into issues which are really none of their business.
- Er, like what?
Please feel free to give examples of what you think the EU has ever done that was against the wishes of the elected national governments?
It frustrates the people, so the people vote NO.
- Like I said, there is a reasonable complaint about a lack of information (but I do not accept there has been no information).
There is also a % that has always been against the EU.
There are also growing numbers that are totally turned off of politics (this is a global phenomenon and not just about the EU).
This in conjunction with those complaining about the domestic state of their own countries has been, IMO, sufficient to tip the balance.
let me give an example; The EU wanted to arrest coffe-shop holders and put them on trail in Germany, because they sold soft-drugs
- Er, I think you'll find that was a policy suggested by the Police in those countries that did not have such an enlightened approach to cannabis.
They were attempting to (so they said) target the 'Mr Bigs' (aren't they always?
(If I'm wrong on this one give me a link, I'd be interested in looking the case up.)
In any case this anti-cannabis situation has in large part now changed across the continent.......although, speaking of which, I note that certain
loopy members of the current Dutch centre-right gov want to ban non-Dutch people from being able to buy cannabis in the cafés.
This attempt to 'combat drug tourism' seems particularly stupid and as good a way as any of reviving the illegal trade there.......and all
absolutely nothing to do with the EU.
Also, when the people want to change something, they have to come up with 1 million other people to sign a petition. That petition is then only
an advising petition, meaning the EU can simple put it in hte trash bin. Very democratic
- Or alternately one can lobby ones' own Parliamentary representitives to raise the issue through the national government, or contact your member of
the European Parliament etc etc.
Totally normal and democratic.
THen how will the EU ever work, why get a European "constitution" when you claim the people of Europe will never feel European?
- Hang on.
I did not say "the people of Europe will never feel European".
I fact I said the exact opposite. Many do right now.
What I disputed was the idea that in any country the peoples of Europe would feel European and not French, Dutch, British etc etc.
IMO that will never happen and so what anyway?
Why would anyone imagine Europe will never work because of such a silly (and in any case totally pointless) idea?
Remember the Swedish voted against the Euro.
- Yeah and Denmark voted against Maastricht.......the idea that the member countries of Europe are unable to express a contrary point of view within
the EU is simply not true.
THat "qualified majority " can then impose its will on the small countries, which is what has been happening for decades already.
- Er, hang on.
"Qualified majority voting" has not been agreed in many areas of EU business at all.....how can you claim it has been forcing small countries
Wothout a veto, the small countries will have almost nothing to 'defend' with.
- Well if their complaint is reasonable and not purely selfish they would hardly be on their own, would they?
If their complaint is reasonable and backed by others - even if not sufficient, technically, to block the measure - the others are hardly likely to
want to promote a serious row by imposing anything.
Where is the sense in that.......unless you have examples of where the EU has 'forced' it's will on countries so far?
(A VETO usually is a defensive tool, not a tool to impose a will on other countries.
- This is totally about point of view.
A veto can hold everything up and force the others to stop going in a direction they were intent on going on.
In any case on just about all the major national subjects the veto is staying and limits were to be placed on 'the EU's competence'.
Indeed they are, fortunately in that case. but in many others they were not.
- So, some excellent, some good and some not so good activities.
It's not perfection ......pretty much like every other normal Parliament then?
YOu are right about that, national politics play a major role in this as well. But as I said before, this is the first time the people can have
something to say about the EU. So many people use this vote to protest against the Euro.
- You see.
The people of Holland are using this as an opportunity to complain about the Euro and not necessarily about the 'constitution' itself at all.
This is exactly the problem about referenda.
You are lucky not to have the Euro (yet) and I urge you to look and read the stories of people who are against the Euro. Here in Holland, in
many cases, prices increased dramatically just before, and just after the introduction of the Euro. In some cases they just changed the Guilder sign
with the Euro, making it more than twice as expansive.
A normal pin of beer, for example, used to cost something like 1,80 Guilders. Nowadays, its 1.60 Euros.
1 Euro = 2.20 Guilders
So the price of beer went up by 1,70 Guilders! ((2.2 x 1.6) - 1,80 = 3,5 Guilders )
This is just one example, of many.
- I do not agree that the UK is "lucky" to be out of the Euro.
We will do what we usually do, eventually, we will come late and because of this it will be at the most expensive time and when there are less
benefits to be had.
In the meantime the existing members of the Euro benefit from the hugely reduced costs of international European trade putting us at a disadvantage
with all that means for jobs and wealth here.
But I do not doubt that the introduction of the currency change was accompanied by some taking advantage of the change.
We may not have the Euro in the UK but we did have a similar situation when we switched to a decimal currency in 1971.
Sadly it seems that such behaviour is to some extent inevitable......
......and still it does not mean that the change is not worth doing nor that it will be beneficial in the slightly longer term.
They simple expanded the EU way to fast, without the support of the people.
- I saw no protests over the eastern European expansion.
Now they also started nagotioations with Turkey. It's just going way too fast for people.
- Oh come on.
Turkey were to be accepted for membership it is at least
10yrs away from any possibility of joining.
He said, it will take at least two decaded to 'integrate' the 10 new countries into the EU succesfully.
- That may be so but it has little to do with and hardly justifies scrapping this Treaty IMO.
The trade treaties are of course very good for the individual countries.
- Butthanks to rejection they will be delayed.
Are you aware of the plans Bolkenstein came up with? Polish workman can apply for a job anywhere in the EU. We can compete to the Polish in
terms of salary rates, we shouldn't want to in the first place. It will be disasterous for our own laborman, who paint, construct plumm
- Yes, I am aware of these scare stories. We get them too.
They all tend to forget that people do not really want to move 'en masse' from their own countries.
(as well as ignoring the wealth generating opportunities that come to us from this expansion.
Do you know people working in Poland or Czecho? I do and I am from the UK, again a country with less existing continental connections that continental
Now that the burocrats know the people don't want such idiotic plans, they have the oppertunity to come up with something better, something
more democratic and more solidar.
- Like I said the people have their complaints but to pretend this is all about this proposed 'constitution' is simply not true.
.....and answer a question with something that is unrelated to that question is hardly a clever way forward, wouldn't you say?
Oh btw, latest poll in Holland:
- It's been pretty obvious for a while Holland would vote "no".
Pity some many are not voting about the issue at hand.
This is doubly a pity as the constitution was as 'free market' and less 'obtrusive' as it was ever going to get as it had been in large part
informed by the British and eastern European view (which tends to be much more 'free market orientated').
Now the revised version, when it comes, will be much more informed by the protectionist and obtrusive instincts of the traditionalists in France
Talk about an own goal.
I just can't work out why the anti-EU right think this has been a 'good' development. The EU will continue but in a direction even less to their
[edit on 31-5-2005 by sminkeypinkey]