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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    01 Oct '09 15:56
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/sholto-byrnes-its-not-just-the-right-thats-eurosceptic-1795604.html

    I know I'm partly to "blame," but considering the number of Europeans on this board, I'm surprised that such a large % of the discussion is focused on American issues and American government.

    So, in that spirit:

    For the moderate and left-leaning Europeans, do you agree that:

    Nevertheless it remains the instinct of a democrat, not of a right-winger in particular, to wonder why a group of unelected civil servants, which is all the EU Commission is, should act as though they had the mandate of a government.

    ??
  2. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    01 Oct '09 16:25
    Originally posted by sh76
    Nevertheless it remains the instinct of a democrat, not of a right-winger in particular, to wonder why a group of unelected civil servants, which is all the EU Commission is, should act as though they had the mandate of a government.
    The E.U. is a classic example of Mission Creep.
  3. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    01 Oct '09 16:30
    The commission only acts within the powers that all member countries voluntarily and in a spirit of international cooperation agreed to.

    I don't know what "act as though they had the mandate of a government" is, apart from empty rhetoric.
  4. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    01 Oct '09 16:32
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/sholto-byrnes-its-not-just-the-right-thats-eurosceptic-1795604.html

    I know I'm partly to "blame," but considering the number of Europeans on this board, I'm surprised that such a large % of the discussion is focused on American issues and American government.

    So, in that spirit:

    For the moderate and lef ...[text shortened]... the EU Commission is, should act as though they had the mandate of a government. [/i]

    ??
    My thanks - I find the focus on parochial American politics a bit difficult.

    I think the quotation (is it a direct quotation - if so, from whom?) is spot on. The growth of the EU is in large part the growth of bureaucracy. The left and the right have their specific gripes about what it is becoming, but for me the democratic deficit is the single most worrying aspect of the whole process. As FMF said, it's a perfect example of mission creep - and, however laudible one might consider its original, or even continuing, objectives, the lack of acountability is something that requires to be urgently addressed.
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    01 Oct '09 16:34 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by DrKF
    I think the quotation (is it a direct quotation - if so, from whom?)
    It's copied and pasted from the article I linked to. Sorry if I didn't make that clear enough.
  6. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    01 Oct '09 16:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    It's copied and pasted from the article I linked to. Sorry if I didn't make that clear enough.
    Woops, sorry! Perfectly clear if I pay attention

    (And if I'd waited until I got home, I'd have read the print edition and saved face that way - it's my on-the-way-home paper...)
  7. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    01 Oct '09 16:40
    Originally posted by DrKF
    My thanks - I find the focus on parochial American politics a bit difficult.

    I think the quotation (is it a direct quotation - if so, from whom?) is spot on. The growth of the EU is in large part the growth of bureaucracy. The left and the right have their specific gripes about what it is becoming, but for me the democratic deficit is the single most worryin ...[text shortened]... ing, objectives, the lack of acountability is something that requires to be urgently addressed.
    If you feel there is a democratic deficit, you should blame it on your elected officials. They are the ones with a voice within the EU and, thankfully, they don't get to impose what they like on a majority of others.

    The UK isolated itself from the EU. It didn't participate in the complete opening of within-EU borders, it didn't participate in the complete free movement of people and it didn't participate in the Euro. In fact, I'd say the UK has been missing out on most of the interesting aspects of the EU.

    The UK should just pack up and leave if they don't share the view of the above projects. They are a fundamental and essential part of the EU. And there would be less whining, as an added bonus.
  8. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    01 Oct '09 16:44
    Originally posted by FMF
    The E.U. is a classic example of Mission Creep.
    That's because you're ignorant of its original goals.
  9. 01 Oct '09 16:54 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/sholto-byrnes-its-not-just-the-right-thats-eurosceptic-1795604.html

    I know I'm partly to "blame," but considering the number of Europeans on this board, I'm surprised that such a large % of the discussion is focused on American issues and American government.

    So, in that spirit:

    For the moderate and lef ...[text shortened]... the EU Commission is, should act as though they had the mandate of a government. [/i]

    ??
    I've been wondering about this myself - why is such a large percentage of the "Debates" discussion about American issues?

    Compare it to the "Sports" forum where American issues are very rarely discussed. Very strange given how anyone who's an American knows how much we obsess about sports.

    As for the EU -- one of the strengths that the US has had is it's lack of language and cultural barriers. While various regions of the US have a distinct flavor, people and businesses can move very freely from one region to another without having to make the major adaptations that are needed when you move to a totally different country.

    I sense that the EU is an effort to allow Europe to have these same kinds of advantages - sort of like a United States of Europe. And I sense that the resistance to the EU is because people living in the various nations fear that they'd lose their identity - or they value Europe's multi-national mosaic which distinguishes it from the relatively monolithic US.
  10. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    01 Oct '09 16:56
    Originally posted by Palynka
    If you feel there is a democratic deficit, you should blame it on your elected officials. They are the ones with a voice within the EU and, thankfully, they don't get to impose what they like on a majority of others.

    The UK isolated itself from the EU. It didn't participate in the complete opening of within-EU borders, it didn't participate in the comple ...[text shortened]... damental and essential part of the EU. And there would be less whining, as an added bonus.
    I didn't mean that the citizens of the UK, specifically or only, experience a democratic deficit: I think it is written in to the programme and experienced equally by the citizens of all of the participant countries.

    I agree entirely that the UK's 'half in-half-out' attitude cannot continue as it has been and that something's got to give, though.
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    01 Oct '09 17:01
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    I've been wondering about this myself - why is such a large percentage of the "Debates" discussion about American issues?

    Compare it to the "Sports" forum where American issues are very rarely discussed. Very strange given how anyone who's an American knows how much we obsess about sports.
    My guess is:

    1) Most threads started are to criticize something. "Wow, Congress just passed a great bill!" is not the kind of sentiment that drives people to post on an internet forum.

    2) American right wingers love to bash the Obama administration.

    3) Left wingers and many non-Americans in general love to bash the United States in general. It's like bashing the New York Yankees or New England Patriots.

    Ergo, most OPs want to criticize something about the United States.
  12. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    01 Oct '09 17:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by DrKF
    I didn't mean that the citizens of the UK, specifically or only, experience a democratic deficit: I think it is written in to the programme and experienced equally by the citizens of all of the participant countries.

    I agree entirely that the UK's 'half in-half-out' attitude cannot continue as it has been and that something's got to give, though.
    Well, that depends on the point of view. Some people believe that anything short of a direct democracy is a "democratic deficit". This needs to be argued more clearly. I certainly believe that a representative democracy has many advantages over a direct democracy and so the concept of what a "democratic deficit" is not that clear.

    I certainly don't think there is a democratic deficit now. I think introducing an elected President might fit in your definition of "more democracy", but I think undermines the spirit of subsidiarity that has been an established principle (enshrined in treaties) of the EU for a long time.

    In short: I pretty much like it as it is and many people agree with me.
  13. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    01 Oct '09 17:02
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    I've been wondering about this myself - why is such a large percentage of the "Debates" discussion about American issues?
    Momentous Presidential Election followed by healthcare 'debate' = too much focus on the States, perhaps?
  14. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    01 Oct '09 17:04
    Originally posted by sh76
    My guess is:

    1) Most threads started are to criticize something. "Wow, Congress just passed a great bill!" is not the kind of sentiment that drives people to post on an internet forum.

    2) American right wingers love to bash the Obama administration.

    3) Left wingers and many non-Americans in general love to bash the United States in general. It's like b ...[text shortened]... New England Patriots.

    Ergo, most OPs want to criticize something about the United States.
    Maybe it's because the US is the most influential country worldwide and has been in the center of international politics for a long time.

    Just a guess.
  15. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    01 Oct '09 17:06 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    My guess is:

    1) Most threads started are to criticize something. "Wow, Congress just passed a great bill!" is not the kind of sentiment that drives people to post on an internet forum.

    2) American right wingers love to bash the Obama administration.

    3) Left wingers and many non-Americans in general love to bash the United States in general. It's like b ...[text shortened]... New England Patriots.

    Ergo, most OPs want to criticize something about the United States.
    Indeed. That and the fact that - probably - more non-Americans take enough of an interest in American politics to comment on it compared to Americans who take enough of an interest in, say, British politics or French politics to comment on those, perhaps? I don't even necessarily mean that in the trite anti-American 'they've no interest in other countries' way - rather, the rest of the world and its media takes more of an interest in America than American domestic media takes in other countries, often for obvious reasons.