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The European Union’s democratic deficit


The European Union hs always had a problem of political elitism.  It has been directed by a political and technocratic class that does not, on the whole, share the values and aspirations of the European electorates.  This class has usually managed to attain its agenda, sometimes by putting through very radical measures as if they were mere technical changes and extensions to its existing practices.  When electorates have been consulted, as they have in the occasional referendum, they have shown a remarkable resistance to being led along by their betters into a bureaucratized centrally-run federal state they want no part of.  It is pleasing to watch the discomfiture of the Eurocrats when this happens, and to follow the contortions they go through to override these expressions of popular opinion.

I was in Sweden when they voted on whether or not to join the Euro currency.  In favour were all major political parties, business organizations, trade unions and most of the media.  The people voted no, and must these days be congratulating themselves on having done so.  As elections are held, especially in the southern countries most affected by a centrally imposed austerity, it is interesting to see whether or not the electorates do as they are told.  I like it when they do not, and this now seems to have happened in Italy.


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