Saturday, January 29, 2005

Dreck mockracey

Just looking at the draft constitution when a copy came into our library, I accidentally found this wee section:
Article 46: The principle of participatory democracy

4. No less than one million citizens coming from a significant number of Member States may invite the Commission to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Constitution. A European law shall determine the provisions for the specific procedures and conditions required for such a citizens' initiative.
Well, I think that's intriguing, at least the pretense of intitiative democracy, one million people out of some 400 million can press the commission to put proposals to the council of ministers and the Parliament. But, mark you, only to 'implement the constitution' so, say, a two million strong movement to prevent military forces going overseas, or to cut defence spending, would be ruled ultra-vires. Further, the real veto remains in the hands of the national governments.

As with most direct democracy laws, it really is a symbollic fig-leaf for concentrated power in the bureaucracy of state. The power to march and demand that the King do something, instead of putting the power of free association and labour to self active attainment of goals.


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