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December 18, 2003

Wot? No constitution then Jacques?

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! OK, I'll admit to putting off commenting on the collapse of the latest attempt to create a United States of Europe, but I can't resist it.

Poor Tone will have to put off his elevation to President of the USE. I guess this means he can't have the status and trappings enjoyed by his former buddy Bill Clinton and his current best buddy GWB. Those dreadful Poles and other Eastern Europeans have torpedoed this ghastly French creation which would have left the member states almost entirely at the mercy of the Franco-German axis in the EU. On the surface it didn't look that bad, but, as ever, the devil lies in the detail. And it was that detail that our friend and illustrious leader Tone B wanted to avoid at all cost the UK public getting to hear about or having a say on.

The voting system proposed was rather complex. Veto's would go, replaced by a system which allowed each member state to caste a vote with a majority carrying the motion. That is the simple explanantion, but, this being French and Brussels in origin, it isn't quite that straight forward. Oh no, the total population of each voting state came into this as well, so, a French "No", carried more weight than a Dutch "No".

Thus, with 80 million population in Germany and about the same or slightly more in France, these two on their own account for about a third of the total population of Europe. As the voting required a majority of States AND a 51% majority in population terms, a "Yes" from the two most populous states, accompanied by a "Yes" from Italy, Spain and one other state having around 5 million population would give the 51% population. Thus a Yes or a No lead by the Axis is almost unstoppable.

Well done the Poles and their supporters, derailing this stupid attempt to create a rival power to the US, is probably the best thing they could have done to protect their hard won democracy.

Posted by The Gray Monk at December 18, 2003 03:47 PM

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Tracked on December 21, 2003 04:56 PM


I have been following european politics ever since I have lived there. As far as i can tell the only sytem that will work is one that is built after the American two house system. The House of Representives is based on the polutlation of each state with 1 rep being the minimun each state gets. the Senate is based on 2 per state reguardless of the of the size. The HoR is only elected for 2 years and the HoS is elected for 6 years. This system allows for the majority voice to be heard while preventing the minority from being swamped from the majority. For any bill to pass it requires a majority from both houses. There is much more to the it works then I have posted. But it seems to have worked well for over 225 years. What I find amazing is that the U.S. constitution is a about 1400 words and still works quite well so long after it was written, truly a living document. I don't think you will ever see that in the U.S.E. because then the "Europeans" (ei. Germany and France) would have to soil themselves by using something as dirty as a american idea.

Posted by: Matthew at December 25, 2003 04:06 AM