EU is unelected/democratic? WRONG - Myth buster

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Reformed2010
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Sick and tired of having to hear this same myth being trotted out by the Leave campaign.

Imagine a Britain where the PM minister has to wait on First Minister of Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Mayor of London to pick his or her Cabinet Ministers. Imagine a Britain where that Cabinet had to then be approved or rejected by Parliament in a vote. Where the lower house (Commons) was proportionally elected so no votes were wasted. Where the upper house (Lords) was elected by its citizens. Where the head of state was not selected by the accident of birth but by elected by its citizens. Where amending the British constitution could be vetoed simply by the Welsh First Minister. Or where fundamental rights and liberties were enshrined in law and could not be ignored by a government. Imagine if the Welsh, Northern Ireland, Scottish and First Ministers could club together and stop the invasion of the Iraq War or increase funding for the NHS? Oh wait, sorry that's not Britain, that's how the European Union works.

This idea that the EU is undemocratic and/or unelected has to stop. Laws are approved, amended or rejected by the directly elected MEP's using proportional representation in the EU Parliament and elected government Ministers in the EU Council from the 28 member states. The Commission President is now elected in the similar method of the UK Prime Minister, he or she campaigns during the European election and is the leader of the largest party after the Parliamentary election. The other 27 Commissioners are appointed by the 27 elected governments and the entire Commission is approved or rejected by the directly elected Parliament. This would be like the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each proposing a Cabinet Minister to the UK Prime Minister and he or she has to wait for UK parliamentary approval for their Cabinet.

EU treaties are ratified only with the consent of every 28 national parliament and government approval. This would be like the UK government needing the approval of the UK 4 devolved administrations (London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) to amend the UK constitution. In addition, European protesters for example have exercised their democratic right to put pressure on elected officials, as is the case with TTIP and the French government is threatening to veto the agreement in the EU Council. That is a representative of just 12% of the EU population able to defy the will of the other representatives of 82%. That would be like the London Assembly led by the Mayor of London, representing roughly 12% of the UK population having a veto on UK trade deals. Unimaginable (and impossible) in a British context. The UK government thanks to protest is now promising to veto it if the NHS is not protected. Evidence suggesting proportionally citizens can influence the decision of the EU better than in the UK.

On issues like how Greece was handled, which I sense is where many especially on the left like to accuse the EU of lacking democracy becomes a matter of debate on the type of democracy you believe is legitimate. If you support a more supranational, or Federal type model is it any less undemocratic for the other 27 elected governments in the EU Council to enforce their will on the elected Greek government. Than it is for the US federal government to enforce its will and stop North Carolina anti LGBT laws? You could argue the EU parliament should have a role in Monetary and Fiscal policy, which would strengthen the democratic legitimacy of the EU's decision on Greece. But you'll still have an elected majority imposing it's will on a minority.

The trouble is the European People's Party (EPP) who are Conservative and pro-austerity are the largest party in the EU parliament, The Commission President is a member of the EPP and the EU Council has a majority of EPP Presidents and Prime Ministers. We need to stop arguing that the EU is undemocratic and unelected, which is incorrect and puts people off from voting in the European elections. We need to educate all European (especially British) people on how their vote in the European election can kick out the EPP led Parliament and Commission. That they by voting in left or centre governments in their national elections can kick out the EPP led EU Council.

The tools to change the EU with two votes, supranational (European) and national (British), and protesting is there. It's time our education system, national politicians and media gave the knowledge to the citizens on how to use them. The EU is unelected/democratic is a myth, it's the UK that has the problems.
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_Xenon_
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Agreed
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Erzan
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That, was epic... :eek: thumbs up. Too much rationality for Student forum.
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mojojojo101
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As far a the Brexit campaign goes undemocratic just means not getting exactly what you want whenever you want it.
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BaronK
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EU's still undemocratic.

The people you vote for in the EU parliament can't propose laws. You don't vote for your country's commissioner, and the government's commissioner elect isn't something they put in manifestos so you don't vote on that either. National parliaments lack oversight and are subordinate to the EU.
EP elections have horrible voter turnout.
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Erzan
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(Original post by BaronK)
EU's still undemocratic.

The people you vote for in the EU parliament can't propose laws. You don't vote for your country's commissioner, and the government's commissioner elect isn't something they put in manifestos so you don't vote on that either. National parliaments lack oversight and are subordinate to the EU.
EP elections have horrible voter turnout.
Democracy and what is democratic is a spectrum. Using your argument because the UK has an disproportional voting system, unelected second chamber, unelected head of state and many other things it is simply not democratic? think about that.

Just because the EU parliament cannot formally propose laws, it can informally do so and if you bother do some academic research you'll find that the vast majority of EU commissioned proposed laws were initiated by the EU parliamentary suggestion.

Also I would rather have the independence from the executive and powers of the EU parliament. Over the UK Parliament any day. The UK parliament is weak, why? because the UK executive has an inbuilt majority and can bully it's way into passing a law. If you study the EU parliament, this does not happen. The EU parliament's approves, changes and disapproves many Commission proposals.

Which parliament is really in control of law making?
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BaronK
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(Original post by Erzan)
Democracy and what is democratic is a spectrum. Using your argument because the UK has an disproportional voting system, unelected second chamber, unelected head of state and many other things it is simply not democratic? think about that.

Just because the EU parliament cannot formally propose laws, it can informally do so and if you bother do some academic research you'll find that the vast majority of EU commissioned proposed laws were initiated by the EU parliamentary suggestion.

Also I would rather have the independence from the executive and powers of the EU parliament. Over the UK Parliament any day. The UK parliament is weak, why? because the UK executive has an inbuilt majority and can bully it's way into passing a law. If you study the EU parliament, this does not happen. The EU parliament's approves, changes and disapproves many Commission proposals.

Which parliament is really in control of law making?
An unelected head of state. Did you vote for Juncker? Did you vote for Tusk?

Well it's clearly not weak, how many times has the government been defeated this parliament? How many times has the commission been defeated in the EU parliament? That's a genuine question, not familiar with the stat.

It can't formally propose laws, thank you.

The UK Parliament is.
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Erzan
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(Original post by BaronK)
An unelected head of state. Did you vote for Juncker? Did you vote for Tusk?

Well it's clearly not weak, how many times has the government been defeated this parliament? How many times has the commission been defeated in the EU parliament? That's a genuine question, not familiar with the stat.

It can't formally propose laws, thank you.

The UK Parliament is.
I think you need to go back and read this post, do some independent research and realise how the UK system works. Juncker became Commission President like a Prime Minister. He was the leader of the winning parliamentary party, just like David Cameron. He was in televised debates, made speeches, put up posters, had a manifesto and the leaders of the other parliamentary parties did the same. I watched the European elections debates live. He was selected by his political party, just like David Cameron. His party, the EPP, won the most seats and like the Prime Minister he then became the Commission President.

President Tusk is not the equivalent to Queen Elizabeth, his a chairman. He just speaks on behalf of the 28 elected Prime Ministers and Presidents. He does not make any decisions. The equivalent to the UK head of state is the EU Council, composed of the 28 elected Prime Ministers and Presidents. In addition, the Queen was picked by her parents. Unelected. Tusk was picked by elected Prime Ministers and Presidents. Tusk has democratic mandate, not big no but the Queen has zero.

Elizabeth, picked by her birth. Tusk, picked by 28 elected politicians. Are you seriously suggesting the Queen is more democratically chosen?!

I beg you to do some research. Please!
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Davij038
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From the few seriously minded brexiters that I have encountered it is the problem of the scope IE that democracy should be exclusive to the lowest possible level (only newpersonage has actually followed through and said That the UK should split up too). States remain utterly sovereign no matter what because that is the only space in which they can be truly democratic.

In my mind, this view (let's call it communitarianism) which whilst propagated by very liberal people is at its root, reactionary,in where human beings lives are ou worthwhile as long as they all believe their lives are meaningless without states

States are social constructs given meaning by humans and not vice versa. The reason we don't have independent city states and provinces in Italy and Germany is because of the ideas of unification and the benefits it brought far outweighed the abstract notion of sovereignty.
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BaronK
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(Original post by Erzan)
I think you need to go back and read this post, do some independent research and realise how the UK system works. Juncker became Commission President like a Prime Minister. He was the leader of the winning parliamentary party, just like David Cameron. He was in televised debates, I watched them and he was selected by his political party, just like David Cameron.

Again Tusk is not the equivalent to the Elizabeth, his a chairman. The equivalent to the UK head of state is the EU Council.

I beg you to do some research.
I don't think he's a chairman. His title is quite clearly President of the European Council. Still, did you vote for Tusk? Guess both have an unelected head then.

I implore you to do research, the UK parliament isn't weak. Clearly this is why avoided the part about government defeats.
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Erzan
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(Original post by BaronK)
I don't think he's a chairman. His title is quite clearly President of the European Council. Still, did you vote for Tusk? Guess both have an unelected head then.

I implore you to do research, the UK parliament isn't weak. Clearly this is why avoided the part about government defeats.
I want to cry. Seriously this is just so painful. His called the President because that is the title they decided to pick, it has nothing to do with being head of state, you clearly do not even understand what one is and how to identify the EU's nearest equivalent. The Head of State is the chief executive, that is the EU council. Not The President of the EU Council. The nearest example of this would be Switzerland, because the powers and responsibilities of executive decision-making is divided among equals. It does not mean he Tusk is the equivalent of the Queen. The word 'President' does not = US President. In addition, which you fail to grasp or wish to ignore. Tusk is under greater democratic control and accountability than the Queen, thus having a greater democratic mandate. Democracy is not a binary 1 and 0. It's a spectrum.

The UK parliament is under unprecedented circumstances, where the executive has a very small majority. You do not take the anomaly and treat it as an example.

Christ sake. I want to cry.
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BaronK
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(Original post by Erzan)
I want to cry.
I want to cry.
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craymonDAX
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germans don't eleect the President of Germany. and in which country allows sub-units to choose a Cabinet?
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Davij038
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(Original post by BaronK)
An unelected head of state. Did you vote for Juncker? Did you vote for Tusk?


is.
Unless you live in Witney you didn't vote for David Cameron.

The majority of Scotland didn't even vote for the same party as David Caneron- so by your logic, the UK is u democratic.
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Reformed2010
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(Original post by craymonDAX)
germans don't eleect the President of Germany. and in which country allows sub-units to choose a Cabinet?
Methinks you've missed my point. Go back and read it again.
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M14B
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(Original post by Erzan)
That, was epic... :eek: thumbs up. Too much rationality for Student forum.
Yes epic.
Its length intimidated me
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BaronK
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[QUOTE=Davij038;65254995]Unless you live in Witney you didn't vote for David Cameron.

OK
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username878267
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While I accept the EU is to an extent undemocratic , what I find hard to accept is the opportunism of many in the Brexit camp.

Many of them oppose making the UK more democratic via a representative and proportional voting system, yet complain about the EU being undemocratic.


The Conservatives got about one seat for every 25,000 votes or so at the last election. The Greens got one seat for every million votes. UKIP got one seat for every four million votes.

So to complain about the EU being undemocratic while shrugging your shoulders at our own system is opportunistic at best.
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newpersonage
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(Original post by Davij038)
From the few seriously minded brexiters that I have encountered it is the problem of the scope IE that democracy should be exclusive to the lowest possible level (only newpersonage has actually followed through and said That the UK should split up too). States remain utterly sovereign no matter what because that is the only space in which they can be truly democratic.

In my mind, this view (let's call it communitarianism) which whilst propagated by very liberal people is at its root, reactionary,in where human beings lives are ou worthwhile as long as they all believe their lives are meaningless without states

States are social constructs given meaning by humans and not vice versa. The reason we don't have independent city states and provinces in Italy and Germany is because of the ideas of unification and the benefits it brought far outweighed the abstract notion of sovereignty.
This dialectical approach of declaring that those who believe in national sovereignty "believe their lives are meaningless without states" is absurd, how do you know what brings meaning to my life?

Where we differ is in our desire for diversity. Diversity is essential in any large system, it introduces vigour, competition and growth and also provides protection from cataclysmic collapse. This role of diversity is not a social construct, it appears in nature and in mechanical systems.

I was living in a shared house a couple of years ago which had a garden overgrown with a single type of weed (flower?). One day it all got a fungus and died. I went to Cuba recently and the lack of private enterprise meant that a variety of employment was not available, there was poverty as a result. I recently went to India again and it was marvellous to see the cultural effects of a way of life that was so different from the UK. In the UK we have non-contributory welfare and the NHS which means that the people feel more secure and entitled than, say, Americans or Greeks.

The simple fact is that no-one knows the best way to lead a meaningful life, nor does anyone know the best way to run an economy in the long term. If we give in to the hubris of those who believe they know all the answers it is always bad for everyone. Certainly global government would be an evil event for humanity.
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Davij038
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(Original post by newpersonage)
This dialectical approach of declaring that those who believe in national sovereignty "believe their lives are meaningless without states" is absurd, how do you know what brings meaning to my life?
Not necessarily you, but for many on the brexit side.

Where we differ is in our desire for diversity. Diversity is essential in any large system, it introduces vigour, competition and growth and also provides protection from cataclysmic collapse. This role of diversity is not a social construct, it appears in nature and in mechanical systems.
Nature and machinery all obey the same laws.

In any case, I think the pluralist model ignores the sheer dynamism of the human individual. We all have different natural tastes and preferences. You'd have to be insane to want everyone to dress the same and look the same. That's not what I want. I want to be able to walk from Paris to North Korea unimpeded as a free citizen and enjoy the same rights and privileges as I do here and know that the people there enjoy the same and fircitvtonbectge sane throughout the world.


I was living in a shared house a couple of years ago which had a garden overgrown with a single type of weed (flower?). One day it all got a fungus and died. I went to Cuba recently and the lack of private enterprise meant that a variety of employment was not available, there was poverty as a result.
Are you saying everyone should have the freedom to create private enterprise?

I recently went to India again and it was marvellous to see the cultural effects of a way of life that was so different from the UK.
Isn't it wonderful how unequal their society is! Good thing I was born in the UK, each to their own!

The simple fact is that no-one knows the best way to lead a meaningful life,
That is subjective. Fundsmental Human Rights aren't. They're universal.

[/quote]
nor does anyone know the best way to run an economy in the long term. If we give in to the hubris of those who believe they know all the answers it is always bad for everyone. Certainly global government would be an evil event for humanity.[/QUOTE]

only if we will it to be so. Plus in the centuries ahead when such a thing may be possible we cannot predict what we will achieve.
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